Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Killer Was Betrayed by His Knowledge of Murder Method

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Killer Was Betrayed by His Knowledge of Murder Method

Article excerpt

The post mortem confirmed that Audrey had been strangled - from my perspective I didn't want that information going into the public domain

- Det Chief Insp Darren Best, pictured below

WHEN the dead body of Audrey Badger was found, there was one prime suspect - Peter Wyatt, her lover and drinking partner.

The woman Wyatt said he loved was found strangled to death at her home in Stirling Way, Thornaby.

She had been strangled for at least 30 seconds until bones in her neck broke.

Many in the tight-knit Thornaby community knew Audrey's closest associate was Wyatt.

But detectives in charge of the case chose not to haul him into custody straightaway.

Instead they methodically set about eliminating any other possibilities - such as a stranger murder.

And they kept the method of how Audrey died secret.

Wyatt in time would betray his knowledge of how he killed the mum-of-five to others.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren Best was in charge of the investigation.

"The post mortem confirmed that Audrey had been strangled," he said. "From my perspective I didn't want that information going into the public domain.

"All the indications were from intelligence-gathering that the most likely person responsible was Peter Wyatt but I wanted to keep an open-mind."

Audrey and Wyatt had been in a relationship for around two years.

Friends admitted that they were "drinking partners". Both were alcoholics and would binge together.

Wyatt claimed they had been drinking together for two full days before the murder.

On the evening of the killing Audrey had been with Wyatt at friend Marie Carter's house.

There was an argument between Audrey and Wyatt and Marie Carter said Audrey looked frightened about the prospect of going home.

The reason for her fears could be explained by a disturbing account Audrey had earlier told friends of how Wyatt had choked her with a scarf up to the point her lips went blue.

A taxi driver was the last person to see the couple together as they walked towards her home for the last time on the fateful night.

DCI Best said a meticulous forensic examination of the house took place lasting three weeks. …

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