The disappearance of Linda Millard

Is this case linked to gangland murders

Lolly True crime
6 min readMar 23, 2023

This is one of Avon and Somerset Police forces’ longest-running missing person cases. There is however a police intelligence report that seems to indicate a link between the young mother’s disappearance to a notorious gangland slaying, known as the Rettendon murders.

48-year-old Linda Millard was from Swanage in Dorset and had been staying with some friends in the Bristol area of the UK when she disappeared on March 1st 1996. She had last been seen by her friends at around 9.30 am and was reported missing at 10 pm on the same day.

Her car was found parked on a cliff top at Battery Point, Portishead near Bristol with her shoes and purse in the boot of her white Rover Metro car. Although at first look this may look like a suicide, even from the outset Avon & Somerset Police said that they could not rule out foul play.

Linda’s family still say that they remain as desperate for answers as they always have been. In a recent statement, they said “Not a day goes by without us questioning what happened to mum”.

In more recent times, a police report has come to light that suggests that there may be a serious link to a famous crime, The Rettendon Murders.

According to a police report, Linda had left her partner after a strange incident on 7 December 1995. The couple had been watching the evening news on TV the day after Craig Rolfe, Tony Tucker and Pat Tate, a gang of drug dealers known as ‘the Essex boys’, were murdered in Rettendon, close to Chelmsford.

The report says that when the news item finished, the couple’s home phone started to ring and Linda said that she was locked out of the lounge of her own home for four hours while her partner, whom we are not able to name for legal reasons, took various telephone calls.

Linda believed that her partner, who was originally from Essex was involved in funding drugs, counterfeit perfume and porn videos. She feared that he may have had some knowledge or even involvement in the Rettendon killings. She was so upset and worried by this that she left him.

Linda went to stay with other friends in Portishead and had dinner with her friend, Jo Hook on the evening before she disappeared, Before Linda arrived Jo’s dad explained to the family that “Linda needed to leave where she was and she was coming to stay with them while working out what she was going to do with her future.”

The group had a pleasant meal and evening together, Linda is reported to have seemed her usual self, happy and pleased to be with her friends. Jo and her mum Patricia had been friends with Linda for a long time so they had a good catch-up, little did the Hook family realise that that evening would be the last that they would share with Linda.

Jo Hook who despite being one of the last people to see Linda has never been questioned by police

When Linda’s car was found on the headland at Battery Point, Portishead, Avon & Somerset Police quickly decided that Linda must have committed suicide but, Jo’s father and stepmother never believed that theory and instantly thought something was suspicious.

Patricia said “suicide is highly unlikely, just not possible. She was not suicidal. There was no suicide note, she just went missing.” Both Patricia and Richard Hook were interviewed by the police as witnesses and potential suspects but Jo, who was 19 at the time of the disappearance was never spoken to.

Jo says that she remembers conversations with her stepmother, Patricia in which she was told how in February 1996, Linda had found guns and pornographic videos belonging to her partner, It was from that discovery that Linda believed that her partner may have had a lot more knowledge of the deaths of the three-drug dealing gangsters killed in the Rettendon murders.

According to more recent police reports, Linda Millard said that her partner was involved in the funding of illegal drugs, counterfeit perfumes and pornography. She was so upset and disgusted by what she had discovered she knew that she simply had to get away from him and contacted her friend Patricia.

The police report indicates that Linda’s ex-partner was originally from Essex and had four of five houses each valued at more than half a million pounds yet he had no obvious means of income but was often jetting off abroad to Portugal, saying that he was going to “sort out business”. So what sort of “business” was he doing in Portugal? Drugs, pornography, we may never know.

It is believed that Linda’s ex-partner may well have found out where she was on February 28th and just two days later she vanished without a trace, so this almost certainly rules out suicide,

Avon & Somerset Police said: “We’re treating Linda Millard’s disappearance as a missing person inquiry however, we continue to keep an open mind about the circumstances of her disappearance and we cannot rule out foul play.

“The case has never been closed and several reviews have taken place in the time since the original investigation, with the most recent being carried out last year.

“As with all unsolved investigations, any new information will be assessed and if new lines of enquiry are identified they will be explored.”

The strange thing is that when it comes to anyone that may have been connected to the Rettendon murders, the police seem to grow deaf or blind and the men who were convicted of the murder, Jack Arthur Whomes and Michael John Steele remain with their names not cleared of the murders.

The Rettendon Murders — A brief overview

On December 6th 1995 three drug dealers, Tony Tucker aged 38, Patrick Tate aged 37 and Craig Rolfe aged 26 were shot dead in a black Range Rover in a farm track gateway in the village of Rettendon near Chelmsford, Essex UK. Their bodies were discovered by a local farmer Peter Theobald and his mate Ken Jiggins.

It is believed that there may be a possible connection between the murders and the death of 18-year-old Leah Betts who died after taking the drug MDMA followed by 7 litres of water in just over an hour and failed to urinate due to the effects of the drug in November 1995.

Was Linda’s ex-partner connected to the murder and ultimately the drug dealing that killed Leah Betts? Had Linda discovered things that he could not risk her talking about? It certainly seems likely that whatever Linda knew, her then-partner was not prepared to risk her telling the police or indeed anyone else,

Whatever happened, Linda’s family that is left behind deserve to know what happened to her and the men who may have been wrongly convicted of the Rettendon Murders need their names cleared and those that were responsible for the killings need to be dealt with.

I will leave it there and bring you another case very soon, Until then please leave me a comment below or get in touch via email or social media.

Don’t forget to Buy Me a Coffee

Email me:

Email my team:

Find me on social media:






Lolly True crime

Lolly’s True Crime World cold case review specialists, researchers, and Unsolved crime investigation is our passion. Buy me a coffee