Date: 24 Jun 1990
Patricia Lee Parsons was battered and shot three times in the head with what was thought was a high-powered crossbow in Epping Forest.
In February 2007 a man was arrested in connection with her murder, but nothing more is known of any charges. The arrest was thought to have been connected with a DNA breakthrough in the case.
Patricia Parsons was found dead in her white C-reg VW Golf GTi Cabriolet car, registration C970 SVV, in Long Street, Upshire near the Good Intent pub in Epping Forest on 24 June 1990 by some ramblers.
On the morning of Saturday 23 June 1990, around lunch time she had gone out with her boyfriend who she had been seeing for the previous two years.
She had recently lent her boyfriend some money so that he could start a restaurant in Harlow, Essex, and her boyfriend was expecting a big party there that night and said that Patricia Parsons had promised to come.
Slightly earlier, at about 1.30pm, near Fernhall Lane, a woman was driving along the road through Epping Forest when she said she saw two cars parked on either side of the road, a red one and a green one. She said that she knew that the area was popular with people walking their dogs or out to eat their lunch, but said that she noticed that there was nothing of that sort going on. She had been going out shopping and said that when she returned, about five hours later, the two men were still there.
Later, at about 3.30pm, Patricia Parsons left the restaurant, saying that she had to go to a garden centre on her way home but agreed to meet her boyfriend at the restaurant later.
At about 5pm, a neighbour in Friern Barnet said that she thought that Patricia Parsons had a visitor. She said that she saw a black car drive up to her house driven by a black man. She said that it looked odd to her as it didn't look like a minicab to her as it was too lovely a car. She said that she could see that Patricia Parsons's VW Golf car was there but said that the man in the black car didn't get out, and said that he pulled into her drive, turned around, and then gave a nod and then drove off.
The police later said that they needed to eliminate the driver. It was noted that the car had a distinctive V-shaped aerial.
At about 6pm, Patricia Parsons's boyfriend called her at her home and they had a conversation. He said that Patricia Parsons told him that she had got some flowers from the garden centre and that she was just getting ready to go out and that he told her that the event was to start at about 7.30pm and she asked whether he meant 8pm to 8.30pm and that he told her to just get there as soon as she could.
It was about the same time that the woman that had been out shopping and had seen the two men with two cars on the road in Epping Forest came home and said that the men were still there which made her a little suspicious. She said that when she got home she commented to her husband that it was odd to see two people standing there for about five hours.
At about 7.30pm, Patricia Parsons was seen to drive away from her house alone, but to come back about half-an-hour later. The police said that they didn't know where she went.
At about 8pm, Patricia Parsons's boyfriend said that the event had started and that there were a number of people at the restaurant but that Patricia Parsons had not shown up and so he called her at home. He said that he spoke to her and complained that the party had already started and then asked if she was alright, noting that she sounded like she had been sleeping, but said that Patricia Parsons told her that she was alright but that she had something to tell him, but that she couldn't tell him then over the phone and that she would tell him when she got to the restaurant. However, Patricia Parsons's boyfriend asked her to at least tell him whether it was good or bad and she told him that it was good.
A neighbour in Friern Barnet said that he was watching the world cup on the television at about 8.30pm when he heard a yell. He said that he then turned the volume down and heard a loud argument going on next door with a man shouting at Patricia Parsons. He said that he became concerned and so he went outside to where his car was and that he looked into Patricia Parsons's kitchen window where he could see the light on, but couldn't see or hear anything. He said that he then went back in and that the next thing that he heard was Patricia Parsons's door bang and then went to his kitchen window and saw Patricia Parsons getting into her car with a man, noting that the man got into the driver’s seat whilst Patricia Parsons got into the passenger side unaided and that they then drove off.
The neighbour said that he thought that the man that got into the car with Patricia Parsons had fairish hair.
However, she didn't turn up at her boyfriend’s restaurant and the police said that they thought that she had been forced to go to Epping Forest.
At about 9.15pm her boyfriend called her home but only got her voice messaging system.
The following morning, Patricia Parsons's VW Golf car was seen in Epping Forest near to where the two suspicious cars had been seen waiting the afternoon before. Then later at about lunchtime a rambler passed the car and looked inside and saw her body.
The police said that they wanted to trace the man that had driven by her house that afternoon in the black car, as well as the man that had driven her away from her house in her car, as well as the two men in the two cars that were seen loitering near Epping Forest by the woman that was out shopping.
The men that were seen loitering near Epping Forest were described as follows:
The police said that they were thought to have been there from about 1.30pm to about 6.30pm, or even later.
The police said that it was clear that the murder was an execution, they said that they were not satisfied that they had determined the motive and appealed for anyone that knew her to come forward.
Patricia Parsons was divorced but was described as wealthy and owned three houses. Her house in Friern Barnet was said to have been worth £500,000.
She was said to have been a masseuse and escort girl, and to have provided discreet sexual services to a range of celebrities and VIPs. Her clients were said to have included a judge and a television presenter. She had also run a sauna in Camden Town on Eversholt Street called New Experience Sauna, working there three days a week and having worked there for about twelve years. She was known there to all her colleagues as Debbie.
She was known to have had a black or blue notebook in which she was thought to have kept the names of over 200 clients, including the names and telephone numbers of famous celebrities, but it was never found.
It was thought that her murder had been a contract killing to prevent her from disclosing certain names to a Sunday newspaper.
A friend of Patricia Parsons's said, 'Lee was strikingly attractive. She loved her work and saw herself as a social worker on behalf of lonely men. She dressed to please them and relieved their fantasies'.
Her post-mortem stated that she had died from three deep puncture wounds to the head that had been caused by an unknown implement, which was thought to have been the result of having been shot in the head by a crossbow bolt.
There had been a wedding reception nearby in Upshire Village Hall near to where she was found, and the police appealed to anyone that had attended it that might have seen something to come forward.
They said that they also wanted to speak to an elderly couple who were seen nearby in a V-reg brown Mini car in the field off Long Street. They were said to have left before the police arrived.
It was noted that Patricia Parsons was murdered six months after the unsolved murders of Terry Gooderham and Maxine Arnold who were also murdered in Epping Forest. They were found dead, having both been shot in the head, in Terry Gooderham's Mercedes car in a car park off Lodge Road, Upshire, about two miles from where Patricia Parsons was found.
Patricia Parsons was also known as Lee Parsons.