A terrible murder in broad daylight in a leisure centre car park that remains unsolved since 1991.
It has been thirty years now since Penny Bell, a married businesswoman and mother of two, was stabbed in her own car in broad daylight outside Gurnell Leisure Centre in Greenford, west London. There are suspects, and suspicions, but no weapon was ever found and nobody was ever charged with Penny’s murder. This will change.
Throughout 2021 there have been renewed appeals for information, leading up to the 30th anniversary of the murder on 6th June 2021. Her husband left home that morning with their son. Penny herself left around an hour later after various discussions with workmen who were renovating their house in Denham.
A BBC Crimewatch appeal came up with various sightings of Penny collecting a male passenger, of driving erratically, of possible mouthing a cry for help while driving at a snail’s pace. Her powder blue metallic Jaguar XJS, an eye-catching car, was noticed at Gurnell Leisure Centre just an hour or so after she left home. Only later was Penny discovered slumped at the wheel. She had been stabbed around fifty times with a blade just three or four inches long. The autopsy suggested she had been stabbed by the person in the passenger seat, who had then, horrifically, walked around the car to administer further stab wounds from outside. He then fled the scene. But was he on foot or did he somehow have transport arranged? What happened to the thousands of pounds she had withdrawn in used £50 notes a few days earlier? Her purse was found in the car, without the money. And why were Laura Ashley wallpaper samples spread out between the front seats? Was she discussing the decorations with a man?
This is an appalling crime that causes continued pain to the family. Penny’s former husband, Alistair, is now a recluse, hiding inside that Denham home they shared so happily until 1991. Their eldest child, Matthew and daughter, Lauren, continue to look for answers.
Were you a customer at Gurnell Leisure Centre on 6th June 1991? Do you know someone who mentioned seeing a blue Jaguar XJS in the area? The registration number was E313MYP.