David Fuller: Police set up hotline amid fears there could be hundreds more victims of morgue killer

Fuller is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in Tunbridge Wells

Emily Atkinson
Friday 05 November 2021 17:20 GMT
Hospital electrician admits murders of two women and sex assaults on corpses

Police have set up a hotline for those who believe a relative may have been a victim of the morgue killer David Fuller amid fears he may have sexually abused hundreds more corpses.

Fuller, who has admitted sexually abusing at least 100 dead women and children, told investigators he did not know how many assaults he had carried out.

Police reportedly believe the exact number of victims may never be established and are concerned the number may run into hundreds.

The abuse was only uncovered after Fuller was arrested during lockdown for the murders of two women in 1987. Detectives have since released contact details, advising anyone with information to come forward.

The hospital electrician, 67, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

On 23 June 1987, 25-year-old Knell was found dead by her boyfriend in her bedsit flat on Guildford Road, Tunbridge Wells, after failing to show up for work. She had been been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.

Five months later, 20-year-old Pierce was abducted outside her bedsit less than a mile away in Grosvenor Park. She was found dead three weeks later, and more than 40 miles away, in a roadside dyke near Romney Marsh in Kent. She was naked apart from a pair of tights, and, like the previous victim, had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.

Fuller, of Heathfield, East Sssex, had previously admitted the killings on the grounds of diminished responsibility, denying murder, but changed his plea days into a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to 51 charges relating to sexual offences against corpses he had accessed in two Kent mortuaries over a period of 12 years.

The charges included sexual penetration of corpses, taking and possessing indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornographic images and voyeurism.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Ivan Beasley, said: “Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce had their whole lives ahead of them before they were both brutally murdered more than 30 years ago. We have always refused to accept that their killer would escape justice, and knew it was only a matter of time before enhancements in DNA profiling would provide us with the answers to track down a suspect.

“The evidence we have now been able to present has proved without a shred of doubt that David Fuller carried out these appalling and depraved crimes.

“The families of these two young women have endured immeasurable horror, pain and utter despair, caused by a man who has shown little, if any, capacity for remorse or sorrow.”

He continued: “I would like to pay tribute to all of Wendy’s and Caroline’s loved ones and friends who have assisted us over the years with what has always been a particularly harrowing case for everyone involved. I do hope that they are now able to take some comfort after so many years of uncertainty and frustration. It saddens me that we were not able to identify and bring Fuller to justice sooner, particularly for Bill Knell, Wendy’s father, who is no longer with us.

“Finally, I would like to recognise the efforts of every single Kent Police officer and member of staff who has worked on this case since 1987.”

The Kent Police helpline number is 0800 051 5270. Alternatively, further information is available here

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