Unsolved Murders

Emily Salvini

Age: 7

Sex: female

Date: 3 May 1997

Place: 270 Hemdean Road, Caversham, Reading

Emily Salvini died when her house was set on fire at 270 Hemdean Road, Reading.

During the Saturday night the phone lines to the street were cut at the telegraph pole and someone poured petrol in through the letterbox and set it on fire with a lighted match at about 1.30am.

Neighbours were woken up by screaming and a ringing burglar alarm shortly after 4am and saw flames coming out of the house.

She died from smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning.

She had been at home with her mother and 3-year-old brother at the time. Her mother and brother escaped by climbing out onto a bay window and being helped down by a neighbour but spent weeks in Stoke Mandeville Hospital for burn treatments.

It was said that the attack was a culmination of a hate campaign against Emily Salvini's mother.

Previously her car tyres had been slashed and her telephone lines cut two weeks earlier. The telephone lines, at three telegraph poles, were cut again on the night of the arson attack.

Emily Salvini's brother had been asleep with her mother at the time and she had been able to pass him out of the window to a neighbour, but she could not reach Emily Salvini.

The fact that the telephone lines had been cut at three telegraph poles meant that the phone lines to the whole street were down which meant that there was a delay in the fire brigade being called.

The police said that it was, 'A calculated and pre-planned attack' and that it appeared to be a deliberate attempt to murder Emily Salvini's mother and her children.

Several people were arrested in the following months, but the police said that they didn't have enough evidence to charge anyone.

Emily Salvini's mother said that there were two very strong suspects in the murder investigation and that she believed that she had come face to face with one of them since. She said that she thought that they had had a grudge against her for standing up for a friend.

Emily Salvini's mother was described as an attractive and vivacious woman who had been estranged from her husband for two years and who worked at a local pub.

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