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£30,000 to bring Vera's killer to justice

DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a woman found with her throat cut 10 years ago have increased the reward tenfold to £30,000 to help catch her killer.

DETECTIVES investigating the murder of a woman found with her throat cut 10 years ago have increased the reward tenfold to £30,000 to help catch her killer.

The body of Veronica Anderson, known as Vera, was discovered slumped in her car at the Old Tannery Complex in Tannery Lane, Penketh, near Warrington, in the early hours of Sunday, August 25, 1991.

Despite a reward of £3,000, her killer has never been brought to justice.

Now, on the 10th anniversary of her murder, police are launching a new appeal and hope the increased reward will help to bring in fresh evidence.

The extra funds have been made available through the Crimestoppers programme.

Last night, Detective Inspector Ron Pearson of Warrington Police said: "Vera's death was sudden and brutal.

"It left a deep impression on the communities of Widnes where Vera lived and was wellknown, and Warrington where her body was found.

"It has left an agonising burden to be borne by her family, who must wonder daily who it was who so cruelly took their mother's life and why.

"My appeal now is to anybody who has carried the knowledge with them which could ease this family's suffering, to have the courage to come forward now and help police bring this killer to justice.

"There may well have been something preventing you from contacting police in 1991, something which may have eased with the passage of time, and I would urge you to come forward and speak in confidence to my officers."

Vera, who was 42 and a mother-of-two, was last seen alive at her home in Hadfield Close in Widnes at 10.10pm on the night of her death.

She had received a telephone call and then asked a neighbour to take care of her sixyearold son while she popped out for 10 minutes.

She drove away in her car, a blue Ford Cortina, registration PCX 38X, and was never seen alive again. Police have not been able to identify the mystery caller.

During the course of police enquiries there have been a number of other leads which have not led to any breakthroughs, despite several public appeals.

Police have not been able to connect anyone with a bloodstained glove found at the murder scene, together with a length of cord similar to a window sash cord.

Forensic examination confirmed the glove had been in contact with Vera, and police believe the killer had left it behind.

It was a natural-coloured cotton glove which is labelled on the bottom corner with the manufacturer's name "Minette".

A witness reported seeing a couple in the Crown and Cushion pub in Warrington Road, Penketh, at around 10.30pm on the night of the murder, and the woman's description strongly matches that of Vera.

The man she was with was white, of slim build, with short mousey hair which was neat but wispy. He had a neatly cut mousey-coloured moustache.

He was aged in his late 30s or early 40s, with a thin face, to the extent that his temples appeared sunken. He wore a fawn coloured jacket.

Because the Tannery complex was a known haunt of drug users, a police officer carried out a check at the site at 10.45pm on the night of the murder.

Vera's car was not there at that time, and police are continuing to appeal to anyone who can establish her whereabouts in the period between her leaving home at 10.10pm and the discovery of her body at 3.18am the next day.

Anyone who can help should contact Warrington Police on 01925 652222.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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