The mysterious deaths and disappearances in Essex that remain …

On Essex Police’s cold cases file are murders, violent crimes and missing person investigations that are still yet to be solved. The cases will not be closed until they are concluded. Essex Police is urging anyone with information that could help them to come forward. Here are four of these unsolved cases.

It said: “We never close a case and where a crime remains unsolved, it is continually reviewed. It's never too late to come forward with information, no matter how small or insignificant you think your information might be. It could be the missing puzzle piece we've been looking for.”

Beverley Brinkley

In 2003, Beverly Brinkley was brought to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, after a vicious attack left her with serious head injuries.

Brinkley, aged 35, had been assaulted by two men in the third floor lobby area of the flats where she lived in The Stow, Harlow, at about 7:45 on Sunday 2 February. She died four days later. Seven people were arrested in connection with Beverley’s death but were released without charge.

Anthony Stammers

Anthony Stammers, who went missing in 2012 Anthony Stammers, who went missing in 2012

On May 27 2012, the day before his grandfather’s funeral, Anthony Stammers left his family home. An hour later he texted his mum asking her to make sure his trousers would be ready for the next day. She has not heard from him since.

It was when he did not arrive at Colchester Crematorium for the service on May 28, his parents reported him missing to police. Despite widespread searches of the town and appeals for information, Anthony has not been located.

Anthony’s dad Rob said: “We really live a sort of dual existence. One the one hand, we know we have to live ‘normal life’; there are things to do and bills to pay and we have two other children who deserve to live their lives to the full. And on the other hand, we know that Anthony is missing and the pain that goes alongside that can rear its head at any time.”

His mum Julie added: “For a long time, one of us always had to be in the house because we couldn’t bear the thought of Anthony coming back and no one being here. You do move on from that and you put other things in place to make sure nothing is missed when you are out.”

The Shakoor Family

The Shakoor family, who were killed in a fire the police are treating as murder The Shakoor family, who were killed in a fire the police are treating as murder

At 1:40am on October 15 2012 the Shakoor family were asleep in their home in Barn Mead, Harlow. At around that time, a fire swept through the downstairs of the house and quickly engulfed the property in flames. A silver Ford Focus was set alight at the same time.

Desperate to raise the alarm and get help for his family, Dr Shakoor managed to jump from an upstairs window. Sadly, his wife Dr Sabah Usmani and five children passed away.

Detectives launched a murder investigation, called Operation Shakespeare, but to date they have been unable to bring those responsible for the fire to justice. Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The deaths of Sabah Usmani and her five children is an absolute tragedy and our thoughts continue to be with her husband, Dr Abdul Shakoor.

“The pain he has experienced in losing his entire family is unimaginable. His grief is compounded by the fact that no-one has been brought to justice for what happened.”

John Palmer

John Palmer, who was shot and killed in his own back garden in 2015 John Palmer, who was shot and killed in his own back garden in 2015

John Palmer, 65, was in his garden burning rubbish when someone entered his garden over the fence and shot him six times. He was able to walk towards his home on Sandpit Lane in South Weald, Brentwood, before collapsing. He was then discovered by relatives who called for help. Mr Palmer died from his injuries.

A hole found in the garden fence of Mr Palmer’s rural home suggests the killer may have been watching him in the days leading up to his murder on Wednesday June 24 2015. Despite the determined efforts of detectives, Mr Palmer’s murderer remains at large and his family have been left without justice.

If you have any information in relation to these cases, then please get in contact with Essex Police’s Cold Case Team. You can let them know by submitting a report online or by using their Live Chat service. Alternatively, you can call them on 101. If you would like to make an anonymous report you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers, by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.

You can find more information about the cases here[2].


  1. ^ Essex women desperate to find sister Jill Brown who hasn't been seen for 45 years (
  2. ^ here (