Mystery still surrounds murder of Bedminster mum

Mystery still surrounds the murder of a Bedminster woman 38 years ago.

Shelley Morgan dropped her two children off at school, planning to photograph and sketch in the Leigh Woods area on Monday, June 11, 1984.

She never came home and, tragically, in October of that year her remains were discovered just outside Bristol in a wooded copse off Long Lane on Backwell Hill.

Forensic experts established that Shelley, from Bedminster, had been brutally stabbed and murdered in a sexually motivated attack.

Her clothing and personal belongings were missing, including her expensive and identifiable Olympus OM20 camera.

The missing Olympus OM20 35mm film camera serial number 1032853

Despite exhaustive re-investigations over the decades the identity of Shelley’s killer remains unknown.

The mystery prompted Avon and Somerset Police to appeal for information in 2019 on the 35th anniversary of the murder.

In that appeal police released images of two postcards which they say may have a “significant bearing on their investigation”.

The tear-off postcards are from a calendar sold by the local Bristol Hospice charity in the 1980s or 1990s.

One is of a scene overlooking the River Avon in Bristol, taken from Bower Ashton just below the Clifton Suspension Bridge, while the other is of St Andrew’s Church, from the direction of Backwell Hill.

Postcard showing the river from Bower Ashton, a 'significant' location in the murder of Shelley Morgan
Postcard showing the river from Bower Ashton, a ‘significant’ location in the murder of Shelley Morgan

Both locations are significant as they are linked to the areas where Shelley was heading for on the day she disappeared and where her body was found five months later.

Police were keen to speak to anyone who may have bought this calendar or who kept the tear-off postcards with these specific images, possibly for some time.

That appeal generated a number of important calls from the public, for which police are grateful.

Leads continue to be followed up, but police would particularly like to hear from anyone with information about Shelley’s missing camera and the identity of the killer.

The missing Olympus OM20 35mm film camera serial number 1032853 may have been given or sold on to an innocent purchaser.

Shelley Morgan
Shelley Morgan

Her killer must have had access to a vehicle and may have had links through work or other associations to Bristol and the Backwell area where Shelley’s body was found.

Detective Inspector Andrew Sparks, of the Major Crime Review Team, said: “Shelley’s family will never recover from their loss but we are determined to do everything possible to identify the killer and provide some closure for them.

“I would urge anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward.

“Loyalties and relationships change over time and there may be someone who didn’t feel able to speak to us at the time, but who may be in a position to do so now.”

If you can help, or have information relevant to this investigation, call the Major Crime Review Team on 101 or contact them via their website: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact-us/.

TIMELINE

Monday June 11, 1984

Shelley Morgan drops her two children off at school, planning to photograph and sketch in the Leigh Woods area. She doesn’t return home.

October, 1984

Photo of the scene of Shelley Morgan's death
Photo of the scene of Shelley Morgan’s death

Shelley’s body is discovered in a wooded copse off Long Lane on Backwell Hill. Forensic experts conclude she has been brutally stabbed. Exhaustive murder investigation proceeds.

2019

On the 35th anniversary of the murder, Avon and Somerset Constabulary release images of two postcards they say may have a “significant bearing on their investigation”. The tear-off postcards are from a calendar sold by a Bristol Hospice charity in the 1980s or 1990s.

One is of a scene overlooking the River Avon in Bristol, taken from Bower Ashton just below the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The other is of St Andrew’s Church from the direction of Backwell Hill.

Both locations are significant as they are linked to the areas where Shelley was heading for on the day she disappeared and where her body was found five months later.

2020

Bristol Live reports how a missing camera could unlock the secret of the unsolved case. Police say Shelley’s missing Olympus OM20 35mm film camera, serial number 1032853, may have been given or sold on to an innocent purchaser.

Detectives say her killer must have had access to a vehicle and may have had links through work or other associations to Bristol and the Backwell area where Shelley’s body was found.

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