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Sally Ann John: Missing, likely murdered (1995)

Sally Ann John (23) went missing on the 8th of September 1995 in Swindon where she was last seen. Sally was described by her mother as a "bright and beautiful girl who could make anyone smile. She had lots of friends in Swindon and many people knew her." The night Sally Ann disappeared she had been working on the streets as a sex worker between the bus station and train station in central Swindon. She was last seen at around 10.50pm on Alexandra Street. Sally Ann's father revealed that all of her belongings had remained in her flat (in Kimmeridge Close in Nythe, Swindon) so if Sally Ann had left she'd not taken anything with her.

For many years the police treated the disappearance as a missing persons case, however from at least 2013 the case has been investigated as a homicide. In 2015 two men aged 50 and 52 years from Swindon, and a 52-year-old from Chippenham were arrested on suspicion of kidnap and murder, however, they have since been released.

Forensics teams have searched Sally Ann’s former home in where blood dogs and ground penetrating radar equipment were used in the hunt for clues. If anything was found it's not been revealed to the public.



8 Sept 1995 - Sally Ann John is last seen on Aylesbury Street, Swindon at 10:45 BST. Her disappearance is treated as a missing person inquiry.

17 Nov 2014 - Wiltshire Police launch a murder investigation following a review of the case and the discovery of "significant new information".

14 Sept 2015 - Police search her last-known address in Kimmeridge Close in the Nythe area of Swindon.

17 Sept 2015 - Three men in their 50s are arrested on suspicion of Sally Ann's kidnap and murder.

18 Sept 2015 - All three men are released on bail.

20 March 2017 - Detectives announce the existence of a postcard purporting to have been sent by Sally Ann shortly after her disappearance - which they believe is a forgery.


The Postcard

Then, in 2017 a crucial piece of evidence was revealed to the public in a Crime Watch investigation. After Sally Ann had gone missing, a postcard purportedly from her was sent to her friend Clive, explaining that she had moved to London. However, police have revealed that the postcard was not written by Sally Ann, though they don't know who the author was. Interestingly, the postcard appears to have been to sent 3 weeks before she disappeared. I also question the relationship between "Clive" and Sally Ann, as the term "big boy" proceeded with many kisses at the end of the postcard could indicate an intimate or sexual relationship.

The postcard reads:


Dear Clive,

Thought I'd write as I heard you've been missing me and that you were rather worried that something had happened to me. As you can see I'm in London now. But no one compares to you Big Boy.

Love Sally xxxxxx



A popular theory about who killed Sally Ann is that she was sadly a victim of Christopher Halliwell, a serial killer who worked as a taxi driver, currently serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of two young women from Swindon. He murdered 20-year-old Becky Godden in January 2003 and 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in March 2011. With such a long gap between those murders, it's very possible that he committed other murders during that time, however, police have never officially linked him to Sally Ann's murder, but are keeping an open mind.

If the postcard was written and sent as a diversion to make people believe that Sally Ann was alive and had moved to London, then her killer may have been from the area. I say this because of what was written in the postcard, and who it was addressed to. According to reporting from The Sun, Clive was Sally Ann's friend, which the killer would have to have known in order to address the postcard to him. Something I find interesting is why the killer would send a postcard to Clive, instead of her parents, if he was trying to reassure everyone that Sally Ann was still alive. Could the killer have known Clive and knew he was the one worried and asking questions? Or could someone (perhaps even Clive) have written the postcard to throw suspicions off of Clive? I would be extremely interested to learn more about Clive and his and Sally Ann's relationship.



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