I fell for an undercover cop – I told her I killed my wife but I lied. I had bizarre feeling when I saw her in court


ON a freezing February night in 1993, Keith Hall made a chilling “confession” to an undercover policewoman about his missing wife Pat.

As they talked behind the steamed-up windows of a car, he calmly told the officer he had strangled her before throwing her body in an incinerator.

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In 1993, Keith Hall, above, made a chilling ‘confession’ to an undercover policewoman about his missing wife PatCredit: Amazon Prime
Pat, 39, an Avon lady, disappeared from her home in West Yorks, in January 1992 following a row with her husband

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Pat, 39, an Avon lady, disappeared from her home in West Yorks, in January 1992 following a row with her husbandCredit: supplied
Hall is all smiles as he leaves court after being cleared of murdering his wife Pat

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Hall is all smiles as he leaves court after being cleared of murdering his wife PatCredit: Mirrorpix

Astonishingly, a jury was never allowed to hear the recorded “admission” at his trial and Hall walked from court a free man.

But the judge later took the unprecedented step of publicly releasing the tape—prompting three decades of speculation over what really happened to Pat, who has never been found.

Now Hall has told his full story for the first time in 30 years, as it is revealed he allegedly tried to strangle her a few weeks before she vanished.

In a disturbing interview for a new documentary, he says: “We’re all players in a game of life. It’s how we play the hand we’re dealt that’s important.”

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Pat, 39, an Avon lady, disappeared from her three-bed semi in Pudsey, West Yorks, in January 1992 following a stormy row with her husband.

Hall, now 67, told police she had gotten into her blue Ford Sierra and sped off into the night, leaving behind her sons Andrew, then nine, and Graeme, five.

But detectives grew suspicious when neighbors told them they overheard a row the night Pat went missing — an argument which ended “abruptly”.

Her car was found abandoned a mile away, and on the same street the night she disappeared, a witness saw a man lifting something into or out of a Sierra on the same road.

lonely hearts

He was spotted climbing over a fence into a field. Police were convinced that the man was Hall.

Jim Bancroft, a West Yorkshire detective inspector at the time of the case, says: “It’s not a settled woman with two kids who disappears after a row in the middle of the night with cars screeching off. This is a different sort of case altogether.

“I thought the person in that car was Keith Hall. We suspected that what might have brought this row to an abrupt end is that Keith Hall had killed his wife, disposing of the body somewhere.”

Cops became even more certain when Pat’s sister-in-law, Jeanette Fox, came forward and told them that in October 1991, three months before she vanished, Pat claimed to her that Hall had tried to strangle her.

Jeanette recalls: “I said, ‘Are you all right? What’s the matter?’ Pat said, ‘He’s gone too far. He was strangling me and he wasn’t going to stop. His eyes were terrible. His eyes were awful’.”

Yet in a frank interview in the new Amazon Prime Video documentary, Hall today denies the attack, saying: “It never happened. And the police said, ‘Is this other person lying?’

“There was only one person that was making up the story, and that was Patricia, I’m afraid.”

Hall tells the program that when he was taken in for questioning, “as fate would have it” he already had the number of a local defense solicitor, Rodney Lester.

Police interviewed Hall for hours but he declined to comment, and says: “I just stood by what I thought was my right to remain silent.”

Frustrated and with no body and no evidence, West Yorkshire police began to wind down the inquiry.

Six months after Pat went missing, former bread delivery man Hall started answering women’s lonely hearts adverts in the local paper.

He says: “Six months is a long time really. And I thought she (Pat) wouldn’t come back to me, and that’s when I did start going to date.”

Laughing, he adds: “I wanted the company of a female. That’s what I was missing. I wanted somebody that could take me as they find me, who maybe had kids of their own and we could get together and bring up the kids as a unit, all together.”

When the recipient of one of Hall’s letters told police he was dating through ads, they hatched a plan.

Hall, now 67, told police Pat had gotten into her blue Ford Sierra and sped off into the night, leaving behind their sons Andrew, then nine, and Graeme, five

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Hall, now 67, told police Pat had gotten into her blue Ford Sierra and sped off into the night, leaving behind their sons Andrew, then nine, and Graeme, fiveCredit: supplied
Hall and Pat on their wedding day

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Hall and Pat on their wedding dayCredit: supplied

In a case that mirrors that of Colin Stagg — wrongly accused of killing Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common, West London, in 1992 — a female officer codenamed Liz befriended Hall and became his “girlfriend”.

In February 1993 she told Hall she was thinking of ending the relationship in case Pat came back. He offered to explain why his wife would never return—and what followed was the extraordinary “confession”.

He told Liz: “I strangled her. But it wasn’t that easy,” later adding he had dropped the body “into an incinerator”. Hall, who maintained his innocence from the start, says the “confession” was a lie—told to keep Liz after falling in love with her.

He says: “May sound funny but even though she was a policewoman, I’d have fallen in love with Liz.

“She wanted to know why Pat wasn’t coming back. I said anything to please her.

“When I left that car, I was going to go back and say, ‘You know what I said is a load of ooish, don’t you? Made up entirely to please you?’ And I should have done, really.”

Bizarrely, Hall tells the program how he was still in love with the undercover cop at his trial in 1994.

He says: “Liz stood in the witness box. Even though she was a policewoman who I fell in love with, I had a little warm glow, shall we say, inside me.” The judge ruled the evidence was inadmissible because Hall had not been read his rights when he started his “confession”.

His lawyer said: “We believed this wasn’t just a conversation to obtain, if you like, information, this was an interview.

“She (Liz) pressed and pressed and pressed. She oversteps the mark because then she begins to interview him and he’s not been cautioned as to his rights to remain silent. His rights have been trashed.

“It’s a classic case of entrapment. This man was tricked, emotionally tricked into saying something which may not be true.”

Hall says the honeytrap was “like a game” and adds: “She kept prompting and prompting and prompting. Probably two hours. When a jury found him not guilty of murder or manslaughter he left the court grinning and laughing.

Six months after Hall was cleared, Colin Stagg was acquitted of Rachel Nickell’s murder, after Old Bailey judge Mr Justice Ognall ruled that the police had tried to get him to incriminate himself by using a female cop as a honeytrap, calling it “deceptive conduct of the grossest kind”.

After Hall’s “confession” tape was made public he went on TV to protest his innocence again.

For Pat’s family, his appearance on the Friday night prime-time ITV show Central Weekend — viewed by millions — compounded their grief.

Her sister, Christine Weatherhead, 60, of Ripon, North Yorks, said: “For him to sit on that television program reiterated what I thought his character was like really. Just very self-centred and probably arrogant.

“To see Keith smiling like he did when he left court was just like another stab in the heart.

“It’s hard to put into words how hurt you feel. It was just such a shock to hear that verdict. It took some time to get over. In fact I’m not over it now.”

Pat had suffered post-natal depression after her first delivery, with Hall describing her as “Jekyll and Hyde”, but Christine said: “I wouldn’t have thought there was any point where I felt she was suicidal. I was never really concerned in that respect.

“Keith maybe found the depression side of things quite frustrating, the relationship was deteriorating.

“Pat said there was more shouting, they were having more arguments. I felt so sorry for those two young boys being in the middle of all this.”

Christine has been campaigning for a cold-case review, and in the absence of any new evidence after that, she wants the case closed so an inquest can take place.

She said earlier this year: “I’ve not heard from my sister for 30 long years. She is dead, and I feel the law supports Keith’s rights, but what about Pat’s or mine?

“I’ve fought for years to have an inquiry and for it to be registered that she was unlawfully killed.

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“I do not want an open verdict. I want Pat to be accorded that respect and dignity.

“She is not a missing person. She would never have left her sons, ever.”

  • The Confessions will be available on Prime Video from Friday, November 25.
Pat's sister Christine has been campaigning for a cold-case review, and in the absence of any new evidence after that, she wants the case closed so an inquest can take place

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Pat’s sister Christine has been campaigning for a cold-case review, and in the absence of any new evidence after that, she wants the case closed so an inquest can take placeCredit: Mirrorpix
Pat disappeared from her three-bed semi in Pudsey

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Pat disappeared from her three-bed semi in PudseyCredit: Mirrorpix

DID YOU KILL HER KEITH?

AS A reporter on the Yorkshire Evening Post, Sharon Boyle rang Keith Hall once a week for three months, each time asking the same question: “Did you kill your wife?”

She tells how talking to him made her “blood run cold”.

‘As a young reporter, every Monday I’d call Keith Hall. I’d ask him if he’d heard from Pat, he’d say no, then I’d ask how his boys were and we’d have a quick chat before I’d ask, ‘Did you kill your wife, Keith ?’

Each time the reaction was the same. He’d shriek at me and end the call, but the next week we’d go through the same routine – and he’d always answer the call.

I believe he was playing a game with me and it made my blood run cold.

Keith had already been questioned by detectives the first time I rang him but I was well aware of his existence – he certainly wasn’t hiding.

Police dug up a roundabout in Pudsey looking for Pat and I spotted him standing by, just watching.

He repeatedly denied killing Pat to TV crews too, but always with a kind of satisfied smirk on his face.

When he was cleared by the jury he came out of court with the biggest grin.

It’s Pat’s family I feel sorry for. They’ve had no real justice and she’s never been given the dignity of being laid to rest. It’s awful.

This was a wife, a mother, a sister who meant something to her family, yet her case seemed confined to history – until now.

The public can watch this documentary and decide if they think Pat vanished into thin air or whether foul play was at hand.

This story has never left me and I hope one day her family gets the justice they deserve.

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