Heathfield necrophiliac pleads guilty mid-way through Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce murder trial

The necrophiliac who killed Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce 34 years ago has changed his plea to guilty mid-way through a trial.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:51 pm
Heathfield man arrested in connection with the deaths of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987 SUS-200312-123525001

David Fuller, 67, killed the two women in their ground-floor flats in Tunbridge Wells in 1987.

He then interfered with their bodies and years later filmed himself doing the same to multiple corpses at mortuaries he had access to, through his job as a hospital electrician.

Today (Thursday, November 4) the jury had heard how his DNA was found at the murder scenes but only linked to him three decades later via his brother.

Fuller, from Alder Close, Heathfield, had admitted killing the women but denied murder; claiming manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The deaths became one of the UK’s longest unsolved double homicide cases.

Both women lived alone in ground-floor flats less than a mile apart in Tunbridge Wells and worked in the town - although they didn’t know each other.

Wendy was found dead in her bed on the morning of June 23, 1987, and Caroline went missing after being dropped off by a taxi outside her home on November 24 that year.

Searches of Fuller’s home following his arrest uncovered hard drives concealed in a hide in his home, revealing evidence of prolific sexual offending of a kind no British court has seen before – said the Crown Prosecution Service.

Between 2008 and 2020, Fuller had filmed and photographed himself sexually abusing the bodies of dozens of women and girls at two Tunbridge Wells hospital mortuaries he was able to access through his job as the maintenance supervisor.

Libby Clark, of the CPS, said: “David Fuller’s deeply distressing crimes are unlike any other I have encountered in my career and unprecedented in British legal history.

“This highly dangerous man has inflicted unimaginable suffering on countless families and he has only admitted his long-held secrets when confronted with overwhelming evidence.

“Fuller, with his uncontrolled sense of sexual entitlement, treated Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce with extreme depravity. Both women were simply at home or returning from work when he ambushed them.

“Their families never gave up on achieving justice even when all hope seemed lost. My thoughts are with them today and all the families of women and girls whose lives have been cut short by senseless violence.

“Fuller’s appalling crimes did not end with these killings and he went on to abuse his position of trust as a hospital electrician in the most grotesque manner imaginable.

“No British court has ever seen abuse on this scale against the dead before and I have no doubt he would still be offending to this day had it not been for this painstaking investigation and prosecution.”