TV documentary suggests link between Bath murder of Melanie Hall and serial killer Levi Bellfield
A TV documentary has tried to link serial killer Levi Bellfield to the murder of Bath hospital worker Melanie Hall.
Channel 5’s Killers Behind Bars last night aired claims that the injuries suffered by 25-year-old Melanie, whose remains were found by the M5 in Gloucestershire in 2009, had some of the hallmarks of Bellfield’s other killings.
It is understood that detectives have comprehensively investigated the theory that Bellfield may have been Melanie's killer and rejected it.
Royal United Hospital clerical worker Melanie disappeared from what was then Cadillacs in Walcot Street in June 1996 in a crime that shocked the city and that has never been solved, despite a major inquiry.
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Bellfield is serving a life sentence for killing two women and 13-year-old schoolgirl Milly Dowler.
Criminologist Professor David Wilson, an academic at Birmingham City University who fronts the TV series, says there are reasons why police should consider the 44-year-old more closely.
Melanie, a University of Bath graduate whose parents Steve and Pat live at Bradford Leigh, had suffered brutal head injuries.
Prof Wilson said: “These trauma injuries were caused by a blunt instrument and were similar to those found on Bellfield’s victims – all blunt force injuries.”
The programme also highlighted a set of Ford keys found at the M5 scene, saying that Bellfield drove that make of car.
He was said to have been a frequent visitor to Bristol and Prof Wilson added: “The criminological links to Bellfield provide a compelling case for police to redouble their efforts to solve the crime.
“Melanie fits his victim selection and method of killing very closely.
“Ford car keys were found at the scene and we know that Bellfield had a number of Ford cars.
“We all thought Bellfield was a killer in the Greater London area but now we have shown that he had links to major cities in the west of England.
“I strongly believe there are connections between this case and Levi Bellfield.”
Police have considered a host of serving prisoners and serial offenders in their 17-year quest to find Melanie’s killer.
Among these has been Bellfield, who murdered Milly in 2002.
Det Supt Mike Courtiour, of Avon and Somerset Police’s CID, said: “Extensive phases of investigation have been carried out since Melanie Hall first went missing in 1996. These included at the time of the initial report and then the discovery of her remains in October 2009. Sadly the case remains unsolved in spite of these investigations. However, cases such as this are never closed and any new line of enquiry that is identified is followed as far as is reasonably possible. This includes investigating individuals who come to light as the result of arrest or conviction for offences which are relevant. Consequently Bellfield and many others have been considered by the investigating officers.”