Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously this month, we have remembered Miriam Nyazema and, on the 4th of August, Denisa Silmen, who was just 25-years-old.
The vast majority of murders I write about has the same pattern. A controlling, abusing partner or ex-partner who, for some reason, becomes jealous. Sometimes the relationship has ended, sometimes not. Roughly nineteen out of twenty murders are committed by a man the victim knows.
Today’s remembrance is different – it involves a very stylish 67 year-old-lady Jan Bennett who was raped, killed, and her body then set on fire.
Jan, a cancer survivor, was undoubtedly a beautiful woman and was married to Nick, who sadly had his own health issues. Jan originally lived in Eastville Bristol but moved with Nick initially to the seaside resort of Altinkum in Turkey but then, despite warnings of a high crime rate from her friends – moved to the village of Malomir in Bulgaria. Perhaps one of the attractions going to Bulgaria was the low cost of living; equally, Jan was of the view the location would help Nick’s recovery.
Within a few days of moving, Jan was being stalked by a local – it was said her “elegance” made her stand out like a sore thumb within a small community.
Jan loved animals and going for walks, and late one evening in July 2015, she left her new home to go for a walk.
She did not return – her body was found in bushes just 200 yards from her front door. On hearing the news, Nick had to be taken to hospital because of the shock. A few days later, a local grape picker Ivan Georgiev, 40, was arrested as DNA found at the scene linked him to the murder. Georgiev committed suicide in prison a few days after his arrest.
Researching Jan’s death was hard – she was obviously a lovely human being with style and class. Her friends thought so too. British media & Facebook friends saying this:
“A generous’ woman who ‘enjoyed life to the fullest”.
She was a gentle, kind, generous and lovely lady. She was so looking forward to a happy life in Bulgaria and had made lots of new friends.
Now her life has been stolen in such a brutal way; all who knew her are in deep shock. It’s hard to believe this has actually happened; I can’t take in she has gone.
‘RIP, my lovely friend, I will miss you.’
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph