There are some glaring questions around this murder that no one seems to want to ask, consider or find answers to:
1. Sophie was attacked and killed just inside the farm gate at the entrance to the 100 yard track up to the house. There is no evidence that she was attacked at the house or around the back door. Her keys were left in the inside door lock where she had used them to open the door. Why would she open her back door in the early morning and walk a 100 yards in the freezing cold (a 100 yards is a long way, try measuring it out) to the gate to confront her killer?
2. If the killer was on foot (as suggested Ian Baily was, having walked there through brush) then why would he wait at the gate whilst attracting Sophie’s attention and persuade her to walk in her night clothes 100 yards to the bottom of the lane to speak to her? Surely, common sense dictates that a killer on foot would have simply walked directly to the house, knocked on the door and the killing would have taken place either in the house or in or about the back door area. Common sense dictates that the killer travelled there in a car.
3. If one accepts that the evidence points to the killer travelling by car then the next question is ‘why park up outside the gate and not drive or walk up to the house? What would prompt a would be killer to make his way to the cottage by car and park up 100 yards from the house and cause Sophie to eventually walk in her night clothes the 100 yards down to the gateway?’
Again, common sense dictates that the only explanation is the simplest one, that she did so because she knew whose car it was, she knew the driver of the car.
4. Sophie had initially intended to stay at the cottage over the entire Christmas, yet within days of her arrival she changed her plans and intended flying back to France on the very day of her murder, leaving the cottage sometime before midday or thereabouts. Why would she change her mind so suddenly, what would cause her to have to leave the area so shortly after her arrival? Did the killer know that she was leaving that very day and therefore this would be his last chance to confront her, speak with her? Common sense tells us that the killer did know her plans and that she knew the car and driver parked at cottage entrance on the morning of her death.
5. Did the driver of the car parked at the cottage entrance intend to kill Sophie? Of course not! If he had planned to kill her, there would have been a weapon, a knife, a metal bar, some heavy object or instrument to effect the killing. The only logic here is that the killer knew she was leaving for France that day and wanted to speak, confront her but didn’t want to go up to the house. Would his presence at her door have prompted her to phone the police against a background of where she had previously rejected his advances and insisted on him not calling upon her ever again? After all, this would explain the two glasses and the two different loaves of bread found at the house. There were also two cups on the draining board, evidence of Sophie having had a visitor at the cottage, a visitor that had stayed a long time chatting with her, someone she felt had now become a pest in her life, someone that had expressed such possessiveness and refusal to accept that their ‘fling’ was over, that she felt the safest thing to do was leave the area and return home.
6. Did Sophie wake up early on the morning of her intended departure from the cottage only to see out of the window a familiar car parked down at the gated entrance to the cottage and knowing of his persistence decided to put on her boots and walk the 100 yards to the gate to confront him and get rid of him rather than have to deal with him a little later as he blocked her car from exiting the laneway and have a row then, possibly delaying her travel plans and missing her flight?
7. Imagine, if you will, a frustrated and slightly upset Sophie, still in her night clothes, marching the 100 yards down hill and confronting the driver of the steamed up car, a driver that had probably been sat there for many hours, and most likely having ‘drowned his sorrows’ into the early hours in a local hostilary, perhaps even asleep behind the wheel with the engine running to keep away the early morning cold. Imagine her rousing him from his slumber knocking on the window or opening the door of the car as she beings raising her voice in impatience at his refusal to leave her alone whilst he tries every charm and device to plead with her, begs her to not reject him like this. He tells her he loves her. He tells her how he has never felt like this for any woman before and doesn’t feel he can go on living without her. But Sophie is steadfast in her determination and he is getting nowhere. He begins to cry and the combination of his melancholic alcohol fuelled state and heartbreak drive him from his infatuation into a hate filled rage at what he feels she has done to him. He loses all self control and attacks Sophie with all the pent up rage and brute strength that he can muster. He doesn’t just hit her, he lets go like a raging bull as his hatred of her causes him to punch her to the ground, kick her in the face and drag her by the hair, and she lays on the ground as he knelt astride her his fists are no longer doing the damage to her that his out of control rage demands, so he picks up a block within arms reach and crushes her head with a series of blows. As Sophie’s body goes limp and his rage subsides, he comes to the realisation of what he has done and flees the scene in his car.
It is impossible to reasonably think that any scenario other than that outlined above could explain all the evidence available. It explains the lack of forensics at the house itself, it explains the motive for the killing and the opportunity for the killer. Nothing else makes sense. Find the man she was having the ‘affair’ with, and you’ve found the murderer. It is hard to believe that no one locally knows or suspects who this man is. One thing for certain, it’s unlikely to be Ian Bailey. Why? Because he lacked motive and opportunity apart from lack of access to a car.
In all the murder cases I’ve investigated, or been involved with, killings like this always habe the exact same factors involved, whether it be the killing of a lover, wife or a prostitute. The killer is always under the influence of either alcohol or drugs or both, but mostly alcohol, and there has to be rejection in the face of an expectation (reasonable or not) whilst in the course of an argument that quickly deteriorates to the loss of self control of the attacker.
This 25 year old case is easily solved, find the lover and you’ve found the killer. It really is that simple!