Who Killed Debbie on the Afternoon Train?
On 23 March 1988 Debbie Linsley boarded the 2:16pm train at Orpington to London Victoria. It was a 35 minute train journey.
Debbie boarded an old-fashioned train carriage with room for six people and doors at each side of the carriage. Unlike modern trains, there is no corridor between the carriages. Debbie sat in her carriage and smoked two cigarettes and ate part of her sandwich. A passenger stated that screaming was heard from Debbie’s carriage after it left Brixton in south London, the final, and longest leg of the train journey. The witness heard noises for two minutes and feared a woman was being raped. But it was even worse.
Debbie was stabbed between five and eleven times in the face, neck, chest and abdomen. She had deep defensive wounds on her hands. It is thought the motivation for the crime was sexual and the offender was a stranger to Debbie. One passenger, a possible suspect, was seen getting out of a single compartment and going into an open one at the front. He was described as a stocky man, aged around 30, with dirty blond hair and a pale jacket. British Rail staff discovered Debbie’s body at 2:50pm when checking for any remaining passengers on the train.
Despite the heinous attack, Debbie was able to injure her killer during the ordeal and a full DNA profile has been obtained from the attacker’s blood. His DNA has not been identified on the UK’s criminal database which has been updated since 1995. The DNA has shown that the killer is a white male.