Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: February 5, 1984
Date of birth: 1965
Victims profile: Robert Vaughan, 17, and his fiancee Michelle Sadler, 17
Method of murder: Strangulation / Stabbing with knife
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on 1984

On the morning of Sunday 5th February 1984 a woman walking her dog on open grassland near Southwark Bridge in London noticed something strange in the bucket of a small dumper truck parked nearby. On investigation she found the almost naked body of a young girl. Beside her, and lying face down, was the clothed body of a young man.

It was quickly established that the bodies were those of Robert Vaughan and his fiancee Michelle Sadler. They were both 17-years-old. Michelle had been sexually assaulted and strangled and Robert's throat had been cut. They were sensible youngsters and, when they had not returned home the previous evening, their parents had informed the police.

Robert was a packer in a workshop and his employers, Courier Display Systems, told the police that he had asked for permission to work overtime the day before and for Michelle to help. It was also discovered that another employee at Courier Display Systems had also worked on the Saturday. He was David Carty, an 18-year-old West Indian. He was immediately picked up and denied all knowledge of the killings.

The forensic teams moved in on the workshop. The premises consisted of a single room measuring 60 feet by 20 feet that was reached by a corridor eight feet wide and also about 60 feet in length. Near the entrance to the corridor was a men's toilet fitted with two pedestal cubicles, a double urinal and three washbasins. The urinal drain was blocked by bloodstained paper and, although the tiling in the urinal had been washed it still reacted positive for bloodstains. There were also small spots of blood on the back of the urinal door. From the position of the stains and the fact that Robert had been found with his jeans unzipped and his penis exposed it was deduced that he had been attacked from behind in the urinal and had his throat cut.

Special lighting showed eight partly-bloodstained footprints from a left foot. Stains on the workshop floor proved to be blood mixed with semen and proved to be from the same group as Carty. A screwed up paper tissue found in a rubbish box similarly tested for semen stains which could have come from Carty.

When Carty was told of the evidence building against him, especially that the footprints matched those of his blue suede trainers, he changed his story and admitted that he had disposed of the bodies. He now said that he had left the workshop to go shopping and, on his return, had found the bodies of the young couple. Afraid that he would be suspected of the murders he had cleaned up the workshop and removed the bodies on a four-wheeled trolley and put them in the dumper truck.

Forensic examination of his shoes showed presence of blood that could have been consistent with clearing up the scene but it also revealed small spots of blood on the left shoe but not the right. The angle and position of the spots indicated that he had been standing behind, and slightly to one side of Vaughan, when Robert's throat was cut. Michelle's clothing was recovered from the roof of a tea-bar where Carty said he had thrown them when he was clearing up. Several items tested positive for semen stains that were of the same blood group as Carty.

Carty's trial began at the Old Bailey on 26th November 1984. He pleaded not guilty but was found guilty of both murders and sentenced to youth custody for life.



David Carty


Robert Vaughan, 17, and his fiancee Michelle Sadler, 17.



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