Burntisland link to canal killer?

John Patrick Sweeney as it is believed he looked in the mid 1980s
John Patrick Sweeney as it is believed he looked in the mid 1980s

LONDON-based police officers are appealing to Fifers for information on the whereabouts of a woman previously known to convicted double murderer John Patrick Sweeney.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s homicide and serious crime command unit is appealing for information as part of the ongoing investigation in trying to identify the whereabouts of a Scottish woman who is thought to have come from Fife and is believed to have been the girlfriend of Sweeney in the mid 1980s.

Sweeney was convicted of the murders of Paula Fields, a mother-of-three living in London, and Melissa Halstead, a former model, on April 4, 2011 at the Old Bailey.


The women’s bodies were discovered a decade apart after being mutilated and dumped in canals in London and Rotterdam, leading to Sweeney being dubbed the ‘canal killer’.

Sweeney, who called himself the ‘Scalp Hunter’ in a gruesome artwork, was told he would die in prison and was given a whole life sentence without parole.

Now officers are keen to establish the whereabouts of the Scottish woman.

Detective Chief Inspector Howard Groves, who is in charge of the investigation, said: “Sweeney is believed to have gone out with this woman, who was possibly called Fiona and shared a house with her and others in Hornsey Park Road, North London in 1985.

Prison service

“She may have originally been from the Fife area in Scotland, possibly Burntisland, and her father or other family member had links to the Prison Service in Scotland.

“It is also believed that whilst in London, she was with another woman, who may also have been Scottish.”

Officers are urging anyone who knows, or believes they know of any one that fits this description; of their current whereabouts, or of any information that may assist with this enquiry to contact the Metropolitan Police.

Anyone with information should contact the incident room at Barnes Green Police Station on 0208 247 7821, or if you don’t want to give your name call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.