Bodies in garden: Dagenham couple found guilty of murdering wife’s parents and hiding bodies
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A Dagenham couple have been found guilty of murdering the wife’s parents and burying them in their back garden – where they lay undiscovered for 15 years.
The bodies of Patricia and William Wycherley were found in October after a tip-off from the family of one of the killers, sparking a murder hunt that saw Susan Edwards, 56, and husband Christopher, 57 – both of whom lived in Valence Wood Road, Dagenham, at the time of the killings – arrested and charged.
Both denied the murder charge, but Susan Edwards admitted her mother’s manslaughter, claiming she “lost it” and shot Mrs Wycherley – then 63 – because the older woman had been taunting her.
Det Ch Insp Rob Griffin, who led the inquiry, said today: “Susan and Christopher Edwards had 15 years to come up with an account of what happened that night in May 1998.
“In their interviews they didn’t stray from a well-rehearsed script, and even used the same words and turns of phrases. I wonder whether they had started to believe their own lies.
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“The Edwards acted with cold calculation and meticulousness, killing and burying in an unmarked grave to be forgotten the people who raised Susan. They then spent the next 15 years exploiting and profiting from it.
“But we had questions. We scrutinised their every word and while we found fundamental elements of the story to be true there were inconsistencies in the detail. It was that detail that painted a very different picture, one that involved premeditated murder, likely driven by a long-harboured financial grudge and the opportunity to get themselves out of debt.
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“I’d like to acknowledge the support we received from experts in archaeology and anthropology for this case, as well as thank the current owner and tenants of the house for their cooperation and patience throughout what has been an extremely unnerving experience for them and a somewhat unique investigation for us.”