Serial Killer: Massacre in the New Forest

Written by W Lacky

It started as a robbery of the house of a wealthy elderly couple. It was to end in the death of five people, as the robbers indulged in a horrifying orgy of rape and murder.
On a September evening in 1986 retired publisher, Joseph Cleaver and his wife Hilda were at home in their mansion in the heart of Hampshire’s New Forest, entertaining their son and his wife to dinner. The main course had been cleared away and dessert had just been served by the elderly nurse and housekeeper Margaret Murphy. Suddenly three masked men wielding pick handles and a shotgun burst in.
A harsh voice from under one of the masks ordered the women to take off their jewellery, and the men put their wallets and cash on the table. Then all five were marched upstairs, tied and gagged, and placed on beds or on the floor. Hilda Cleaver was tied to her wheelchair.
For over an hour the bandits ransacked the Cleavers’ home, the beautiful Burgate House, which stood near the banks of the River Avon near Brockenhurst. After collecting together, a pile of weapons from Joseph Cleaver’s gun cabinet, a TV and video and a few other items, they went looking for a wall safe they thought may contain several thousand pounds.


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