Roderick & Mark Newall
The Newall Murders
By Claire Peters
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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