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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK
Names suggested over 1987 murders
Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce
Both women were sexually assaulted, battered and strangled
Detectives investigating two unsolved murders that took place in a Kent town 20 years ago are following up more than 40 calls from members of the public.

It follows an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme into the deaths of Caroline Pierce, 20, and Wendy Knell, 26, both from Tunbridge Wells.

Officers said most of the callers had put forward names of men.

Police now have the full DNA profile of the suspected killer of the women, found dead six months apart in 1987.

Kent Police described the response after the programme as "encouraging".

Key ring

But Det Ch Insp Anne Brittain, who is leading the investigation, said it did not mean to say the names given were the right ones.

She has appealed for people to continue to come forward with any information they might have.

Officers believe one person was responsible for both murders.

Wendy Knell was found dead in a bedsit in Guildford Road, Tunbridge Wells, in June 1987.

Six months later Caroline Pierce, of Grosvenor Park, was attacked outside her bedsit home. Her body was later discovered in a dyke on Romney Marsh.

Both women, who had jobs in Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells, had been sexually assaulted, battered and strangled.

Blouse footprint

Police say there were no "clear signs" of forced entry to Ms Knell's flat in Guildford Road after the murder on 23 July 1987, but her key ring and diary were missing.

Officers also believe a footprint on a blouse at her home, that may have come from a rare Clarks' trainer, belongs to the killer.

A 19-year-old neighbour of Ms Knell was warned by a stranger not to leave their windows unlocked a few days before her murder. Police have issued an e-fit of the man.

Ms Pierce was wearing a long black skirt and red jumper when she was last seen in Grosvenor Park on 24 November 1987.

Her body was found by a farm worker 40 miles away in a field near St Mary in the Marsh on Romney Marsh on 15 December 1987.

Detectives say a set of Ms Pierce's keys was also taken.

Det Ch Insp Brittain added that the murder cases had never been closed, and some people might now find it easier to come forward with information given the passage of time.




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