Plea to mystery killer who stabbed mum 50 times in car to confess and end ‘nightmare’
The daughter of murdered businesswoman Penny Bell tonight made an impassioned plea to her mum’s killer to confess – and end her family’s “nightmare”.
For three decades, Lauren Bell and her brother Matthew have lived with the hell of not knowing who stabbed their mum over 50 times while she sat in her car in broad daylight.
Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of what is one of Britain’s most notorious unsolved and Lauren said: “I have lived a nightmare for 30 years.
“Now I have a message for mum’s killer – if you have any conscience, this must be torturing you too and I’m asking you to confess to put my family out of our misery.
“Every day I live with the image of my mum in her last moments, terrified and fighting for her life as you viciously stabbed her without control.
“Your senseless and savage crime has torn our family apart. Two children had to grow up without their mum and not knowing what happ-ened tortures me on a daily basis.
“I can never bring mum back but you can end our misery by confessing so mum can rest in peace and my family is freed from this purgatory.”
Penny’s murder is being reviewed and still baffles detectives despite over 8,000 interviews on file.
She was found slumped over the steering wheel of her prized Jaguar at Gurnell Leisure Centre, in Perivale, West London, on June 6, 1991.
The killer had first lashed out from the passenger seat and later through the driver’s window.
Penny, 43, fought so hard that every one of her manicured fingernails was torn off. There were no signs of sexual assault or robbery.
She was running recruitment firm Coverstaff in Kilburn, north London and enjoying life with husband Alistair, Matthew 11 and Lauren 9, at their luxury home in Denham, Bucks.
On the day of her murder, she was in a hurry, telling builders working on their kitchen she had an appointment, despite it not being in her diary where she noted every one.
After she set off at 9.40am there are a number of possible sightings.
Witnesses reported the car moving erratically with the hazard lights going. Its windscreen wipers were also on despite it not raining.
One claimed to have seen her mouthing “help me”.
Within an hour of leaving she was dead, but wasn’t found until over an hour later, when two passers-by saw the hazards lights.
She had been repeatedly stabbed with a four-inch blade which was never found.
Blood-soaked wallpaper samples were laid on the centre console and a wood block matching her kitchen units was in a footwell.
She is thought to have had on her £8,500 she withdrew days earlier. The money has never been found.
Retired Met Police Officer Brian Edwards headed up the original investigation and says it is the “most baffling case I have ever worked on”.
The former detective superintendent said: “She almost certainly knew her killer. It appeared to have been a clandestine meeting that went horribly wrong, or she was lured to the car park to be murdered.
“For every question we asked, several more were raised.”
“Her blood-soaked killer vanished without trace.”
Lauren agrees Penny “without doubt” knew the killer.
As well as seeking justice she wants the world to know Penny as more than a victim.
“She was a devoted wife and mum,” Lauren said. “She was a trusted and loyal friend. She was gregarious, fun and glamorous.
“The tragedy is she had a loveless childhood, adopted early and left to fend for herself as a 16-year-old.”
She knows all this from others as “the trauma of the murder left me with virtually no memories of my own.”
Lauren has been estranged from her dad since she was 19 “after he asked me to leave because he could ‘no longer do love.”
But she has built her own family.
She said: “I named my daughter Penny after mum and try to live my best life, as she did. But I can never rest until I know who did this.”
Lauren has put up a £20,000 reward for information leading to conviction.