A new perspective

A two page Daily Mail article by journalist Jo-Ann Goodwin discloses details which offer a completely new perspective on the story of what happened when Billie-Jo Jenkins was murdered in February 1997. It also focuses on Lois Jenkins, scrutinising her relationship with the police, questioning the allegations she has made, and analysing the nature of her undoubted influence on the case.

Sources very close to events are quoted by Goodwin. Their comments have the effect of bringing Sussex police, once again, right into the spotlight.

The Mail article highlights the way Sussex police chose to focus on Siôn Jenkins as their key suspect, despite substantial evidence about a much more credible suspect, identified, for legal reasons, as Suspect A.

The police case rested on the hypothesis that for some unknown reason, Siôn Jenkins suddenly flew into a rage and brutally killed Billie-Jo in a very short space of time. Having done so he instantly returned to a state of calm, with no visible sign that he had committed what the duty police surgeon at the time described as the most brutal murder he had ever attended in 26 years. The defence’s attempts to point out the flaws in this incredible tale were unsuccessful. The police version had a persuasive quality ; logic was defeated by the appeal of a dramatic story.

However, an important fact has now been revealed in the article.

When Billie-Jo’s body was discovered, there were clear indications that her death was not simply the result of a volcanic outburst of temper on the part of her murderer, as the prosecution has always asserted. Some more complex and deeply disturbed impulse was very apparent. What was found at the scene of the murder was not the work of a few seconds.

Suspect A was arrested immediately, but could not be interviewed at the time because of his highly unstable mental state. The expectation was that he would be interviewed in due course. In fact, this never actually happened.

While an outraged public was demanding an arrest, an unexpected development had immediate value for those desperate to identify a killer. The article quotes someone ‘close to the murder hunt’ as saying “The forensic reports came back. Billie-Jo’s blood had been found on Siôn’s fleece. That was it .The police went for it hook line and sinker”. There was considerable and significant evidence concerning Suspect A — but inexplicably, it was never followed up.

Instead, with the existing suspect — Siôn Jenkins — in effect as a ‘bird in the hand’, random details were shaped into a gratifying, illogical, but powerful fiction.

Jo-Ann Goodwin reports one ‘highly placed source’ as saying “If Siôn Jenkins is released, it will not be on a legal technicality. He will walk free because it has become obvious that the killer is another man.”