Lyn Bryant was a mother and wife. She went to walk the family dog 23 years ago today. She never returned and the family are still left without answers. In addition we quite likely have a killer walking free amongst us.
I wrote about this case seven months ago in a series about the murder of lone women in rural settings. There was quite a spate of brutal killings from the 80s into the late 1990s.
I just had a look and there has been no new ground covered in this case. At least nothing that has been made public. Lyn Bryant was stabbed to death in a narrow lane on the Roselands Peninsula, Cornwall, UK. There had been several suspicious incidents around the time of her death. As in the cases of Helen Fleet and Kate Bushell no-one was identified as responsible and not everyone sought by the police came forward as a witness.
A common factor was the sighting of various vans. These were seen in the area near where Ms Bushell and Ms Bryant were murdered. Recently I came across the unsolved murder of Shelley Morgan from Bristol. She was killed during a photographic expedition into the rural area surrounding Bristol. A report said police were asking the driver of a van to come forward in that investigation.
When you put the killings together between Ms Morgan’s death in 1984 and Lyn Bryant’s murder in 1998 you have a total of four crimes with strong common features.
1984 and 1987 Bristol, 1997 Exwick near Exeter and 1998 Ruan Lanihorne, Cornwall.
As the crow flies this is quite a distance, 135 miles. By road you are looking at over three hours at the wheel. However, the counties are effectively next to each other. The M5 motorway connects Exeter quite well with Bristol and the population over a period of 14 years would interact a lot. I picture anyone in a trade or sales for example.
The lone woman target, three of them walking dogs and the other walking alone distracted by her camera is one connection. The use of a knife in all these cases is another. Vans were sought in three out of the four crimes.
Helen Fleet was significantly older than the other victims but most of the other elements are the same. The fact she was in an area of woodland does fit in with the other crimes. As for time of day? That does vary but none were night time attacks nor where they early morning or late evening.
None of the victims had a life style that had made them enemies. The family of each poor woman was cleared of any possible involvement.
23 years ago, at the same time I am writing today, the police were at the scene of Lyn Bryant’s murder. A DNA profile has been identified that is of interest to the cops. A £10,000 reward was offered from 2018 for information yet this 40 year old lady’s killer is still at large.