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  1. ITV Report

Police investigate claims linking Claudia Lawrence and murderer Christopher Halliwell

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Police in Wiltshire have confirmed that they have been in contact with detectives in North Yorkshire to investigate claims there are links between a serial killer from Swindon and the missing York Chef Claudia Lawrence.

It follows allegations made by a former detective, about the murderer Christopher Halliwell who is serving life imprisonment for the killings of two women.

Serial killer Christopher Halliwell

While both forces have now looked into the claims, they say there is nothing to indicate a link at this time, describing them as 'speculative'.

The news come comes as Claudia's mother Joan travelled to Swindon meet Karen Edwards, whose daughter Becky was one of Halliwell's victims.

Joan Lawrence met Becky Godden's mother in Swindon Credit: ITV News

In response, Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigation Team, said:

“I fully understand why Claudia Lawrence’s mum, Joan, has had her expectations and anxieties raised by recent media interviews given by ex-Wiltshire Police Detective Superintendent, Steve Fulcher, regarding alleged links between convicted murderer Christopher Halliwell and Claudia’s disappearance.

“To be clear, none of the apparent links and information Mr Fulcher has spoken about since his retirement, had previously been shared by him with our incident room.

During a recent personal visit along with a family liaison officer, I reassured Mrs Lawrence that we assess the links to be speculative at best, and that there remains no known link between Halliwell and Claudia.

I provided the necessary detail to explain our findings and the information we have gathered for us to be as satisfied as far as possible that Halliwell is not a suspect in her daughter’s disappearance.

Both incident rooms in North Yorkshire and Wiltshire were in touch in 2009, and also during the recent review of the Claudia Lawrence investigation. I have had personal contact with the current and previous senior investigating officers at Wiltshire Police over the last 18 months, and detectives from our incident room have reviewed all the information provided by Wiltshire Police and worked in their incident room.

Of course, we will continue to review any information provided about the Claudia Lawrence case and we will update the family with anything significant or relevant.

– Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn

In response, Wiltshire Police said: "Wiltshire Police has been in ongoing contact with North Yorkshire Police concerning the claims made by Mr Fulcher and at this time it is agreed by both police forces that there is nothing to indicate a link between the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence and the offending of Christopher Halliwell.

"More widely, we continue to keep an open mind in relation to any further offences that Christopher Halliwell may have committed and will follow the evidence wherever that may take us.

We would welcome any new information from the public or if indeed Halliwell himself would be prepared to speak to us about any other criminality then of course we would arrange to do so.

It is important to stress that we would not encourage unhelpful speculation as this may cause distress to families involved who are desperate to have news of their loved ones.

We always have, and will continue to, work with all forces in relation to the investigation into Halliwell. At the time of the arrest of Halliwell, all forces were notified of the circumstances of both murders and importantly, the facts that were known at that time.

This is in line with good investigative practice and is recognised by Senior Investigating Officers across the country as appropriate action to take.

Furthermore, engagement with the National Crime Agency throughout ensured that the investigation which secured Halliwell’s conviction was shared with other organisations accessing the NCA services for homicide enquiries and this close liaison remains ongoing.

We intend to continue this transparent approach with other forces and sharing of best practice.

It would be inappropriate to comment further.

– Wiltshire Police statement