William Sinclair Manson

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Worldwide Murder Mysteries.

Murder In The Woods

On June 27, 1946, 12-year-old Muriel Drinkwater was returning home from school, following the path to her house which passed through the woods of Penllergaer in Swansea. She never made it out of the forest. Her body was found the next day. She had been beaten, raped, and shot twice in the chest.

The murder weapon was found a few days later. It was a World War I–era Colt .45, American army issue pistol with a modern Perspex grip. There was also a description of a suspect—a 30-year-old man with “thick, fluffy hair and wearing brown corduroy trousers and a light brown sports jacket.” Despite the leads, the killer remained unidentified.

6 Muriel Drinkwater

Over 60 years later, investigators finally found a solid lead thanks to modern forensics. In 2008, they were able to extract a DNA sample from a semen stain and construct a DNA profile. There was no match in the national database, so now it has to be compared individually to 40–50 men targeted in the original investigation or, more likely, their surviving relatives.

While the killer’s identity still eludes us, DNA testing was able to clear 75-year-old Hubert Hoyles, who was 13 at the time of the murder. Many people suspected Hoyles as he was the last person to see Muriel alive. He described the recent finding as a “heck of a relief” after the murder “blighted” his life.

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