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Mini Bonus Episode – Alan Leppard and Brenda Long

Thirty years ago, the whole county of Kent was shocked to its core, when a couple, freshly in love, were murdered—nine months apart. The mysterious case of Alan Leppard and Brenda Long, has baffled detectives ever since, and to this day, we still have more questions than answers. 


At the end of 1990, 43-year-old Alan Leppard and 42-year-old Brenda Long were just beginning their life together in the small Kent village of Monkton. Both had had rather complicated love lives until that point—Brenda was divorced and left her car dealer boyfriend, Arthur Hibbert, after meeting Alan—who in turn was in the middle of his fourth divorce. Now, Brenda and Alan finally felt like they had found the right person in each other. They were happy and looked forward to their future together. 

Living in Monkton, the couple soon became a familiar sight at the local bar called the White Stag, just two doors down from their home. There, Alan and Brenda would often be seen having a drink and socialising, before heading back to their cottage. 

However, on Easter Monday, April 1, 1991, the couple decided not to go to the pub and instead have a quiet night in. But as they were in bed watching TV, Brenda heard a knock on the door just after 10 PM. She noticed that Alan had fallen asleep, so she woke him up, before going to the window, where she saw two unknown men, next to a “large white car.” But before Alan had time to go downstairs and open the door, the mystery men were already gone. Thinking that, whoever the visitors were would come back if the matter was important, the couple went back to bed. Just 45 minutes later, there was another knock on the door. 

Alan got up this time and went to the window, confirming that it was, once again, the two men with the white car. Alan told Brenda he would go downstairs to answer it, and she followed him. When nobody responded to the question: Who is it? , through the door, Alan opened it, and stepped outside. Just a moment later, Brenda heard something disturbing, as she later told in an interview: 

An almighty bang and a scream. I went to go outside. Alan came round the corner, and as he came towards me, he must have moved his hands because I was 

absolutely covered in blood, and I started screaming. 

The two stumbled back inside, while Alan bled heavily from a wound in his chest—it was clear he had been shot. Unfortunately, Alan died in Brenda’s arms before help arrived. 

Right from the start, the police had a hard time figuring out what had happened. Alan’s murder had elements of a contract killing, but he did not seem to be the type of person who would have been ended up as a target. He was just an ordinary man, living an ordinary life as a quantity surveyor. Who would have wanted him killed? 

Before the police were able to answer that question, yet another tragedy struck the community. 

Somebody Knows More | Listen Notes

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Following Alan’s death, Brenda moved to a flat 15 miles away in Whitstable, where the two had originally met. As months passed, Brenda was beginning to go about getting back on her feet. She had even reportedly tried to rekindle her relationship with Arthur Hibbert. Unfortunately, he was also the last person to see Brenda alive, as on December 28, she was found dead in the bath of her flat. 

Nine months after Alan’s murder, Brenda’s body was discovered next to a suicide note and an empty pot of pills. However, investigators quickly realised, that things were not as they first appeared. This was not a heartbroken woman taking her life after the sudden death of her lover—but another murder. 

Pathologist Dr. Alexander, had noticed a strange chemical smell during Brenda’s post-mortem examination, and his tests later revealed, it was from diethyl ether—a toxic substance that causes a person to blackout when inhaled. Due to bruising found on either side of Brenda’s nose, it was concluded that someone had held a pad soaked in ether over her face by force. However, no such pad was found at the crime scene, meaning Brenda had not done it herself. 

Coroner Richard Stuart—who passed a verdict of unlawful killing—would describe the death as “one of the strangest and most disturbing cases I have dealt with for some time.” 

Cold case 

From that moment on, Brenda’s murder was being investigated alongside Alan’s—but why was she killed nine months later? And if the murders were linked, why was Brenda’s staged to look like a suicide? And more importantly, what was the motive behind all of this? 

At this point, investigators had found out, that just three weeks before Alan’s death, a man wearing a red tie, gold bracelet and gold watch, had called at the White Stag pub asking for him. Still, the identities of him and the men Brenda saw that night, remain a mystery.  

Weirdly, the police have never been able to trace the white Cadillac either. Which is curious, as cars like that are not an everyday sight in rural England. The police did appeal to the public through Crimewatch, and received 950 calls—and yet, the killers have never been found. 

Contract killing is still one of the theories, even though police never found any evidence of that, or any reason why Alan and Brenda would have been targeted. In addition, Alan was killed with a shotgun, which is an unlikely weapon of choice for contract killers. Still, we do not have many other theories of what happened, and to this day, both murders remain unsolved. 

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime 

Directorate, says the force still wants anyone who has been holding onto information for the past 30 years to come forward—reminding that: 

“No case is ever closed.” 

Anyone with information that may help with the cold case is urged to call 01843 222289. 


20 years on: Can YOU help find Brenda’s murderer? 

Police make fresh appeal for information about murders of Brenda Long and Alan 


The mysterious murders of a Thanet couple who were killed 8 months apart 

Kent double murder mystery reviewed 20 years on 

Riddle of the Cadillac Killers 30 years after man and lover died nine months apart 

30 years on from the unsolved double murder of Alan Leppard and Brenda Long