Fantasy world of a murderer: Scott Singleton transformed himself with a bogus identity that convinced even his former wife that he was a qualified pilot

Click to follow
The Independent Online
SCOTT SINGLETON lived in a fantasy world. His feelings of inadequacy led him to create a bogus identity as a fighter pilot; but in reality he was unemployed with 18 previous convictions.

He transformed himself from a 'scruffy Dr Jekyll into a respectable looking Mr Hyde', said Robert Seabrook QC, for the prosecution. His accomplished performance convinced even his ex-wife that he had a pilot's licence. She ironed his pilot's uniform the night before Lynne Rogers's job interview.

Det Supt Michael Bennison, who led the murder inquiry, believes Singleton became obsessed by Lynne and was excited by the idea of entrapping her. His girlfriend, Kim Arnold, lived 200 yards away from the Rogers' home. 'Lynne was a headstrong girl. She would not have wanted any of his nonsense and that is maybe why she died,' Mr Bennison said.

After stealing Lynne's CV Singleton rang her four times claiming to be an executive with a travel company. He offered her a job stewarding executive flights with a salary of pounds 14,000. This was almost three times what she was earning at the time.

Singleton said the job would involve frequent flights to Paris, Belgium and Switzerland. He told her to meet him at Charing Cross station; from there they would drive to Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex and then go on by helicopter to Gatwick Airport for 'job familiarisation'. He also asked her to bring her passport. This has never been found.

For Lynne Rogers this was her dream job. She was 17, bored with office work, and wanted some excitement.

Her sister, Suzanne, 20, said Lynne was surprised to be offered such a job because she could not type properly.

She spent the weekend before her interview practising on a borrowed typewriter. She persuaded a friend to cut her hair and she pressed her best suit.

On 4 September 1991 Lynne got up early and rang her boyfriend, Spencer Clarke. She promised that she would ring him by midday. Her father Derek, gave her a good luck kiss. He had written her a 'fatherly' note reminding her to clean behind her ears and to ring regularly.

By 10.30pm Mr Rogers had not heard from his daughter and he rang Mr Clarke. Together they went to Catford police station to report her missing. Three weeks later Singleton was arrested. After four days he was released on police bail. Mr Bennison said Singleton had refused to provide a plaster cast impression of his teeth. 'While we had a lot of circumstantial evidence and discussed the possibility of charging him, it was felt that the evidence at that time fell just short,' he said.

After his release Singleton gave an exclusive interview to the Daily Express. He continually protested his innocence and added: 'I just feel sorry for her poor family. Their hopes that Lynne's killer may have been caught have been cruelly dashed. They have my deepest sympathy.' A week later he was re-arrested and charged.

Mr Bennison said that during the murder inquiry he was disturbed by the number of telephone calls from women who had been through similar experiences, but had managed to escape. 'It made us realise how widespread this practice of recruitment is, especially in a recession,' he said.

He advised women applying for jobs through agencies to check the credentials of all prospective employers. 'Look for headed note paper, always take a telephone number and then ring back to check that they exist. If a job sounds too good to be true then it has to be suspicious.'

(Photograph omitted)