Vehicle Forensic Evidence in the Investigation of the Murder of Gerald Corrigan
Gerald Corrigan, 74, and Marie Bailey were at home on Anglesey, North Wales on the night of 18th April 2019. Marie had gone to bed early and left Gerald watching TV.
At around 0030 hrs the TV lost it’s signal and so Gerald went outside to attempt to adjust the satellite dish and fix the reception problems. Whilst adjusting the dish he was shot by someone with a crossbow. He staggered back into the house to alert his partner who called the emergency services and he was taken to hospital, however, died a month later.
The crossbow bolt had passed through his body and had then exited and hit the wall of the house. The crossbow bolt was found by the attending paramedic and seized by police for forensic investigation.
An examination of the scene by Police ruled out the possibility that the attack had been an accident as the shooter must have been only 10 metres from Gerald Corrigan when they had shot him and that there would be no reason for any hunter to be firing at the house from the close range. There were also no signs of any enemies who would have a motive to cause him harm.
Police were able to obtain the records from Sky that indicated a signal was being received at Gerald Corrigan’s address at 00:08 hrs and that at 00:28 hrs the viewer stopped a recorded program and that the satellite signal was no longer available.
The Police then attempted to identify all owners of crossbows living on Anglesey and were given a list of 17 potential leads by a company named Outdoorhobbies who had supplied customers on the island. The 17 individuals included one named Terence Whall who had purchased a crossbow shortly before Gerald was shot.
However, upon further enquiries, it transpired that the crossbow had not arrived until after the shooting and though he admitted to having previously owned one, he claimed to have sold it in the months prior to Gerald being shot.
Police then reviewed Terence Whall’s Amazon account purchases and noticed that he had bought crossbow bolts from the site just over a week prior to the shooting.
Two weeks after Police had questioned Whall about the crossbow, a Land Rover was found in a disused quarry that had been set on fire. The car was identified as having belonged to Terence Whall’s partner.
Even though the car had been set on fire, the computer within it had recorded information that could be obtained and reviewed. It was found to maintain a record of the car’s location through a GPS tracking signal that is accurate to within 5 metres as well as what doors are opened and closed and when.
It was found to have been parked on Gerald Corrigan’s driveway for 23 minutes just 24 hours before the shooting and then moved to Porth Dafarch beach for around an hour and a half before returning to Terence Whall’s home address.
On the night of the murder, the vehicle registered that it returned to Porth Dafarch beach and that the boot had been opened at 23:10 hrs which is when the Police believe the crossbow was removed from it.
Between 12 and 13 minutes after the shooting, the car computer registered that the boot had been opened again, the point at which the crossbow had been put back into the boot.
The suspect, Terence Whall, was questioned about this and provided an alibi, however, the other party was questioned and denied meeting him at the beach.
On 24th February 2020, Terence Whall was found guilty of the Murder of Gerald Corrigan by a Jury at Mold Crown Court and on 28th February 2020 he was sentenced to a minimum of 31 years of imprisonment.
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