1990, Former model
turned freelance photographer Melissa Halstead was from
Ohio in the USA.
While working in London she
met and started a relationship with Sweeney, when she
was deported for overstaying her work visa, she moved to
Holland, Sweeney went with her.
She went missing after leaving
her flat in Amsterdam.
The remains of Melissa were
discovered in the Westersingel canal in Rotterdam, but
not identified, her hands and head were missing.
1994, Sweeney goes on the run,
living under assumed names, following the attack in
Camden, North London, on Delia Balmer, a nurse, with
whom he had been having a relationship.
2000, Paula Fields a
31-year-old mother of three, a crack cocaine addict
,originally from Liverpool was working as a prostitute
in North London when she met Sweeney. Three months later
she went missing.
2001, Ten body parts
were found in six different holdalls in the Regent's
Canal near King's Cross in London. Her head, hands and
feet were missing.
2001, Sweeney was
arrested at a central London building site after the
discovery of Fields's remains. Police then realised
there was a connection. The identification of Melissa
Halstead then allowed the police to place together
crucial pieces in a horrific jigsaw that they
feared may not yet be complete.
2008 A cold case review
was carried out in Holland into the 'body in the canal,
due to advances is DNA techniques she was finally
identified, as Melissa Halstead, 33, a former
model from Ohio in the US,
Police found several weapons
and 300 pieces of gruesome artwork and poems in his
north London house.
5th April 2011, At the
Old Bailey, Sweeney is sentenced to life. With a 'Whole
life tariff' meaning he will never be released, and goes
on the Home office list of prisoners who will die behind
bars, see list here >>
25th may 2011, Police
are still investigating Sweeney, and believe there may
be many more victims across Europe.