The Murder of Patricia “Patsy” Morris

Patricia “Patsy” Joyce Morris was found strangled in the Hounslow Heath area of London, England. She was fourteen years old at the time of her death. Her murder remains unsolved.

June 16, 1980

During the middle of the school day, Patsy Morris left Feltham Comprehensive School during her lunch break. A few witnesses stated that she had gone home quickly to change into dry clothes because it had been raining heavily that day and her clothes were soaked. Other witnesses guessed she had skipped school that afternoon because she had a double history lesson which she did not want to attend. Patsy was allegedly seen near a bus stop in her neighborhood that afternoon. This would be the last alleged sighting of her before her death.

When she did not return to school or make it home, Patsy was reported missing. Hundreds of people participated in her search. Police enlisted the help of helicopters, hoping to find the teenager.

Patsy is Found

On June 18, 1980, two days after her disappearance police K9s found the body of Patsy Morris approximately 10 yards off a popular walking path in the Hounslow Heath neighborhood. According to her parents, George and Marjorie Morris, they had warned her to never walk in that area alone, so it was out of character for her to be found there.

What police found the most peculiar was the condition in which Patsy’s body was found. Investigators described Morris’ body as being face down in the dense underbrush. She was fully dressed; wearing two pairs of underwear and one pair of tights, all of which were pulled down below her ankles. She had a second pair of tights, with one leg missing, tied around her legs and wound up and around her neck where it was knotted four times. A third pair of tights, also missing one leg, bound her hands in front of her body and then crossed up and over her chest. She had not been sexually assaulted. Her cause of death was determined to be strangulation.

Investigation of Several Suspects

Over the years following her murder, investigators have interviewed several potential suspects in the death of Patsy Morris. In 2008, a man walked into the Norfolk Police Department and confessed to Morris’ brutal murder in 1980. He was initially arrested and taken to London, pending further investigation. He was released on bail. Investigators determined that this unnamed individual did not commit the murder and that he was suffering from mental illness that contributed to his false confession.

Convicted serial killer, Levi Bellfield, was also a person of interest. Bellfield was convicted in 2008 for the murders of Amelie Delagrange and Marsha McDonnell. In 2011, he was also convicted for the murder of Milly Dowler. Investigators learned he had allegedly bragged to his cellmate that had murdered Patsy in 1980 when he was only 12 years old. In 2008, investigators determined he had not been in the area at the time of Morris’ murder and did not move to the area or attend her school until after Patsy’s death.

Nicola (left) and Patsy (right) (Sisters)

Investigators also considered notable serial killer Peter Tobin (a.k.a. Peter Sutcliffe) as a potential suspect. Investigators began an investigative operation named Operation Anagram after the conviction of the Scottish serial killer who murdered three women between 1991 and 2006. They looked at all the cases across the country that may have been additional victims of Tobin. Patsy’s case was included in the prospective list, being that Tobin was in the area at the time of Patsy’s murder. Investigators did not find enough conclusive evidence to connect Tobin to Morris. George Morris, Patsy’s father, believed that Tobin was the person responsible for his daughter’s death.

Aftermath

The murder of Patricia “Patsy” Morris remains unsolved. Unfortunately, both George and Marjorie Morris passed away without knowing the truth about their daughter’s death. Investigators continue to ask the public for assistance. If you have any information that may help further the investigation, investigators in England encourage you to call CrimeStoppers anonymously at 0800 555111 or online at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

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