Jennifer Kiely: Unsolved Murder (2005)


In the early hours of Saturday the 21st of January, 2005, Jennifer Kiely (35) was found dead in a shelter on the Eastbourne Shorefront, by two cleaners. Jennifer had been sexually assaulted, stabbed 17 times, and then set on fire. A child's buggy was found next to her body, though it's not been confirmed whether it's an item of interest.


Jennifer was a proud mother of three children, and was loved by her ex-partner John. However, shortly after giving birth to their third child, she went into a mental decline and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Jennifer ended up leaving her partner and giving him custody of their children, and she became transient.


By 2005, Jennifer had moved around and had ended up in Eastbourne, Sussex. Jennifer spent much of her time sleeping out in the open, however she had befriended people who would let her sleep in their home. She wasn't thought to have had a drink or drugs problem, however she was considered extremely vulnerable.


 

The Investigation


In March 2005, the Police said a woman fitting the description of Jennifer Kiely was seen arguing with a red-haired man outside the Atlantic Hotel in Pevensey Road, Eastbourne. The argument happened at about 6pm on Friday, January 21 (the evening before her body was discovered.) Police believe she may have met her killer in a pub and that he followed her out. After killing and raping her he built a bonfire in a thatched shelter near Beachy Head and burned her body.


In 2017 the investigation was re-opened after it was reported that they were working on a new forensic line of inquiry relating to unidentified DNA found at the scene. The same year a possible link was reported between the murder of Sally Anne Bowman and Jennifer's killing. Mark Dixie, (47) is in prison for Sally's murder and he has also been sentenced for brutal sex attacks on multiple women. There has been no update on this lead since.