What Really Happened To India Chipchase?

(India Chipchase. Photo credit: telegraph.co.uk

It's that time of the week again where I bring you a true crime case you may not have heard about before or you've heard of but don't know the full details. I decided this week to cover the murder of India Chipchase. Sadly, not many people know about this case or the real details of what happened to India, so I thought I would bring you her story here. It's important to remember that India wasn't just the victim of a horrific crime, she was a person who had hopes, dreams, talents and family who loved her. I hope that I can shed some light on who India was as a person in this post.

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Let's begin...

India Chipchase could have been a supermodel, that was one of the things that came into my mind when I first saw her picture. The camera just loved her with her long dark hair, stunning features and blue eyes. She could have been anything that she wanted to be but she had her heart set on helping people in the medical profession, like her father. India was born on Christmas Eve in 1995 to Suzanne and Jeremy. She had two sisters and a brother who she was very close too.

India loved having a birthday on Christmas Eve. She was like a lot of young women, into fashion, socialising with friends, taking selfies on nights out, girly holidays and she loved One Direction, Justin Bieber, Olly Murs and Robbie Williams. As part of my research, I read a lot of her tweets, to me she came across as someone who was fiercely protective of her family, kind hearted, loved a good party and was a bit of a joker. I found myself smiling and laughing at some of the things she said and thought to myself that she must have been such a fun person to be around.

Here's some of India's tweets:

- ''After Saturday night, I do not want to look at my bank balance.''

- ''It's always a great feeling when a baby grabs onto your hair and won't let go.''

- ''I love making pedestrians smile when I'm driving in my car, singing along to 'because I'm happy''.

- ''Just watched a car spin round a roundabout, go up a curb. Pulled over, got out the car to make sure driver ok, that's my good deed of the day.''

- ''My high score at Flappy Birds is 0.''

India was so excited when she passed her driving test and joked about not having to take buses anymore. She was so popular and had many male and female friends, some she had known since childhood. Due to her stunning looks she often turned heads wherever she went. Whilst she was working towards her medical career, she had a job as a barmaid and had a great relationship with her boyfriend. India was one of those girls who seemed to have it all but she wasn't big headed, she cared about other people and had a big heart.

India had not long turned 20 years old in the December of 2015 and on the 30th of January she and some friends decided to go out for a few drinks at a nightclub as they normally would. The night went well and the drinks flowed, being young and not really pacing themselves, it wasn't long till India and her friends were a bit merry. At some point India and her friends got split up amongst the crowds. India ended up outside of the club but was trying to find her friends whilst her friends were inside looking for her, after a while they assumed that she had just gone home.

As India stood outside the club, the doormen would not let her back in as they thought she was too drunk. She was stood outside for a while and was caught on CCTV cameras, looking at her phone as if she was trying to send or read messages. A bald headed man was seen approaching her and the pair seemed to be having a conversation. The man was called Edward Tenniswood and he was 52 years old, he asked her if she had been kicked out of the nightclub too. Edward claimed that India was upset and was complaining about her ''so called friends'' who were still in the club.

''I just felt sorry for her. I'm a tactile person and I sort of put my arm around her in a parental way. I kind of said 'I'm sure everything is going to be fine'. I was just thinking, India, calm down and stop crying because this is upsetting me. I said to her 'Well you know, I'm going to get a lift home and drink at my place and you are very welcome to come if you want to.''

(CCTV footage of outside the nightclub on the 30th of January 2016. India Chipchase is seen facing away from Edward Tenniswood. Photo credit: express.co.uk

Edward Tenniswood then claimed that India looked up at him and gave him a ''half smile'' after he suggested they go back to his place. What really happened was that Edward asked her if she was ok and said that he would help her get a taxi safely.

India, being a bit worse for wear was probably thinking that this man who was a lot older, was trustworthy and felt that there was no harm in sharing a taxi.

The CCTV cameras recorded India walking to a taxi with Edward and getting in. Edward or ''Eddie'' as he preferred to be called, gave the taxi driver a different address to the one in which he lived at. He wanted to be dropped off a little bit away from his actual home so that the taxi driver would not know where he lived. At that moment, or maybe before they got in the taxi, he knew what he was going to do that night.

The taxi driver could see that India was drunk and Edward appeared to be sober, it's unknown what he said to her or how he managed to get her to get out of the car at his stop but neighbours saw him helping India into his house.

The neighbours always thought he was strange and a bit of an ''oddball''. He'd once had a fight with a neighbour and put his hands around the man's neck because he wouldn't go for a drink with him. He wasn't married or had any children and had been living at his rented house on Stanley road in Northampton for about five years and worked as a bookkeeper.

What was later discovered was that Edward Tenniswood had a severe case of OCD, his squalid house which had no heating or carpets, was covered in dust sheets. He had pictures and newspaper clippings of various women and was said to have had an obsession with the girl group, Little Mix. He was so frightened of germs that he covered his laptop in cling film and still wore rubber gloves when using it.

(Inside Edward Tenniswood's home. Photo credit: newslocker.com

Once India was inside of his home, Edward claimed that they had a few drinks and shared some jokes. At some point, he claimed that India fell and hurt her head but was ok and came onto him. He said that they had loving sex but he was too ''overeager'' and she passed out after he accidentally put his hands around her neck too tightly during intercourse.

Investigators later discovered after India's autopsy and examining the scene, what most likely happened was that India freaked out when she sobered up and found herself in Edward's creepy looking house and tried to leave. Edward didn't let that happen, he raped and strangled India before carefully placing her on a mattress, fully clothed. He cuddled up to her body for a while and then arranged her hair above her head like a halo. He then placed a sheet over her body and went to a local hotel for a few drinks.

Whilst this horrendous murder was happening, India's boyfriend had been calling her phone non-stop trying to find out where she was as everyone was worried. The next day police tracked India's phone to Edward Tenniswood's address and they discovered her body.

India had over 30 injuries and Edward's blood was found underneath one of her finger nails. She had bruising to her forehead and cheek, cuts to the inside of her cheek and lip. There was a cut above her right ear as well as bruising and scratches to her neck. She also suffered from blunt force trauma to her head and bruising to both hips.

Three hours later, Edward was found at the hotel. He was in the lounge watching television and when the police appeared he said ''You know who I am - Edward. I'm surprised you were so quick. It didn't take you long to find me. I suppose you've been to the house, you've found what you're looking for.''

When he was arrested, police noticed that he had scratch marks on his face, friction marks on his legs and scratch marks to the left side of his neck where India had tried to fight him off.

After Edward (who claimed to have drank 3 bottles of wine a day) was arrested, the press had reported that he had been arrested for sexual assault just days before India's murder. He had been out on bail.

He had been questioned over a 2005 sexual assault which he had been linked to but despite several failed attempts, was not arrested until the 18th of January 2016.

Just days after his arrest, it was reported that three people came forward who had previously suffered violence at the hands of Edward Tenniswood. One of the women said that he tried to throttle her and another one said that he put his hands around her neck when she was trying to get away from him.

At the murder trial, Edward claimed that he and India had consensual sex and spoke about her like he had known her for years. He made a lot of strange comments and told the court that he had dated a lot of beautiful women including a famous fashion model (who said that she'd never met him before in her life). He said that he collected pictures of women who looked like his ex-girlfriends and that these pictures were his ornaments. He had pictures in his house of a model who he claimed was an ex, that bore a striking resemblance to India.

''I've had some extremely attractive ex-girlfriends, is that a crime?'' - Edward Tenniswood

He told the court that he and India ''just clicked'' when they met and snapped his fingers in the witness box for effect.

When asked about the pictures of the girl group, Little Mix, Edward responded ''That's Little Mix, I'm probably going to get sued by Little Mix now. If you want to say they're attractive then yes, they are attractive, although they are actually quite plain, but the photographer did a fantastic job of it.'' 

Prosecutor Chris Donnellan QC asked ''You have a 20 year old drunk girl in a taxi, what are you going to do when you get back to your house?''

Edward replied ''I hadn't actually thought forensically about what I was going to do. I just wanted to get home, have a drink. She was a drinking companion.''

When asked about leaving the house after killing India, he said ''I wish I had left a note that said 'India darling, I will be back in 20 minutes, love Eddie''

After a two week trial, the jury took one hour and forty-five minutes to convict Edward Tenniswood for the rape and murder of India Chipchase.

The judge said ''This was a terrible crime. It was committed because the defendant was determined to satisfy his own sexual desires on an attractive and much younger woman. It was a crime of utter depravity.''

Edward was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 30 years. When he was sent to prison, he complained to his legal team that he was getting death threats from other prisoners and was in fear for his life. His lawyer said ''He hasn't slept. The level of threat is very serious. He's not the largest person and is very vulnerable.''

Up to the present day, threats continue to be made against Edward Tenniswood who will be 82 years old when he can be first considered for parole.

(Right: India Chipchase. Left: Police outside of Edward Tenniswood's house where India's body was found. Photo credit: telegraph.co.uk

Everyone who knew India was devastated by her death, more than 100 bouquets of flowers were left outside of her place of work and her colleagues raised more than £3000 to help her family.

Her funeral took place in March 2016. India was cremated but other details are unknown, the service was kept very private.

Her mother later spearheaded a safeguarding scheme ''Northampton Guardians'' which aims to protect women when they are out on the town. Volunteers patrol the streets to protect vulnerable women who may be on their own.

India's mother said that she will never recover from her daughter's savage murder and her father said ''Whatever happened that night and whatever stories are told, the fact is, our daughter was murdered.'' 

As with all the cases I've covered, this was such a sad case, India had everything to live for and it's frightening to know that there's people out there who are like Edward Tenniswood. It seemed to me that he lived in a fantasy land and became infatuated with India when he saw her. Instead of admiring her beauty from afar or just having a quick conversation, he saw a sick opportunity to take advantage of a young, vulnerable girl. Most of us have gotten drunk when we were younger, out on the town and sometimes you ended up sharing a taxi with someone else who was in the queue. India was a regular nightclubber so she probably thought that this was just another case of sharing a taxi. I don't believe that she went back to his house willingly, she must have been so out of it and didn't have full control of what she was doing.

It must have been terrifying when she realised where she was, inside his house. What a horrible and tragic end to a beautiful and gifted girl's life. It just goes to show, you have to be very careful who you trust, no matter how much older and wiser they may seem to you and always stay with friends and in public places until you get a taxi (proper licensed cab) to take you home.

I can just imagine Edward Tenniswood in his cell, collecting more newspaper clippings of women and sticking them up on the wall. A lot of people in prison know what he did and it'll only be a matter of time until someone gets a hold of him.

RIP India.

Thank you for taking the time to read my latest case, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me x

Further reading & sources:

India Chipchase - Twitter
India Chipchase Murderer - Mirror Newspaper Article
Edward Tenniswood's home - Daily Mail Article
Northampton Guardians
Edward Tenniswood Jailed - BBC Article
India Chipchase Murder - The Guardian Article

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Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

The Sylvia Likens Case

The Tragic Life & Death of Marvin Gaye

The Camden Ripper: Anthony John Hardy

Deadly Obsession: The Ricardo Lopez Story

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

-Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?

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  1. Terrific reporting...so sad, and it continues to happen all over the world, as predators like this look for someone who is incapacitated - people have to take care of each other when out and about so this doesn't keep happening

    1. I agree, thank you for taking the time to read and comment : ) x

  2. This was fairly local to me and I used to work in Northampton at the time of the murder. It was really sad to see her family and friends on social media appealing for information before they knew what had happened and then the news breaking that her body had been found.

    With regard to the case, I also seem to remember something about her being on her way home or similar (and alone if I remember correctly) and then stopping the taxi and getting out and going back to the club. My memory is vague but I'm sure that something along those lines happened, as I remember thinking she was so close to most likely being safe. Possibly I'm wrong though, I'll see if I can find a link.

    It also sparked a bit of a debate locally as to whether bouncers should do more to ensure young and clearly drunk girls are safe, especially (or perhaps only) when they're separated from friends, which I presume is what the Guardians canpaign is about. I know I was out with one other friend one night and went to the toilet. I was really drunk and stumbled into a bouncer who threw me out, no handbag so no phone, no purse, my friend was also in there alone at this point. It was very dangerous and eventually they allowed me back in, with one of them escorting me, to find my friend, but they weren't happy about it. I was completely stuck though, and of course it isn't down to security staff to babysit people who have had too much but there is some level of balance there!!

    1. Just realised this was already mentioned in one of your links 🙈

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