MURDER Squad detectives yesterday reopened their search for the torso of a woman whose arms and legs were found in binliners outside an east London women's refuge five years ago, after a man confessed to killing her, writes Dean Nelson.
Police said that a man walked into Woking police station in Surrey on Thursday and said that he wanted to confess to the killing, which has baffled detectives since the dismembered limbs were discovered at Limehouse, London, in March 1988.
The original inquiry focused on the east London area, but detectives have now switched their search to the north-west London area following the confession.
Despite widespread publicity surrounding the case at the time, the identity of the victim, believed to be a white woman in her thirties, was never discovered and her killer never found.
Detective Superintendent Michael Dixon, leading the new inquiry, said the man who confessed had given police vital new details which could help them to establish the identity of the victim five years on.
'The man alleged that after the murder he had dismembered the victim's body and had disposed of it around parts of east and west London,' Mr Dixon said.
He said the rest of the woman's body was never found and police are now searching several locations, but he refused to give any details.
Mr Dixon said the suspect, who is not being named, had also told police that he murdered his victim in Kilburn, north-west London, before dismembering her body and dumping it elsewhere.
'He's saying at the present time that he does not know the identity of the victim,' he said.
Detectives believe the victim had dark hair dyed blonde, and scars on her left wrist. They believe she wore a ring on the middle finger of her left hand.
They also believe that the woman may have had friends in Dyne Road, Kilburn and appealed for anyone who lived there five years ago to contact them.