Trevor Stoddard, a neighbour, “had had a funny feeling” about Jeffries. Mr Stoddard, harnessing the awesome power of hindsight and unsubstantiated speculation, noted that “He looked like the sort of man who’d do this kind of thing. And, anyway, his eyes were too close together.”
By talking about Jefferies in the past tense, Stoddard was able to distance himself from the accused, and paper over any inconsistencies in his argument. “For a man who ‘kept himself to himself’, Jeffries seemed remarkably sociable, which just goes to show how two-faced these ‘crazed loners’ can be”.
When told that Mr Jeffries was innocent until proved guilty, Mr Stoddard said, with devastating logic, “If he wasn’t guilty then why did the police take him in?” Of the house in Canynge Road, Clifton, a quiet suburb of Bristol, Mr Stoddard was adamant: “We’ve been calling it the ‘house of horror’, ever since, oh, about 7 o’clock this morning”.
He folded his arms, in a gesture of finality. "And that hair. Well!"...