Unsolved murder inquiry is re-opened

An inquiry into the unsolved murder of Finnish au pair Tuula Hoeoek has been re-opened by the States Police.

Tuula Hoeoek, who died on New Year's Eve 1966
Tuula Hoeoek, who died on New Year's Eve 1966

An inquiry into the unsolved murder of Finnish au pair Tuula Hoeoek has been re-opened by the States Police.

The 20-year-old was bludgeoned to death with a heavy blunt object on 30 December 1966 and her body dumped in a St Clement field.

Despite extensive police inquiries and a number of case reviews over the years, her killed has never been brought to justice and the motive for the brutal attack remains a mystery.

The Police have re-opened the inquiry following the creation of a new cold case review team.

Anyone with information can call the team on 612952, or via the police switchboard on 612612, or can e-mail them at coldcase@jersey.pnn.police.uk. Calls can also be made in confidence to  Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

• See Friday's Jersey Evening Post for the full story

Comments for: "Unsolved murder inquiry is re-opened"

kate

So when are the POlice going to link the murder of Joy Norton up to Tuula's murder which they should have done the moment Paisnels case was over.Lets get some justice for Alan and peace for young Joy now by doing the job right now.Do the job correctly you can't keep ignoring the Joy Norton case and keep sweeping it under the carpet can you ?

John

I wasn't aware that it ever had been swept under the carpet. I also don't quite follow the assertion that this case should have been re-examined in the wake of the 1971 conviction.

It also seems that some persons may be attempting to "hi-jack" this unsolved case in order to attribute one potential miscarriage of justice onto another possible miscarriage of justice.

Tania

Finally!!! Hopefully they will take a good look at the Alan Norton trial and conviction too, which condemned an innocent man to 30+ years in prison. Highly probabe that both this case and the murder of Joy Norton are related and if you look into the Paisnel trial in detail, he admits to a man serving a sentence for a crime he did not do!! Please let justice finally prevail

Dave

Mr Paisnel made no such admission.I assume that you refer to a letter which was adduced at the Paisnel trial.

No admission was made and the court found, after having heard from a handwriting expert, that the identity of the person who wrote the letter remained unknown. In his direction to the jurats, the learned Bailiff said this: "in any case the letter does not indicate any special knowledge and as to what it actually says, it could have been written by anyone with a distorted mind".

As a side issue, it is also the case that there were various defects in the Paisnel case and that the evidence was entirely circumstantial. It is questionable, to say the least, whether the conviction was safe and it is likely, in the view of many, that the case would have resulted in an acquittal today.

Kate

Dave

If your Research was that good you would know there were two letters the second signed Wait and See was indeed written by Paisnel proven in court by three hand writing experts and his daughter and his sister. There is little doubt on the conviction of the Paisnel case. If you go out to speak with people of the island of the era as I have on the Norton case I have never heard Paisnel was innocent however mention Norton and the response is contradicted.

Dave

I can only suggest that you do some proper research before posting further misleading information.

I am well aware of what the letter, of which there was only one, said. I am also aware of what the court found. The direction which Sir Robert Le Masurier gave when summing up on 29th November, 1971 appears above.

What you hear from the person on the street will often reflect what you want to hear. It seems a little perverse for you to argue that one case presents a possible miscarriage, while remaining deaf to the same possibility in another case.

Asterixed Footnotes

Your comment is incorrect in a number of ways, Kate. There are a couple of books on the subject which are worth reading.

Bean Crock

From what i recal. scene of crime evidence that could have been used was damaged by parish police (as was the law at the time) and at first the incident was believed to be a 'hit and run' ! The late David watkins investigated the murder some 5yrs ago and claimed to have made big progress, why was it not officially reopenned then ? this is going to be yet another news report that gains great public attention but will fizzle out very soon !

Len

That's right. The states police (not the parish police) apparently identified it as a "hit and run" and the states police officers then contaminated the site in an amazing blunder.

Ben

Another great one for the loony conspiracy theorists.

Perhaps the police will try to pin it on Jimmy Savile? The could both boost the clear up rate and grab sine compo from his estate at the same time?

They would not need proof after all.

Kim

Not quite sure what you mean Ben-"another great one for the loony conspiracy theorists"?

Fact is a young woman was brutally murdered and her killer has escaped justice all his life.Her family have never had at least the small satisfaction of knowing her killer has been found and punished.As a Jersey person myself I can remember this event(just about) and I find it quite disturbing that this killer has probably been protected by someone and avoided detection-Jersey being such a lovely safe place and all!!

I doubt the killer will ever be caught but I for one am at least satisfied that this lady has not been forgotten.

Gwasbach

The likelihood that Tuula Hoeoek's murderer is still alive is pretty remote, which begs the question why - at a time of financial constraint - are the police doing this? Whose ego are they feeding?

Look at the enormous amounts of money wasted on other historical cases, that achieved very few convictions.

There will be those who will say it brings closure for the relatives, etc., etc, but sometimes we have to forget sentiment and face reality. Life is often cruel and we don't always find the justice we expect.

I don't pretend to know the facts of the Norton case, however the accused was found guilty and convicted by a jury, based on the evidence and the standards of the day.

I don't know if there was an appeal and God knows, I'd hate it if there had been a miscarriage of justice. However to link one murder with another on the basis of similar circumstances may just be pure conjecture.

If there is new forensic evidence from the advances in technology involving DNA, then that's fine; but if the investigation is based on hypothesis, then we can only presume this may all come to nothing

Dave

Members of this young lady's family are still alive and as I understand it are rightly expecting that her death is still part of a "live" investigation. It is normal police practice for cold cases to be re-examined periodically. However, those cold cases brought to conclusion in the UK in recent years have been able to rely on modern scientific examination of retained evidential samples. I doubt there are any such samples available in this case. You have to remember that in 1966, the States Police were very much subordinate to the Honorary Police. In fact they could not enter any of the country parishes without the permission of the Parish Constable and there was very little uniformed police patrolling outside St. Helier. Indeed, there was no requirement for the local Centenier to report serious offences to the States Police. So, it was against this background that the investigation of this murder took place. I am led to believe that the St. Clement Centenier was first on the scene and did nothing to preserve it. I'll say no more than that. It's interesting to look at the archive TV footage and see the "fossilised" St. Clement Parish officials tramping about the crime scene trying to look as important as they can whilst the States Police of the day attempt to do their best with thes kills and limited experience available to them. James Axon (an experienced Scotland Yard Detective) had just been appointed as Chief of the States Police, but he had been well briefed not to upset the all powerful Parish officials. Thank goodness times have changed! I hope that the person responsible for this terrible crime, if they are still alive, has the frame of mind which makes them feel able to confess. They can then go to their grave in peace and at least give this poor girl's family some closure. Alas, without a confession I think it will remain unsolved

Sue

Err, it was the States Police who jumped to conclusions and washed the site clean of evidence, was it not?

Dave

The scene was probably cleaned (quite properly) after it had been examined. However, it had not been "preserved" as it should have been before the arrival States Police and vital evidence which may have been helpful to the enquiry was contaminated/obliterated.

Warren J

Times have changed between the Honorary and States Police, but it is fair to say that up until about 15 years ago, there was a lack of cooperation. I remember marshalling at a motorsport event and was accompanied by a Parish official who mentioned that his parish lacked road signs to confuse the States police !

I am somewhat cynical about this case being resolved. It is more a case of trying to scare a confession out of someone. A couple of years ago, the 'baby on the beach case' (a baby washed up on Weymouth beach in a Jersey stores carrier bag in the 1980's ) was about to be solved, and someone was about to get a knock on the door but I have heard nothing further.

Sue

Quite so. the States Police concluded in error that a motor accident had occurred and the then Chief of Police unfortuntely sanctioned the effective removal of evidence. That was a blunder which has reverberated to this day.

Dave

In those days the Chief of the States Police would not have been able to sanction such action. The decision would have been taken by the Attorney General.

Sue

An interesting observation, there, Dave. Clearly, the way in which the matter was reported was incorrect, if what you say was in fact the case.

It was, nonetheless, a blunder of the first order and it is certain that the Attorney would only have issued the sanction upon receipt of an assessment of the crime scene from the officer in the case. Clearly, the Chief Officer or one of his subordinates jumped to a dreadful conclusion and the Chief Officer the conveyed that conclusion to the then Attorney General. It follows that the ensuing instruction would have based on the defective advice that the officer had given to the Attorney.

The other point which your observation raises is a broader one. The fact that the Attorney effectively controlled the police in those days is a matter which must have concerned many at the time and which, with the benefit of hindsight represented an unfortunate proximity.

That said, the existence today of de facto and de jure separation of powers does not preclude the unsavoury unofficial discussions and cocktail party arrangements that we all know occur from time to time.

Tania

Whether or not it is beleived that the crimes of Paisnel, the murder of Joy Norton and Tuuula Hoeck are all linked or not,there were other (unsolved)assault crimes commited in the early sixties which all ceased at the time of Paisnel's incarceration. Very strange that the island would have appeared to have multiple sex offenders and murderers all at the same time?? As well as there being books on the subject, not all the information published is factually correct. It takes years of trawling through "other" documents and files to gain the true picture. Kate is indeed correct in her statements made above and many hours of research has been conducted on all the above crimes. Just because the letter alluded too was not admissable as evidence, it was confirmed to have been written by Paisnel and in subsequent discussions and publications, various parts of the letter were removed from the public view. The original undoctored letter has been seen in recent times with copies made. This period in our history included some heinous crimes and good luck to the cold case unit in their quest, hopefully bringing some closure to this for her family and friends. What else may transpire form their investigation remains to be seen, but there should be no surprises if links are made to another.

Robert

The letter was adduced in evidence and the court placed no reliance upon it, for the reasons stated above. What the court said is a matter of public record. It most certainly did not confirm the letter to have been written by Paisnel, nor by any other identifed person.

Any analysis which may have been made in subsequent, commercially motivated, publications would have reflected only the opinion of the author. In any event, the two most oft-cited books, both written in 1972 and presumably drafted before the hearing of the appeal, draw no such conclusion.

It is entirely possible that the island had multiple offenders at the same time. Indeed, many who were concerned with policing at the time held that view. At least eighteen attacks remain unsolved, Paisnel having been convicted, through fairly weak circumstantial evidence, of six.

Unfortunately, those with an interest in painting a particular picture will not be overly inclined to consider factors which do not support the perception which they seek to create. Let us hope that their activities do not frustrate the re-opening of this case and its successful conclusion.

The Thinker

It is right and proper for the Police to re-examine cold cases of serious crime. Their ability to progress any such enquiry lies in three main areas. 1) A very careful review of all information / evidence gathered at the time of the incident. 2) An appeal for information from the public - with a hope that something new will result from the appeal. 3) Linked with 1 above a review of the forensic evidence with a possible view of undertaking further work in this area.

It is highly probable that this enquiry will be unsuccessful however for the sake of justice, the family and a warning to other possible perpetrators of heinous crimes it is important that a review is undertaken and undertaken with due diligence.

It is a great shame that this was not conducted five years ago when Mr Watkins was looking into the matter. There is no substitute for good local knowledge.

As regards to mistakes of the past - history is littered with them and I'm sure that down the years many people have succeed in getting away with many crimes. Fortunately for all law abiding citizens this is no longer the case although much is said of blunders where blunders happen.

Kermit

Sad story but 1966. If the killer was in his 20s he will be 70 today and he his probably past away.

When they are talking about getting secretaries to do the Policemen paperwork and cut on the staff at night time, I am not sure if spending time on this is such a good idea.

Mario

I'm sure the relatives would disagree with you there Kermit. Would you hold the same view if your father or mother had been murdered by someone who had escaped justice? I doubt it.

If the killer is still alive it will give them something to worry about. The worry that their past deeds will finally catch up with them.

Kermit

Obviously they would, but if it was a relative of mine, I would have never had chance to met her/him.

The killer is either worried in his grave or on his hospital bed.

All they are going to find is the incompetence of the Police at the time, or some kind of cover up to put Jersey to shame again.

It s like Jimmy Saville, it s all a bit late now. All they can do is point the finger and pay hundreds of victims back. If the system worked, only one victim should have been compensated.

Would be nice to now the truth, but I really wonder if they have nothing else better to do.

I went to report vandalism on a vehicle once parked in front of CCTV. They couldn't find him, time consuming, too expensive for such a little crime, and I wasn't allowed to watch the tapes for such and such privacy reason. Thanks guys, very helpful!