On this day in history : 28th October 1986 – Jeremy Bamber is jailed for life for the White House Farm murders – where he killed five members of his own family….

Bamber shortly after his arrest – Fair use

The Bambers were a wealthy farming family, living at White House Farm, a large Georgian property near to Tolleshunt D’Arcy in Essex…. Jeremy was legally adopted by the family as a baby…. Four years previously they had also adopted a baby girl, Sheila….

White House Farm (in 2007) – Image credit : Glyn Baker CC BY-SA 2.0

After leaving school Bamber’s adoptive father paid for him to travel to Australia and New Zealand…. Here he reputedly became involved in drug smuggling – and also broke into a jewellery shop, stealing two valuable watches….

Once he had returned to the UK and after a few casual jobs, Bamber began to work for the family farm…. However, he was resentful of the low wage – despite living rent free in one of the family’s cottages and having been given a car…. He further showed his lack of appreciation by committing a robbery at the caravan park owned by his family….

Bamber’s adoptive parents Neville and June Bamber – Fair use

Bamber’s adoptive sister, Sheila, had been treated in hospital for schizophrenia…. On the 7th of August 1985 at 3.30am 24-year-old Bamber phoned the police to say his father had phoned him and told him that Sheila had got hold of his gun and had gone berserk with it…. When the police arrived at the house they found her dead, with the gun lay on her chest – along with a Bible…. Her mother lay dead in the same room, her father was found dead in the kitchen and Sheila’s 6-year-old twin boys lay dead in their beds upstairs….

Sheila and her twin boys, Daniel and Caffell (around 1984) – Fair use

At first police believed that Sheila had killed them all before turning the gun on herself…. But when Bamber’s girlfriend came forward and said that he had talked about killing his parents forensic tests were carried out and revealed his fingerprints on the gun…. Bamber had been set to inherit £436,000….

As the guilty verdict was read out at Chelmsford Crown Court Bamber showed little reaction…. Judge Mr. Justice Drake described him as “Warped and evil beyond belief”…. He then handed down five life sentences….

Bamber has always protested his innocence…. In July 2001 an inquiry was launched into the case and it was referred back to the Court of Appeal…. In December 2002 Bamber lost his appeal….

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