Man guilty of hair-in-hand murder
A man with a hair fetish has been convicted of the ritualistic murder of a 48-year-old woman, deliberately leaving her mutilated body for her two children to find.
Danilo Restivo, 39, is also linked to the murder of a teenager in Italy who was murdered in a similar way to seamstress Heather Barnett.
Mrs Barnett's family quietly sobbed in the public gallery as he was found guilty in just five hours by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of the murder in 2002. The Italian national showed no emotion.
Restivo entered the flat of his neighbour in Bournemouth, Dorset, and bludgeoned her with a hammer before cutting her throat.
He then cut off the breasts of the 48-year-old and left a clump of someone else's hair in her right hand and some of her own underneath her left hand in the carefully planned ritualistic murder considered unique by detectives.
He left the body for Mrs Barnett's children Caitlin, then 11, and Terry, then 14, to find in the bathroom. Restivo even claimed he comforted the horrified youngsters as they fled the scene just as he arrived home opposite.
Outside court, Mrs Barnett's sister Denise Le Voir called Restivo "arrogant and callous".
"Heather would have been horrified by the cruel and callous way Danilo Restivo designed her murder and mutilation so her children would find her body on return from school," she said
Detective Superintendent Mark Cooper, who led the inquiry, added: "I believe that this dangerous predator had watched over Heather for some time and carefully planned this horrendous crime, even attempting to construct a false alibi to deceive the police."
In finding Restivo guilty, the jury of five women and seven men agreed with the prosecution that the manner of Mrs Barnett's murder was Restivo's "hallmark" and linked the killing to the murder of 16-year-old Elisa Claps in Potenza, Italy, in 1993.