The last time anyone saw Veronica Packman (40), also known as Carol to her friends, was in mid June 1985, when she met with a lawyer about divorcing her husband, Russell. The man had done something unforgivable, really: months before, he had brought his mistress, Patricia Causley, to live in their home, claiming the woman, who like him was an aircraft engineer, had nowhere else to go.
But then, Veronica went missing. All that was left behind was a hastily scrawled note saying she was leaving and never coming back. Russell said he’d seen his wife leave in a red Porsche with another man. And for years, the Packman’s daughter, Samantha, believed her mother had abandoned her.
That until in 1993, Russell, who by then had changed his last name to Causley to suit his mistress’, tried to fake his own death to cash in on the insurance and was arrested for fraud. Police decided to reopen the investigation on Veronica’s disappearance and eventually charged Russell for her murder too. Even though there was no body, Russell Causley was found guilty and sentenced to life in 1996.
After an appeal, in 2003 the sentence was discarded, but Causley was found guilty again in the retrial the following year. He’s still in prison, currently 71 years old. He has allegedly confessed to murdering his wife to some inmates, saying he dissolved her body in acid. But despite his daughter pleading him to reveal the whole truth, he’s never said a word about it.
Now this case will be the focus of a new british true crime series called The Investigator, which is produced by American Idol’s Simon Cowell and focus on former detective Mark William-Thomas trying to get some answers about what happened to Veronica Packman. It will air in July in the UK. The local press are calling it “Simon Cowell’s response to Making a Murderer”, but seems to me like it will be a very different type of show, since the guilt of Causley doesn’t seem to be questioned by anyone at this point.
‘From Lost to Found, From Contemporary to Traditional, From England to China… In the Eyes of Liu Wen’ - model: Liu Wen - photographer: Sun Jun - stylist: Wilson Huang - hair & makeup: He Lei - location: Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire, England - Harper’s Bazaar China December 2015