Once again we are going to Oxfordshire. I have never even been there but I have written a lot about unsolved cases in the area. This article is more of a mention than anything else. It is the sad and almost forgotten case of Eila Karjalainen. This young Finnish nurse was backpacking across the UK, she obviously did not meet the best of people on our island.
Eila Karjalainen was 23, she is believed to have spent time in London taking in the sights. She was last seen on 7th August 1983. On 25th November 1983 her decomposing remains were found near a layby ( pull in/ rest stop) on the A40. This was at Barnham Woods, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. I admit to looking at the map and not being precisely sure where this poor lady was dumped. In one report it mentions the town of Witney and in another Barnham Woods. Another account says her bag was found some five miles away at Barnard Gate.
The cause of death was asphyxiation and fingerprints were lifted from documents she had. They have never been matched on the UK database. These prints were lifted using advanced technology in the years after her death
Ms Karjalainen was known to write down names of people she met in a diary. When this was found several pages were ripped out. The overwhelming impression the accounts give is that Ms Karjalainen was hitchhiking and sadly got into very bad company.
Her death has been linked to a killer called Chris Halliwell. This insignificant is doing time for the murder of two other women. Apparently a retired copper has put him in the frame for this murder. He has also linked Halliwell to the murder of 13 year old Lindsay Jo Rimer in 1994. The issue for me with this is that the fingerprints, other than the victim, do not match Halliwell or if they do the cops are not saying. Of course the fingerprints were found on travel documents and could have been from an innocent person.
Certainly Halliwell behaved and targeted victims in a way that is consistent here, however, he would have been very young at the time. As you may know from reading my articles I am always mindful that there is probably more than one insignificant operating at any point.
Ms Karjalainen’s case was looked at as part of a broader enquiry. It is awful to say but many women suffer this fate. Though the number is low it is significant for the horror that they suffer. It was suggested that there was a lorry driving killer loose right through the 80s into the 1990s. Another visitor to our country, Celine Figard, was murdered in 1995. Her killer was convicted. From what I can see her killer was doing something else in another part of the country in 1983 though he did drive a lorry when he picked up Ms Figard.
As I said, I mention Ms Karjalainen because her death has led to no conviction. I’m just sad that this young lady came here and met with some cowardly nonentity and lost the rest of her life. I would guess from what I have read that the cops probably know who killed her. There is a big difference between knowing and proving.
Take Care and as one of my favourite TV characters used to say: ‘Let’s Be Careful Out There.’
Do you know of a almost forgotten unsolved case? Maybe it is one special to you from more recent times? I am more than happy to write it up and spread the word.