Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Death of a Strangler

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Death of a Strangler

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Sturdy

A killer and serial rapist whose evil crimes gripped the Tees area in the early Seventies has died after serving more than 30 years in jail.

Kenwyn Coupland, formerly of Dormanstown, died of suspected liver disease in hospital at Bridgend in South Wales.

He had been jailed for life in 1973 for brutally raping and strangling Middlesbrough housewife Aline Ford.

The killing cast a veil of fear over the area and more than 28,000 witness statements were taken during a massive police operation to corner Coupland.

At his dramatic trial at Teesside Crown Court, he also pleaded guilty to the rape of a girl in Leeds and to the attempted rape of a young mother in Guisborough, just three weeks before the murder of Mrs Ford.

The court was left stunned further when the judge revealed Coupland had been jailed for the rape of a 12-year-old girl in 1966, as well as the indecent assault of a 16-year-old girl.

The body of housewife Mrs Ford, of Kensington Avenue, Normanby, was discovered near a disused railway line on the Eston Hills in February 1972.

The 36-year-old mother of three, who was married to a Royal Navy petty officer, had been out walking with her Boxer dog Penny when she was viciously attacked.

The alarm was raised when the dog returned home alone and Mrs Ford was found raped and strangled with her own scarf in a waterlogged hollow the following day. Officers from Teesside embarked on a massive year-long manhunt.

At the height of the investigation, more than 60 officers were working on the case.

The murder left local women terrified and furious that Scotland Yard detectives had not been called in to help to solve the case.

A pounds 500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Teesside mum's killer was offered by the Gazette. …

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