Search

The house in Hill Road: one year on from brutal murder, a killer remains at large

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:50 09 November 2018

Cathy Burke, who was found dead on November 16 last year. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Cathy Burke, who was found dead on November 16 last year. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Archant

In the kitchen of a terraced house in Muswell Hill, a candle has burned brightly for almost 365 days in memory of Cathy Burke. One year on from the murder that rocked a community, police remain tight-lipped about any progress towards finding her killer. Hannah Somerville reports.

The house in Hill Road, Muswell Hill where Cathy Burke was found last year. Picture: ArchantThe house in Hill Road, Muswell Hill where Cathy Burke was found last year. Picture: Archant

In recent weeks, a van has been parked outside 34 Hill Road, halfway down a quiet residential street in Muswell Hill.

Workers from Homes for Haringey have been removing personal belongings - among them blankets and pillows - from the property.

One year after Catherine Burke was found murdered in her home, police are now handing it back to the council.

But the investigation continues, with no-one yet charged in connection with the killing of the retired civil servant - and so, unfortunately, do the rumours.

One Hill Road resident in her 80s recalled the night of November 16, 2017, when police broke into the property after being alerted by concerned neighbours.

She said: “It was ridiculous. Up and down, up and down, and since they went… nothing.

“We spoke to one of the coppers that night, and he said it could take a long time.”

A post-mortem examination on November 17 confirmed that Ms Burke, who had lived alone since her son went to university, had been stabbed to death.

Hill Road, N10. Picture: ArchantHill Road, N10. Picture: Archant

It was later reported she had been bound and gagged by the attacker.

But this cannot be confirmed by a coroner until the police investigation ends.

One person, a 31-year-old man, has so far been arrested - back on January 2 this year. He was later released under investigation.

Police also refuted claims that a man living in Hill Road had been arrested in connection with the case.

The boarded-up property as it looked in March this year. Picture: Google StreetviewThe boarded-up property as it looked in March this year. Picture: Google Streetview

Ms Burke had reportedly been security-conscious following a burglary the previous year.

There was no sign of a commotion the night before, and no damage to the house’s exterior.

Next-door neighbour Julie Affinita, 65, said: “The police haven’t told us anything. Nothing at all. Everything is cloudy, and the only thing we can do is prevention.”

“For us it was shocking. She was a very friendly lady. I feel sad because we talked over the fence; we both loved gardening. She liked buying flowers, and now they’re all gone.”

The candle neighbour Anna Nathan has kept lit since Ms Burke's death. Picture: ArchantThe candle neighbour Anna Nathan has kept lit since Ms Burke's death. Picture: Archant

Anna Nathan, 73, the neighbour on the other side, has lit a candle in her kitchen every day since the murder. She said: “The most important thing is that she was a real lady. It’s heartbreaking.”

Ms Burke was originally from Galway and had lived in Hill Road for about 20 years.

After the murder, business owners in the Colney Hatch Lane area said rumours were rife among locals about who was responsible.

But one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Everyone was talking about it but there was no-one that knew her.

“I tend to keep my mouth shut and don’t ask questions. It’s when you ask questions you get the backlash.”

Police would not confirm what leads they were following, or whether appeals were ongoing.

A spokesman said: “The investigation is ongoing. Enquiries continue.

“Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command are leading the investigation.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

10:41

Keir Starmer has said the government’s approach to Universal Credit is similar to the “hostile environment” policy that led to the Windrush scandal.

13:01

A Cumbrian couple have been left scared for their property after receiving a bailiff’s letter demanding council tax for a Maida Vale property they have no connection to.

12:26

Barnet Council has apologised to residents after bungled changes to bin collections saw households going nearly two weeks without having them emptied

09:52

A passing mechanic saved the day after a “rogue Diwali firework” set the roof of a Hornsey bar on fire a week ago last Thursday.

Yesterday, 16:30

The Phoenix Cinema will hold a meeting on fundraising for the historic cinema this weekend.

Yesterday, 13:14

A special interfaith Remembrance Sunday parade in Highgate saw attendees from across faiths and generations join together to pay their respects to those who fought and died in the First World War.

Yesterday, 11:59

Camden Council has backed calls for a second referendum on Brexit, with councillors overwhelmingly supporting a motion last night.

Yesterday, 11:21

A charity café in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park run by the Camden Society has been lauded for its inclusivity and work in the community.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now