Guilty or Not Guilty
Examining the conviction of Warren Slaney, aka The Hot Dog Murderer, part one.
On October 10th 1990 two men, Gary Thompson and John Weston were gunned down in Oadby, Leicestershire. The killings took place outside the home of Gary and Mavis Thompson in Glen Road. The police say that the two murder victims, along with Warren Slaney were involved in an armed robbery that “backfired”.
Warren Slaney was arrested and charged with the murders of Thompson and Weston and in 1992 was sentenced to a double life sentence, but it seems that, in fact, Slaney was innocent and to this day continues to maintain his innocence.
Gary Thompson owned a string of hot dog/fast-food vans, hence the press nickname for the case, The “Hot Dog” murders.
The killer also stole approximately £60,000 and left Thompson & Weston dying from severe gunshot wounds. Warren Slaney claimed that he was at a family party at the time of the shooting and remained there until 4.30 am. Nine witnesses made statements to clarify this story but, despite the statements, Warren was charged with murder and held in custody until trial.
Now, one thing that concerns me is that Slaney had apparently appeared in court just two weeks prior to the murders charged with an armed robbery at a petrol station. It is said that the petrol station cashier was too afraid to testify and the case collapsed. I have not yet been able to confirm the details of that trial.
Obviously, due to the fact that the trial collapsed and Warren was never convicted, we cannot suggest that the alleged criminal behaviour led to the double murders of Weston and Thompson.
Reasons for a claim of innocence:
The physical description of the killer did not match that of Warren Slaney:
There were two eyewitnesses;
Witness one’s statement said that both perpetrators were over 6 feet tall and of similar build to one of the victims, Gary Thompson, approximately 21 stone.
Witness two’s statement described one of the killers as at least 6 feet — 6 feet 1 inch tall, heavily built, with a thick moustache, a ponytail and wearing a hat.
Mr Slaney is 5 feet 8 inches tall, always had his hair short, and at the time of the murders, he weighed between 9.5 -10 stone. Obviously, neither of the eyewitness descriptions matches that of Warren.
So much was withheld at trial including the statement from the man who admitted disposing of the weapon when he said that Warren did not have anything to do with the murders. Interestingly, despite the male being crucial to the outcome of the trial, the witness was never called nor was the statement supplied to the court. This is a blatant “abuse of process”.
Abuse of process-
A case might form an abuse of process where
- The defendant does not receive a fair trial and/or
- It would be unfair or unjust for the defendant to be tried without certain evidence admitted.
Any evidence which is linked to a case must not be tampered with or damaged in any way. Disposing of evidence means completely getting rid of something which is vital to solving the case (eg, throwing it away). Fabricating evidence involves altering or falsifying evidence in the hope of misleading the court.
There is a great deal more to this story and my enquiries are underway. I will bring further on this as soon as I have details. It is fair to say that we must bring a balanced review. I am awaiting communication with The Innocence Project of Winchester University, which I am hopeful will be able to give a broader picture of this suspected miscarriage of justice.
In the meantime, if anyone reading this has any information or thoughts on this case, please get in touch. Do you maybe recall the case? Were you in Oadby, Leicestershire on October 10th 1990? Maybe you worked in the food industry, such as the hot dog sellers did?
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