The Sunbathing Murder Of Ann Heron, UK, 1990.

Ann Heron a much missed mother who originally came from Scotland.

As I write this it has been 32 years since this, 44 year old, wife and mother was sunbathing on her last day. It was a very hot afternoon with some areas of the UK heating up to about 100f (37c). Mrs Heron lived in a nice, big, detached house in County Durham. She had been out in the morning with a friend, but returned home in time for her husband, Peter, to return for lunch.

Darlington, North East UK

Her plan that afternoon was to soak up some sun in the garden. Later she was due to go out with friends. Mr Heron went back to work at about 2pm. There are various controversial claims about his movements, yet at the time of writing those seem to have been resolved from a legal stand point at least. There has been no fresh action against him because of any discrepancies that may or may not exist.

On this point there are those who feel passionately one way or another about who was responsible for Ms Heron’s death. We do get folk sometimes who have studied cases and can give great information, however, our aim is to give an overview of unsolved cases. All our comments and thoughts are merely speculation. In this unsolved murder, as in all of them, we mix our practical experience with some random possibilities. What we cannot and will not do is point the finger unless the police or some other solid source does so.

Mr Heron loudly proclaims his innocence backed by his daughter and others. They want another force to re investigate the matter. That is fact. It is also fact that no-one has been identified beyond reasonable doubt as responsible for Ann Heron’s horrendous death. To many it is obvious who killed her. Some think one way, others another. To us the fact is unless it is proved it could have been anyone with motive and opportunity on that day.


Mrs Heron took up a normal sunbathing position. Dressed in a bikini she lay out in the grounds of the house. Running past their home is the busy A67 road. It is the main link from Darlington to the airport. A friend was travelling on a bus past the house. She could see Mrs Heron out there relaxing that afternoon.

The house is visible from the road but not exactly right on it.

At about 4.45 pm a blue car was seen outside of the house. At just after 5 pm it ( assuming it was the same one) was seen driving away at high speed. At 6pm Mr Heron returned home.

He found his wife in the living room. She was dead on the floor. Her bikini bottoms had been removed and she had been stabbed in the neck.

The scene Mr Heron came upon was already strange as he pulled up. The family dog was outside and the front door was open. So who could have done this?

Suspicion fell on him 15 years later due to some DNA results though they were not directly linked to the crime itself. To clarify, his DNA was found in semen in her body. Some see this as clear signs of guilt. However, he was married to her.

As to what explanation is given by Mr Heron some references are offered. Apparently there is a Channel 5 documentary from 2022. We have not watched it for the simple reason that we are not doing some version of an investigation. The relevant part is the police charged him, but just before a trial could be set prosecutors dropped the idea.

The documentary is called The Mysterious Murder Of Ann Heron. By all means do a deep dive into this case. It certainly seems to be one that could take up endless white boards and your attic.

The blue car has never been traced. A lecturer in police procedure believes it may well have been driven by an escaped convict called Benson. An article in July 2020 said that this information had been given to the police in 2018. The police are quoted as saying in 2020:

‘While there is no current investigation into Ann Heron’s murder, the case will never be closed. Any new information which comes to light will be fully considered and the necessary action taken.’

A further two years to today and no action seems to have followed the examination of this theory. At the time of the documentary on Channel 5 I am told the police were more specific. I could only find similar general statements like the above. Ref Northern Echo 2022

Benson ( the other theory) was a robber who used weapons. He had escaped from prison in 1989. He was never captured according to the article and he died in 2011.

Loose Ends

Three males were seen in a van that afternoon. It was ‘parked’ at the end of the driveway to the home. It had a trident symbol on the side. The last update only mentions the blue car so maybe the van was traced. One suggestion I could give is that on that road an open driveway is a tempting place for people to turn their vehicles around. Maybe that is what the van was doing there caught in waiting for a break in the traffic by a witness driving past. If you know different please tell us. There is no account of the crime on the Durham Police website.

There had been attacks not far away where women had been threatened with a knife. These were by a lone male on foot and only property was taken.

My thought on this killing is that given a friend had seen Mrs Heron from the busy road any low life could have done. The house was not grand, but it was isolated and neat. It would have been a target for a daytime burglary. Was it just such a housebreaking inadequate who saw Mrs Heron and drove up there?

Sadly our website has many similar stories where a female victim has been attacked in their home during the working day. Julie Pacey, April Sorensen, Jaqueline Palmer-Radford, Elaine Chapman and Aileen Conway spring to mind.

Ann Heron a much missed mother who originally came from Scotland.

In the current analysis no-one has been identified as responsible for this lady’s murder. Family give great praise to her gentle and compassionate nature.

Take care


Did Michael Benson murder Darlington mum Ann Heron? | The Northern Echo

Ann Heron murder: Durham Police accused of failing investigation – BBC News

Ann Heron murder: A look back at the 1990 unsolved killing that stunned Teesside – Teesside Live (




11 thoughts on “The Sunbathing Murder Of Ann Heron, UK, 1990.

  1. I think it seems that the Police have given up on this. Being so isolated this was an easy target for prowlers and n’er do wells. The man the police suspected should have been questioned but it seems like he was allowed to get away with things now too late

    1. Apparently there is still investigation going on but it has been stirred up by a complaint that the original enquiry was flawed. There are two camps in this from what I can see. Those that support Peter Heron and those that think he was responsible. I will keep an eye out for the outcome of this as there is a call for another police force to take a look at it again. Thank you for the comment. JohnT

    1. The above is apparently accusing us of covering up for Mr Heron because we did not publish a comment here that included links to a a Twitter argument. The links not only used language we won’t publish but allegations without full context references. We hold back comments that include links in particular. We then email for clarification, we did that. If we don’t get it then we cannot include the comments and links. It is a legal and policy thing. The sad thing is all it takes is to do this and automatically we are taking a ‘side’ in some people’s minds. The only side we are on is the victims. We publish this comment ,and his other one, because they are a great examples of why we do what we do the way we do it. We leave wild assumption and half baked reasoning to those that enjoy it.

  2. Ah, I see that you have removed my previous post. Rather proves my point…doesn’t it, John?

    Hope Peter wasn’t too upset.


    1. Your previous post was NEVER UP. All comments go through moderation otherwise we would be publishing spam on all manner of things. Your comment included links to your Twitter arguments which make specific allegations about a living person. As I have said (2 x emails) we cannot and will not publish without mainstream references. I asked for the references and held the comment back because of the links. You sent me screenshots you had put together. I again asked for the references and said I could not use them. I checked this morning there is no reply. Originally you were offered the chance to have your twitter page linked so you could argue your theory. You obviously didn’t want that. So the point you have proved is you don’t know anything about our policy, you don’t read emails sent to you, you don’t check the details as you have assumed your comment went up and you like accusing people of covering up for someone when they don’t jump up and publish whatever you see as ‘evidence’.

  3. 1. When have I ever claimed that the Twitter account referenced, belonged to ME?
    2. The reference that I made to semen from Peter Heron being found in Ann’s throat, is something that is on RECORD.
    3) If you don’t believe me, try an bypass your ego, and ask an expert.

    Time to grow up, John. Cases like this, aren’t solved by pussyfooting around. If you are unable to do that, maybe it is time for a career change – yes?

    1. Okay let us split hairs the links were to a thread on which you were arguing on twitter. That displays your Twitter account. We offered to link your twitter account originally or you could give us the references. You could have then told the world all about it off that link. We explained our legal and policy responsibilities. You sent us images of quotes without saying where they came from. You didn’t take us up on our offer. We are not even saying you are wrong. We wanted to print what you said about the cops stating Heron was a suspect in 2022. We just wanted a reference ie ‘It is said here’ we did not get one.
      As for the semen etc yeah various publications mention it. However, we did not see his explanation. So we didn’t print it. We did amend the text after your last email because we went looking and saw this Channel 5 documentary mentioned. However we did not watch it. Ann Heron is an awful unsolved murder but she is one of almost daily unsolved murders we write about. They then get referenced in SEO and are saved from any archiving or going stale.
      In the meantime you had assumed we were in the pocket of Mr Heron and began posting comments. I emailed you and asked if I had got that wrong and explained the legal aspect and our policy re references. In the time since Saturday you doubled down on your accusation we would cover for a killer. We had not defended Mr Heron, we had asked you for references.
      As for ego…really, you are the investigator apparently. If it is ego to insist on references and not jump into following your lead then so be it.
      Grow up! Not pussyfooting around. Well we stand by our background on that and those that know us would laugh at that comment. Good luck with your solving this. We look forward to publishing your success. The great thing is as we have not come to any conclusion so we have no issue with doing so. As for this conversation. You have accused us of collusion, we have answered that. We have things to do.

    2. I just realised that in my haste to get on with other things I allowed you to assert as fact something re the interaction of semen and fluid intake. I have taken that out. I left in you telling me to ‘by pass my ego’ and research something. You say you are on with it. I take it you have the pathology reference to this and have access to statements etc. It would be redundant for us to chase around to find out what you know. All we need do is wait for your dossier to be vetted by the police and report on your success. As I said in my previous reply we look forward to reporting on it.

  4. {yawn} Do try and keep up, John. The Twitter user REFERENCED my Facebook page. They had done so previously, on another topic. As for the matter of semen vs liquid intake, I repeat – ASK AN EXPERT!

    By the way, it WAS reported to Durham Police. Unfortunately, they appear to be as clueless as you, when it comes to the workings of the human body. Lucky Pete, eh?

    1. Hey Basher,
      As you say Yawn. There is a problem regarding speed of thinking. Look, we agree on something yet probably not for the same reasons.

      In any case we have at last established your social media was the reference. Okay, that is why as we have outlined several times we couldn’t use it without a source for the things you say.

      Who made anyone lucky?
      We offered to link your social media to the article so you could give your theory to anyone. We literally did that in the first email. As an alternative ( your choice) we asked for the references so we could print what you said. We got none. So who made who lucky? It wasn’t us.

      ASK AN EXPERT once again no reference. Second time you have said it too. References/sources. Our days of taking orders are long gone.

      Right we are done with this. You have gotten your chance to patronise, assume and bark your orders. Oh one thing, you call the police clueless. The CPS dropped the charges. They make the decisions. The cops charged your man and were backing the prosecution. Two separate branches. Just a pedantic thing a bit like the difference between FB and Twitter. No need to take my word for it, here is a reference/source. We like them

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