Valley of Death. 14.PDF

Just three days after his doctor told him he had only six months to live, Harold Stanier’s life came to a sudden and traumatic end. A further ten days passed before a trainee postman found the body in the fire-ravaged kitchen of his remote home in West Cornwall. Local police, a fire officer and a doctor who visited the site, agreed that the incident occurred during a violent thunder-storm when a bolt of lightning struck the gas cylinder of a portable heater. They advised the Coroner of their findings and, subject to the results of a postmortem, he agreed to a temporary verdict of misadventure. A later examination of the premises by a local CID officer resulted in a suggestion of suicide. After perusing the details, the area superintendent passed the case to Devon and Cornwall Police HQ at Exeter, where the detective chief superintendent (crime) instructed two members of his staff to investigate. Detective Inspector Richard Eagles, and myself, Detective Sergeant Jacquetta Hawkes visited the site. It quickly became apparent that it was crucial for us to to find answers to three questions. Was the death of Mr Stanier accidental? Was it suicide? If so, the fire was irrelevant. Or was another person responsible? On the return of the victim’s house-keeper three days later, another problem arose when she reported that Mr Stanier would not, under any circumstances, allow gas into his home. However, an empty gas cylinder found on the front doorstep of Mr Stanier’s home raised further suspicion. D I Eagles and I paid a quick visit to the police station at Penzance, and after meeting the desk sergeant, he informed us of the underlying situation. Our first task therefor was to determine the split second timing of the lightning strike. The storm had lasted for several hours and had produced hundreds of flashes. So, how on earth could we identify, and determine the precise timing of one specific flash?
ISBN: 9781839454509
Type: Paperback
Pages: 346
Published: 16 September 2020
Price: $12.95

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