Unsolved Murders

Julia Webb

Age: 52

Sex: female

Date: 22 Jul 1998

Place: Kennel Lane, Sandiway, Northwich, Cheshire

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Julia Webb was beaten to death with a blunt instrument while walking her dog near her home in Sandiway on 22 July 1998.

A 43-year-old man from Somerset was later arrested for her murder in 2004 but released without charge.

Julia Webb had been walking her golden Labrador Rosie at the time. After her murder, Rosie the dog had sat in the lane and later when her son went out looking for her and found Rosie sat in the lane, Rosie then led him to where Julia Webb was found dead in the woodland. She was found yards away from her home in Weaverham Road in some woodland at about 5.30pm after having gone out for her walk at about 3pm which she did everyday. Her son had gone out to look for her after he had got home to find his grandfather at the home in a worried state because Julia Webb had not got back from her walk.

She had been beaten about the head and strangled

The murder weapon was never found and there was no known motive.

The police operation to solve her murder was called Operation Nato.

Julia Webb had two sons and was not thought to have had any enemies.

A Crimewatch UK television reconstruction was later made in September 1998 in which the police said that they were looking to trace three men that had been seen in the area at the time. They were:

  • A man in his late 50s or early 60s who had been carrying a distinctive walking stick made of a dark reddish wood with an interlocking cluster design handle.
  • A bearded man in his mid-30s, about 5ft 6ins tall, who was seen driving a silver Ford Orion car along Kennel Lane shortly before the murder. He was also described as a George Michael (famous singer) lookalike with designer stubble.
  • A red-faced man who was seen running across Dalefords Lane around the same time.

The police said that they thought her murderer had had a local connection.

Her death was also later connected to the murder of Kate Bushell who was also murdered whilst out walking her dog near Exeter, although the police later said that they ruled out the connection. The police said 'We have liaised with the police in Cheshire, and the officers in other forces where crimes have been committed which may have similarities to the murder of Kate Bushell. We have no evidence to link Kate's murder with the killing of Julia Webb, and there is nothing to suggest we are looking for the same offender.'.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.