Her estranged husband was convicted of her murder, but her body has never been found.

Linda Razzell, last seen in 2002. Image: Wiltshire Police

On the morning of Tuesday 19 March 2002 Linda Razzell, a 41-year-old learning support assistant at Swindon College in Wiltshire, England, was in an unusually good mood. Her daughter waited for her Mum’s usual parting words — “See you at five!” — as she walked out the door, but that morning Linda said nothing about when she would be home. Linda was running late that morning. She usually left for work at around 8.40 am from her home in Highworth, Wiltshire, a market town six…

The mother who killed eight of her newborn babies


On the 16th May 1849 Rebecca Smith, 42, gave birth to her eleventh child, a boy his parents named Richard. Far from being overjoyed at the birth of her healthy son, however, Rebecca predicted his imminent death.

Rebecca and her husband, Philip Smith, had married in Bratton, Wiltshire, the village they were both from, eighteen years before on 5 May 1831 as Rebecca was turning 24. Their first child, Jane, was born nine months later, on 8 February 1832. After Jane, Rebecca gave birth to nine more children over the next seventeen years but tragically none lived…

Historic unsolved true-crime from rural England

Edwin Richard Haskell, known as Teddy, who was murdered aged 12 in 1908. Photo Source

It is Halloween night 1908, and Teddy Haskell, 12, has been put to bed by his widowed mother, Flora Haskell age 34, at 9.40 pm. According to Flora, less than an hour later she heard a noise and, thinking it was a visitor at her front door, walked the few steps from her kitchen into the narrow front hallway of the small terraced house she shared with Teddy on Meadow Road in the city of Salisbury.

As she stood in the hall, an unknown man came running down the stairs of the house. He was holding a blood-covered knife which…

Four strange-but-true tales from Wiltshire, England

I was born and raised in the county of Wiltshire in southwest England. Recently, I have been delving into my county’s history. Here are four of the weirdest tales I uncovered.

Weirdshire. Image created by the author on Canva. Photo credit: Wikipedia.

“Strange tale to tell; yet not more strange than true.” — words printed on a postcard, Salisbury, Wiltshire, 1900s.

1. “The Robbery of the Wicked Shall Destroy Them”

This is the tale of how a four-versus-one highway robbery went very wrong for the highwaymen.

On the evening of the 21st October 1839, wealthy farmer Mr. Matthew Dean, 58, was returning alone on horseback along the road across Salisbury Plain…

Agree. I have written about the case of Linda Razzell. It's 'solved' as far as Police are concerned because her estranged husband is in prison for murdering her... But no trace of her has ever been found since the day she disappeared.

Tweet from Dorset Police, 8th April 2021.

** This story was amended on 10 April 2021 to add new details reported in the English press **

One of England’s richest men has been stabbed to death. Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, an 83-year-old Baronet, was murdered on the evening of Wednesday 7th April in his countryside mansion. His life partner, who is in her 60s, was also seriously injured. His suspected killer is his 34 -year-old stepson, who was living with him. The suspect is in police custody.

The murder took place on the Wiltshire-Dorset border in the heart of rural…

Photo by Vinícius Henrique Photography on Unsplash

The second time British Army Sergeant Emile Cilliers tried to kill his wife, the weather could have been better. The early morning of Easter Sunday 2015 had been sunny but there was heavy cloud cover as Victoria Cilliers arrived at Netheravon Airfield on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. The Airfield was a 10-minute drive from her smart new home in Amesbury which she shared with her husband Emile, their three-year-old daughter and month-old son. Victoria was there to do a parachute jump. Far from this being a one-off experience, Victoria was a seasoned skydiver, an accelerated free-fall instructor with 2,654 jumps to…

Church Street, Imber. Image: imberbus.org

The village of Imber lies in a valley in the middle of the Salisbury Plain military training area in Wiltshire, England. Imber is marked on Google Maps, a little dot with no public roads leading to it, surrounded by an expanse of open plain. It is listed in census records and represented by an MP in the UK Parliament. But Imber is no ordinary village: it has no postal code, you can only take the narrow private road to the village on a few specific dates each year. And its population is zero. Like many villages in Europe, Imber was…

CONTENT WARNING: infant/child death

Road Hill House, Road, Wiltshire (now Langham House, Rode, Somerset) Image: Curiosity Collections, Harvard University

Road Hill House in Road, Wiltshire is surrounded by walls and a high gate newly-installed by the house’s latest occupant — a Mr Samuel Saville Kent — to deter locals from ‘scrumping’ (stealing) apples from its orchard.

In June 1860 the weather in England is unusually terrible: rainy and stormy. And, unbeknownst to all but one of the Kent household, a murder is about to be committed at Road Hill House.

The Kent Household in June 1860

In June 1860, the following people are living at Road Hill House: Mr Samuel Saville Kent age 59, an…

Once upon a time in a quiet English village…

Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unsplash

February 23, 2017:

The streets of Chilmark, a small, centuries-old picture-postcard village, surrounded by fields and woodland, 95 miles west of London are quiet, as usual. In summer, sun warms the distinctive yellow Chilmark stone of the quaint cottages which line the narrow lanes but this February day the weather is cloudy and damp. The village’s only pub, The Black Dog, will be opening for lunch in a few hours. South of Chilmark, on the narrow road leading to the larger village of Tisbury, a figure comes wandering into view. If approached, the young man would have an incredible tale…

Chloe Wells PhD

Researcher and writer. Author of the ‘Weirdshire’ series. True crime and strange tales. You can buy me a coffee at: https://ko-fi.com/chloewells

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