Saturday, 10 August 2013

Leanne Tiernan- Victim of a Sick Bastard

The abduction and murder of 16 year old Leanne Tiernan by a man suspected of being a serial killer led to a massive manhunt, solved by very diligent and patient Police work.  It was 26th November 2000 and Leanne Tiernan had been out shopping with her friend Sarah Whitehouse.  They caught a bus back to Bramley, getting off near Sarah`s home and Leanne made her way to her home.  In a spot known as Houghley Gill, she was attacked and abducted by John Taylor, who forced her back to his home, where she was brutally assaulted and strangled.  She was reported missing by her mother and a huge manhunt was led by Detective Superintendent Chris Gregg.  A reconstruction was cried out with Leanne`s elder sister and Sarah Whitehouse recreating their movements that day.  No leads were generated, though somebody reported hearing a stifled scream.

    The distraught family made public appeals for anybody with information to come forward.  Meanwhile, Police carried out extensive house to house enquiries, and the search utilised dog patrols, mounted officers, air support and underwater units.  But to no avail.  The case dragged on.  It was 20th August 2001, that a dog walker, going through a wooded area known as Lindley Wood, came across a shallow grave.  He had found Leanne, wrapped in a floral patterned duvet.  A retired couple came forward to say that they had seen a man carrying a floral patterned bundle into the woods.  Leanne had been wrapped in green bin liners, tied with twine.  She had a black bin liner around her head, a dog collar tightly wound around her neck, along with cable ties and a scarf.  Her funeral was held 28th September at Hill Top Cemetery.  DS Gregg vowed to catch the killer.

    Police heard that a man known as John Taylor liked to hunt small animals in Lindley Wood,and so became a person of interest.  Dog hairs were found on Leanne, and indeed the hair was examined by a forensic team at a university in Texas and they obtained a partial DNA profile of the dog, but the dog owned by Taylor was dead.  Hair was also found in the scarf which needed an extreme DNA test to produce a profile.  It was matched to Taylor.  Taylor was arrested on 16th October 2001.  His home on Cockshott Drive was sealed off and his garden dug up, where many bones of animals were found.  The dog collar was traced from manufacturers to the shop, to Taylor buying it.  Nylon fibres were found on nails where a carpet had lain.  Fibres matching these found on Leanne.  The cable ties were the sort used by Parcelforce.  Taylor worked for Parcelforce.  Former girlfriends told Police that Taylor was into sado-masochistic sex, trawled adverts for women, and travelled to meet them.  He had been married previously with two children.

    In 2002, Taylor was charged with two sex attacks in 1988. One was on a 32 year old woman in the same area he snatched Leanne, Houghley Gill.  The other was a woman of 21 in her Bramley home.  Taylor is suspected of four other murders.  Yvonne Fitt, a Bradford prostitute went missing in 199.  Her body was found in Lindley Wood, the same place he put Leanne. Lindsey Jo Rimer, a girl from Hebden Bridge in 1994, Deborah Wood in 1996, and Rebecca Hall in Bradford in 2001.