Date of Birth:
||18 October 1944
In the early hours of a
June morning in 1982, 29-year-old PC David Haigh was on
duty. By 7.30am, he'd been shot dead at a lonely beauty
spot, Warren Point near Harrogate. He was still clutching
his clipboard upon which he'd written the details Clive
Jones, NFA (no fixed address), 18.10.44.
Although he didn't know it then, in taking those details,
David in fact solved his own murder.
Immediately, a major investigation was launched, although
a full week passed before the scale of the operation
Meanwhile, 70 miles away, a
Lincolnshire pensioner was also shot dead, though at first
police did not link it to the Warren Point incident.
An eagle-eyed officer in Wakefield was sorting through his
outstanding warrants - he came across one for electrician
Barry Peter Prudom, wanted for attacking a motorist with
an iron bar. The officer noticed his date of birth:
18.10.44 - the same as the elusive Mr Clive Jones. He
quickly put two and two together.
Although Prudom gave false details when he was
unexpectedly disturbed by PC Haigh, he couldn't instantly
come up with a false date of birth, a fact which trips up
many criminals and one which is well known to the police.
Prudom had made a major error.
By then, police had compared the bullets which had killed
both PC Haigh and the Lincolnshire pensioner and found
they came from the same gun, so Barry Prudom became the
prime suspect and the most wanted man in Britain.
Prudom, meanwhile, stole a car in Lincolnshire to return
to the North York Moors where he went on the run, hiding
in the expansive and impenetrable Dalby Forest.
"He was an expert in outdoor survival, but even so, hunger
forced him into the small market town of Malton where he
killed another policeman, Sgt David Winter. Police set up
an incident room there, from where they handled the huge
amount of press, TV and radio enquiries. The story was now
It was the first time a police PR man spoke to the media
directly from the crime scene and set a precedent for the
way police deal with the media during major
Police knew they had to keep the media on thier side and
the best way to do that was to give them regular updates.
They knew Prudom was still in Malton; in fact he was
holding an elderly couple hostage in their home, but they
wanted him to believe they were seeking him elsewhere. The
safety of the public was uppermost in the police minds.
The media reports were invaluable because they led Prudom
to believe that the hunt was concentrated outside the town
in Dalby Forest. There he'd earlier shot and injured
another policeman. If he'd known police were getting close
to him, he could well have harmed his hostages."
Believing the immediate pressure was off him, Prudom fled
the house leaving his hostages unharmed. Minutes later,
police cornered him on Malton tennis courts where, faced
with capture, he shot himself.