'Painstaking' Potters Bar murder investigation to be commemorated

A PLAQUE is to be unveiled to commemorate the 'painstaking' police investigation which helped bring a brutal murderer to justice. On April 29, 1955, the body of Elizabeth Currell was found near the 17th tee at Potters Bar Golf Club, in Darkes Lane. Her he

A PLAQUE is to be unveiled to commemorate the "painstaking" police investigation which helped bring a brutal murderer to justice.

On April 29, 1955, the body of Elizabeth Currell was found near the 17th tee at Potters Bar Golf Club, in Darkes Lane.

Her head had been stoved in with an iron tee marker and the only clue as to the identity of her killer was a single bloody palm print on the weapon.

Police subsequently took prints from almost 9,000 men, aged between 16 and 45.

And after spending hours ruling out more than 4,000 of these prints the culprit was finally identified as 17-year-old Michael Queripel.

Queripel, a local government clerk with Potters Bar Urban District Council, later pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey and was jailed.

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Fast forward and now, more than half-a-century on, the police investigation is to be commemorated, thanks to The Fingerprint Society.

The plaque is the brainchild of Martin Leadbetter, chairman of the society.

Martin, himself a former fingerprint expert, said: "This particular case is well chronicled as it is the first one which the police actually took palm prints from a section of the male population in order to identify a crime scene mark."

He added: "It was painstaking work.

"It was a very good job and it was probably the only way they would have caught this man [Queripel]."

The presentation will take place at Potters Bar Golf Club on Friday, July 24.

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