|Name:||Raymond Leslie Morris|
|Birth Day:||August 13, 1929|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He was a foreman engineer at a West Midlands factory.
Raymond Leslie Morris was born on 13 August 1929 in Walsall, Staffordshire (now part of the county of West Midlands). He lived in Walsall his entire life and was reported to have an IQ of 120. Morris went through a variety of jobs before getting a position as a foreman engineer at a precision instruments factory in Oldbury, West Midlands, in 1967. In 1951, he married 'the girl next door", who was two years younger than him, and fathered two boys. He kicked her out of the house after eight years of marriage, then divorced her on the grounds of adultery when she had another man's child. Morris's first wife would later describe him as a man with a need to express violent sexual dominance. At the age of 35, Morris was married again, this time to a 21-year-old woman named Carol. He had been suspected of taking indecent photographs of schoolgirls in October 1966, though he was not arrested as police failed to find any evidence. At the time the A34 murders were committed, Morris and his wife lived at Flat 20, Regent House, Green Lane, Walsall – a council-owned flat in Birchills, directly opposite the police station.
On 1 December 1964, 9-year-old Julia Taylor was lured into a car in Bloxwich by a man claiming to be a friend of her mother. The girl was sexually assaulted, strangled and left for dead, and was only saved from exposure after she was spotted by a passing cyclist.
On 12 January 1966, the bodies of Margaret Reynolds, age 6, and Diana Joy Tift, age 5, were found together in a ditch at Mansty Gully on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. Reynolds went missing on her way to school in Aston, Birmingham, on 8 September 1965, and Tift went missing on a short walk to her grandmother's house in Bloxwich on 30 December that year. Two thousand people searched for Reynolds in the hours following her disappearance.
The three murders were similar in that each victim was determined to have been coaxed into a car while near her home, then murdered after being sexually assaulted. Darby, Reynolds, and Tift lived within a seventeen-mile radius of each other and near the A34 road that passes through Cannock Chase. Furthermore, a 10-year-old girl named Jane Taylor had been abducted while riding her bicycle in the village of Mobberley in August 1966, and investigators could not disprove her disappearance was linked to what were colloquially known as the "A34 murders".
On 22 August 1967, a soldier who was a member of a search party found the sprawled, naked body of seven-year-old Christine Darby beneath brushwood only a mile away from where Reynolds and Tift were discovered. Christine had been enticed into a car by a strange man near her home in Camden Street, Caldmore, Walsall, three days earlier. Witnesses in Walsall explained that they saw a man in a grey car who spoke in a local accent, while two others who had been on Cannock Chase remembered seeing a grey Austin A55 or A60.
On 4 November 1968, at Bridgeman Street at the junction with Queen Street, Walsall, a 10-year-old escaped from a man who attempted to force her into his green and white Ford Corsair. This incident was witnessed by an 18-year-old woman who made a mental note of the vehicle registration plate. The police were called, who in turn called out the local vehicle registrations officer for Walsall. The woman had mixed up two of the numbers from the registration she had remembered. The police played around with the numbers and located a local record for a green and white Ford Corsair which was registered to Morris. Morris was arrested in connection with the attempted abduction. The police were aware that Morris, who had been interviewed four times in four years, had owned a grey Austin A55 similar to the one used in the abduction of Darby. He had been considered a suspect in Darby's death, but his wife provided him with an alibi by stating that the couple were shopping together the day she went missing. A police search of the Morris flat uncovered pornographic photographs of a young girl who was later determined to be Carol Morris's five-year-old niece. Scotland Yard detectives arrested Raymond Morris for Darby's murder on 16 November 1968. Two charges of indecent assault on the niece and one for the attempted abduction of Aulton would also be filed against Morris.
On 18 February 1969, Raymond Leslie Morris was found guilty of the rape and murder of seven-year-old Christine Darby, with the jury deliberating for less than two hours before reaching their verdict. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. (During the trial, a now teenage Julia Taylor was removed from the public gallery after crying out "That's him. That's the man that did it to me.")
Morris has been dubbed the Cannock Chase murderer. A 1971 book compared and analysed various English newspapers' handling of the widely reported discovery of Reynolds's and Tift's remains. Morris was featured in a 1995 report in Central Independent Television's crime magazine series Crime Stalker and a 2004 documentary of the Cannock Chase murders was televised on the ITV series To Catch A Killer. Morris and the Cannock Chase murders are referred to in David Peace's novel Nineteen Seventy-Four and the Channel 4 adaptation, Red Riding.
In November 2010, Morris was granted a judicial review of the refusal of the Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer his case to the Court of Appeal, in a bid to overturn his conviction. A statement from Morris's defence team said:
Raymond Leslie Morris died at HMP Preston health facility of natural causes on 11 March 2014. He was aged 84 at the time of his death, and had spent the final 45 years of his life in prison. He was reportedly issued with a whole life tariff by a Home Secretary or High Court judge at some stage, although this was never confirmed by the Home Office. By the time of his death, he was one of the oldest and longest-serving prisoners in England and Wales.
Raymond was married twice and had two boys.
Currently, Raymond Leslie Morris is 93 years, 5 months and 25 days old. Raymond Leslie Morris will celebrate 94th birthday on a Sunday 13th of August 2023. Below we countdown to Raymond Leslie Morris upcoming birthday.