Date: 26 Sep 1994
Place: Longcliffe Road, Grantham
Julie Pacey was found dead in her home in Longcliffe Road, Grantham, in 1994.
She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. She was found in her bathroom by her teenage daughter.
It was thought that Julie Pacey had either let her murderer into her home ot that the murderer had let themselves in. It was thought that she had been in the bathroom when attacked.
It was also thought that the murder had been planned as Longcliffe Road was in a suburban area and it had taken place in the middle of the day, making it a high risk.
It was thought that she had been strangled with something like an electrical cable or a flex and that the murderer had taken the ligature away with them.
The police said that they were able to collect DNA samples from the scene which they later said in 2014 were enough to provide an almost complete profile of the murderer, although added that the sample didn't match anyone in their DNA database.
They said, 'This means that if we can link that DNA to a person, it is entirely possible that we may have found Julie's murderer. The one drawback is that the DNA does not match anyone presently in our databases. For that reason, we are asking the public for help and urging them to give us a name'.
Around the time of the murder, a blue BMW car, possibly a 5 Series, was seen parked in her driveway next to her Audi, and the police said they wanted to identify who owned it.
The description of a man in blue overalls and checked shirt who was seen leaving her home three days before her murder was also released. He was described as being stockily built and with having a ruddy face and aged in his mid-forties. He was described as having very prominent, extremely red cheeks and to have had an outdoor complexion. He was also said to have been seen at about 3.10pm on the day of the murder.
Julie Pacey had told her children that on the previous Friday, three days before her murder, that she had been alone in the house doing some vacuuming when the doorbell rang and that she had answered the door thinking that it was the neighbours daughter who she child-minded after school and so she had shouted down for her to come in. However, it was then heard that when Julie Pacey had gone downstairs, she had found a scruffy man standing in the hallway who had then asked her for directions to another road on the estate and then left. It was also noted that as he left, he passed the neighbours daughter who was approaching the house at that time. It was noted that the description of the man matched the description of the man that was seen in the street at 3.10pm on the day of the murder for who Julie Pacey was seen to have to brake for in her car.
It was further noted that there had been a lot of building and renovation work going on at the time on the estate bordering Longcliffe Road and the police said that they thought that the man in the overalls might have been one of the many builders and workmen that had been working there. However, they said that their enquiries at the building site offered no clues as to the identity of the man in the overalls.
However, it was noted that a man in overalls was seen in Grantham over the weekend. It was said that he had been seen in a park in Grantham and that he had been seen in a shop there. It was observed that he had noted in the shop because he had stood too close to the shop assistant and had had an aggressive attitude.
A reconstruction was made for the television programme Crime Watch UK for which a local man was used to play the part of the murderer. However, in 2015, when the reconstruction was broadcast again, he was identified as being the murderer by viewers and he was arrested, and his DNA was taken. However, he claimed that he was innocent, saying that he had answered an advert for the role at the time. He said that his face was on the screen for too long and resulted even in 1994 with people in the street saying that he was the murderer. He said that even though viewers were told that what they were watching was a reconstruction of the murder, that some people didn't understand that, and that as a result he was identified. He said, 'A couple of people in Newark recognised me and put me forward as a suspect and I was on the end of having my DNA taken and all sorts'. The police said that they would be 'remiss not to thoroughly investigate every solid piece of information'. The man was cleared by the police after it was found that his DNA did not match the DNA found at the scene.
During the investigation, it was also determined that a distinctive Luc Desroches watch was missing from her home, and the police said that they wanted to trace that.
However, the police said that they thought that the motive was the sexual assault of Julie Pacey and not burglary or theft.
Julie Pacey was married and had two children, a girl aged 14 and a boy aged 11. Her husband was a self-employed plumber. They lived in a four-bedroom home in an affluent part of Grantham. The house was by a piece of undeveloped scrubland that was often used by dog walkers.
Julie Pacey herself worked part time as a helper at the St Peter and Paul day nursery on Trent Road. She also minded a neighbour's daughter after school whilst the mother went out to work.
On the day of the murder, her husband had left early to go to a plumbing job on the other side of Grantham whilst their children had gone off to school at a nearby secondary school.
It was noted that the police ruled out her husband being the murderer after his alibi was corroborated.
Julie Pacey had gone to the St Peter and Paul day nursery as usual that morning, at about 10am and stayed until about 2pm after which she went to see her parents who lived two miles away, driving there in her car, staying briefly. Julie Pacey was then seen in Grantham at about 2.30pm shopping by some people that knew her. Julie Pacey was next seen by neighbours at about 2.45pm parking her Audi car up in her driveway.
It was not known for certain, but it was thought that it was possible that Julie Pacey had made another trip out in her car as another person that knew Julie Pacey said that they were adamant that they had seen her driving back towards her home at 3.10pm. It was noted that if she had gone back out, that it was not known where she had gone.
A woman said that she was getting into a taxi in Longcliffe Road at 3.10pm when she saw a man in overalls step into the road and said that she saw Julie Pacey then brake sharply in her car to avoid the man. She said that she then saw Julie Pacey wave to the man in apology and continue on to her house where she then pulled into her driveway a hundred yards off. The woman said that the man had been walking away from Julie Pacey's house at the time, but that after the near miss, he turned around and started walking back off towards Julie Pacey's house.
Julie Pacey was found dead by her daughter when she got back from school at about 4.15pm. Her daughter said that when she forced the bathroom door open and found Julie Pacey there on the floor, she thought that she had become ill and had collapsed and so she tried to wake her and revive her, but then called 999.
When the paramedics arrived they also tried to revive Julie Pacey, but when they pulled down the polo neck of her black sweater, they found a ligature mark around her neck and realised that she had been strangled.
When she was found, her tights and underwear were around her knees.
After the police examined the scene, they said, 'There were no signs of a break-in, so we have to assume that the killer either walked in or Julie let him in. Probably Julie was surprised in the bathroom, yet nothing in the bathroom or the bedroom was disturbed. There were no bruises on her body and no other marks except where the ligature had been. This man probably opened the front door, walked up the stairs, strangled his victim and left'.
The police later determined that Julie Pacey had been sexually assaulted but said that there were no signs of a struggle other than the ligature mark around her neck. It was noted that her upper clothing was undisturbed and that her long manicured fingernails were undamaged.
When the police searched the house, they found that all the windows had been shut, and that the back door was locked from the inside. They said that Julie Pacey's daughter had been unable to say whether or not the front door had been locked when she got home from school, or whether she had opened it with her own key.
It was noted that the rest of the house was tidy, as it usually was, with no signs of any disturbance of a search for valuables. Julie Pacey's handbag and purse were also found on her bed.
The police said that the only things out of place at the scene were a half-drunk cup of coffee on the bedside table and an empty chocolate bar wrapper that was found on the floor near the bed.
However, the police determined that her Luc Desroches watch that she had bought whilst on holiday in Paris two months earlier and usually wore, was missing. It was described as being expensive and said that there was not another one like it in the United Kingdom.
The police said that when they examined Julie Pacey's background, they found nothing that could help with their investigation such as extra marital affairs or anyone wanting to cause her harm.
The police also searched the piece of undeveloped scrubland next to her home but found nothing like a murder weapon. They also spoke to dog walkers but said that no one heard anything. The police said, 'You would have thought someone would have seen him arrive or leave or just hanging about, but no one saw anything'.
It was said that it appeared that Julie Pacey had come home from the nursery as usual as they said that they found her turquoise nursery overall hanging up on the back of the bedroom door where she usually put it. It was thought that she had then had a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar. She was then thought to have either retouched her makeup or started removing it as items including nail polish remover were found on her bed by her handbag.
The police said that they thought that the murderer had planned the murder and had bought the ligature along with them and taken it away with them. They noted that she was attacked whilst alone in her house, in the middle of the day, and that he had done so without being seen or heard. The police later said that they thought that her murderer might have stalked her and in the very least, watched her house over a period of a few days to learn her movements. However, it was also noted that he probably didn't spend weeks observing her as he would have otherwise been spotted as the area was described as a closely-knit neighbourhood. It was also noted that on any other day, other than Monday, Julie Pacey's neighbour’s daughter would have been at her house any time after 3.15pm. It was also suggested that the incident on the Friday was a trial run or that he had been planning to attack her then but that his nerve had failed him. It was as such then suggested that the man might have spent the following weekend mentally preparing to go back and attack her.
The police also noted that it was considered that the checked shirt and overalls that the man had been seen wearing had been a disguise and that he had been trying to blend in with all the other workmen that were working nearby.
It was noted that the main suspect, who was described as 'Overalls Man', had not come forward, which it was thought would have been expected and possible if he had been in the area legitimately, and that it was otherwise unlikely that a man would call at a house to ask for directions instead of asking a person in the street or going to a shop. The police also said that they thought that the man had taken Julie Pacey's watch as a trophy.
The police also said that they thought that it was unlikely that the murder of Julie Pacey was the man's first crime, and quite likely that he had carried out similar attacks before and possibly had a history of sexual offending, possibly voyeurism, rape or indecent assault. The police said that the murder showed a certain level of organisation and was well executed.
However, the police said that the man had certainly not been arrested for any offences after 1995 but said that if that were to happen that they would be able to get a DNA match. However, it was also noted that there was also the possibility that the man was already dead.