Carol Wilkinson


Carol was no angel - but she wasn't a particularly bad girl either. She simply got into trouble from time to time whilst trying to make her life better. She was no great beauty either - she was five feet one and tubby. She only ever had one steady boyfriend. Her problems began when her father and mother were separated.

Carol was born in 1957. For most of her childhood she lived in a house that backed on to the old disused railway line on the western edge of the Ravenscliffe estate. Her mother separated from her father and married George Wilkinson in 1961. When Carol was 10, her sister Wendy left home. Wendy was seven years older than Carol. This departure and the arguments that went with it seem to have been crucial to Carol's life. She was never quite as contented with home life again.

Carol left school in 1973 and got a job as a clerk in the Empire Stores in Bradford. A year later she moved closer to home - as a clerk in the wholesale department of Almond's Bakery. She was murdered on her way to this bakery.

During her teen years Carol frequently argued with her step-father. He thought she was associating with undesirable people in a nearby estate - and he was right.

When Carol was 16 she went missing for a couple of days after going out on a Saturday night. She said that three men had waylaid her at a bus stop as she was heading home - they had taken her to a nearby garage and gang-raped her. There were all the usual signs that this was true.

Soon after this she began going out with Kevin Best. They were engaged in 1975.

Carol left home in early 1977. She had an argument with her step-father and went to live first with her sister Wendy Worsley who lived on the other side of the estate. Wendy's house was across the road from the home of the Best Family and Carol moved into a house a little further down the estate with Kevin Best. He now had a good job in the butcher's shop on Ravenscliffe Avenue.

In the period just before the murder the couple were saving up to get married. Carol was not as good at saving money as Kevin - and the couple had an argument about this. On the Friday night before the murder Kevin went out drinking with some friends and briefly talked about this "tiff" as he called it.

Carol was murdered on a Monday morning. The previous Saturday morning. she had gone into Bradford to buy a new pair of shoes. Later, she had lunch with Kevin, then they went shopping together at the local supermarket. In the evening she went out with some girls from work. Their evening turned into a pub crawl, mainly in the Shipley area - about a twenty-minute drive from the Ravenscliffe estate.

During the evening Carol was seen taking to a rugby player. At the next pub they visited, Carol vanished. It was early on Sunday morning that she finally got home - in a taxi and very drunk. Kevin was not pleased, but the couple appear to have quickly made up - for Carol visited Kevin in the butcher's shop whilst on her way to work on the fateful Monday. She had a caught a cold over the weekend and was blowing her nose.

Carol walked to work that day in her new shoes. She could not catch the bus - which stopped outside her house - because of a bus strike. She had already told the girls at work that she would be walking along the old disused railway line to the bakery. Her step-father affirms that she would not have gone along the rough track known as the "muck road".

There was one odd thing about Carol's behaviour that morning. She left her keys at home - her mother in law to be found them on the back of the front door.





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