When 22-year-old Joe Pooley vanished from the Kingsley Hotel, the normally tranquil town of Ipswich in Suffolk, England, witnessed a terrible crime. Even though the authorities made every effort to bring Joe back safely, his body was discovered in the River Gipping around six days after he vanished. The tragic episode is chronicled in the Netflix documentary “When Missing Turns to Murder: Joe Pooley,” which also explains how law enforcement officials were able to apprehend Joe’s murderers. Let’s investigate the specifics of the crime to learn more, shall we?
How Did Joe Pooley Die?
Joe Pooley had a very difficult upbringing because he was never adopted and was placed in foster care in 2003. In addition, Joe was left homeless after leaving the system as an adult and remained so until Suffolk County Council’s Adult Care Services assisted him in getting back on his feet. Adult Care Services employees reportedly assisted Joe with his finances and daily life while he was still residing in the Kingsley Hotel at the time of his death. In addition, experts felt that Joe, who was 22 years old, had either ADHD or autism, which made it nearly impossible for the man to live alone in addition to having a worldwide developmental deficit.
Nevertheless, Joe was well-liked by those who knew him, and nobody was aware of the catastrophe that was going to strike him. On August 7, 2018, Joe Pooley was last saw leaving the Kingsley Hotel in Ipswich. There was no proof to back up the claims made by a few bystanders who afterwards claimed that Joe was allegedly seen with three other people. However, when the 22-year-old didn’t arrive back at the hotel as scheduled, staff members from Suffolk County Council’s Adult Care Services called the police to report the incident.
When law enforcement took up the investigation, they set up various search parties and explored the local areas in search of the missing guy. Additionally, officials used more search teams and sniffer dogs, but in vain because Joe was nowhere to be discovered. The 22-year-old actually went missing for six days while authorities and community members searched every square inch of the town for him in an effort to bring him home safely.
Eventually, on August 13, 2018, information concerning a set of human remains floating in the River Gipping was relayed to detectives. The victim was quickly identified as Joe Pooler by the police once the remains were found, and a preliminary medical examination revealed bruising all over the body of the victim. However, an autopsy revealed that those circumstances were not the cause of death because Joe’s attackers struck him and held his head underwater until he drowned.
Who Killed Joe Pooley?
Due to the lack of leads or suspects, the first investigation into Joe Pooley’s murder was quite difficult. Furthermore, it was impossible to gain the perspective of someone who had known Joe for a long time because he had been in the foster system since 2003 and had no known family. In addition, the victim frequently used cannabis and had ties to ex-offenders, which the police later discovered may have contributed to his murder.
Through their investigation, the police discovered that Joe Pooley had made friends with Luke Greenland, a person with a significant criminal history, just before the murder. Luke was mostly arrested for violent offences, and according to sources, he was on parole at the time of the murder after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer with a bottle of prosecco. Further evidence that Joe was readily swayed by those around him came from the fact that he was detained after obeying Luke’s orders to throw a stone through a woman’s window.
Investigators discovered that Joe had a sexual relationship with Becki West-Davidson just days before he vanished while probing into Luke’s connection to Joe’s death. Further inquiry also turned up the fact that Sebastian Smith, the person threatening Joe on Facebook, had discussed this relationship with Becki. Unexpectedly, it was discovered that Luke Greenland was using the identity Sebastian Smith, and it didn’t take long for the police to conclude that Luke and Becki had meticulously planned the murder. Detectives also discovered that Sean Palmer, a friend of Sebastian’s, had been brought in to assist in the murder, and all three were charged with Joe’s death.
Where Are Sebastian Smith, Becki West-Davidson, and Sean Palmer Now?
Sebastian, Becki, and Sean maintained their innocence when they were brought before the court and entered a not guilty plea. The three was found guilty by the jury, but the prosecution had sufficient evidence to secure a conviction, and they were each given a life sentence in 2021, beginning with a minimum of 17 years. Sebastian, Becki, and Sean are currently still being held in UK jails because neither of them is currently eligible for release. However, readers will be shocked to learn that another 26-year-old woman was being detained by the authorities on suspicion of Joe’s murder. She was later cleared of both murder and manslaughter, though.