Suicide Briton `an extremist'

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the deaths of three Britons in an apparent suicide pact in America said writings left by one showed "the mind of an extremist", while her former friend said yesterday that she had been "infatuated" by vampirism.

Jane Greenhow was found shot dead in a hire car in Lake Shasta, Northern California, last week, after discovering that friends Ruth Fleming and Stephen Bateman had killed themselves at a shooting range in Mesa, near Phoenix, Arizona.

Astrophysics graduate Jane Greenhow left about 100 pages of notes, some addressed to "entities" she considered as friends, said Shasta County chief deputy coroner Lieutenant John Boyle.

"The notes are suggestive of suicide. She wasn't happy in England. She liked America. Her mindframe is that of an extremist," he said, but added that police had not been able to link her to any extremist group.

Lieutenant Boyle said they were also investigating a pounds 6m cheque which appeared to have been made out to her by Stephen Bateman. "It could be anything from a joke to a purported fraudulent scheme to a legitimate cheque," he said.

The Lloyds Bank cheque was found among Greenhow's belongings in the hire car where her body was found.

The trio, who had been travelling in the United States for seven weeks, wore black paramilitary style clothing when they died and left a trail of clues suggesting neo-Nazi leanings.

Meanwhile, a fellow student said yesterday that Greenhow was "infatuated with vampirism" and the notion of life after death. The student, who knew Jane at Leicester University, said: "I thought she was very intense. She was so intense you always thought there was something there lurking behind. If it didn't manifest itself in harm to her it might have manifested itself in harm to somebody else."

The student, who refused to be named, told BBC Radio Leicester he had met Greenhow on the first night she came to the university. "She started asking me a lot of questions about vampires," he said.

He said Greenhow became reclusive, had few friends apart from Ruth Fleming and they both seemed "infatuated with the subject of vampires and life after death".

"I was shocked by the news [of her death], but not surprised. I don't think she had anywhere else to go," he added.