Monday, 23 February 2009

Who Really Shot Jill Dando?

Not a question that Medawar can answer directly, but whether they were Serbs or not, he thinks he knows where they dumped the getaway car -and why.
Cutting from "Bedfordshire on Sunday" August the 8th, 1999:

Readers need to click on the newspaper cutting to make it big enough to be readable, and possibly zoom in, if they can.

The location where this vehicle was abandoned, is a pub in the village of Bromham, at the junction of the old A428 and the A5134, a little way short of the junction with the A422. The A5134 then goes underneath the new A428 (Bromham by-pass) towards Kempston. However, in doing so, it connects with a minor road that goes to the University of Cranfield's very own airport, which boasts a business jet terminal, as well as several general aviation businesses and flying clubs.

Medawar thinks that the hit team, knowing their own plan in advance, cloned the registration plate of a Range Rover local to Bromham, so the vehicle wouldn't attract police attention too quickly when abandoned. He also thinks that the getaway Range Rover headed from Fulham to Bedford via the A1 trunk road, turning off towards Bedford either at Stotfold (to use the A507 and A600) or at Sandy, to use the A603. At which point, if not earlier, it would have been picked up and followed by another car, which would have made sure that the Range Rover was not being followed (for example; by undercover police or MI5), before the drivers of either car acknowledged each other.

If they had thought they were being followed, the other car would have been used to delay the tail, whilst the Range Rover lost itself in Bedford. All being well, the second car would have followed the Range Rover to the Swan Inn, picked up the occupants, and taken them swiftly to Cranfield Airport, just a couple of miles away. The driver of the second car would then have been on his way, so as not to leave any evidence behind at the airport.

One of the main reasons why Barry George became a suspect, was charged and wrongly convicted, of Miss Dando's murder, was because the Metropolitan Police apparently failed to find what they thought was the getaway car for a professional hit. They then turned to other theories, with an infamous and ill-advised appeal, on Crimewatch, for the public to nominate the gun-club member of their own choice. The theory being that even if this didn't solve the case, having a go at gun clubs never does a senior policeman any harm in the eyes of the Home Office and ACPO.

Not only was the getaway car available to be found, it was sitting exactly where one might expect it to be if the killer and his spotter had fled the country through Cranfield Airport and wanted to delay discovery of this fact until after they had time to disappear at the other end of their journey. The only flaw was that it was so ideally placed for this purpose, that it rather gives it away. But only with hindsight, Medawar supposes.

To reach the Swan car park, one has to pass over a long, stone bridge, over the river Great Ouse and its associated flood plain. It is possible to guess roughly where the unconventional firearm used to kill Miss Dando, might have been ditched.


TopCat said...

I think you'll find (if you care to read Scott Lomax's book Justice for Jill) that the police had found the Range Rover and its ocupants - who could account for there whereabouts and actions on the day of Jill's murder.


Medawar said...

We will see, over the next year or so, if Mr Lomax continues to believe that:

A/ What Bedfordshire Police said about the car at the Swan actually accounted for anything. It is possible for things to be more or less true and yet prove less than people assume. (Neighbours of the local man they said owned it didn't think he was even in the country at the time, and his car never left his property. Yet there's apparently no dispute that the one at the Swan had the same plates...)

B/ The one that the Metropolitan Police "traced" and accounted for was actually the one the witnesses were talking about.

The one new bit of information, that MAY prove relevant, is that last week a Bedfordshire Police Officer was arrested and then bailed, on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, related to a fairly major investigation into organised crime.

This might account for the force having had its facts put together in a misleading way, on many cases, going back quite a few years.

I'd strongly recommend that Mr Lomax recheck anything he was TOLD that police had established, to see if they really had proved what they thought they had.

Medawar said...

The other way to look at it, Tom, is to consider that nearly all miscarriages of justice are not due to the wrong person being considered a suspect, because in any investigation there can be several people who ought properly to be CONSIDERED suspects.

Almost without exception, where the miscarriage actually STARTS is with the right suspect being ruled out; by mistake, because they lie convicningly, or because police take facts that are basically right and draw an unsupportable conclusion from them. When required to check, they recheck the facts, which aren't wrong or perhaps only wrong in trivial ways -and the unsupportable conclusion stands.

Then, when the real killer is ruled out, frustration sets in and you see people like Stefan Kisko, Stephen Downing, Barry George, Colin Stagg, Sion Jenkins and all and all, being rounded up and eventually fitted up. Because when you rule out the real killer, you also rule out the evidence set that points to them and that leaves you with lopsided remaining facts.

At some point in the Dando case, there's a faulty conclusion or intepretation, or more than one. But it's usually only the facts that get checked.

There will be a hole, somewhere, in the elimination of the Range Rover. Either they have accounted for the wrong car, or they were successfully lied to, or, as I suspect, Bedfordshire Police "filtered" the report against a list of similar cars that were locally owned and decided that it wasn't worth their time to really check.

We could also be talking about three range rovers here:
The one in the Swan car Park.
The one that Bedfordshire Polcie thought it was, owned by someone fairly local -only he was away and his car on his property-
-and the one that the Met Polcie thought it was and "accounted for".

It is an assumption, not supported by any known fact, that any of the three are the same as each other.

However, the one at the Swan appeared within a couple of hours of the shooting.

It was left there, unlocked, with the London A-Z on the seat, for a week.

It suddenly vanished again as soon as someone from the Met was on his way to actually look at it-

-it isn't just a random location, anywhere in England: it's on a back-route leading to an airfield used by business jets with transatlantic/transcontinental range, but few if any policemen, pre 9/11 and probably only a mininal Customs and Immigration presence, who aren't interested in people leaving in any case.

Cranfield is the optimum port of hasty exit from the southern half of England. And, from Chelsea nd Fulham, it's probably easier to drive to than Southend or Manton, which are the other strong possibilities.