I recently fell into the black hole of conspiracy videos on YouTube where I came across Rich Hall's series about the Dando case. I've not seen the latest BBC one yet. I remember it at the time and initially thought it was a crazy stalker who was obsessed with her but this was before I found out about any potential revenge from Serbian/Kosovan hitmen or that she was about to expose a paedophile ring. The fact she wasn't even living at her home in Fulham that much at the time makes it baffling- it must've been someone who knew she would just be stopping by briefly and had made a shopping detour on the way? I find it difficult to believe her fiance and friends had anything to do with it though, it doesn't make sense. Like many of these cases, I guess we'll never know what really happened.
I regret that to date, I don't buy the conspiracy theories.
Returning to the successful appellant:
1. He lived within 500 yards of the murder scene.
2. There was no available CCTV footage indicating JD was followed by vehicle/bike to her house, which you might have expected with a professional hitman
3. A hitman is more likely to have used a silencer and/or picked up the cartridge afterwards
4. The tentative conclusion is that therefore, it was more likely to have been a random attack by a stranger.
5. The appellant was not the brightest person, but he had a certain cunning. A psychiatrist at his trial testified the appellant was more competent than tests suggested and was capable of lying.
6. The appellant had a worrying history of socially deviant behaviour. Including a conviction for attempted rape. After his flat was searched a year after the murder, he was discovered to have stalked and taken dozens of photos of women without their consent.
7. He had been caught in the 80s near Kensinton Palace carrying a coil of rope and a knife, hoping to see Princess Diana
8. The police search uncovered a photo of him dressed as an SAS trooper holding a starting pistol.
9. The police search also found he had collected articles on other female celebrities
10. On the day of the murder, a witness had seen him in JD's street at approx 7am.
11. At the time of the murder, JD was living with her fiance and only returned to her house intermittently. There was no regular pattern upon which a hitman could plan, landing weight to a random attack.
12. The way in which JD's body was found at her front door, with keys in her hand, suggests she was taken by surprise.
All this is circumstantial, but together with the gunshot particle in his coat, resulted initially in a conviction. When the gunshot evidence was excluded at the retrial, the case fell away.
Scottish law has a third verdict of not proven, Englsh law does not.