Unsolved Murder, Thirty-One Years on
A mother who asked her neighbour to watch her six-year-old son whilst she popped out in 1991, was found slumped over the front seats of her Ford Cortina with her throat slashed open.
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42-year-old Veronica Anderson who was known as Vera was a local businesswoman who told her neighbour that she “would not be long” and was never seen alive again.
Vera received a telephone call a few minutes before she left her home (around 10.10 pm)in Hadfield Close, Widnes then set off without telling anyone where she was going or who she was planning to meet.
Vera was found dead at approximately 3 am in the very early hours of August 25th 1991 on land just off Tannery Lane, Penketh, Warrington, UK. There appears to be no motive for the killing and no one has ever been charged with the murder.
There have been witness reports of a woman very similar to Vera who was talking to a male in the Crown and Cushion pub in Penketh between 10.30 pm to 11 pm on the night of 24th August and it was believed that she may well have left the pub with him. An e-fit of the male was issued by police but the case remained cold for over 30 years.
A male looking out for car thieves was the one to make the pretty horrible discovery. He was investigated by police but was completely cleared of any kind of involvement in the killing.
The Home Office pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination said that the time of death was estimated as between 11.30 pm and 2.30 am. A bit of a wide spectrum of time but obviously in 1991 pathologists did not have access to the technology that they do today. The pathologist said that due to the very severe wounds to Vera’s neck she most likely died instantly.
In March of 2022 news suddenly broke of an arrest of a couple, the male is 71 years old and the female is 61. Cheshire Police said that they had arrested the man from Warrington and the woman from Widnes. The couple were questioned at length and released on bail pending further investigation. As far as I am able to ascertain, neither of the couple have been charged with any crime but, they remain subject to police bail.
No murder weapon has ever been recovered and it seems highly unlikely that there would be such a discovery now. The only items recovered from the murder scene that seems to relate to Vera’s killing were a glove which had her blood on it and a length of cord which had been dropped in Tannery Lane.
Speaking on the 31st anniversary of her death in August 2022, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Waller told The Liverpool Echo: “A lot has changed in the last 31 years however for Vera’s family, the time has stood still. No matter how many years pass, Vera’s death continues to have an impact on them all”.
It seems likely that whoever called Vera at home on that fateful night was probably her killer. Her daughter, Lorraine Anderson, who was 19 at the time said that it was not normal for her mother to go out at night and she must have genuinely believed that she would only be gone for a few minutes as she even left the TV on.
Loraine told the Liverpool Echo that her mum was a very good mother and a fun-loving woman.
I will keep a close eye on this case and will bring updates if and when they come through. I am guessing that the couple who were arrested will have to be dealt with quite soon, one way or another. I am not sure of the legal position so far as to how long they can be kept on bail without a decision, that would have to be a matter for the police and Crown Prosecutors. The only thing is, the longer time goes on the less likely it seems that the police have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with murder.
If you have any information at all on this cold case then please contact Cheshire Police on 101 and quote incident number 0709373610 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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