Killer may have copied La Plante TV plot

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The Independent Online
DETECTIVES investigating the fatal stabbing of a woman in Cornwall are to watch a television murder drama by Lynda La Plante to check whether any aspects of the programme had been copied by the killer.

La Plante's Trial and Retribution II was broadcast on the two nights before Linda Bryant, 41, was murdered in daylight while walking her dog.

Mrs Bryant, the mother of two children, was attacked in the gateway of a field near her home in Ruan High Lanes, a few miles from Truro, on 20 October.

Trial and Retribution II, the latest drama from the writer of the Prime Suspect series, is about the hunt for a killer who tortured and mutilated his female victims. Yesterday, a spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police said officers had asked for a video of the programme to see if there were any similarities in the methods of attack. But he added that at this stage there was nothing to suggest any links between the television drama and the murder.

Detective Superintendent Chris Boarland, leading the murder hunt, renewed his appeal to members of the public to call in with information. Police want to trace a man seen walking on the road near Ruan High Lanes less than an hour before Mrs Bryant set out with her dog. Det Supt Boarland has said there was a "good chance" that the man was the killer.

The suspect was seen at 12.45pm half a mile towards Ruan from a petrol station where Mrs Bryant was seen in her car at 1.10pm. The man, wearing a light-coloured canvas top, is aged between 30 and 35 and is 5ft 10in tall. He has swept-back dark hair and bushy eyebrows.

Mrs Bryant began walking from her home at 1.30pm, and 15 minutes later was seen talking to a man at Ruan Methodist Chapel, about 100 yards from where she was murdered.