A serial killer could be responsible for the multiple murders of pensioners including a couple from south Cumbria, according to a confidential leaked report.
The Sunday Times claimed the report raises concerns two suspected double murders in Wilmslow, Cheshire, could have been the work of an offender unknown to the police.
The first two killings happened in 1996 and 1999 only two miles apart. In both cases husbands were previously thought to have murdered their wives before killing themselves.
But after re-examining the cases using modern techniques, the report finds both cases were likely to have been double murders, reports The Sunday Times.
Cheshire Police said they were conducting a review of the findings in the report, which was handed to the force last month.
They are also said to have alerted Greater Manchester and Cumbria Police where a further three murder-suicides took place between 2000 and 2011. Again, in each case, the husbands were thought to have murdered their wives before killing themselves.Stanley Wilson, who was 92 and his 89-year-old wife Peggie were found dead at their home in Kendal in February 2011.
Cumbria Police say they have been notified of the 179-page report which calls on the National Crime Agency and Interpol to review cases in Britain and Europe to determine whether there are more related murders.
"This individual will not stop killing until someone or something stops him," it is quoted as saying.
The report, written by Stephanie Davies, the senior coroner's officer for Cheshire, is supported by evidence from her predecessor at the time of the first deaths and a US-based crime-scene analysis expert.Detective Chief Superintendent Dean Holden said: "Cumbria Constabulary is aware of this report and will review it upon its receipt.
“When any new information is made available to the constabulary in any case, the information is subject to review and action taken where it is appropriate.”