Donation Fund Breaks Target!
In a time frame of 28 days we asked for your help in bolstering our funds and ensuring that we raised £1,530.00. This was to enable us to commission a forensic report on photocopies of handwritten notes, which we believe were found on the bedside table of Sheila Caffell after she had carried out the killings. As you know because of the provenance and content of these notes we believe that they were suicide letters written by Sheila’s hand. Owing to non-disclosure issues we need this forensic report to warrant disclosure of the original copies from Essex Police via the Criminal Cases Review Commission, (CCRC).
The 28-day period is now over and I’m delighted to say that you the supporters and campaigners raised an incredible £2,531. This figure includes donators who already give regular amounts each month into our bank account. It was a phenomenal effort and we can’t tell you how inspired and heartened we are. This money will be used not only for the ‘suicide letters’ but will also be put to good use in our expanding wish list of forensic needs.
Our aim is to leave no stone unturned and no avenue unexplored in order to build up a body of unchallengeable forensic expert reports in preparation of submissions to the CCRC. And so, since this earlier campaign, our efforts have now turned to the opportunity we have been afforded via the Crowd Justice platform and we now have 30 days to raise £4,000. This is an all or nothing deal, if we don’t raise the money in 30 days we get nothing.
Please keep spreading the word on social media, use the hash tag #BamberAid and give as much as you are able. Right now we are a quarter of the way there!
Thank you once again for all your continuing support and generosity.
Trudi Benjamin & The Campaign Team
“Thanks very much to everyone who made contributions to the campaign fund for forensic work on the ‘Sheila notes.’ Your generosity and support reminds me that I’m not alone, and that there are still many people in the world who care about seeing justice done.”
Sheila Note Funding Campaign now closed
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.
Go to our home page here
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.