A jury heard that an 89-year-old retired pig farmer in the United Kingdom “got away with murder” for nearly 40 years after dumping his wife in a septic tank while having an extramarital affair.
This sounds like the plot of a movie set in a cold, windy village where farms and houses are spread out and people gather around bars to unwind after a long day’s work.
However, it is a true story in which David Venables told the court that he did not murder his “prim and proper” wife Brenda between May 2 and 5, 1982.
Venables sold the Quaking House Farm in Worcestershire, to his nephew in 2019. In July of that year, contractors were clearing out the septic tank in what was once a “rough,” overgrown, and “secluded” area when they made the horror discovery. His wife’s skeletal remains were found in the septic tank.
While some assumed she had committed suicide, the police investigated her disappearance but were unable to locate her.
The husband had reported her disappearance, but after the body was discovered, he believes she committed suicide and would have gone to the septic tank to kill herself.
According to the prosecution, it is beyond belief that Brenda Venables committed suicide by climbing into the septic tank and then shifting the heavy lid and repositioning it above her so that there was no sign of any disturbance.
They think the husband killed her and hid her body there because he would have been one of the very few people who would know of the existence of the septic tank.
The authorities claimed Venables murdered his wife because “he wanted her out of the way” so he could continue his “long-standing affair with another woman.”
“He knew about the septic tank in its secluded location,” the barrister told the court. It was almost the ideal hiding place for him.”
In the years leading up to his wife’s disappearance, Venables had an on-again, off-again relationship with his mother’s former caregiver Lorraine Styles, which the court heard began “around 1967.”
But by 1981, Ms Styles had “new doubts about David Venables’ feelings for her,” but that the farm owner rekindled the extramarital affair over Christmas and New Year’s, just months before his wife disappeared.