Una murder on Crimewatch

A BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of the murder of Wisbech pensioner Una Crown has prompted a number of interesting calls say detectives investigating the horrific crime .

Monday night’s programme heard from 86-year-old Mrs Crown’s niece and nephew, John and Judy Payne and also showed her last-known movements.

Mr Payne discovered Mrs Crown’s badly burned body lying face down in the hallway of her Magazine Lane bungalow on the morning of Sunday January 13.

Mr Payne, who had gone to pick-up Mrs Crown for Sunday lunch, told the programme: “The smell from the house was terrible, a burning smell, the body was all burned, her clothing was burned and I noticed as well there was blood on the carpet.”

Both he and his wife described their horror at the crime, which has shocked the community.

Mrs Payne said: ““It absolutely haunts me. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do it. A puff of wind would blow aunty over she was so tiny, she would not have stood a chance. I find it very, very hard to come to terms with it all.”

It was the first time the full horror of Mrs Crown’s murder has been made public, and investigating officer DI David Grierson told presenter Kirsty Young they were still hunting the murder weapon, which he described as a long-bladed kitchen knife.

Mrs Crown was repeatedly stabbed in the chest, with wounds puncturing her heart and lungs. She had wounds on her arms and hand, suggesting she tried to fight her attacker.

The weapon is not thought to have come from Mrs Crown’s home, which meant the killer, who probably returned home smelling of smoke, took it with them. It is also more than likely that security conscious Mrs Crown opened the door to someone she knew.

DI Grierson said £40 cash, which Mrs Crown got during a trip to Tesco on Friday, together with the gold wedding ring she had worn for over 60 years were missing.

A £10,000 reward has been put up by the charity Crimestoppers for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Mrs Crown’s killer. Anyone with any information should call the Major Crime Unit on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800-555-111.