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Murder UK is a site dedicated to documenting and investigating murder in the UK. We aim to be precise with facts and avoid speculation. If however you find discrepancies please  Contact us

   


 

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Name:

Raymond Leslie Morris

AKA:

Cannock Chase Murders

A34 Murders

D.O.B.

13 August 1929

Kill Total:

3 + ?

Kill date:

1966 & 1967

Kill Place:

Staffordshire

Status:

 

Occupation:

  

Victim:

Margaret Reynolds

Dianna Tilt

Christine Darby

D.O.B.
Margaret 1960

Dianna

1961
Christine 1960

 


 

Court:

Staffordshire Assizes

Judge:

 

Prosecution:

 

Defence:

 

 


 

 

 

FACTFILE

 

8th September 1965, Margaret Reynolds went missing on way to school in Aston Birmingham.

 

30th December 1965, Dianna Tift went missing on her way to her grandmother's house in Bloxwich

 

12th January 1966, the bodies of children Margaret Reynolds, age 6, and Diana Tift, age 5, were found in a ditch at Mansty Gully on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.

 

14th August 1966, 10-year-old Jane Taylor disappeared from the Cannock area and has not been seen since, Morris is considered by many to be the main suspect.

19th August 1967, Christine Darby was enticed into a car by a strange man near her home in Camden Street, Walsall.
Witnesses in Walsall said that they saw a man in a grey car who spoke in a local accent,

 

22nd August 1967, a soldier who was a member of a search party found the sprawled, naked body of seven-year-old Christine Darby beneath brushwood only a mile away from where Reynolds and Tift were discovered.

16th November 1968 Raymond Leslie Morris, was taken to Cannock court, charged with the murder of Christine Darby.
Morris was jailed for life at Stafford Assizes for the brutal murder of seven-year-old Christine Darby 18 months earlier.
The verdict ended the seven-day trial of Morris which had attracted unprecedented public interest with queues more than 100 people long forming each day for seats in the public gallery.
Morris, who is frequently referred to as being responsible for the A34 murders, was only ever convicted of that of Christine who had been abducted from her home in Walsall.
Many attempts have been made over the years to get Morris - aged 39 at the time of his trial - to killing two other little girls, Diane Tift and Margaret Reynolds.
The charges were allowed to lie on the file and have been lying there ever since.

It took 15 months for the police to arrest Morris, an engineer. who was living opposite Walsall police station. His name had come up as a potential suspect five times during the course of the long investigation.

UPDATE

August 2001. - Raymond Morris  to appeal against his conviction for the Murder of 7 year old Christine Darby.
He claims the evidence was dubious and circumstantial, and that the identification evidence was unreliable. 
One of the police officers involved in the case is certain Morris is guilty and said as soon as Morris was put away the murders stopped. 
Morris, who is being held at Wymott prison in Preston, is supposed to have told a newspaper that he was identified by a man who saw him handcuffed to a detective more than a year after the killing, and a woman who only saw him in court 15 months later.

November 2010, Morris was granted a judicial review in the case of the murder of Christine Darby. The review failed, he remains in prison.

May 2011, Morris breaks a 40 year silence, claims his innocence and says he may go to the European court of human rights.

Morris is one of the UK's longest serving prisoners.

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