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The Wadebridge murders

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The scene
Graham and Carol Fisher lived at Fairfield Cottage a nondescript bungalow beside Perch Garage on the A39 a few miles outside Waderbridge in North Cornwall.  They were described as a quiet, pleasant couple.  Although friendly with local people they never allowed anyone to enter their home.
 
On the morning of 6th November 2003 a passing bus driver called the police to the bungalow at around 6.30 am.   On arrival they found a scene of almost unimaginable horror.  One or more assailants had smashed the living room window by throwing a planter through it.  The back door was also smashed. 
 
Mrs Fisher was found dead in the garden with shotgun wounds to her back, and a horribly fractured skull.  Mr Fisher was in the hallway next to an open safe also with shotgun and head wounds.  The living room and hallway were scattered with shotgun pellets. It appeared that Mr Fisher had been shot first and a wounded Mrs Fisher had then been marched around the house to help in a search for something of value. Blood stained fingerprints showed that bedroom drawers had been searched as had the safe.
 
The bloody murder scene served up two as yet unexplained mysteries. Why, if this was a robbery gone wrong as the prosecution suggested, did the supposed robbers leave over 3000 in cash at the scene with over 2000 in plain view in and around the safe that had been searched? The second mystery concerned Graham Fisher's antique guns. Valuable in their own right, the bodies of the guns were left behind but the stocks were found shortly after the murders stuck in a hedge on a country lane a mile or so from the scene.
 
What was the motive?
Why would anyone want to kill the Fishers?  Was the motive hidden in their past?  Something hidden?  Or was it a robbery gone wrong?  If it was a robbery, why was the money not taken and why did the robbers not ransack the garage where highly portable and saleable tools and MOT certificates were available?

 

 

 

The Timing
 
  • Friends of Mr and Mrs Fisher gave evidence of their regular habits, with Mrs Fisher returning to the bungalow from the garage daily at 6.0pm to prepare dinner for Mr Fisher.  He would come home by 7.00 so they could watch Emmerdale Farm together on the TV over dinner 

  • On 5th November, the garage pumps were turned off at 6.30pm.  Both Mr and Mrs Fisher spoke with a friend by phone from 6.31 to 6.50pm.

  • The till was closed at 6.55 pm  

  • Police photographs show that  when this awful incident happened Mrs Fisher had almost finished preparing the evening meal.  There is one plate of food in the oven, which is on a low setting and another uncooked on the draining board.  The door of the microwave is open.  It has two dials, one set to “cook” and the other to “2 minutes”, suggesting that one dish had not yet been heated. 

  • The television was on and places were set in the living room for two  

  • Two reliable witnesses heard loud bangs at around 7pm in the vicinity of Perch Cottage.  There were no fireworks let off at the cottage or nearby. 

  • There was no physical evidence of cause of death but the circumstances above all pointed to about 7pm.