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Private Investigator Jen Jarvie who is looking in to the 1990 murder of Ann Heron in Darlington

Ann Heron murder: A look back at the 1990 unsolved killing

Was violent on-the-run prisoner responsible for Ann’s death?

Crime expert Jen Jarvie has obtained evidence which she says could link the murder of Ann Heron to a man named Michael Benson

By: Naomi Corrigan – Multi-media Journalist


02 JAN 2022

Crime expert Jen Jarvie offered to help investigate Ann’s murder on behalf of her family.

And she has obtained evidence which she says could link the murder to a man named Michael Benson.

She believes the driver of the blue Ford car seen speeding away from Aeolian House on the day Ann died was Benson, who had absconded from prison in 1989 while serving a life sentence for attempted murder.

Jen, a university lecturer in police procedure, began re-examining the brutal slaying on behalf of Ann’s family, free of charge.

And she believes she has obtained ‘compelling’ evidence that Benson, who died in 2011, could be the real murderer.

Despite police tracking down the owners of 3,500 blue Fords, the car was never found.

And on July 18, 1990, two weeks before Ann was murdered, two women were attacked on a footpath beside the River Wear in Durham by a man who grabbed them and threatened them with a knife.

“He was an escaped prisoner with a propensity for violence including assault with a shotgun, robbery with a carving knife, and burglary,” she said.

“His whereabouts were unknown to police at the time as he’d escaped [from jail], and he had ties to the local area.”

After Ann’s death someone claiming to be ‘The Killer’ sent sick letters to her family, the police, and newspaper The Northern Echo.

At the time detectives said publicly that they believed the handwritten notes had come from the killer, and were not a hoax, said Mrs Jarvie.

Earlier this year, Benson’s ex-wife, Ruth Bennet, was shown one of these letters by The Sun newspaper, and confirmed it was his handwriting.

“Obviously Peter is elated that people are realising that it’s not as cut and dried as it was made out to be,” said Mrs Jarvie.

The family has urged Durham Constabulary to look closely at the evidence she has gathered about Benson.

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