Family Home is a Crime Scene

Further trauma is added when the family home is a crime scene; in this case White House Farm was not Jeremy’s main residence. Nevertheless, it was the home in which he grew up in and the place where he worked and his family lived. Moreover, the killings were carried out by his sister which might have added to the sense of conflict and disparity surrounding the emotions felt at the scene. The police carried out a limited amount of forensics and White House Farm was not released from police care until Friday 9th August 1985.

The place Jeremy thought of as the roots of his life had been completely destroyed in what must have caused considerable distress.[1] Police had carried out the bare essentials of cleaning, leaving blood splashes on the windows and around the sink.[2] Further cleaning was not offered to Jeremy but his cousin Ann Eaton and the Bamber family cleaner Jean Bouttell, later cleaned the premises in Jeremy’s absence.[3] There was also a stream of visitors to Jeremy’s house at Goldhanger and Jeremy had little time alone to reflect on the tragedy in the immediate aftermath.[4] Concerned friends and family often won't want to leave the victim alone but to encourage them to join them in social activities. It wasn’t until many weeks after the tragedy that Jeremy had asked both Jean Bouttell and Barbara Wilson to throw out hoards of magazines and paperwork which had cluttered the White House Farm before the tragedies.[5]

Jeremy had been traumatized at his first visit inside White House Farm and was extremely reticent to enter the master bedroom where the bodies of both his mother and sister were found. He did not receive any counselling or professional psychological treatment to cope with this trauma. Instead, his cousin Ann Eaton who speaks scathingly of him in her statements regarding his fear of the scene, viewed his suffering with anger and suspicion. She also had no idea of what impact the trauma had on Jeremy himself.[6]

[1] ITA Pg. 18, detail on access to the premises

[2] 26.06.86, DI Cook, Officer’s report on splashes to the window during police cleaning of WHF.

[3] Collective statements Ann Eaton and Jean Bouttell 1985-86.

[4] ITA.Pg. 26 impact on home life, coping with removing belongings.

[5] Collective statements of Jean Bouttell and Barbara Wilson 1985-6.

[6] ITA. Pg. 38, and page 31 support now offered by Victim Support to help people return to their family home after homicide. Ann Eaton Statements collectively 1985-86.