The Haunting Case of the ‘Killer Cabbie’

killer-cabbieWhen Detective Sergeant Steve Fulcher heard that taxi driver Christopher Halliwell – the lead suspect in the disappearance of Sian O’Callaghan five days earlier – had refused to tell officers anything during his arrest, he made a decision that, in a cop show, would be described as “not doing things by the book”. In the real world, Fulcher’s actions were later described by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) as a “catastrophic” breach of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

While officers were driving Halliwell from the scene of his arrest, in an Asda carpark, to Gablecross police station in Swindon, Fulcher called them and told them to instead take the suspect to Barbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort. Fulcher met Halliwell on the wind-swept hilltop at 12:11PM on Thursday the 24th of March, 2011. He led him 50 yards away from the officers and their police cars to talk. Their conversation was recorded by the only other person there, a civilian note-taker:

Fulcher: “Are you going to tell me where Sian is?”
Halliwell: “I don’t know anything.”
Fulcher: “Are you going to show me where Sian is? What’s going to happen, if you tell us where Sian is – that whatever you will be portrayed – you would have done the right thing.”
Halliwell: “I want to go to the station.”
Fulcher: “Are you prepared to tell me where Sian is?”
Halliwell: “You think I did it.”
Fulcher: “I know you did it.”
Halliwell: “Can I go to the station?”
Fulcher: “You can go to the station. What will happen is that you will be vilified. If you tell me where Sian is you would have done the right thing.”
Halliwell: “I want to speak to a solicitor.”
Fulcher: “You are being given an opportunity to tell me where Sian is. In one hour’s time you will be in the press.”
Halliwell: “I want to speak to a solicitor.”
Fulcher: “You will speak to a solicitor. I’m giving you an opportunity to tell me where Sian is. By the end of this cycle you will be vilified. Tell me where Sian is.”

Long minutes of silence passed. Finally, Halliwell said: “Have you got a car? We’ll go.”

Continue reading at Vice.

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