Date: 26 Mar 1988
Carol Baldwin was stabbed in the back in Lings Wood Park, Northampton on the evening of Saturday 26 March 1988.
She died from internal bleeding after her aorta was punctured by the single stab wound. Her cause of death was given as being due to shock and a massive haemorrhage and nearly two pints of blood were found in her chest cavity.
Her body was found by a group of youths.
A 13-year-old girl was tried for her murder. She had been 12-years-old at the time of the murder and said that she had been elsewhere at the time taking drugs, drinking and having sex. She said that she and a 14-year-old friend had gone off with two 18-year-old boys that they had met earlier in the town centre and had gone to a house in Northampton where they played strip poker and that she then had sex with one of the 18-year-olds. She added that she had sniffed aerosols and had drunk some green liquid that had made her fall over and that she had later watched television and then gone to sleep. She said that they didn't leave the house until 2am the following morning and didn't go to Lings Wood Park.
However, it was said that she had confessed to the murder in a police interview but at her trial said that her confession was untrue. She said that she had become scared after the police refused to believe her repeated denials.
The 13-year-old girl had been in care virtually all her life.
The prosecution said that the 13-year-old girl had attacked Carol Baldwin who was a complete stranger to her after Carol Baldwin had called her a slag. They said that the 13-year-old girl had been sniffing aerosols before the attack. At the girl's trial it was heard that the inhalation of aerosols could have caused decreased awareness and perception.
A knife blade that was later found wedged behind a radiator at a home for girls in council care where the 13-year-old girl had been living was later found and it was said that it could have been the weapon used to have stabbed Carol Baldwin. It was a 4 1/2 inch blade and was found hidden behind the radiator in the children's television room. The handle to the blade was missing, but the police said that forensic scientists who carried out laboratory tests on it had said that when the blade had had a handle that it could have been the one used to kill Carol Baldwin. However, the police noted that without the handle that the blade could easily have caused injury to the hand of the person using it.
However, the 13-year-old girl was cleared by the jury who spent more than seven hours in deliberation.
Shortly after her murder a 17-year-old youth was charged with her murder, but no further action was taken. It was noted that the 17-year-old youth that was charged with Carol Baldwin's murder stood charged at the same time as the 13-year-old girl also stood charged with Carol Baldwin's murder even though there was no known connection between the 17-year-old youth and the 13-year-old girl.
The 17-year-old youth later criticised the police for keeping his clothes following his discharge in mid-May 1988 saying that he had been left with only the clothes that he was standing up in. The police said that releasing his clothes was the responsibility of the Crown Prosecution Services. He had spent nine days in custody. His mother said that the experience had ruined his life.
A 14-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man were also arrested in connection with her murder, but no further action was taken.
Two men were seen wearing uniforms and one of them was traced.
The police said that they were also trying to trace a man in his 60s who regularly walked a golden Labrador dog in the park and two teenage girls who were seen on a nearby footbridge at about the time Carol Baldwin was stabbed.
Carol Baldwin had lived nearby in South Holme Court, Thorplands in Northampton.
She had been walking across a football pitch on her way to a friend's house listening to her father's personal stereo system at the time. It was said that someone had sneaked up behind her and stabbed her. Her father said that he thought that she was catching a bus and said that if he had know that she was walking he would never have let her go.
It was found that Carol Baldwin had kept a secret diary that was found hidden under her pillow which was titled 'Secret Thoughts'. However, the police said that it didn't give them any new leads into her murder. The police said that the diary contained the entries of a typical teenager, going to school, doing homework, going to the dentist, meeting her boyfriend and watching TV. They said that her final entry on 14 March 1988, about a fortnight before she was murdered, was unfinished. The police added that there was nothing in the diary that offered any clues as to who her murderer was.
Following the discovery of her body the police appealed for witnesses, and in particular, anyone that had seen her in Lings Wood Park.
see Mace Archive
see Dundee Courier - Wednesday 06 April 1988
see Dundee Courier - Monday 11 April 1988
see Daily Mirror - Tuesday 29 March 1988
see Liverpool Echo - Friday 25 November 1988
see Dundee Courier - Thursday 31 March 1988
see Sunday Mirror - Sunday 10 April 1988
see Dundee Courier - Thursday 28 April 1988
see Daily Mirror - Monday 23 May 1988
see Dundee Courier - Saturday 19 November 1988
see Dundee Courier - Thursday 01 December 1988
see Daily Mirror - Thursday 21 April 1988