Who Really Killed Claire? re-investigates the brutal yet apparently motiveless murder of 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in Greenhithe, Kent in 1993. It describes how police investigations faltered for almost 20 years until Colin Ash-Smith, due to be released from a long prison sentence for attacks on young women, was belatedly charged with this cold case murder.
One of the UK’s very first cases involving ‘bad character’ evidence under a controversial new law. Expertly researched, the book revisits the crime scene, investigation, prosecution, media frenzy and questionable urgency that led to Ash-Smith’s pre-emptive arrest and conviction for murder.
Meanwhile, a predatory serial killer was eliminated from the investigation despite ‘hallmarks’ making him a strong suspect. Well placed to raise doubts, ex-cold case investigator Alan Jackaman analyses the wholly circumstantial evidence and explains why he believes police became too preoccupied with the wrong man.
‘When asked again if he had murdered Claire … [Colin Ash-Smith] replied, “Out of all the interviews I’ve been in I haven’t told one single lie. I can categorically say I had nothing to do with Claire’s murder …”.’
About the author
Alan Jackaman spent over 25 years as a police officer, including with the Metropolitan Police dedicated Murder Investigation Team and Murder Review Group looking into unsolved murders. He is the author of Napper: Through a Glass Darkly.