Josephine Backshall

UK Police could still use some help in the case of Josephine Backshall, 39, of Maldon, Essex, UK. She was discovered in Bury Green near Bishop’s Stortford on November 1, 1974. Josephine was last seen by her family at about 1800 GMT on Tuesday October 29, 1974, when she left her home to keep an appointment in Witham, Essex, UK.

He body was discovered in a field off Bury Green Lane, which leads to Bury Green, on the morning of November1, 1974. The spot was almost 35 miles away from her home. Her wristwatch had stopped at 8.10. pm. Her fully-clothed body was discovered face down in a pond near the village of Little Hadham, Herts, more than 30 miles from the home in Maldon, Essex, she shared with husband Mike and their three young children. Josephine’s hands had been tied tightly in front of her with a cord before the killer strangled her. Detectives said at the time that there was no evidence she had been sexually abused.

Josephine's children Christopher, Sarah and Emma at the time their mom was murdered

Mrs Backshall had placed an advertisement in her local papers for part-time work in Maldon. On October 29, 1974, she got a phone call from someone she referred to as “Peter”. She arranged to meet him at 1830 GMT that night and at about 1915 GMT a red Ford Cortina Mk 3, believed to be hers, was seen in Collingwood Road, Witham, with the bonnet up.

There is also some information about Josephine being seen in the company of a man at the Fountain pub in Good Easter at 2230 GMT.

A 68-year-old man from Essex has been questioned over the murder of Josephine Backshall. Police arrested the man, from the Maldon area, and later released him on bail pending further inquiries.

Investigator Richard Moulder urges anyone else who may have any information relating to the murder of Josephine Backshall to contact police.

Read more in the BBC article about Josephine Backshall here.


  1. Evie Gordon-Longley says:

    What a shame that the incoming calls wouldn’t have been traced back in those days. It may have been a missing link.

    Let’s hope that other information comes to light, Vidocq.

  2. Joe Hamill says:

    Hi I read this story in “Irelands Eye” over here in Ireland ok, I would exspect its a breif account, so I’m far from the full facts, but little is said of the husband, & at their age is a dangerous time in most marrigies (I don’t want to go any deeper into that) this woman wasn’t sexually assaulted & her hands tied behind, & Why? ok Its almost Nov. & 6 in the evening black dark & this woman decides to sail of to “model” a dicey business in the daytime, but at night to where? & with an almost stranger, well well, what man would allow his wife out in such circumanstances? ok these ph calls he made, & the visit “picks on the lawn” who witnessed them? or was it hear-say? As I say I am not informed of the full facts, & don’t want to hurt an inocent party, but one must consider who would profit from this woman’s death? Apperently not the certainly not a sexual predator.

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