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Post  Guest on Wed 4 Nov - 23:08

Saturday, 25 March, 2000, 11:11 GMT
Ireland's vanished women

Annie McCarrick, a US student living in the Irish Republic, went for a drink with a man in a pub in Glencullen in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.

She never returned.

Five other women have also disappeared in suspicious circumstances in the Irish Republic since 26 March 1993 and detectives admit they are baffled.
Superintendent Gerry O'Connell told BBC News Online: "What is unique about this case is that we don't have a crime scene or any bodies - and until we do there is little to go on."

In October 1998, three months after 18-year-old Deirdre Jacob went missing, the Garda Siochana set up Operation Trace, under Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey, to pull together all six inquiries.

Fiona Sinnott left behind a one-year-old daughter

Mr Hickey is a tough troubleshooter and the man chosen to oversee Ireland's last high-profile case - the inquiry into the gangland murder of investigative journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996.
The disappearances ceased shortly after Operation Trace was set up, but despite numerous appeals both on television - on RTE's Crimeline and Solved and Unsolved programmes - and in Irish newspapers, no trace has been found of any of the six.

Crimeline producer David Harvey, who has met the parents of all six women, says: "There is a deal of resentment from some relatives, who think the Garda are not doing enough.

"It's driven by frustration. There is no antagonism towards the police, because they know they are doing everything they can. There is just a sense of bewilderment."

The disappeared
26 March 1993: Annie McCarrick, 26, US student went missing from Glencullen in the Dublin Mountains
9 November 1995: Jo Jo Dullard, 21, hitching a lift home to Callan, County Kilkenny
23 August 1996: Fiona Pender, 25, vanished from her flat in Tullamore, County Offaly
8 February 1998: Fiona Sinnott, 19, last seen leaving a pub in Broadway, County Wexford
12 February 1998: Ciara Breen, 18, went missing from Dundalk, County Louth
28 July 1998: Deirdre Jacob, 18, disappeared as she walked home to Newbridge, County Kildare
Mr Harvey said Deirdre Jacob's case was the most puzzling.

"She had been to the post office, which was a 20-minute walk. She walked back and was seen at the front gate outside her home. But she never returned," he told BBC News Online.

Supt O'Connell, whose team has been scaled down to six detectives, said there was little hope that any of the six women were still alive.

"It's two years since the last one went missing, and seven years since the first one," he said.

Supt O'Connell, based in the incident room in Naas, near Dublin,said: "We have checked national insurance records and other documents in Ireland and in the UK and there is no record of any of them.

"There is no definite link between the six but there are similarities."

Fiona Pender, a former model, was seven months pregnant

He said the Garda had called on the help of a forensic psychologist and were in constant touch with the FBI and British police but he said there was little to go on.
"Offender profilers work mainly on things they find at a crime scene, as do forensic scientists. But we have no crime scenes and no bodies," said Supt O'Connell.

Mr Harvey said there had been a great response to the TV appeals but added: "To a certain extent, they are looking for a needle in a haystack."

Last month, the focus of attention moved to County Carlow, where a 25-year-old carpenter is in custody after allegedly abducting, robbing and attempting to rape a young hairdresser, who was rescued when two poachers intervened in a remote country lane.

Deirdre Jacob was seen with a man in County Kildare

But Supt O'Connell said: "People have jumped on it as the answer to our prayers. We are having a look at it, but it's a bit premature at the moment."
So the mystery remains. Who was the man who accompanied Annie McCarrick to Matty Fox's pub on her day off from work at a fashionable Dublin coffee shop?

And was he responsible for the abduction and murder of five other women?

Last edited by Antoinette on Mon 22 Mar - 13:39; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Guest on Wed 4 Nov - 23:11

TCM Archives > Irish Examiner > 2005/09/16 > Vanished without a trace

Friday, September 16, 2005 :

Vanished without a trace

Caroline O’Doherty reports on six women whose disappearances are still unsolved.THE lake was drained, the countryside scoured and the top detectives in the field brought in to investigate, but gardaí probing the disappearance of the young Wexford woman hit nothing but brick walls and dead ends.

Fiona Sinnott simply vanished.

There were no warning signs that it would happen, no clues as to why it did, and no trace of where she might have gone - or have been taken.

All her family and friends knew was that the sparky 19-year-old, who loved socialising and was close to her family, would not willingly have walked away from that she held dearest of all - her baby daughter, 11-month-old Emma.

Fiona went missing seven-and-a-half years ago, some time between Sunday night, February 8, and Monday, February 9, after a night out at Butler’s Pub, close to her rented accommodation at Ballycushlane, a few miles from Rosslare.

Emma’s father, Fiona’s ex-partner, Seán Carroll, left with her to walk her home as she wasn’t feeling well and spent the night on the spare bed at her place after arranging for his parents, who were babysitting Emma, to mind the tot overnight.

He was the last known person to see her alive, having given her a few pounds on Monday morning when she told him she still wasn’t well and planned on hitching to Bridgetown to see the doctor. She never turned up.

Although close to her parents, Pat and Mary, and her four brothers and sisters, Fiona was independent and had her own life. She left school before her Inter Cert and flitted between jobs and boyfriends, though motherhood had matured her and she had indicated she was keen to put more structure on her life and develop a career with her natural flair for cooking.

Her family didn’t panic when she didn’t appear that Monday, thinking at first she had gone to visit friends or taken a spur of the moment trip to Wales to meet up with a lorry driver she had met a short time before.

It was nine days later before anxiety finally got the better of them and her father reported her missing. Gardaí launched a relentless investigation, which continues to this day.

In April 1998, a Crimeline reconstruction was staged. In June, the lake at Our Lady’s Island was drained and searched for weeks. Suspects in other crimes were arrested and questioned by senior detectives from garda HQ in the hope that their knowledge of shady characters and sinister goings-on might yield some tiny scrap of information.

It was during these months that a darker picture of Fiona’s life emerged. The young mother had hid, sometimes effectively, and sometimes not, beatings at the hands of an on-off boyfriend.

She had ended up in hospital on a few occasions but never reported the incidents to the gardaí. The one time gardaí came to her aid, she had been threatened with a knife. But the drama had passed when they arrived and she would not make a formal complaint.

This man was questioned but gave nothing away, except an air of hostility that pushed him towards the top of the short list of suspects.

In the seven-and-a-half years since Fiona went missing, the list of chief suspects didn’t grow, but a parallel list did.

That list contained the names of those whom gardaí believe heard, suspected, knew, or did something that contributed to keeping her whereabouts a mystery and yet said nothing.

Fiona was the fifth of six young women who went missing in Leinster between 1993 and 1998 and whose disappearances have never been solved. Five months later, 18-year-old Deirdre Jacob vanished in Co Kildare. By the end of the year, Operation Trace had been set up to review all six cases.

The other missing women

Deirdre Jacob

Deirdre, an 18-year-old trainee teacher home on holidays from college in England, disappeared in broad daylight on July 28, 1998, just a few hundred yards from her family home close to Newbridge, Co Kildare. Convicted sex offender, Larry Murphy from Co Wicklow, who is serving a 15-year sentence for the kidnap, rape and attempted murder of a young Co Carlow woman, has been questioned about Deirdre’s disappearance.

Ciara Breen

Ciara is the youngest of the missing women, aged just 17 when she disappeared from her home town of Dundalk on February 13, 1997, after apparently going to meet a man who was later arrested in connection with the investigation but never charged. A joint RUC-garda investigation both sides of the Border yielded no solid clues.

Fiona Pender

Fiona’s disappearance was doubly disturbing. The 25-year-old hairdresser and part-time model from Tullamore, Co Offaly, was seven months' pregnant when she was last reported seen alive on the morning of August 23, 1996, by her boyfriend. Miles of bog and mountain were searched, but the area is so remote and sparsely populated that many believe clues remain.

Jo Jo Dullard

The circumstances of Jo Jo’s disappearance chilled parents everywhere. The 21-year-old Kilkenny woman was travelling to her home from Dublin on the night of November 9, 1995, and was last heard from when she called a friend from a phone box outside Moone, Co Kildare, to say she was hitching and had just managed to flag down a lift. Jo Jo’s sister, Mary Phelan, became the driving force behind the campaign for action that led to the setting up of Operation Trace.

Annie McCarrick

Annie, 26, pricked at the conscience of the nation because she was a visitor to the country, a young idealistic American lured to the land of her forefathers by a love that was to be betrayed. She was last reported seen in Johnnie Fox’s pub on the flanks of the Dublin mountains on the night of Friday, March 26, 1993.

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Post  Guest on Wed 4 Nov - 23:24


Sunday Mirror, Oct 26, 2003 | by DEIRDRE O'DONOVAN

NEW evidence has linked two of Ireland's most notorious criminals to the disappearance of three young women.

A new book has linked rapist Larry Murphy and killer John Crerar to suspected murder victims Annie McCarrick, Jo Jo Dullard and Deirdre Jacob.

Frozen Blood, by writer Michael Sheridan places convicted murderer John Crerar and sex beast Larry Murphy at a disused quarry close to where Jo Jo went missing the night after she was last seen.

And Sheridan believes the two joined forces to commit at least some of their sick deeds. He said: "I was in the Curragh in Kildare while researching the book.

"While there I was contacted by a woman who lived close to a disused quarry which was at the back of the Aga Khan's stud where Crerar worked as a guard.

"Most women in the area were terrified of him because he had a reputation for interfering with women and children.

"It was known in the area that he was the prime suspect in the murder of Phyllis Murphy before he was eventually convicted.

"But this woman told me that she used to see Crerar coming in and out of this disused quarry. On several occasions she saw him digging and burning stuff. And the night after Jo Jo Dullard disappeared, she saw his vehicle outside the gates of the quarry.

"More significantly, she saw Crerar arguing just inside the open gate of this quarry with a young man. When I showed her a picture of Murphy, she said it looked extremely like him. She kept it to herself for a long time because she was so terrified of Crerar. But she did eventually go to the gardai.

"Then another lady came forward and told me that within 24 hours of Deirdre Jacob's disappearance, she was woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of horrendous screams.

"But because it was a rural area she didn't know whether it was an animal or human. All she knew was that it was a bloodcurdling scream.

"Three weeks later they noticed a terrible stench coming from the quarry. In retrospect they found these things disturbingly co- incidental, and it played on their minds until they contacted me.

"In terms of the link between Crerar and Murphy, it's too much of a co-incidence that all this happened in a small geographic area like that. Why don't the gardai dig up that quarry?"

In February 2001, father-of-two Murphy abducted a 29-year-old woman as she walked to her car.

Police established he bundled her into the boot and drove to the remote Wicklow mountains.

Along the way Murphy twice took the terrified woman out of the car and raped her.

Murphy, from Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, was discovered by two men who rescued the woman and brought her to a garda station.

He was convicted of rape, kidnap and attempted murder.

Former army sergeant Crerar was jailed for life last November for the murder of Phyllis Murphy - 23 years after he committed the crime.

DNA evidence proved crucial in snaring Crerar, 54. A determined detective had samples taken from the victim re-checked four years ago.

Crerar raped and strangled Phyllis after he abducted her as she waited at a bus stop to go Christmas shopping in 1979. And according to Sheridan, their psychological profiles indicate that these were not their only crimes.

He said: "I talked to experts who deal with psycho and serial killers.

"The analysis of Murphy's action in abducting the woman and raping her and attempting to murder her showed this could not have been his first crime. And the same goes for Crerar's action with Phyllis Murphy.

"They do not believe for one minute that was the only horrendous crimes these guys committed. These crimes were premeditated, organised and dispassionate.

"In Murphy's case what is most significant is the way he behaved after he was arrested. He showed no hint of remorse. When he was asked if he felt bad about putting this woman through such a horrific ordeal, he just said she was lucky.

"And Detective Inspector Brendan McArdle who broke the case on Phyllis Murphy is on record as saying that he doesn't believe that John Crerar has just killed once.

"In such a small geographical area, it is astounding the number of women who have disappeared and nobody has ever been apprehended.

"That's almost unknown. And going back to the question of the quarry, it is known that serial killers like to keep mementoes but they also like to keep the body relatively near so they can go back to the site.

"Because they get off sexually on going back to the crime scene.

"So it makes a hell of a lot of sense that people like Crerar and Murphy have a place close to them to which no-one has access, as in Crerar's case.

"And that they could easily dispose of the body, bury it there close to them, without the risk that Crerar took when disposing of Phyllis Murphy's body when he drove to Wicklow.

"Could it be mere coincidence that since the conviction of Larry Murphy and John Crerar the pattern of abduction and murder has ceased?"

And Sheridan believes there is evidence linking both these men with the abductions of Deirdre, Annie and Jo Jo.

He said: "Murphy was working in Roseberry the day before Deirdre Jacob went missing and that's more than a coincidence.

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