As Wisbech murder victim is cremated, family reveal second autopsy shows she was already dead before her clothes were set alight

10:19 25 February 2013

Una Crown with her late husband Jack Roland Crown, who was known as Ron or Ral.

Una Crown with her late husband Jack Roland Crown, who was known as Ron or Ral.

Archant

THE younger brother of Wisbech murder victim Una Crown has spoken of the wait to find out whether she was still alive after being repeatedly stabbed before being set alight.

Terry White, 75, of Trumpington near Cambridge said the funeral – taking place today at Kings Lynn- had been delayed pending completion of two autopsies.

“We had to hang around until the police released her body,” he told the BBC. “Two autopsies took place and they have now given us the OK. We were interested to know if she was dead before she was actually burnt.

“Apparently she was since the second autopsy revealed no smoke in her lungs. It makes you feel a bit better but it was still an awful way to go.”

Mr White said he spoke most weeks by phone with Una and would often meet her for birthdays or family occasions.

“We used to be in contact on a Monday and phoned each other to check what happened at the weekend,” he said.

He said on the Sunday in January when her body was discovered at her Magazine Lane home was a day he would not forget.

“My niece Judith had gone round to pick her up and take her out for lunch,” he said. “She hadn’t got a key but sensed something was wrong.”

Police were called when Una failed to respond and officers then went into the bungalow with a key borrowed from a neighbour.

“They wouldn’t let Judith in. Their first words were there had been an incident,” said Mr White.

Police later revealed Mrs Crown, 86, had been stabbed repeatedly in her chest and neck and clothing was set alight in what was thought to be an attempt to destroy evidence.

Mr White described how his older sister had grown up in the Wisbech area, leaving school to become a telephonist and then marrying her late husband Ron who became postmaster at Elm.

He said her whole family had been shocked by her brutal murder “since we all expect to die peacefully.”

When they discovered “some low life out there” had stabbed her and then tried to set fire to her body made it even worse, he said.

Today’s funeral is at Mintlyn Crematorium: the funeral director Tony Clingo of Upwell is a family member.

* A 58 year-old man arrested in suspicion of murder has been released on police bail until April 2.

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