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JOHN SWEENEY

 


Name:

John Sweeney

AKA:

Canal Murders

D.O.B:

1958
Kill Total:

2 + ?

Kill date:

1990 & 2000

Kill Place:

Netherlands, & London

Status:

Divorced

Occupation:

Carpenter
Victim:

Melissa Halstead Paula Fields

D.O.B:

Melissa - 1957 Paula - 1959

 


 

Court:

Old Bailey
Case No:  

Judge:

Mr Justice Saunders

Prosecution:

 

Defence:

 

 

External References

 

 

FACTFILE

 

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.

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