He took a fancy to her at party in ‘swinging London’ during ‘summer of love’ of 1967
By Mark Conrad | 17 May 2014
Among the partying artists and young professionals, a man with slicked-back hair took a fancy to the pretty, petite, shy teenager.
“Slicked-back” observed the slight, youthful-looking, 19-year-old student with stylish blonde hair from afar, one of the youngest people there among the medley of lawyers and doctors, musicians and fashionistas. And aspiring politicians.
This was not, however, the time that he introduced himself to “Jane” (not her real name).
The following night, he rang Jane’s flatmate. They shared mutual friends. He wanted to take the “pretty blonde” out for dinner.
The flatmate tells Jane about her admirer. He is on the telephone, and wants to see her.
Jane’s flatmate persuades her to agree to go on a “blind date” with him the next night. He was a young professional, well-spoken and dapper. He greased back his hair, a fashionable look at the time. A bit older than Jane, the flatmate said, slicked-back was going places.
Jane had not seen him at the party.
But he had definitely noticed her, Jane’s flatmate said.
“I was invited out for dinner,” Jane recalls. “I was persuaded by my flatmate to go. I had not met him before.”
“I do not think that I had ever had a blind date before that. It is not the sort of thing that I did.”
Jane grew up in the provinces, and moved to London to study at a prestigious college. Before college, she had a baby. But she felt somewhat self-conscious in the capital’s cool crowd. She often felt “quite claustrophobic” at such parties, unable to “cope with the social situation”.
“My flatmate was a very well brought-up lady. I was a naive and provincial lass. And it seemed that if she said that it was okay, then it was okay. So I agreed to go out to dinner with him.”
Jane sets out the horror of what she says happened next, events that were under criminal investigation five decades later. Some details of her account have been excluded for legal reasons.
She and slicked-back arranged to meet outside a tube station in a smart part of the city.
“He said at that point that he would like to go to collect some records at his flat to take to a friend’s after dinner. So I went along with him. That is why I went to-”
Jane breaks off as she recalls the beginning of the night that would leave her traumatised.
“Had he said-
“I was very naive. And had he said-
“If he had rung me, and invited me to go round to his flat, then that is not something that I would have done.”
Looking back, Jane cringes at her naivety. But, at the time, she says, she believed slicked-back’s line about the records that he wanted to take to a friend’s after dinner.
So, she walks with him to his flat, some 10 minutes away from the tube station. A detour before dinner, she thinks.
The flat is a plush apartment in a mansion block, a perfect pied-a-terre for a young, male professional.
“Once I got into-
“As soon as I got into the flat, he locked the door.”
As she walks into the flat, he proudly points out a picture that is displayed on a fridge in the living area.
She moves towards the fridge to look. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees slicked-back double-lock the front door to the apartment, and pocket the key.
Slicked-back is totally calm.
But Jane panics.
“As soon as he put his keys in his pocket, I ran to the toilet and locked myself in, and I stayed in there until he became very angry. And he was banging on the door, and threatening to kick it down.”
Jane makes for the window to escape.
But the window has metal bars outside. Designed to prevent intruders from breaking in, the bars are stopping her from fleeing from slicked-back.
Exaro is protecting the real identity of “Jane”.
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