Penny Bell’s daughter teams up with a top cop to solve her mother’s murder


Penny Bell’s daughter Lauren has teamed up with retired Met Detective Chief Superintendent Brian Edwards, who led the initial investigation into her mother’s murder, to solve the case

Lauren Bell
Lauren Bell tries to solve the mystery of her mother’s murder

The murder of wealthy businesswoman Penny Bell is one of Britain’s most intriguing murders.

Her daughter Lauren Bell has become a detective to solve the mystery. She has teamed up with Brian Edwards, the officer who led the initial police investigation into the murder 31 years ago.

Together they are determined to crack the case.

Penny, 43, was stabbed 50 times in broad daylight in June 1991 in her Jaguar in the parking lot of a busy leisure center. There were no signs of robbery or sexual assault.

Lauren, 40, said: “I think my mother’s killer is still alive and at large. I won’t rest until I know who murdered her.

“I was only nine when mum was taken from us, so today I come from a very different perspective. When I approached Brian, he didn’t hesitate and agreed to work with me on Mum’s case.

Penny Bell was stabbed in broad daylight


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Penny Bell’s family at her funeral

“His memory of the murder is extraordinary and his experience of the case is invaluable. Like me, he could never let go of the case and has thought about it constantly over the years.

“I’ve tried to piece together a lot of things from family, friends and co-workers over the years.

“Now I’m trying to match everything with Brian’s knowledge. It has certainly been a very busy few months with many new leads and perspectives.”

Brian, a retired Detective Chief Superintendent, said: “This case has always troubled me and when Lauren came forward I didn’t have to think twice about getting involved again.

“I retired in 1999, but this case always bugged me. I remember seeing Lauren as a little girl when her mother was murdered. Working with her now to solve the case is exceptional.

“Lauren has gathered a lot of background information over the years that would have been impossible for us as a detective team at the time.

“It has shed new light on a case that has baffled everyone for over three decades.”

Superintendent Brian Edwards led the initial investigation into Penny’s murder


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Penny, who lived in Denham, Bucks, was murdered in Perivale, west London, leaving behind her husband Alistair and two children, Lauren and 11-year-old Matthew.

Lauren, who now has a daughter of her own, linked up with Brian, the former Metropolitan Police detective, to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder last year.

Scotland Yard’s cold case team have regularly opened new inquiries into the murder, but to no avail. A forensic review was ordered last year but there was no new evidence.

Lauren said: “Brian and I are looking at every detail of mom’s life to find new evidence. I think we’ll find out who killed Mum and trust that we’ll be backed by the police to bring their killers to justice.

“Anything we discover will be forwarded to the police. It feels like the answer is right in front of us – like her killer is hiding in plain sight. So neither Brian nor I will give up this time.”

In 1991, after such a brutal attack in a public place, police were confident that the killer would be found.

However, no witnesses to the attack were discovered and despite extensive investigations, neither the killer nor a motive was identified.

Brian – who led other high-profile investigations including the murder of headmaster Philip Lawrence – said Penny’s case was the most frustrating of his career. He added: “[Lauren] has a brilliant inquiring mind. We are a great team combining experience and new knowledge.”

Lauren said: “Last year for the big anniversary I made so many public appeals for information and achieved nothing. I was deeply upset when no one answered, and then I had an aha moment. I realized that if the information didn’t come to me, I would have to dig up the evidence myself.

“I had a lot of information running through my head, but I’m not a trained detective, so I sought Brian’s help. I am so fortunate to be working with someone as talented and as energetic and passionate about justice as I am.

“It’s a unique situation, but it’s not impossible to crack this case. Every few weeks I still see older cases being solved after decades. I hope ours will be next.”

Brian said: “It’s impossible to let this one go.

“Lauren and I are committed to doing everything we can to uncover the truth of how her mother was murdered.

“It’s the least Penny deserves.”

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