Thursday, 1 May 2014

Unsolved Bradford Murders PT2

This second part about local unsolved murders looks at two more.  The first concerned the murder of a missing schoolgirl, Nobantu Zani, known to her friends as Mandy.  Originally from South Africa, Mandy attended Buttershaw Upper School, but had a problem with truancy.  She preferred to hang out around cafes and amusement arcades in Bradford`s red light area.  Her family home was in the Great Horton district, but the 15 year old was known to head for the Manningham area.  She was last seen on 11th September 1995, but then vanished.  Tragically, her body was discovered on Harden Moor, Bingley, on September 30th, at an ancient beauty spot known as Druids Altar.  This place goes back to the Druids, and before people start thinking of connections to ancient rites, please don`t.  Mandy had been strangled with her own scarf, then covered with branches, and it was believed by Police that she had lain there for two weeks.  How does she get from Manningham to up a hillside?  A scenario could be that a predator spotted the schoolgirl, instantly knowing she has gone awol, and could have persuaded her to go to this place, and either with murder in mind, or sexual advances rejected, then exploding with violence.  Will we ever know?  

    As an aside, I have heard tales of people dancing around fires in this general area, but as it is Bingley and Baildon, and both are monied areas, it sounds more like bored middle class people trying to liven up their lives.  What would be the reaction of these clowns if somebody dressed up as the devil and walked out of the trees towards them?

    The second case is actually the longest unsolved murder, dating back to 1975.  The victim was a 55 year old divorcee Renee McGowan, who was found strangled in her high rise flat in Evans Towers, off Manchester Road, the main road that leads into the town centre.  She was murdered on July 23rd 1975.  Miss McGowan had a firmly secured door and a peephole so she could see who was at the door.  She was extremely careful about who she let in, and even friends had to give a specific knock, for her to let them in.  This says that the killer knew her or had found out about the way she conducted her security.  Miss McGowan was found with her hands tied behind her back.  She was also a member of a lonely hearts club, and was thought to have been preparing to settle down with somebody she had met.  This prompted a motive of jealousy.  This is an extreme way to react to rejection, but you can never tell with the human mind.  Quite probably, the killer will be deceased now giving the age of Miss McGowan at the time.  Tragic.