Unsolved Murders

Kenneth Martin

Age: 77

Sex: male

Date: 10 Nov 2008

Place: Davyhulme, Manchester

Eileen Martin and Kenneth Martin were found dead in the garage of their home in Davyhulme, Manchester on 10 November 2008.

The case was considered a murder suicide but it was later claimed in August 2020 that they could have been murdered.

Eileen Martin suffered head injuries and cuts to her head and neck whilst Kenneth Martin was found hanged with his throat cut. Kenneth Martin was noted for having had cancer at the time.

They had been seen by a neighbour a few hours before they were found dead.

However, the police said that they had investigated a pattern of murder suicides by elderly people in the North West, and suggested that there could have been a serial killer responsible for their deaths.

The finding came about after two similar double murders in Wilmslow, Cheshire in 1996 and 1998 were reviewed, those being Howard Ainsworth and Bea Ainsworth, and Donald Ward and Auriel Ward. They were both discovered lying on blood-soaked beds in their nightclothes and were initially thought to have been murder suicides but the use of modern techniques found that they were double murders.

Following the revelation three other similar apparent murder suicides were reconsidered, two in Greater Manchester and one in the Lake District, taking place in 2000, 2008 and 2011.

In August 2020 a Coroner suggested that there might have been a serial killer stalking old people across the North West of England between 1996 and 2011. The suspected cases were those of:

  1. 1996: Howard Ainsworth and Bea Ainsworth, Wilmslow, Cheshire.
  2. 26 November 1998: Donald Ward and Auriel Ward, Lacey Grove, Wilmslow, Cheshire.
  3. 21 February 2000: Michael Higgins and Violet Higgins, Disbury, Manchester.
  4. 10 November 2008: Eileen Martin and Ken Martin, Davyhulme, Manchester.
  5. 18 February 2011:  Stanley Wilson and Peggie Wilson, Kendal, Cumbria.

The report, which was 179 pages long, suggested that a serial killer could have been responsible for at least two of the cases, those being the ones in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

However, relatives dismissed the idea that there had been a serial killer at large, stating that they thought that the cases were murder suicides.

Kenneth Martin's daughter said that she spoke to Kenneth Martin the day before he died and said that he told her that he couldn't cope and their son-in-law said that he was certain that it was a case of murder suicide. He said, 'Ken had been struggling for a few years. He just crumbled under the pressure. He must have done it on the spur of the moment. We know Ken was going downhill. He was a proud man and would not take any help from anybody. We suggested putting Eileen in a home and he just refused. I think he just crumbled under the pressure'.

At the time of the 1996 and 1998 cases, the Coroner for Cheshire at the time said that they didn't think that the cases felt right and another Coroner later challenged the murder suicide findings and in the 179 page report cited a number of inconsistent factors in the evidence and called on the National Crime Agency and Interpol to conduct an urgent review of the cases.

The Coroner said, 'We could potentially have a serial killer in our midst. There needs to be a proper review of these cases and others which carry similar hallmarks'.

A cold case police forensic investigator said, 'I would be looking at the same offender involved in both cases as a very real possibility', however, he added that he was not certain.

The report noted that in all the cases the husbands appeared to have stabbed their wives and hit them on the head before taking their own lives.

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