Airwoman Rita Ellis 1967 murder: Crimewatch appeal turns up ‘new reports’

Rita Ellis

image copyrightThames Valley Police

image captionThe teenager was murdered in 1967 and her body was discovered in woodland

Police hunting the killer of a teenage servicewoman more than 50 years ago have received eight new reports following an appeal on BBC TV.

Rita Ellis, 19, was found sexually assaulted and strangled near RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire, in 1967.

Thames Valley Police said it was following up the new information it had received since the case featured on Crimewatch Roadshow on Monday.

The force urged anyone with “suspicions” to contact officers.

image copyrightThames Valley Police

image captionThe teenage aircraftswoman’s death was widely reported at the time

Ms Ellis’s body was discovered in Rowborough Copse close to a disused railway near the RAF camp on 12 November 1967 by a dog walker.

She was last seen alive the previous night.

Efforts had been made to hide the remains of Ms Ellis, who was from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, under leaves and foliage.

Police reopened the inquiry 10 years ago to make use of modern forensic techniques.

image copyrightThames Valley Police
image captionRita Ellis was an aircraftswoman stationed at RAF Halton

Peter Beirne, head of Thames Valley Police’s major crime review team, asked the public to contact the force, or Crimestoppers anonymously, with the name of anyone they suspect of involvement in the crime.

He said officers had already ruled out almost 200 suspects after a DNA profile of the perpetrator was created.

“If the person you suspect has died, we can easily swab close relatives to either eliminate or implicate them,” Mr Beirne said.

Find BBC News: East of England on

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email

To contact us about news video you’ve filmed in the East of England please email

Related Topics

  • Cold cases

  • Royal Air Force
  • Halton
  • Stevenage

BBC News