Murder on the beach: Twisted love triangle's suicide cover-up and a woman with a 'fatal fascination'

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A chilling murder in a Yorkshire seaside town, meticulously planned by a "wicked wife", was carried out by her two lovers, when husband Brian Chapman was lured to a desolate stretch of Redcar beach and met his tragic end.

Kalinda Chapman orchestrated the murder with John Wright and Alan Stoddart. Brian Chapman was her third husband. The trial drew national interest, with Kalinda exposed as a "ruthless woman who set out to ensnare every man she met".

Kalinda, a mother-of-four who claimed to be a member of the Salvation Army, plotted to kill her husband to stop their Dormanstown home from being sold. Despite Mr Chapman's known affection for his wife, they had separated, and Kalinda feared the house would have to be sold and the proceeds divided.

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She planned to start a new life with Wright, 21, who met her in 1973 when he was just 16. Wright, a driver, had been previously rejected by Kalinda in 1976 when she chose to marry Barry instead of him, reports Teesside Live.

However, Wright remained infatuated with Kalinda, and she later agreed to divorce Brian. She invited Wright to her Dormanstown home, and it was then she decided her husband had to go. Her other ex-lover, Stoddart, 28, described as a man of limited intelligence, was subsequently drawn into Kalinda's deadly scheme. He was completely taken in by the attention she lavished on him.

Mr Chapman met his end after Kalinda enticed him to the beach. She held onto the coats of her two lovers as they strangled him and dragged him towards the sea. His body was discovered washed up on the shore the following day.

On their journey home from the murder, Wright was in tears and Stoddart felt nauseous. Annoyed, Kalinda stopped the car and ejected Stoddart with the words: "You are not going to be sick all over my car." She then drove away.

The trio might have gotten away with it, given that Mr Chapman had a letter on him expressing his eternal love for his wife that appeared to hint he wanted to take his own life. Initially, the police treated his death as a case of suicide.

However, the plot thickened when Kalinda took another lover. This upset Wright to such an extent that he attempted suicide. Fearing that Wright could no longer be trusted, Kalinda approached the police and claimed that her two lovers had killed her husband and she was innocent. This tale led to the murder trial of Wright and Stoddart, but also to her own downfall.

When the two men stood trial at Teesside Crown Court, they provided damning evidence of her involvement. During the five-day trial, it was suggested that the two besotted lovers lived in Mrs Chapman's house and were manipulated by her into committing the murder.

Throughout the trial, she was described in various ways. She was referred to as a "middle-aged Mata Hari", a "femme fatale", and "Lady Macbeth". Wright's QC remarked during the proceedings: "She certainly had some kind of fatal fascination over the opposite sex. Whatever it was, we do not know."

Subsequent to the trial, a dossier on Kalinda's involvement was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, leading to her being charged in January 1978. Throughout, she maintained her innocence. Post-trial, she expressed relief, stating: "I am pleased that I have got justice for Brian. All I wanted was to see them go down the line for what they did."

However, her protestations were to no avail as a jury at Newcastle Crown Court found her guilty after deliberating for eight days, resulting in a life sentence. The presiding judge described the offence as a "particularly wicked murder".

Kalinda, who chose not to testify during the trial, continued to assert her innocence, filing several appeals against her conviction over the ensuing years.

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