Unsolved Murders

Terry Gooderham

Age: 39

Sex: male

Date: 22 Dec 1989

Place: Lodge Road, Upshire, Epping Forest, Essex

Source: www.scribd.com

Terry Gooderham and Maxine Arnold were shot in a Mercedes Benz car in Epping Forest.

It was thought that they had been lured there and executed, but it was not known why.

Their bodies were found on 23 December 1989 in a part of Epping Forest which was known as a favourite haunt for courting couples. It was noted that the spot where they were found was known as 'Lovers' lane', and was in a thickly wooded part of the wood, several hundred yards from any houses. The police said that they were puzzled as to why they had gone there, noting that they had a flat and that it was not as though they had nowhere to go. The police later appealed for other courting couples that had been in the area that night to come forward.

They had been both shot in the head from behind and the police said that they thought that they had both been shot from inside the car by someone in the rear seats. The police said that they thought that Terry Gooderham had been shot first as Maxine Arnold had defensive injuries to her hands as though she had tried to protect herself with them.

Terry Gooderham and Maxine Arnold had left Maxine Arnold's flat in Butterfields, Shernhall Road, Walthanstow in East London at about 6.50pm and had travelled to Epping Forest in Terry Gooderham's black Mercedes 190E saloon car where they were later found dead at about 3.50am by a routine police patrol car. When they were found the engine was still running and the lights were on.

It was thought that Terry Gooderham and Maxine Arnold had been at home at the flat in Shernhall Road eating a dinner of sausages and mashed potatoes at about the time they went out and that they had actually been planning to have a night out with certain friends but that they had suddenly rushed out and then ended up in Epping Forest.

A woman who worked with Maxine Arnold said that when she called her at 6.45pm on 22 December 1989, that Maxine Arnold had sounded rushed and that she had told her that she had to take Terry Gooderham somewhere.

It was said that when Maxine Arnold's mother went to her flat that she found the meal of sausages and mashed potatoes still in the lounge and the gas fire and Christmas tree fairy lights still on.

It was also said that Maxine Arnold's black handbag was also still back at the flat as well as Terry Gooderham's wallet and watch.

It was thought that the route they had taken from Walthamstow had been along Epping New Road along which witnesses reported having seen the Mercedes car swerving, and flashing its lights as though to attract attention. The witnesses also reported having seen a man in the back at the time.

It was noted that a witness had said that they had seen the Mercedes car being driven, 'strangely and erratically' between Montrose Motors at Buckhurst Hill and the Wake Arms roundabout between 7.15pm and 7.45pm on the night of 22 December 1989.

Terry Gooderham was described as a wealthy accountant and a pub stock taker and Maxine Arnold had worked for an insurance company.

The police said that they thought that they had gone to meet someone en-route or at the spot where they were found.

The police later noted that Terry Gooderham had also been seeing another woman that Maxine Arnold had known nothing about, although the police noted that she was not a suspect. Terry Gooderham and Maxine Arnold had been together for seven years.

The police said that there was no evidence whatsoever that either of them had been involved in drug dealing and denied newspaper suggestions that they were killed in an argument over a drugs deal.

The police later said that they thought that Terry Gooderham and Maxine Arnold had been kidnapped from Maxine Arnold's flat and forced to drive to Epping Forest where they were both shot in the back of the head with a 12-bore shotgun.

It was later reported that they had been involved with gangsters and that the investigation into their murders had been covered up by corrupt police. The report stated that police at Scotland Yard had the names of four gangland figures as suspects within days of the murders, but that corrupt police had protected them. The newspaper article stated that the police had intelligence to show that three gangsters had carried out the murder with another gangster driving the other car.

It was reported that Terry Gooderham was a pub trade stock-taker and that he had known too much about a scam in which gangsters used menaces to take control of London pubs. It was said that Terry Gooderham had been nervous about his role in the scam and had been on the verge of going to the police about it when he was murdered.

It was said that Maxine Arnold had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A retired detective suggested that Terry Gooderham, who also did accounts, had found something in the course of his work that was so significant that there was a risk that he would go to the police over it and that it was because of that that he was murdered.

Terry Gooderham was divorced and had had two children.


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


see Mirror

see Press Reader

see True Crime Library

see News Shopper

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 30 December 1989

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Friday 29 December 1989

see "Police plea after couple are shot in lovers' lane." Times, 26 Dec. 1989, p. 3. The Times Digital Archive, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/IF0500064029/TTDA?u=rbw_earl&sid=TTDA&xid=cb1d642f. Accessed 13 May 2020.