Friday, October 24, 2014

The Tragic Tale Of Lynda Spence

Linda, the house in the West Of Scotland,
The upstairs bedroom taken apart by the forensic team
the remains of the burnt out chair
From the Daily Record

There was another infamous murder case recently in Scotland where a successful murder conviction was secured with no body.

I hope this blog makes sense as I am writing it only using the information that is available to the public. I did attend a lecture about the use of forensic evidence in this case but there are appeals and reviews going on so I am only going to use the information that is currently in the public domain.

The case surrounds 27 year old Lynda Spence. It’s difficult to describe the type of person Lynda was.  Her best friends described her as loving, generous and extravagant.  She loved living the high life and entertained her friends lavishly and “owned” two properties in Glasgow’s most exclusive address.  The same friends would also describe her as a compulsive liar, who would rip off anybody for a quick buck.  Looking at the woman she was probably very bright but without the chances of a good education… but no matter what she did, to who, the pain that she went through in the final two weeks of her life is unimaginable
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Her big mistake was spending other peoples’ money under the pretence that her property company was accepting money for investment in property development… but instead she spent the money and when she took the money off two violent criminals (one of whom was a cocaine dealer) with an inability to pay it back, she must have known there would be payback. She had promised them a £100,000 return for a £85,000 initial investment and there was a promise of millions coming from a property deal near Stansted Airport in Essex. No such deal existed. In desperation she persuaded a Glasgow printer to print fake Danish Government Bonds that covered £6,500,000.  Her investors found out.

In April 2011 Lynda was lured from her home.  The rest of the story is all too awful to contemplate. 
                                           

She was tied onto to a computing chair for nearly two weeks, not even allowed to go the toilet.  It is unclear what they hoped to gain as there was no information that she could give them other than finding out where the money had gone.  To achieve this end they cut off Lynda’s thumb, showed it to a property developer she had also scammed and he immediately stumped up some money. It has to be said that at the time of her disappearance Lynda was already being investigated for fraud by Strathclyde Police. But both the Scottish Crime and Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency and the Serious Crime Squad are rumoured to have recruited her as an informant.  In the midst of all this the police wanted information on an Albanian called Sokal Zefraj who claimed that he was Lynda’s husband but it turned out to be a marriage of convenience.

Alarms were raised because Lynda called her mum every single day and in April 2011 the calls abruptly stopped. She was tortured with garden loppers and an iron, her kneecaps were smashed with a golf club, her fingers were cut off.  This went on for two weeks and the police do wonder why the people who knew this was going on didn’t do anything to stop it and the most likely answer is that they too were in terror
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The prosecution counsel have never been able to say how and when Lynda was murdered or where her body is.  The defence explained to the jury that someone clever enough to con that much money out of hardened criminals would also be clever enough to leave the country with their stash of cash but her mother has never heard from her and that doesn’t explain how the amputated digits turned up.
 
One of the accused has boasted to a cell mate that he smothered her, decapitated her and burnt her remains in a furnace.  Someone else came forward and said that the accused had driven to the wilds of Argyll and asked a friend if they could borrow his boat.  The friend thought he was being asked to dispose of a body and refused.
                                                    
Initially any investigation by the police was hampered by the reluctance of the witnesses to say anything but eventually a few witnesses felt more threatened by the perpetrators and turned 'Queens Evidence' in popular parlance.  The police were led to an old property in west Scotland with a totally refurbished upstairs room.  One of the cops commented on the unusual nails used to keep the brand new floorboards down so they lifted the floorboards and found tiny blood specks, which proved to be Lynda’s. They also traced the code number on some of the materials used back to a warehouse. They traced one single purchase of that amount of material and the odd combination of the items being bought meant that the assistant remembered them and could identify them.  There was also CCTV of them buying the aforesaid goods. The itemised billing system meant there was a timestamped record in the till and the timing ties exactly with the recognisable images on the CCTV.  So in the end even without a body it tied up to be a neat case against those convicted.

The main two perpetrators got a total of 67 years in jail. The two henchmen who agreed to baby sit Linda got 11 years each.

As a postscript, in February 2014, Lynda's mum age 57, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given less than two years to live. She has appealed to the convicted men to reveal the whereabouts of her daughter's body.
So far, the pleas have been ignored



Lynda, as a baby with her mum.





5 comments:

  1. Whew. Murder Is ugly business Everywhere.

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  2. The torture aspect makes this absolutely gruesome. At least the perpetrators are off the streets.

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  3. And even far less horrific facts are criticized by some as "not believable" if put in fiction. Perhaps that's a good thing.

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