Reaching witnesses is a vital part of any investigation and David Swindle Crime Solutions as case reviewers, are often trying to contact witnesses from a case which happened in the past. People sometimes do not realise that they hold valuable information, they may have thought what they know to be unimportant, but what they know could be the shred of information that makes the picture. Often we have to ask for help from the general public and one way we do that is via the media in the country where the incident occurred. Baywatch Magazine is a very popular English language magazine based in Spain but also available online. They have generously given us a double page spread regularly in their magazine. It has been my pleasure to write many of the articles which appear in that publication and the first we published was the sad case of Kirsty Maxwell who died in suspicious circumstances in 2017 while on holiday in Spain. Here is her story and you can follow Baywatch at https://baywatchmagazine.com/ or on Facebook at Baywatch Spain Magazine.
Kirsty Maxwell was a bright, beautiful, newly married 27 year old when she flew to Spain on Friday, 28 April 2017 to celebrate the forthcoming marriage of her friend. The group of young women had booked into the Apartments Payma in Benidorm at 9.15pm and were given three apartments on different floors. It was their first night, the girls had some food, drinks and laughs, returning to the apartments in the early hours. Kirsty went to bed on the 9th floor and was seen asleep by friends at 6.54am …… and then she was gone…… found dead on the pool terrace, 10 floors below, less than one hour later at 7.50am on Saturday morning.
David Swindle the highly respected former homicide detective, who brought serial killer Peter Tobin to justice, reviewed the case and believes that Kirsty awoke and went to see a friend in another apartment on the 10th floor. She went to the wrong door and entered an apartment being used by men from Nottingham, England who were there for the weekend too and appear to have been using drink and drugs.
We do not know how Kirsty came to be inside their apartment, but we do know, she fell from the balcony of this apartment, some minutes later. It has been suggested in the Spanish police report, media reporting based on Spanish sources (including briefings and quotes from the family’s initial Spanish lawyer) that Kirsty tried to escape the apartment in fear of her life. At the time of falling, we believe Kirsty was facing inwards towards the apartment. How did she come to be on the outside of the balcony safety rail and why did she fall to her death? It looks like she was so terrified of what was happening in that apartment that she tried to climb to safety?
Police attended but the correct protocols for preserving and gathering evidence were apparently not adhered to. David said 'Spanish police did not manage the crime scene, significant witnesses, exhibits and evidence as would be expected for such a tragic loss of a young life in unexplained, confusing, suspicious circumstances´. This was investigated as a potential homicide and major crime scene protocols should have been in place.
As if the horrific, tragic circumstances of Kirsty’s death weren’t bad enough, the way Kirsty´s parents Denise and Brian, and family who accompanied them to Spain were treated is absolutely shocking. They were called by someone who spoke little English, who told them Kirsty had died. At first, they thought it was a prank call. They called the British Consulate looking for help but were offered little, they had to find flights, queue with other passengers, nobody met them in Spain and with no accommodation, they went to the only place they knew in Benidorm, the Apartments Payma. It was there they discovered Kirsty’s death was not an accident but a major incident and that one of the men had been arrested, indicating there was some suspicion surrounding Kirsty´s death. Not knowing the area, they had to use taxis for transport, on meeting police, were handed a report in Spanish, which they could not read and which the Consul representative, who had come out to meet them, was not allowed to translate. Brian says they work within a really tight remit and you have really got to help yourself´. The family were told Kirsty had to be identified and that her body was at a mortuary in another town, 60 hours later they were handed a copy of the autopsy, also in Spanish.
The man arrested on the day of Kirsty´s death was released on 1 May due to lack of evidence. The family have appealed this decision and are involved in a legal battle to get the case and potential evidential opportunities investigated with the help of David Swindle, his multilingual Spanish Review Team and Spanish Lawyer Lorena Soler Bernabeu.
Kirsty’s family and their supporting team whilst critical of the irretrievable errors made in the investigation are confident information is still out there regarding Kirsty’s death and ask people to have a look at the website www.kirstymaxwell.com and contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org with anything they think can assist.
The David Swindle Crime Solutions team and their group of top experts, can provide legal, diplomatic,investigatory, and media advice and assistance to anyone having difficulties abroad and are currently working on a number of Spanish cases including Kirsty´s case which is featured in the BBC TV programme “Killed Abroad”.
Lesley McEwan who lived and worked in Spain for nearly 20 years said we really need this type of service. Can you imagine being traumatised by the loss of a loved one in a foreign country, not knowing your rights and not even being able to communicate? I am delighted to be associated with David Swindle, who´s invaluable advice, in the early stages of a case, can make all the difference to the outcome´.