Janice Carol Weston, unsolved murder

Solicitor, Janice Weston was found dead in a ditch by a lay-by on the A1 in between Brampton and Brockden, Cambridgeshire on 11 September 1983.

She was about 70 miles away from her home in Notting Hill, London. Despite an extensive police investigation and a reconstruction of her last known movements on Crimewatch, no one has ever been convicted of Janice’s murder.

36-year-old solicitor, JaniceWeston’s body was found at 9 am on a Sunday, in a ditch on the northbound carriageway of the A1 about half a mile south of the Brampton Hut roundabout by a cyclist. She had been beaten to death by several vicious blows to the head using a car jack which was found discarded close by.

A detective said that he believed that the killer had possibly lost his temper during an argument and had gone berserk. She was found fully clothed, with no sign of sexual assault or robbery. A post-mortem examination revealed that she had fought against her attacker.

According to Janice’s husband, she had a bit of a habit of picking up hitchhikers when she was making a journey. although he had told her not to and in fact he thought she had stopped doing that.

One possible theory of this unexplained murder was that Janice picked up a hitchhiker and had been attacked. Her car, a silver Alfa Romeo Alffretta was found dumped on Redhill Road, Regents Park, London some four days later, this of course tied in a little with the hitchhiker theory. There were blood stains found within the vehicle

Curiously Janice Weston had told her husband and her friends that despite her husband being abroad she intended to stay at home in London that weekend. She had spent Saturday in London shopping, getting a new spare wheel for her car and visiting her office at Lincolns Inn to catch up on some work during the afternoon. She was last seen alive at around 4.15 pm on Saturday 10th September 1983.

According to traffic reports and an approximate time that Janice left her home in Holland Park, London, she probably didn’t reach Huntingdonshire until after 9 pm on Saturday night. It seems likely that she was heading for her ‘Weekend retreat’, a country house in Clopton, Northamptonshire.

Police believe that the most likely scenario is that Janice pulled into the layby in order to change a tyre on her car as the new spare wheel that she had purchased in Kensington was on the car but the old wheel was totally missing. Was this the case or had she changed the wheel in London, hence it was not found? I am not entirely convinced by the #’flat tyre’ theory.

It is possible that detectives are linking the story of the tyre with the fact that forensics found oil beneath Janice Weston’s fingernails but I think it is more likely that she had changed the tyre in London and done something else, such as checking the oil in the Brampton Hut Layby.

I do not see that a killer is going to kill a woman with a carjack, discard the jack but not the wheel and then drive her stolen car to Camden, London then dispose of the wheel. I really feel that is an error in the investigation.

Janice's husband was arrested after the body was identified, he was held for 55 hours and questioned at length but he was released without charge. It had taken three days to identify the body due to her having been so severely beaten. Hence Tony Weston had returned to England before his wife was identified so police had no idea that he was in fact in France at the time of his wife’s murder.

He was not arrested until some three months after the murder had taken place. Mr Weston made complaints to the police complaints authority about Cambridgeshire authority and the way in which they conducted their investigation. There was nothing found wrong in the way that the force handled the investigation, including their interrogation of Mr Weston

I personally see a number of faults and failings in this case and the way in which it was handled, hence I am sitting here almost forty years on from the killing, reporting that the case remains unsolved.

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