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Twenty years of suspicion over Glenda Potter murder finally lifted

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Malcolm Shipley has been
cleared in the Glenda Potter murder hunt


by Keyan Milanian

A man has told of his relief at being officially cleared as a
suspect in a 20-year murder investigation.

Malcolm Shipley, 35, who was once arrested over the disposal of
prostitute Glenda Potter's body in Rochester, has finally been
ruled out by police.

He has received a letter signed by DI Dave Withers from Kent
Police saying he is no longer a suspect in the case.

Mr Shipley said: "Even my own mum had this tiny part of her that
believed it was me, but when I got the letter I told her how
relieved I felt.

"It has come as a shock because at the end of the day everyone
thought I was a murderer."

Glenda Potter
Glenda Potter

Glenda was found half-naked in the
grounds of the United Reformed Church, now the Vines Church, in
Crow Lane, Rochester.

The mother-of-four was 32 when she died, having been sexually
assaulted and strangled in May 1991.

Mr Shipley, who is living with family in Gillingham, was just 16
at the time and was charged with the removal, retention and
disposal of the body. The charge was dropped and he was released
along with two other men who had been accused of murder.

Until now, police have not ruled anyone out of the
investigation. But a letter dated January 13 reads: "I can confirm
that you have been contacted by police who are re-investigating the
murder of Ms Potter and you are not regarded as a suspect in this

Mr Shipley said: "I am still a stranger to my own brothers and
sisters because of what happened, it smashed my life to

His mother, Josie Shipley, said: "It has been 20 years of hell
and really I just don't want anything more to do with it."

Mr Shipley, who was living on the streets in the early 1990s,
said he knew Miss Potter well and that they would smoke or eat a
sandwich in parks in Rochester.

He added: "I feel for Glenda's family, especially her children.
We were all victims in the end but now I just want to get on with
my life."

DI Withers was unavailable for comment.

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