An author claims to have cracked the unsolved case of an Amersham GP who was murdered 50 years ago.
After seven years of determined investigative research and a tenacity for the truth, author Monica Weller believes she has solved a homicide case from 1966.
The victim, Dr Helen Davidson, who practised as a GP in Amersham for some years, was killed by a single blow from the branch of a poplar tree, which was found lying on the ground nearby in Hodgemoor Wood, near Amersham.
Dr Davidson, 54, left her home in North Road, Chesham Bois, in the afternoon of Wednesday, November 9, 1966, in her Hillman car with her wire-haired terrier dog Fancy.
In the early hours of the next morning the car was found in a lay-by on the A355 Amersham Road.
A few hours later her body was found in a clearing in Hodgemoor Wood, half a mile from her car. Fancy was cuddled against her body.
Forensic evidence showed she died immediately from the first blow she received, but her attacker had continued to batter her.
Jack ‘Razor’ Williams of New Scotland Yard was called in to investigate.
Dr Davidson had binoculars around her neck and ‘had spied illicit lovers, was spotted, and one or both killed her,’ Williams summarised.
However, the ‘illicit lovers’ were never found and within weeks the entire police operation wound down.
It has now been 50 years since the murder, and Dr Davidson’s killer has eluded the police.
Without the help of lost or prohibited police records, Mrs Weller set about gathering fresh evidence in the form of new witnesses and key testimonies.
Her new true crime book Injured Parties, which was released yesterday (Wednesday), tracks her case to reveal a community of closely guarded secrets, a victim with a dark past, and an obstinate police investigation.
As Weller sifted through the evidence, a number of suspects and sinister motives began to emerge.
Injured Parties ultimately uncovers the identity of the murderer – not the random, motiveless psychopath the police had sought, but someone who has eluded them for 50 years.
Mrs Weller said: “Each person I met whilst writing Injured Parties knew a small part of the story and I was there to put clues together, a bit like doing a jigsaw. From the start, my loyal team of Amersham contacts bent over backwards to help find people from the 1960s; from suspects who’d been pulled in by the police for questioning and their family members who’ve waited 50 years to tell their story, to chance encounters with acquaintances of Dr Davidson, her patients and others closely involved in the investigation.
“It has been a seven year learning journey for me, a journey I would not have missed for the world.”
Mrs Weller is a freelance writer, photographer and public speaker. She co-wrote Ruth Ellis: My Sister’s Secret Life, in which she unveiled fresh evidence about the last woman to be hanged in the UK, who is buried at St Mary’s Church in Amersham.
Injured Parties his her second true crime book.
Mrs Weller will give a talk titled How I Came To Write Injured Parties at Market Hall in Amersham on Tuesday, July 12 at 8pm.
Tickets cost £8 to £10.
To book visit www.ents24.com/amersham-events/market-hall/monica-weller/4678876.