Unsolved Murders

John Sabine

Age: 72

Sex: male

Date: 1 Feb 1997

Place: Gwaunmiskin Road, Trem-Y-Cwm, Beddau, Rhondda Cynon Taff

John Sabine vanished in 1997 and his remains were found in 2015.

His body was found wrapped up in more than 50 layers of sheeting and plastic bags.

The body was mummified and dressed in Marks and Spencer pyjamas and tied up with green string.

His post-mortem revealed that he had been drinking before his death but had been below the drink driving limit.

His body was identified by the hip replacement surgery that he had had in the 1990s and also by DNA testing.

It was thought that his wife had killed him with a ornamental frog which she had hit him on the head with. It was said that his head injuries were consistent with assault. The police said that his wife was the main suspect in his murder.

His remains were found after his wife died wrapped up in plastic in a communal rubbish area near their flat. It was thought that he had been wrapped up in a car cover and hidden beneath the bed and later moved into her garden shed but that his wife had moved his body to the communal area once she realised that she was dying from cancer. It was said that she had told a neighbour that the package contained a medical skeleton from her days as a trainee nurse.

John Sabine's wife died from cancer on 30 October 2015.

John Sabine's body was found by a Police Community Support Officer who said that when he saw it he found that he smelt a strong rotting smell, like from a compost bin.

John Sabine died from a single blow to the head. His inquest stated that he died from 'blunt force trauma to the head'.

It was said that his wife had confessed to murdering him saying that she had hit him on the head with an ornamental stone frog that used to be kept by the bed. A friend had called her after not speaking for some years and said, 'I wondered what had happened to you both. I would have thought by now that one of you would have killed the other', to which his wife was alleged to have said, 'It's funny you should say that. I've killed him. I've battered him with a stone frog which was at the side of the bed. He was just driving me mad. Every night he would get into bed crying and weeping, saying you don't fancy me'.

The woman said that she thought John Sabine's wife had been joking and said that after she told her that that she would joke saying, 'Watch out or I’ll frog you'.

John Sabine had never been reported as missing and at the time his remains were found he was still on the electoral role and listed as living at the flat.

The post-mortem stated that features from the stone frog which was later found, the projecting eye and hind leg, matched up with fractures in John Sabine's skull. The pathologist stated, 'A single blow from this item could have accounted for all the skull fractures. They are severe injuries and can easily account for death. The frog weighed 1.1kg and was 14 centimetres long. The shape of the frog matched the fractures'.

John Sabine and his wife were married in 1960 and had emigrated to New Zealand where they had had five children, but it was said that had been involved in some frauds and had abandoned their children to care in New Zealand and returned to England. It was also said that when they later returned to England John Sabine's wife had left him and moved into a hostel which was being used to house criminals where she began a relationship with a criminal. It was said that John Sabine later moved in with his wife and her new partner, but that later John Sabine and his wife moved to Wales together in 1997. It was said that the criminal element had excited John Sabine's wife and that she had harboured the criminal that she had been involved with at her home after he turned up with a bloodstained machete with which he said he had just cut off someone’s fingers with after they didn't give him his share from a robbery.

The police said that they were interested in hearing from anyone that had socialised with John Sabine and his wife during the 1996-1997 period.

The executor of John Sabine's wife's will, a pastor, said that John Sabine's wife had 'spun a myth about her life' and that, 'She had stories of winning a modelling contract in Australia, a glamorous singing career and tales of her husband's affairs'.

Another friend said that John Sabine's wife had told her that John Sabine had been abusive and was a womaniser.

A policeman who knew her said that John Sabine's wife was 'likeable, but not someone I’d trust' and said that she came across as 'clearly a very strong character'. He said that she also told her that John Sabine was 'a b******'.

It was also said that John Sabine's wife had had a conversation with her hairdresser before she died during which she had told her that she was going to be famous after she died and that when the hairdresser asked why she had told her, 'Because of the body in the bag'.

The inquest into John Sabine's death returned a verdict of unlawful death'.

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