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24 September 2014

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You are in: Jersey > People > Famous islanders > The Newall Murders

Roderick and Mark Newall

Roderick & Mark Newall

The Newall Murders

It’s 20 years since the disappearance of Nicholas and Elizabeth Newall was announced. Have a look back at some of BBC Jersey’s archive footage of the case.

The events of the Newalls’ disappearance and ultimately murder generated so much suspicion and theory that it’s hard to believe that 20 years have already passed since they were first reported missing.

Even though some details surrounding their deaths have been brought to light much of the evening of 10 October 1987 remains a mystery.

Nicholas and Elizabeth Newall

The Newalls were offically declared dead in 1990

What is known is that a night that began as a celebration of Elizabeth Newall’s 48th birthday ended in murder.

After the couple wined and dined with their sons Roderick (22) and Mark (21) at the old Seacrest Hotel near Corbiere they were beaten to death in their home.

56 year-old Nicholas Newall was attacked and killed in the sitting room of their bungalow in Clos de L’Antique and his wife Elizabeth was bludgeoned to death in the bedroom.

Extensive searches carried out for Newalls

Without bodies it remained a missing persons case

The next day the sons returned home to the UK and it was only around a week later, following the great storm, that Roderick was forced by concerned friends to come back to the island and officially declare his parents missing.

The cool, calm way in which Roderick and Mark dealt with the murders became a hallmark of the case.

Whilst rumours and theories were rife across the island with no bodies or evidence it simply remained a missing persons case.

It was in 1988 that police had their first breakthrough when they discovered the remains of a bonfire with burnt, blood splattered clothing and other belongings of the Newalls near the family home.

Newall's bungalow

The Newalls were killed in their St Brelade home

Forensics at the bungalow then discovered cleaned-up blood stains in the sitting room and bedroom which lead the police to believe that the couple had in fact been murdered.

Despite extensive searches including help from the UK search dogs used in the Moors murders case, and a Guernsey medium, the bodies weren’t found.

Three years after their murder Nicholas and Elizabeth were officially declared dead and the brothers inherited their parents’ house and money worth nearly a million pounds.

Markers where traces of blood splatter was found

Traces of blood splatter were found in the house

Five years after their murder Roderick Newall was tricked into a tape-recorded confession by his father’s twin brother, and after giving the police the slip he was eventually arrested sailing his boat in international waters.

After fighting extradition from Gibraltar for fourteen months he was brought back to Jersey where he took police to the spot in Greve de Lecq woods where he and his brother had buried their parents’ bodies.

In fact, the great storm had proved to be a great help to the brothers as it covered up and disguised the burial site.

Whilst Roderick confessed to both murders Mark was only charged with conspiring to cover up the killing.

Digging for bodies in Greve de Lecq woods

Police dug extensively to locate the bodies

Mark served just over three years of his sentence, a fact that many police at the time were disappointed with.

Roderick was released last year after serving around 12 years of his double life sentence.

Unless the brothers decide to tell-all, we will never know why their parents were murdered, although there is a common rumour that Elizabeth and Nicholas were distant and uncaring towards their sons.

What we do know for sure is that on 10 October 1987, after returning from a birthday dinner, Nicholas and Elizabeth Newall were drugged and beaten to death and their sons covered up the murders and disposed of the bodies.

last updated: 29/04/2008 at 13:13
created: 22/10/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Aaron Perkins
I was in Rod's platoon in training in 1987 i even spent two weeks on a yacht with him. we went from Gosport to Alderney,Jersey, Guernsey and then to St Malo. i was only seventeen at the time but i remember him to be a realy nice guy.

p1
i did time with rod and seen his good and bad side the bad side being when he lost at volleyball ha ha but he was a good fella and well liked and im glad he is free and glad he got rid of the nasty beard he grew for 10 years did ya street cred no good my man anyway good luck for the future rod and say hello to the polar bears for me mate.

Ralph Williams
I got to know Rod while he was in New Zealand . I consider him to be a good friend and a genuine person . regardless of the terrible crime he committed I would still like to communicate with him . ralph-w@xtra.co.nz

joy
i followed this story all the way.it took a long time to come to the conclusion that roderick committed the murders.i started going to jersey the year after this happened.have been every year since.rods paid is debt .i hope he can build a new life after all he must live with what he has done.

Bubble
I served time with Rod in la moye prison (jersey), and would have to say that he was one of the most genuine people i have ever met, and he plays a mean game of age of empires, god bless you rod, and good luck!!

Trevor
I personally got to know Rod quite well while also serving in Ford prison. Despite the crime you could not meet a nicer person. He is extremely intelligent, articulate and rational and my feeling is that something terrible must have happened to drive a man like Rod to commit the crime he did. I wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.

Pete
I have met Rod Newall - he's highly intelliegnt, gentle and caring. He has a lot to offer the world. He's a Christian. Murderers like him are people who have bottled up anger and made terrible mistakes. Does anyone honestly think his parents would want him to spend half his life in jail?

Dave
If they are going to serve such a short time, why on earth did they put them in jail in the first place after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars prosecuting them?Whatta waste of time and money and most of all, human lives.

Bobby
Never forget how inept the Jersey Police force were during this whole episode.

Toby Page
Simply bizarre. A chilling tale

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