Lady of the Lake killer: Family of Gordon Parks hopes new DNA evidence will prove he never killed his wife 42 years ago
30-year-old Carol Park disappeared from her home in Leece, close to Barrow-in Furness, Cumbria in July 1976. Her body was found 21 years later at the bottom of a lake.
The family of the notorious Lady in the Lake killer Gordon Park is hoping that his name will be cleared 42 years after his wife, 30-year-old Carol Park, disappeared from their home in Leece, close to Barrow-in Furness, Cumbria in July 1976. The authorities have since launched investigations at least three times and it has taken them at almost 30 years to solve one of Britain's most intriguing if grim murder mysteries. Park's husband, Gordon, had said that she had not been feeling too well so she did not go with him and three children to Blackpool for the day. When the father and the children got back home in the evening that same day, they found that Carol had disappeared. The woman's body was found 21 years later at the bottom of a lake with the cause of death being determined as bludgeoning with an ice axe.
Gordon was then convicted for his wife's murder. Her body had been found by some amateur divers at Coniston Water. She had been wearing her blue nightgown and had been wrapped in a plastic sheet with her eyes also taped shut. Gordon was arrested in 2004 and was convicted of one year after that. The Sun reported that in January 2010, Gordon hanged himself in his cell at HMP Garth in Lancashire.
The case got the name from the Raymond Chandler novel of the same name. Gordon, however, has always maintained that he was innocent even 42 years after his wife went missing that day in 1976. Jeremy and Rachel, his children, as well as his third wife Jennie are more optimistic than ever to clear his name.
The three of them believe that with the new technology that's available, the ropes and plastic sheet that was used to wrap Carol's body will reveal somebody else's DNA. This could then end up leading to a Court of Appeal hearing and Gordon's conviction can finally be overruled. Carol's side of the family is still convinced that his suicide in the prison cell was an "admission of guilt" while some of the relatives still want the case to continue.
Carol's 56-year-old niece, Kay Washford, told the publication: "If he was innocent he would have fought it and fought it. His suicide absolutely seemed like an admission of guilt to us. I'm not happy about this latest attempt at an appeal. What do they think they have found that would make a difference? Nothing has changed in our minds. It doesn't matter how long she has been gone. She was part of our family and she deserves justice."