It is a double killing – 9 months aside – that has baffled detectives and neighbours in a sleepy village for 30 years.
Hitmen blasted Alan Leppard on his doorstep with a 12-bore shotgun then fled in an enormous white automobile – leaving him to die in lover Brenda Lengthy’s arms.
9 months later she was discovered lifeless in her tub – drugged, then drowned.
It feels like a case from a violent US crime collection.
But it surely’s a lot nearer to residence… within the Kent village of Monkton, inhabitants 661. And the unsolved killings are the discuss of the city once more – precisely 30 years since women’ man Alan, who married 4 occasions, met his destiny.
There stay questions in regards to the automobile utilized by the so-called Cadillac Killers – and a person, adorned with gold bracelet and gold watch, who referred to as at a village pub asking about Alan.
He was shot on Easter Monday – April 1, 1991. The case gripped the nation and Crimewatch host Nick Ross described it as “like a killing from some second-rate Hollywood screenplay” after they ran a reconstruction.
The thriller deepened on December 28 that 12 months when health fanatic Brenda, 42, was discovered drowned in her tub. She had been drugged with diethyl ether.
A pathologist mentioned Brenda suffered a “deliberate and violent assault”.
Recording a verdict of illegal killing, the coroner described it as “a wierd and disturbing case”. Who killed them, and why, stays a thriller. The automobile, considered a Cadillac, was by no means traced.
But retired homicide probe cop Det Supt Nick Biddiss believes somebody might but come ahead with a significant clue.
As he revisited Monkton for the Sunday Mirror, the recollections got here flooding again as he handed the twelfth century St Mary Magdalene church.
He instructed us: “These murders stand out. For one, I’ve solely ever had dealings with two homicide victims after they have been alive – one was Brenda, the opposite was Jill Dando, who I met on Crimewatch.
“I nonetheless hope somebody would possibly make a name that provides police that golden nugget that will get you someplace. I hope, 30 years on, somebody’s conscience is perhaps pricked to say one thing they know.”
Mr Biddiss mentioned murders that regarded like a “third get together hit job” – like Alan’s and TV host Jill’s – have been among the many most difficult. He stays baffled why the killers used an “outlandishly noticeable automobile”.
He added: “Whoever pulls the set off most likely has no reference to the deceased. Except you’ll be able to join the one that might need the motive with the one that pulled the set off, that hyperlink could be very tough to determine.”
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Alan, 43, a amount surveyor, and account supervisor Brenda arrange residence in December 1990 after an workplace romance. They’d difficult love lives.
Divorcée Brenda had left her automobile vendor boyfriend Arthur Hibbert.
Dad-of-one Alan had walked out on fourth spouse Wendy after seven months.
Three weeks earlier than his homicide, a person carrying a crimson tie, gold bracelet and gold watch referred to as on the White Stag pub two doorways down from Alan and Brenda’s cottage, asking for him.
On the night time of the killing, the couple have been in mattress watching TV after they heard a knock on the door simply after 10pm. Brenda went to the window and noticed two males by a “giant white automobile”.
The lads returned 45 minutes later and Alan went to the door. Brenda instructed Crimewatch: “Then an almighty bang and a scream. I went to go outdoors. Alan got here not far away and as he got here in direction of me he should have moved his fingers as a result of I used to be completely lined in blood and I began screaming.
“He mentioned ‘Get in!’… I believe as a result of he was frightened for me. He was only a gray color. And he was simply going and there was nothing I may do to cease him.” Brenda mentioned of “sort and mild” Alan: “I spent so lengthy – I believe he did – looking for the appropriate particular person.”
Following his demise, Brenda moved to a flat 15 miles away in Whitstable, the place she died.
Ex-boyfriend Mr Hibbert – who reportedly tried to rekindle their relationship after Alan’s demise – was questioned by police however launched with out cost.
9 days earlier than Brenda’s inquest he was found in a Ford Escort with a hosepipe main from the exhaust into the automobile. He was taken to hospital and recovered.
On the time of the capturing, Mr Hibbert was at a fitness center in Sittingbourne, 28 miles away.
He instructed Brenda’s inquest she had been “very depressed” and he had taken her again to her flat on the night time earlier than her demise. He slept on the couch and left the following day. When he returned later he climbed in by an open window to test on her – and located her lifeless. Mr Hibbert, who now works at a storage in Deal, Kent, mentioned he didn’t need to discuss when contacted this week.
Brenda’s late sister Joan noticed her on Christmas Day they usually spoke by cellphone the following day. Ex-cop Mr Biddiss mentioned: “Her sister thought she sounded zombie-like. She was involved.”
Brenda’s demise scene was initially handled as a suicide – till the publish mortem discovered the ether. An empty tablet bottle was within the tub and beside the bathtub was a gin and tonic glass and a Christmas card she had written to Alan – saying how a lot she missed him.
Mr Biddiss mentioned: “I by no means thought she was the kind of particular person to take her personal life. I came upon she went on vacation to Jersey that summer season and managed to seek out herself a pleasant waiter on the market. So she wasn’t that depressed.
“She was additionally a really lovable girl. She was of the view that Mr Hibbert wouldn’t be concerned in something that will trigger ache or struggling to anyone. She wouldn’t assume any in poor health of him.”
The pair have been into bodybuilding and competed in competitions. Alan’s third spouse – Patricia Leppard, 71, instructed the Mirror he was a charmer who walked out after she rumbled an affair. Patricia mentioned: “He was a dishonest a***gap, however he didn’t should be killed.
“After I met him he was residing with an older lady two doorways down. He was a serial cheat. After I was instructed he’d been murdered it was an absolute shock. I do know he cheated on girls, however he didn’t deserve that.He deserves justice.” Kent Police mentioned they’d proceed to hold out “periodic evaluations” into the murders.
- Obtained information? Name police on 01843 222289, Crime-stoppers on 0800 555111 or
go to crimestoppers-uk.org