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'Jigsaw Man' Murder: Brit Stephen Marshall Admits Killing Jeffrey Howe

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Stephen Marshall, 38, has admitted murdering a man before scattering his remains miles apart across two British counties, Hertfordshire and Leicestershire.

The subsequent discovery of the anonymous body parts and the mission to piece them together gave his victim the nickname "jigsaw man."

Marshall had previously pleaded not guilty to murdering Jeffrey Howe, a 58-year-old kitchen salesman, but changed his plea to guilty after the third week of evidence.

St Albans Crown Court heard he murdered Howe in March last year in the victims flat in North London, as part of a plan he and his girlfriend Sarah Bush, 21, concocted to steal money.

During the trial the jury heard the disturbing lengths the killer had gone to in the hope of ensuring the victim's body would never be identified, including the "defleshing" of Howe's head - the removal of his face, eyes, tongue and throat.

Marshall had bragged to a witness about his skills in disposal of bodies - a skill he apparently learned while working for one of London's notorious crime families. The Daily Telegraph reports some of the witnesses statements:

She said: "One of them, I don't know which one, had a butcher's shop or something.

"He said that he began working the doors and then, because he was part of the family, got asked to do additional jobs after hours - taking care of situations as he put it, which meant at times he said that bodies would appear and he got asked to take care of them."

The Times of London reports further:

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said: "He would cut up the bodies, decapitate them, severing them at their limbs.

"He said they would put them into black bags and bury them, sometimes in Epping Forest, sometimes in different places.

"He described to me that the first time he got asked to do this he felt distinct nausea and he started to take coke to deal with the effects and that's how he became an addict."

The British news wire the PA has details of how the remains of the victim were found:

Mr Howe's remains were discovered by members of the public between March 22 and April 11 last year. His left leg, severed at the thigh, was found wrapped in blue plastic close to the roadside in Cottered, Hertfordshire, on March 22. A week later his left forearm, severed above the wrist and below the elbow, was found by the side of the road in St Albans and two days after that, on March 31, the remains of his severed head were found in a field in Leicestershire.

According to the court, before the murder Marshall and Bush had moved into Howe's apartment. Marshall, known for his frequent threats of violence, had refused to leave the apartment when Howe requested. After murdering Howe, the couple had continued living in the apartment, using Howe's bank account and selling his possessions.

Marshall had previously pleaded guilty to dismembering Howe and disposing of his body parts. Bush is pleading non-guilty to all charges.

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