Woman’s frenzied sex killer may strike again, warn detectives

Woman’s frenzied sex killer may strike again, warn detectives

By Jillian Ward

August 1997

A KILLER  who sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled a Sheffield mother before dumping her body in a woodland brook may strike again, fear police.

Detectives investigating the death of Patricia Grainger, 25, says the victim, who had the mental age of 10, was subjected to a frenzied attack.

Her body was found by children playing on open land in the Parson Cross area of the city, a mile from the home she shared with her parents and five-year-old son.

Residents in the area yesterday were in a state of shock about the brutality of the killing and its closeness to their homes.

Miss Grainger was found lying in water concealed beneath an abandoned double bed just 50 yards from blocks of council flats which overlook the shallow wooded cutting on Colley Crescent.

Many of the women on the estated said they were now to frightended to go out alone at night and children have been banned from playing along Hartley Brook.

Det Supt Derek Deaking, leading the murder inquiry, said:”We cannot rule out the fact this killer could strike again. He may still be in the area.

It is vital we bring this inquiry to a swift conclusion before anything else ends in such tragic circumstances.

“To some extent, the fact that Pat had the mental age of a 10-year-old makes the crime even more appalling. It is sad that such a vulnerable young lady has been the subject of such a savage attack, It is clear that she could not possibly have been a threat to anyone.”

Supt Deakin said Miss Grainger was found wearing a skirt, blouse, cardigan and trainers which had been rearranged.

A post mortem carried out by a Home Office pathologist revealed she had been strangled, stabbed and subjected to a sexual assault but that a fuller examination would be needed to establish the exact cause of death.

A team of 80 officers, including South Yorkshire’s Under-water Search Unit, are searching the area for vital clues and the murder weapon.

Police believe she may have been in the water for more than 24 hours when two teenage boys from the area made the grisly discovery on Sunday teatime.

Supt Deaking said: “We cannot be sure whether she was attacked at the scene or dumped there later.

We do believe the bed was deliverately used to conceal the body.”

Miss Grainger lived with her son Danny, mother Harmina and stepfather Roy Wright on Buchanan Road at Parson Cross.

She had been missing from her home since last Monday but it was not reported to police until later in the week because she often visited friends and stayed away from home.

The last sighting of her was on Tuesday, when she was seen in the area where her body was discovered.

Police say they are anxious to talk to a number of people including former boyfriends, who may be able to peice together her last movements.

Her sister Sharon, 22, Said: “Pat always had a smile on her face and would do anything for anyone. Although she had a mental age of a child, She loved little Danny and brought him up with the help of my mum.”

Margaret Smith, 50 a teacher who lives close to where the body was discovered, said: “The thought that someone could be lurking about who is capable of doing something like this is terrifying.”

A neighbour, Carrie Hill, 38, who has four daughters, said she had insisted all of them remained at home.

“What has happened to that poor woman sent a shiver down my spine. I feel none of us can go out at night until this man is caught.”


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