Published On: Mon, Dec 23rd, 2019

The Midsomer Murder solved? Part Three: another case of state crime

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Only an unshakable conviction that the police exist to deter and punish crime against the public that pays them could prevent anyone looking at the case of the Valerie Graves murder and seeing that Surrey and Sussex detectives were working in a manner that made necessary an otherwise entirely redundant DNA dragnet search. Only the naïve, and there are lots of them, could not (or, will not, as the case perhaps applies to lodge membership) see that there was foul play: a murder investigation, undeniably, was used as a pretext for creating a consensual DNA database. Any uncertainty about the case could be limited to the question of how much foul play there was; in other words, was the murder an authentic event that provided an opportunity that could be capitalised upon, or was it manufactured itself to precipitate the required crisis?

Surprisingly, there is evidence to potentially prove the second option. Sabou, the Romanian immigrant since convicted of the crime, has suggested that there was a conspiracy to murder. Moreover, he has also indicated through what are essentially protests of innocence of murder (he was never on trial to be found guilty of manslaughter) that he might not have had the inclination, capability, or motivation to kill Graves, when he crept into the property where she was sleeping in a downstairs bedroom, with the supposed intention to burgle the place. In the previous article in this series, it was suggested that he had been sent to the property to incriminate himself. It was suggested that he encountered an inhabitant in the property, and lashed out in order to escape. Assuming that Sabou had no intention of killing Graves, there are two scenarios that could follow: i) Graves was finished off by people who needed murder as an outcome of the encounter, or ii) there wasn’t a murder, but Sabou, and everyone else, has been led to believe that there has been one. The second scenario is unlikely, and although the first sounds only a little less preposterous, we must go where the evidence leads and be damned: if police, with their transparent abuses of the trust of the general public, did not give cause to ponder these possibilities, then there would be no need to dare to venture into the territory.

Of course, if Sabou is lying about any detail of his version of events, then he gives us no cause to suppose that he did not kill Graves, and that there are no byzantine circumstances regarding the cause of her death. However, it would do nothing to change the fact that a murder, even if Sabou did commit it, was used to justify what was essentially prison-training on a population of men. Following from that, as long as Sabou is not lying (and if we reject the idea of a hoax), there is a distinct possibility that he was not alone in being the perpetrator, and that there may have even been an additional reason (an ulterior motive) to kill Graves in particular.

It is tempting to declare the Valerie Graves incident a hoax. There a quite a few indicators to it. Firstly, there is Graves as a victim unknown to the community in which she was killed. In other words, it could be argued that she and the small household that was holidaying with her (her aged mother, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend), were inserted into a context from which they were isolated, and this was done ahead of the crime for the purpose of the crime. This means there would be no old friends and acquaintances in the vicinity that would be privy to any information that could be acquired through casual intercourse with each other or with the family: there would be no one to be suspicious, and to be disruptive by asking inconvenient questions. Moreover, Graves had barely lived at Bracklesham, a settlement on the next peninsula east along the coast, so who would know her there? Supposedly, Graves’s then 87-year-old mother lived in that place – but to the best of the author’s knowledge, her surname has never been published (so never been confirmed as being Graves or not). It is a detail that is not verifiable. As for Graves’ sister, Janet (whose surname also doesn’t seem to have been published), and her “partner”, Nigel Acres (whose surname has), they live in Weybridge (near London).

The holidaying household is said to have had received visitors – which, if this incident was a hoax, would be a narrative detail that served to establish the reality of Graves’ occupancy at the property. However, only one of these guests appears to have been known to the corporate-media:

Ernie Mears, 80, who is close to Miss Graves’s mother Eileen, said he was interviewed by police for five hours over a Boxing Day meal he shared with the family four days before the victim’s body was found on Monday.

‘They took an eight-page statement, fingerprints and DNA samples as part of the elimination process,’ he said. ‘I still feel in the dark about what’s happened and didn’t learn much from them.’

Now, there is no indication where Mears is from, nor what his relation is in fact with Graves’ mother. We could chase our tails wondering why Mears, being “close” to Eileen, isn’t holidaying too, but instead only leaves whatever family he has or hasn’t got to join her on Boxing Day, but it wouldn’t achieve anything useful. The fact is that the data that the Mail here shares with its readers (link at the bottom of the page) is not useful, except, that is, to present a witness to Graves’ occupancy at the property – which would be vital thing to do in the context of a hoax.

Another indicator of a hoax is the manner of Sabou’s capture. He was turned in by a woman who allegedly was his wife. Any immediate reaction to this information must be that it was conformation that the DNA dragnet was superfluous, and if the reader cannot accept it from the author, then take if from a so-called pillar of the community. At the court proceedings in Lewes, the presiding judge, Christine Laing QC, praised Sabou’s wife “for having the ‘decency and courage’ to come forward, adding the murder would have ‘remained unsolved’ if she had not”.

Below are two accounts of how Sabou was informed upon; the reader should perhaps have no trouble picking out the chief problem with them: sometimes Sabou’s wife is Adina Marian, and other times she is Claudia (Sabou?). The first is from the Belfast Telegraph:

Ms Marian, 26, explained her decision to turn in her husband, saying: “I could not live with myself knowing that a cold-blooded murderer was walking the streets free.”

“I saw on the Google history ‘murder in Bosham’ and ‘hammer’.

“I showed him the phone and asked him, ‘What is this all about?’ There was a picture of a hammer on there and I asked him, ‘Isn’t this the hammer you had in England?’ I knew it, I’d seen it there.

“I told him then and there that I wanted to break up.

“He said, ‘Don’t break up with me – and keep your mouth shut’. I told him I would not break up with him, and waited until he left to return to England.

“I kept pressing the police, sending emails, asking, ‘How long is this going to take?’”

The second is from the Mirror;

He was on the run for six years until Claudia found he had searched “murder in Bosham” and viewed an image of the murder weapon on his phone.

It was a claw hammer with a distinctive handle which she recognised and confronted him but he threatened to kill her. She said: “I knew he worked at the house. I asked, ‘What is this all about?’.

“I said, ‘Isn’t this the hammer you had in England?’. He said, ‘Don’t break up with me and keep your mouth shut if you don’t want me to cut your throat – and our two daughters’.”

Claudia plucked up the courage to call Sussex Police when Sabou returned to the UK to cover his tracks and collect belongings in September last year.

When corporate-media cannot get a story straight it’s a sure sign that there is no straight story. Overlooking that, we are supposed to believe that after more than five years since the incident, Sabou gets nostalgic about his deed, and looks up historic news articles (because anything new rarely gets published) about the murder in Bosham. His wife discovers what he has been looking at, and remembers that he (along with millions of others) owned a hammer like the one that police miraculously hailed as the murder weapon with no apparent way of being able to do this (and that might have been planted for the police to find). Putting this together with her knowledge that he worked at the premises where Graves was killed, the wife (who is pictured in publications posing in what one might call typical Eastern European glamour shots) confronts Sabou, who admits everything. Supposedly upon attracting the attention of police, Adina/Claudia then arranges to have DNA samples taken of her children by Sabou. Whether these incriminated Sabou does not appear to be in the public domain, but the following detail is:

He was arrested and a sample of his DNA confirmed a match with samples taken from the murder weapon and the door to the bedroom Ms Graves had been sleeping in.

Criticism of this story is easy. Police have insisted all along that the DNA on the hammer could be compared against an intact DNA record – except, for some reason, those in the National DNA Database. It has never, therefore, been believable that any new record collected by a DNA dragnet search would be of any use to police. However, as a sop to collapsing credulity (if any remains), it now appears that DNA collected by police could be useful in the context of some kind of unexplained combination of the hammer evidence and some newly introduced material from a bedroom door (which actually undermines the case against Sabou – see the first article in this series). Frankly, the whole scenario is ludicrous. Secondly, Adina/Claudia was supposed to be with Sabou in England, so the question naturally arises, why does she find reason to suspect him of the murder five years and a thousand miles away from the fact? At a time and place closer to the incident, there would be much more chance for Sabou to be betrayed by any tension he was feeling. Why was she not suspicious when Valerie Graves was first killed? Why was she not suspicious when Graves was all over the British national news? Was it anything to do with amy later trouble in their marriage so that Adina/Claudia just didn’t feel as loyal as she may have done in the past?

There are other issues of plausibility, like how a woman could remember a particular hammer her husband worked with five years ago, and if Sabou would really admit to a murder after five years – especially when the scent had, on the face of it, definitely worn off from his trail. But the main problem is the hideous delay before this discovery process happened. We are left wondering why Adina/Claudia hasn’t been of interest to the police for obstructing the course of justice, instead of now supposedly being in line for a hefty reward. Or is the ex-Mrs Sabou in line for a pay off?

We notice that the police officially ended the DNA search in December 2018, but at that time was still offering a reward for information to catch the killer. Meanwhile, there was no mention of enquiries in Romania – not least in the piece that the author could find. And we should also note that it wasn’t until July 2019 that Sabou was arrested in Romania, despite the fact that Surrey and Sussex police were tipped off in September/October 2018. It would be a bit of a stretch to believe that police were working under the notion that because they had waited 5 years already, another four months wouldn’t make any difference. In fact, the slow grinding of bureaucracy excuse doesn’t wash. The author actually tends to believe that interest in Sabou didn’t commence until necessity required it: in other words, when the DNA hunt was officially retired.  Moreover, the author would be willing to bet that police probably knew about Sabou, and didn’t need to be tipped off by his wife – which was a cover story to explain police knowledge of him. Sabou was just given a long leash while police eked out the window of opportunity for collecting DNA, and either the police knew about Sabou from the first, or he was discovered by enquiry after his connections to Graves (or, at least, the property where she died).

Perhaps the fishiest thing about Sabou, however, is that it isn’t clear where he is serving his life sentence. Reporting on his appearance in an initial trial after Sabou’s arrest, a Mirror article included a detail that might be surprising:

The judge agreed Sabou should return to Britain to face justice but he must serve any sentence in his home country.

And how is one supposed to take the following information, reported in the same Mirror article?:

Cristian Sabou’s shock confession [that he killed Valerie Graves] came after he agreed to be extradited to the UK to face trial for the hammer death during a 2013 raid.

An explanation for what appears to be some very confusing data is that, as a feature of the European Arrest Warrant, the Romanian Government could make the surrender of Sabou conditional on his return to his native country to serve the sentence. Moreover, Sabou does have the right to refuse consent – (and the author is certainly no expert) but the main effect of this appears to be to make the court’s decision to surrender take a little while longer. It could be that Sabou’s consent to be extradited may have been given in exchange for the Romanian court’s demand for a guarantee. In other words, it and the subsequent admission could have been about ensuring that Sabou could be spirited back to Romania where those of us in Britain must take it on faith that he is serving a prison sentence.

So, when we also take into consideration the implausible manner in which Sabou was brought to justice, there is a distinct possibility that his candidacy as culprit in the case of Valerie Graves is something not to be taken seriously. In other words, he is someone who is guilty for the sake of perception only. But while this now-lengthy section of text was introduced as showing evidence for a hoax, if Sabou was a patsy, it doesn’t automatically follow; there is the other alternative of the conspiracy to a real murder that would accommodate just as well. In fact, the hoax idea should be thrown out, not least because Graves appeared to leave behind two press-conference-giving children who are not going to be second guessed here. There is just no solid evidence for it.

Likewise, there is little cause (at least, that is clearly evident) to believe that Graves was the target of a hit job for another reason than providing a pretext for the DNA harvest. It’s impossible to know how Valerie Graves could have offended anyone, or perhaps become inconvenient (by compromising someone, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time) so as to make herself a target. It is true that very early on in 2014, the owner of the house was linked by the Daily Mail to “swinging” (i.e. permissive sexual behaviour) and Graves had been, and is unfailingly described as being “free spirited” – even by her children. One quite naturally wonders if there could be a connection.

It was very soon after Graves was killed that the Daily Mail discovered that the property at which she was staying might have been available for other uses than cosy family Christmas vacations:

It emerged last night that police are investigating an advert on a well-known sex website, which suggests the property… could be used as a venue for ‘casual sex’ and a ‘discreet relationship’.

The person who posted the ad on the site, which is used by men and women looking for sex, described themselves as the ‘director of fun and pleasuring’, adding: ‘Ok, I’m VERY wealthy.’ They said they were interested in group sex as well as ‘blindfolds, bondage and discipline’.

While the owner of the property is evidently wealthy, the Daly Mail also elsewhere reported that he “denies any involvement” with regards the house being “linked to a swinger’s club”. The owner at the time was one Malcolm Chamberlain, 66 [note, not 65, nor 67, but 66], who at the time of the murder was reported as being “on holiday in Costa Rica with his wife Caroline”.

Chamberlain was described as a “millionaire entrepreneur and company director” – in fact, he had “enjoyed a string of directorships during an apparently successful career in business”. It might occur to the reader, as it did to the author, that if Chamberlain has set up a number of limited companies, it is action that might well have produced his millions, but not that which necessarily led to any success. The Daily Mail reported him at the time as being the “director, with his wife, of an electronic component manufacturing company”.  It appears that Chamberlain also had “business interests in property”; it was a property of Chamberlain’s that Graves’ sister and Nigel Acres bought to make their home in Weybridge – all according to the Daily Mail. Moreover, Acres was reportedly “an old friend of Mr Chamberlain”.

As far as the author is concerned, being in property is to be involved in low-level gangsterism, and his bad impression of Chamberlain is not helped by the fact that the man is the type of landlord who holidays in Central America. That being said, there is no justification to even speculate as to whether he would be shady enough to be responsible for anything that was deliberately meted out to Graves or, which might be a more realistic line of investigation, to agree to facilitate it for another party. There’s no basis in evidence to make any accusations of this nature. We can only repeat this: Sabou clearly suggested that there was a conspiracy whereby Graves was murdered. Sabou was linked to the property through “work” that he undertook there – and this inevitably drags Chamberlain’s business concerns into the mix, whether he knew Sabou personally or not. On top of that, staying at the property with Graves when she was murdered was a couple who had engaged with Chamberlain in business. So, if one might have expected, because of this array of circumstantial evidence, the police to re-examine these linkages when Sabou blurted out that he had been asked by another party to go to the property on the night Graves was killed, then one might also be surprised that the police evidently weren’t remotely interested in finding some other culprit. Frankly, it stinks.

But it is a fact of life in Britain, and this is controversial only because the population does not look at the detail of events that deserve utmost scepticism, that it is one of the chief roles of the police to cover up crime that is committed by the state. Over again, there is evidence for it (citing any of it is pointless; those who are not surprised by the assertion will have already hunted the material out for themselves [FBEL covers plenty of cases), and those who are will not be interested in looking). And in this Valerie Graves case, cui bono? We find that there is no evidence of an ulterior motive for murdering Graves for a particular reason – even as it applies to Sabou – but there is a discernable motive to create a pretext for a DNA harvest. Of course, the state must benefit mostly from identification records of its subjects. Additionally, the police, in declaring the case solved when there is very strong cause (as discussed immediately above) for there to be further investigation beyond the so-called culprit supposedly now caught and punished, are covering up.

And Bob’s your uncle (or, Valerie’s your dead aunt): more state crime.


Source material:

Brighton Argus; Valerie Graves murder: How killer Cristian Sabou was caught (link)

Chichester Observer; Valerie Graves murder solved as man pleads guilty and is sentenced to life in prison (link)

Shropshire Star; Police end mass DNA screening in hunt for killer of Valerie Graves (link)

Sutton and Croydon Guardian; Wife snared Valerie Graves’ murderer using his children’s DNA (link)

Daily Mail; Was Midsomer murder victim Valerie Graves killed by a burglar [title later changed] (link)

Daily Express; Valerie Graves murder: Fugitive burglar confesses to ‘Midsomer’ killing (link)

Mirror; Burglar tells Mirror he killed gran with hammer in sensational court outburst (link)

Daily Mail; Ad on sex website investigated as police question victim’s rock roadie ex-lover [title later changed] (link)

Belfast Telegraph; Wife snared Valerie Graves’ murderer using his children’s DNA (link)

Mirror; Valerie Graves: Man who murdered gran was caught thanks to ex-wife’s bravery (link)

The Telegraph; ‘Midsomer’ murder: first picture of Daniel Pereira, suspect being held over killing of Valerie Graves (link)

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