A Welsh man was on Monday found guilty of "a barbaric, medieval-style execution in one of the safest parts of the UK"—and a key Amazon purchase had a lot to do with his conviction, the Washington Post reports. Gerald Corrigan, 74, was shot with a crossbow as he tried to fix his satellite dish shortly after midnight on April 19, 2019; he died of sepsis three weeks later. Terence Whall, 39, was one of just two people in the UK who had purchased the exact type of arrow that killed Corrigan on Amazon.com during the year prior to the attack; the other was a hunter. More on the twisty case:
- Another critical clue: "There was no forensic evidence, no direct eyewitness evidence to the shooting and in fact no-one saw him going to and from the scene," a detective on the case says, per the BBC. But in June, investigators found a burned-out SUV abandoned in a deserted quarry; Whall had borrowed it from his partner. The vehicle's GPS system had kept a record of everything, showing that Whall had scoped out Corrigan's house the night before the attack and had gone back at the time of the attack.
- The arrest: Whall, who had also been seen practicing shooting a crossbow, was arrested in late June after the discovery of the SUV; three others were also arrested in connection with the case, USA Today reports (they were ultimately convicted of arson; see below). Authorities say Whall tampered with Corrigan's satellite dish, then hid and waited near the man's remote Wales cottage to shoot Corrigan in the torso when he came out to fix it after the signal went out.
- The motive: It's still not clear why Whall killed Corrigan, but Whall knew Richard Wyn Lewis, with whom Corrigan and his partner had recently gotten mixed up. They were allowing Lewis to cultivate cannabis, which helped alleviate Corrigan's partner's multiple sclerosis symptoms, on their property, and had also given him hundreds of thousands of dollars thinking they were investing in a real estate enterprise.
- Things went south: But when Corrigan and his partner found out Lewis was growing more cannabis than had been agreed to, and when they hadn't seen the returns they expected on their money after a year and a half, they confronted him—and told him there would be no more money coming. Weeks later, Corrigan was dead.
- Were others involved? Lewis, who has previous fraud convictions on his record unrelated to this case, remains under investigation, but authorities have not been able to tie him to Corrigan's murder. Whall made multiple visits to Lewis' house after the attack, including, per Sky News, to place a tracker on Lewis' car. In May, the month between the attack and the arrest, Whall and a friend were arrested at Lewis's house after a dispute about money. That friend was convicted Monday of helping Whall to set fire to the SUV that ultimately led to Whall's arrest, and his brother and a friend pleaded guilty to the arson, per the Review.
- More on the victim: Other than his dealings with Lewis, Corrigan's daughter says the retired photography teacher was "just an average bloke enjoying his retirement. He enjoyed a lie in, a nice cup of tea and reading books. He loved Laurel and Hardy films and photographing flowers and mountains." His partner describes herself and Corrigan as a "boring couple" who typically kept to themselves. After Whall's conviction, she pleaded with anyone who knows why he killed her partner to come forward, the Guardian reports.
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