Deborah Linsley, 26, was stabbed to death on the 2.16pm train from Orpington to Victoria Station on Wednesday 23 March 1988.

She was found lying on the floor of the carriage in a pool of blood when the train arrived at platform 2 at around 2.50pm.

Debbie, who worked as a hotel manager in Edinburgh and was visiting family in London, had suffered at least five stab wounds, including a fatal injury to her heart, and defence wounds to her hands suggested she had tried to fend off her attacker.

Although detectives have a full DNA profile of her killer from blood left at the scene, nobody has ever been arrested and the case remains unsolved.

When Debbie was murdered the Senior Investigating Officer described the attack as savage and brutal. She was stabbed at least five times and because of the severity of the attack he was of the opinion that it was unlikely that this was the culprit’s first violent offence. Debbie had deep defence wounds on her hands but despite this she injured him during the struggle. As a result of this a full DNA profile has subsequently been obtained of the attacker. So here we have a probable repeat violent offender and we have his full DNA profile but he is not on the DNA Database. I find that very puzzling. There must be a partner, relative or friend out there who knows of someone who returned home with an unexplained injury and we are appealing for that person or persons to come forward. After all we only need one phone call if it is the right one.”

Debbie’s father, Arthur Linsley, speaking in 2018

A £20,000 reward is on offer for information leading to the arrest, charge and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the murder.

Debbie had been visiting her parents and her brother Gordon in southeast London as part of the preparations for Gordon’s wedding a few weeks later.

She caught the train at Petts Wood and boarded a six-person compartment with doors at each side of the carriage.

A French passenger later told police she heard screaming on board the train after it left Brixton.

The murder weapon has not been recovered but is thought to have been a heavy bladed knife between five and seven and a half inches long.

In 2018 the Metropolitan Police said state of the art DNA techniques were being used to try and identify the killer through his relatives.

DI Susan Stansfield of the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team said: “Our efforts to trace the perpetrator continue. We will do everything in our power to identify the killer and bring them to justice.

“We have a DNA profile of the suspect and this remains a key piece of evidence that we are following up on. As well as the physical evidence at our disposal, we would be keen to hear from anyone who has information that might assist the inquiry.

“Have you had an unusual, out-of-the-blue conversation with someone about the murder in the intervening years? Has someone confided in you with information only the killer would know?

“Although this happened 30 years ago, you may recall being on that train or at a station on the route and seeing something which at the time you thought nothing of but in light of what happened was out of place and suspicious, and might be significant.”

Contact the incident room on 0207 230 4294 or 0207 230 0992, or to remain anonymous ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Support murdermap

We rely solely on subscriptions and donations to fund the website. Sign up for just £5 per year.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *