Police may question dentist's wife

Colin Howell's US-born wife may be questioned again by detectives who re-opened the investigation into the deaths of his first wife and PC Trevor Buchanan, it was revealed today

Police may question dentist's wife

Colin Howell's US-born wife may be questioned again by detectives who re-opened the investigation into the deaths of his first wife and PC Trevor Buchanan, it was revealed today.

Kyle Jorgensen, who is now living in Florida with their five children after quitting their home in the North, was allegedly told by Howell 15 months after they married what he did seven years previously when he gassed both victims and then staged managed the deaths to look like suicides.

Even though he claimed he was on the verge of handing himself over to the police they later agreed to keep the secret to themselves after Howell claimed he underwent a "religious conversion".

Police are to study transcripts of Howell evidence to the court and are considering interviewing him again at Maghaberry Prison, near Lisburn, Co Antrim before making a decision to travel to the United States.

They questioned Jorgensen at the time her husband was arrested.

A file was submitted to the Public Prosecution Service. A spokesperson said today: "We can confirm a file has been received. Further inquiries are pending."

Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray who headed up the investigation confirmed this afternoon: "Obviously we are interested in some of the material which came out in court."

Jorgensen, who left the family home outside Castlerock just a few months after her husband was arrested, has now divorced the man she met in December 1996 when she was an Irish history student at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. They were introduced by a policeman and married the following May

Police have already launched moves to recover money from Stewart.

She received a total of £130,000 (€152,957) in benefits, part from an insurance company with whom she had an endowment policy and the rest from a police pension fund which she received up until the time she married David Stewart five years ago.

Meanwhile it could be some time yet before a report of an investigation into the bungled 1991 police investigation of the killings by the office of the Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson is ready.

One of his senior staff attended the trial in Coleraine as part of preparations to complete the findings.

Howell and Stewart fooled detectives into believing the deaths had been suicides and even though one of the two men who found the bodies - one of them was an off duty police officer, David Green, who was also an elder in Coleraine Baptist Church at the time - had his suspicions that all was not what it seemed. He was not part of the original inquiry team.

Relatives of Constable Buchanan (aged 32) three of his brothers were police officers at the time - lodged a complaint in the months after Howell and Stewart were arrested in January 2009 claiming the original inquiry was not as thorough as it should have been.

Friends of Mrs Howell also said they raised their concerns. One suspected Howell had been feeding Lesley tablets. Lesley also told three friends she suffered an electric shock when Howell dropped a cable into her bath.

Jack Hutchinson, a retired detective inspector who was involved in the investigation, claimed in court that no-one had made any "categoric insinuations of criminal complicity".

A post mortem also noted a cut on Mr Buchanan's lip and abrasions on his leg, caused by his struggle with Howell in final seconds of his life. But again they were not treated as suspicious.

Howell explained away a visible mark on his own face saying Mr Buchanan had come around to his house the previous night and confronted him.

Having studied anatomy, he realised after the killings that histology tests on the wounds on Mr Buchanan's body would have found he died four hours earlier than thought.

He told the court: "Detective Hutchinson said to me, and I don't know why he said it, it would need to be the perfect murder to get away with something like that.

"And that made me wonder if something forensically had been detected."

The coroner Robin Hastings, who is now 87, said he had taken his cue from the police who seemed convinced there was no other explanation.

"They seemed to think it was perfectly straight-forward at the time," he said.

"I was perfectly satisfied with the investigation, it seemed very thorough."

He added: "My main memory of it all was how keen the Baptist church were to keep it all quiet."

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