Blackpool killer William Wilkinson jailed for life for murder after dismembering neighbour Edward Forrester

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Killer William Wilkinson has been jailed for murder after dismembering neighbour Edward Forrester

A Blackpool man has been jailed for life for murdering his neighbour, dismembering his body and scattering his remains across the resort and Lake District. William Wilkinson, 65, of Seafield Road, Blackpool, appeared at Preston Crown Court today (January 19) where he was told he would serve a minimum of 19 years and three months before he is eligible to apply for parole.

His victim, Edward Forrester, 55, was last seen in Seafield Road, Blackpool at 1.31pm on September 1 last year. He was reported missing the following day. When police officers attended Eddie’s flat in Seafield Road on September 3, they noticed blood on the door of the downstairs flat belonging to Wilkinson.

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When they entered the flat Wilkinson wasn’t home but, along with the traces of blood at the door there was also evidence of a clean up. Forensic experts later found Eddie’s blood in other areas of Wilkinson’s flat, including the carpet, walls, skirting boards and stairs, as well as in the communal hallway.

Officers also found a broken wooden stick with a heavy metal bung at one end in a bin liner. Wilkinson used this stick – thought to be the murder weapon – to strike Eddie over the head multiple times.

Wilkinson was subsequently arrested by officers from Cumbria Police in Windermere on September 5. During his initial police interviews he denied knowing where Eddie was and denied having any dispute with him. He answered no comment to questions put to him in further interviews.

William Wilkinson has been jailed for life for the murder of Eddie Forrester in Seafield Road, Blackpool last SeptemberWilliam Wilkinson has been jailed for life for the murder of Eddie Forrester in Seafield Road, Blackpool last September
William Wilkinson has been jailed for life for the murder of Eddie Forrester in Seafield Road, Blackpool last September | Lancashire Police

As detectives pieced together Wilkinson’s movements in the days between Eddie’s disappearance and Wilkinson's arrest, they scoured hundreds of hours of CCTV footage. This showed Wilkinson walking around Blackpool on September 1, 2 and 3 disposing of carrier bags which are thought to have contained Eddie’s remains and personal belongings.

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During these days, Wilkinson went about his daily routine as normal in order to try and throw police off the scent. This included shopping, going to a car boot sale, going to a pawnbrokers and placing bets at a bookmakers. He also went to the barbers – changing his appearance from having long hair and a beard to being clean shaven with a crew cut.

Wilkinson also used his white Peugeot Boxer van to drive to multiple locations around Blackpool and Cumbria to discard of evidence, including Eddie’s remains - not all of his remains have been recovered.

Killer, William Wilkinson (pictured right in CCTV image), has been jailed for murder after killing and dismembering the body of his neighbour Edward Forrester (pictured left). Pictures: Lancashire police. Pictures: Lancashire policeKiller, William Wilkinson (pictured right in CCTV image), has been jailed for murder after killing and dismembering the body of his neighbour Edward Forrester (pictured left). Pictures: Lancashire police. Pictures: Lancashire police
Killer, William Wilkinson (pictured right in CCTV image), has been jailed for murder after killing and dismembering the body of his neighbour Edward Forrester (pictured left). Pictures: Lancashire police. Pictures: Lancashire police | Lancashire Police

Following consultation with the Crown Service and before the discovery of Eddie’s remains, Wilkinson was charged with murder and later further charged with perverting the course of justice. He continued to deny any wrongdoing at this stage, although he did say “good luck” to an officer as he was being led back to his cell.

On September 13, Lancashire Police were contacted by Cumbria Police to say that they had found partial human remains – later confirmed to be Eddie’s - in a suitcase on land off Ashes Lane, Staveley - around 10 miles from Lake Windermere. Further discoveries were made in Cumbria and Blackpool over the following days and weeks.

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On November 17, after being presented with overwhelming evidence of his criminal wrongdoing, Wilkinson pleaded guilty to murder and perverting the course of justice.

Paying tribute to Eddie, his heartbroken family wrote: "As the siblings of Edward, we cannot believe that this savage, brutal and diabolic murder has happened. This was inflicted on our brother Edward - a quiet and harmless individual, who wouldn’t hurt a soul.

“We, as his family, have had to live with what happened to Edward, leading to sleepless nights, nightmares and flashbacks. When we were initially told that Edward had been murdered we thought it would be a single act, possibly a punch, an irrational act, someone who would be sorry for what they had done.

"But what we have found to have happened to Edward, to disregard him as a human being and prevent him from being laid to rest as a whole person has sickened our family and is something that we will never get over. Edward will be sadly missed and loved by many and we are happy that today, justice has been served.”