Urgent Appeal for Donations

We need to raise £1,530 in 28 days (before the 1st October), to pay for a forensic report on a series of handwritten pages by Sheila Caffell found at the scene. We believe this is a suicide letter. 
Alternatively log into your account and send your donation to account : tru.jbc@hotmail.com

About the note and the forensic report Jeremy needs

What is it for? 

In 2016 the campaign discovered a handwritten note, which we believe was found by police on the 7th or 8th of August 1985 on the bedside table in Sheila Caffell’s bedroom at White House Farm. A reference for it was entered in the exhibits list but the officer who seized it later failed to include any reference to it in his statement. However, the note re-emerged and was documented as having been given to DCI ‘Taff’ Jones who strongly believed in Jeremy’s innocence. However, under the supervision of another senior officer the note appears to have been filed away as ‘illegible’. Copies of the note were disclosed after the 2002 appeal and came into the hands of official campaigners in 2011.

What is the nature and context of this evidence?

The contents of the letter suggest it was written during the time between Sheila killing her family and waiting for the police to arrive at the farmhouse. We contend that she was “in conversation” with the police as is documented, and didn’t take her own life until police broke down the back door of the farm house. 

Several pages long, the letters are addressed to ‘Mummy’ in reference to Sheila’s natural mother Christine, who is referred to in the letters as her blood relation. Sheila describes her adopted mother June Bamber as ‘Mother.’ Sheila’s telling state of mind shows with a number of angry references to her ex-husband the twin’s father, Colin Caffell who wanted full custody of the children.   

In her own words Sheila indicated that she would be “in the other world,” after the police arrive, and continued with,  “my babys and me we go to our rest.” She also makes reference to ‘us’ [the dead family] being put into a deep trench after the police arrive. Further reference is to “dig down deep and a lot of blood will come out.” 

What we expect the forensic report to tell us 

The peer-reviewed report will identify the writing as Sheila Caffell’s. Once this is complete it is possible that a secondary report by a Forensic Psychologist could be commissioned on the content of the letter. This would shed light on Sheila’s state of mind and will confirm that the thoughts she wrote down strongly indicate that she killed the family and took her own life.  We have received a preliminary overview of the material we provided to a handwriting expert who believes that the material was written in the hand of Sheila Caffell. 

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Supporting evidence and how it helps Jeremy's Appeal

Is this the only material, which can tell us about Sheila’s state of mind that night?

No, there are Sheila’s handwritten song lyrics by Marianne Faithful, which have been signed “Bambi”. These are from the songs Guilt, Brain Drain and Broken English. It is another area we wish experts to look at in the future to further indicate Sheila’s state of mind at the time. This issue is particularly relevant as she changes the lyrics of Broken English from “Could have come through anytime,” to “Put a gun through anytime.”  We also have access to supporting statements from Foster parents who looked after Sheila’s children, Nicholas and Daniel confirming that they had already been fostered, a fact that was kept from the 1986 jury. There are further statements from friends and relatives of Sheila’s expressing their fear that she was a danger to other people, her children and herself. 

How it will help Jeremy’s appeal? 

When the report is complete it will be used as part of a corpus of material for submissions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. This will warrant disclosure of the original handwritten manuscripts under Section 17 of the Criminal Appeals Act. The nature of the evidence will strongly support the contention that Sheila Caffell was suicidal and killed the family whilst in a psychotic episode. We already know Sheila had struggled with mental health problems for many years and after a second stay in a psychiatric hospital she was released under strict and controlled medication, which was not fully administered. The jury did not know of her history of violent outbursts, or that the children had been fostered previously. Neither did they know that social services had reported Sheila’s neglect of the children who had unexplained injuries including burns and falls.

When do we need the money?

We have a time period of twenty-eight days in which to raise the funds to enable the forensic scientist to undertake his full examination and provide us with a written report. The quotation we have is only valid for this length of time and the monies have to be paid prior to the work commencing. If we cannot raise this amount within the time period we will have to begin the whole lengthy process again. 

How much do we need?

The exact amount we need to enable this vital work to be completed, inclusive of VAT is £1,530.

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