UK & World News
Mansfield Bodies In Garden: Couple Guilty
A woman and her husband have been found guilty of murdering her parents and burying them in their own garden.
Susan Edwards, 55, and her husband Christopher, 57, showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out at Nottingham Crown Court.
Her parents, Patricia and William Wycherley, were each shot twice at close range in 1998 and their bodies hid in their own backyard at Blenheim Close, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
But the Edwards had pretended her parents were still alive for 15 years by sending Christmas cards to relatives, forging signatures on official documents and setting up timers in the Wycherleys' home.
One letter written in December 2007 reads: "Actually, my father is remarkably fit for his age - as well as being more adventurous than in younger years, as his Ireland travels would show!"
The Wycherleys' bank accounts were closed and a new one set up which allowed the couple to syphon £245,000 from her dead parents' benefits and pensions, and the eventual selling of the Wycherley home, with the bodies buried in the back garden.
Despite stealing the money, the Edwards were found to be £160,000 in debt. When they were arrested, police found they held only one euro in cash.
It was revealed during the two-week trial that Susan Edwards had an obsession with celebrities and had spent thousands of pounds buying letters written by Hollywood star Gary Cooper.
In another bizarre twist, it also emerged that Susan Edwards had faked a decade-long writing relationship with French film star Gerard Depardieu.
The Edwards fled to France after they received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions and the Centenarian Society asking to speak to Mr Wycherley at the approach of what would have been his 100th birthday.
Police dug up the back garden after Christopher Edwards' stepmother contacted police because he had asked her for money and confessed to helping his wife bury her parents 15 years earlier.
After they were traced to France, the Edwards - who were arrested last October at London's St Pancras station - sent a politely worded email to the officer in charge, Detective Chief Inspector Rob Griffin, saying: "We are going to surrender".
DCI Griffin said: "It was straightforwardly about money."
Susan Edwards, a former librarian, admitted her mother's manslaughter, but both her and her husband had denied murder.
She claimed she had shot her mother after hearing her shoot her father while staying with her parents.
The judge, Mrs Justice Kathryn Thirlwall, told the Edwards they could expect a life term when they are sentenced next week.