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Carole Packman's husband could be freed from prison



  • Russell Causley killed his wife Carole Packman in Bournemouth in 1985
  • He claimed she left him and ran away, leaving a note to their daughter
  • Was investigated by police for a separate insurance scam 11 years later
  • Police opened murder case, found him guilty in 1996 without finding body  

By Charlie Moore For Mailonline

Published: 10:38 EST, 17 February 2017 | Updated: 11:00 EST, 17 February 2017

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A convicted killer at the centre of a 30-year murder mystery is being considered for parole despite not admitting what he did with his wife's body.

Russell Causley claimed Carole Packman left him and ran away when she disappeared from their family home in Bournemouth in 1985.

But after being investigated by police for a separate insurance scam 11 years later, Causley was convicted of her murder despite Ms Packman's body never being found.

Russell Causley Russell Causley
Carole Packman Carole Packman

Carole Packman (right) disappeared from her family home in Bournemouth in 1985 and her husband Russell Causley (left) claimed she left him and ran away

The events were the subject of 'a 'Making A Murderer-style' documentary on ITV called The Investigator last summer.

After three decades of anguish, Causley finally 'confessed' to the murder last year when he suggested he set fire to Ms Packman's body before claiming he actually buried her.

Causley, now 72, then retracted his confession altogether and said he was innocent. So after 32 years Ms Packman's family still don't know what happened to her.

Her daughter, Samantha Gillingham, and grandson, Neil Gillingham, have made repeated pleas for their Causley to make a full confession.

But their ongoing agony has been compounded by recent news that a parole hearing will take place in the coming weeks.

They have long campaigned for Causley to remain in prison until he tells them where he disposed of the body of Caroline Packman.

Mr Gillingham said: 'He is playing games and to me it is totally baffling that he is going to get another parole hearing.

Causley (pictured with his daughter) was convicted of Ms Packman's 1985 murder after being investigated by police for a separate insurance scam in 1996 Causley (pictured with his daughter) was convicted of Ms Packman's 1985 murder after being investigated by police for a separate insurance scam in 1996

Causley (pictured with his daughter) was convicted of Ms Packman's 1985 murder after being investigated by police for a separate insurance scam in 1996

Family photo: Carole Packman, Russell Causley and Samantha Gillingham in the 1980s Family photo: Carole Packman, Russell Causley and Samantha Gillingham in the 1980s

Family photo: Carole Packman, Russell Causley and Samantha Gillingham in the 1980s

'It will take months for the result to be announced while my mother and myself are supposed to be just getting on with our everyday lives.

'It is totally draining because it is difficult to think about anything else.

'He plays horrible games and his mindset has not changed since he first went to prison. He seems to have more rights than we do.'

Carole Packman, whose real name is Veronica, disappeared from her home shortly after visiting a solicitor supposedly seeking advice about a divorce.

A TIMELINE OF THE MYSTERY 

1985 Veronica Packman goes missing from her home in Bournemouth

1996 Causley is jailed for two years after trying to fake his own death in insurance scam

1996 Police then re-open case of his wife's murder and Causley is convicted at Winchester Crown Court

2003 His conviction was quashed on appeal

2004 He was found guilty again at a retrial

2015 Causley's daughter Samantha Gillingham begged for him reveal the whereabouts of her mother's body

2017 She receives a letter saying he is subject to a parole review 

 

She apparently left a note for her daughter, then 16, saying she had left and wanted no further contact with the family.

Mrs Gillingham found her mother's clothes, jewellery and Rolex watch still in the bedroom and her favourite red evening dress had been deliberately ripped. 

Former electronics engineer Causley had moved his mistress, Patricia Causley, into their family home under the pretence that she needed somewhere to stay. 

He then changed his surname to the same as his lover by deed poll.  

But 11 years later Causley was jailed for two years after he tried to fake his own death in a boating accident in a million-pound insurance scam for which he was given a two-year prison sentence.

The fraud case prompted police to look into the disappearance of his wife and he was subsequently charged with murder.

The landmark trial at Winchester Crown Court in 1996 saw him become one of the first people in the UK ever to be convicted of murder without a body being found.

Causley's conviction was quashed on appeal in 2003 but he was found guilty again at a retrial in 2004. 

While in prison, Causley confessed to three inmates that he had killed his wife. He is also said to have told one that he gassed her before dissolving her body in acid.

He then made further admissions in August 2014, at which time Mrs Gillingham and her family were given hope that he would tell them everything, in exchange for being moved to a lower-category prison but he remained silent.

Murderer: Russell Causley pictured with his former wife Carol and daughter Samantha Murderer: Russell Causley pictured with his former wife Carol and daughter Samantha

Murderer: Russell Causley pictured with his former wife Carol and daughter Samantha

She has now received a letter from the Probation Service saying: 'I am writing to inform you that the above named offender (Russell Causley) is subject to a further parole review.'

It goes on to say that Causley's probation officer will recommend he remain behind bars at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire.

Speaking about when she begged for her depraved father to reveal the whereabouts of her mother's body, Mrs Gillingham said: 'It is my father who approached us to speak, we responded to listen to what he has to say, only for him to cancel four days before.

'I am asking for help; I need to ask once again if there is anything that someone knows, who has not previously come forward for whatever reason - please rethink on your silence.'   

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