Last Halloween a man was at a beer festival in St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. St Andrew’s is a medieval hall, like a large church, right next to the Art School. We had our graduation ceremony there; when the BBC stage Question Time in Norwich that is where they hold it. The beer festival is a popular annual event. While at the festival, the man, who was in his mid-forties, learned, in a chance conversation, that his ex-girlfriend was seeing someone new. This news flipped the man out. He left the medieval hall and went to a local bar to find a telephone directory where he discovered the new boyfriend’s address. The new boyfriend was a sixty-five year-old man called Ken Snell. The ex-girlfriend was called Karen Brown and was thirty-nine.
Having found the address he needed the man, whose name is John Moody, went home to get a hammer and a knife. John Moody lived in a Victorian terraced house five hundred yards from here. He drove about six miles to the south-west side of Norwich, to a suburb where Ken Snell lived in a bungalow. Karen Brown was at the bungalow along with Mr Snell. Moody inflicted more than forty injuries to each of them. They died of these woundings and blows.
I don’t know exactly what he did next, but the case is currently being tried in court in Norwich and it transpires that soon afterwards he texted his current girlfriend and got her to pick him up in a car park of an insurance firm directly across the road from our house, before having her drive him first to her flat where she put his bloodstained clothes on for a wash ‘because she was doing a dark wash anyway,’ then to the beach at Caister. He didn’t say much to her apparently, only that he was in a situation that was very bad. After the visit to the beach (in the cold, and dark) they headed back to Norwich and checked in to a cheap hotel a few miles down the road from here where they drank a couple of bottles of wine before police arrested Moody later in the middle of that same night.
I pass the new girlfriend’s flat and the cheap hotel everyday and now I look at them differently. Each time I look at the car park I think of John Moody waiting to be picked up. Was he pacing or leaning against the building, was he sitting on a post with his chin in his hands, was he lying on the grass verge beside the pavement, looking at the stars? Did he feel better now?
Moody’s girlfriend picked him up a little after nine o’clock; I don’t know why he arranged this rendezvous point, it would only have taken him five more minutes to walk to her place and he had already walked from wherever he’d abandoned his car to get to this car park.
On Halloween last year Stoke City drew 2-2 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, a match I attended. My normal arrival time back home after a match in Stoke is nine-ish. I might even have passed him while he was across the road wondering what on earth he had done, though I have no memory of it.
EDP link here.
* John Moody is pleading diminished responsibility due to a deranged state of mind, though he does not deny the killings; technically he is an alleged murderer.