Norfolk 1974 headless body case: Dundee students find 'new leads'

Night dress and rope in Cockley Cley murder inquiry Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption The corpse was found wearing a nightdress and tied with rope on a heath in the village of Cockley Cley on 27 August 1974

Forensics students have uncovered "new leads" in an investigation to identify a headless corpse found 42 years ago, police have said.

The woman's body was found in August 1974 on a heath at Cockley Cley near Swaffham in Norfolk.

Rope and a plastic found at the scene suggested connections with Dundee.

Twelve students in Dundee trawled through local newspaper archives, which police said resulted in "a couple" of new lines of inquiry.

Image copyright Val Vannet/Mike Pennington/Geograph
Image caption Dundee's jute industry buildings (left, foreground) can still be seen while NCR (right) employed hundreds of workers in the city in the 1970s
Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption The woman was found wrapped up in a National Cash Registers embossed plastic sheet

The woman was found wearing a 1969 Marks & Spencer pink nightdress, while post-mortem examinations concluded she was aged 23-35, had given birth and was from central Europe.

The body was wrapped in a plastic cover bearing the National Cash Registers (NCR) logo which links it to Dundee, where the computer firm employed hundreds of people in the 1970s.

Jute rope, used to tie up the plastic, was also believed to have been manufactured in Dundee.


Psychology and forensic biology students at the city's Abertay University spent April looking for stories about the case and reports of other missing people or murders and attacks in the Dundee Courier and Evening Telegraph from January 1973 to January 1975.

Dr Penny Woolnough, course tutor, said: "It's a really valuable way for students to put into practice what they learn on their course.

"They've submitted their findings to the police and now it's in their hands."

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: "The students' work has generated a couple of leads, which detectives from the major investigations team are now following up.

"At this stage of this part of the inquiry, it's too early to say how important these leads will be."

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