TV documentary reveals how husband who murdered wife was caught out by note to mistress


Love letters that exposed a killer: TV documentary reveals how cheating husband who murdered and buried wife was caught out by note telling his mistress: ‘Soon we’ll be in paradise’

  • Harry Jarvis murdered wife Carol, 47 and left body in cellar in Bathgate in 2009 
  • Lover Rita Heyster was living in Jarvis’ garden shed and helped him conceal body
  • Investigators revealed there were doubts about if there was enough evidence 
  • But they discovered letters from Jarvis which indicated he was drugging Carol

A man who killed his wife and buried her under their floorboards could have got away with murder if he hadn’t written love letters to his mistress revealing his plan, a TV documentary has revealed. 

Harry Jarvis murdered his 47-year-old wife Carol and left her decaying body in the cellar of their Bathgate, West Lothian, home in 2009.

His lover Rita Heyster – a Jus-Rol pastry heiress who inherited and squandered a £2.5million fortune – had been living in Jarvis’ garden shed before the killing, and helped him conceal the body.

Investigators who worked on the case told documentary makers there were serious doubts about whether the case against Jarvis was strong enough due to a lack of evidence. 

But that all changed when they discovered letters from Jarvis to Heyster which indicated he was drugging Carol, and planned on killing her.

Harry Jarvis (pictured) murdered his 47-year-old wife Carol and left her decaying body in the cellar of their Bathgate, West Lothian, home in 2009

His lover Rita Heyster (pictured) - a Jus-Rol pastry heiress who inherited and squandered a £2.5million fortune - had been living in Jarvis' garden shed before the killing, and helped him conceal the body

Harry Jarvis murdered his 47-year-old wife Carol and left her decaying body in the cellar of their Bathgate, West Lothian, home in 2009. His lover Rita Heyster – a Jus-Rol pastry heiress who inherited and squandered a £2.5million fortune – had been living in Jarvis’ garden shed before the killing, and helped him conceal the body

But that all changed when they discovered letters from Jarvis to Heyster which indicated he was drugging Carol (pictured with Jarvis in 1982), and planned on killing her

But that all changed when they discovered letters from Jarvis to Heyster which indicated he was drugging Carol (pictured with Jarvis in 1982), and planned on killing her

The cause of Carol’s death could not be determined due to the decomposition of her body. Jarvis claimed she died of a fit before he buried her at home to be close to her.

In Crime+Investigation channel documentary Killer Britain – presented by Dermot Murnaghan – the lead police officer and prosecution lawyer on the case said the discovery of a series of letters was key to Jarvis’ conviction.

The notes from Jarvis to Heyster revealed he planned to move his lover into his home after he had killed his wife.

One letter read: ‘Drugs are doing job. Just took longer than I thought but going fast now. See you in Paradise soon.’

Former Detective Chief Inspector Phil Gachagan, who led the murder probe, said: ‘He said he had placed her beneath the floorboards and occasionally would go down and lie beside her and speak to her because he found it very difficult to be without her.

‘Obviously in my mind that was complete fantasy.

Mother-of-four Carol (pictured), who had several medical problems, was reported missing by her children

Mother-of-four Carol (pictured), who had several medical problems, was reported missing by her children

‘I had meetings with the Crown solicitors and there was a real worry that there wasn’t enough evidence to even take the case to court.

‘The one thing that really helped with the investigation was letters that Jarvis had written to Rita which indicated he was drugging Carol and was planning on killing her.’

Garry Allan QC, who led the prosecution case, said: ‘The notes suggested Carol’s death was imminent and Harry and Rita could move on to a life in “paradise”.

‘It was a very dramatic picture which I was able to present to the jury and show this was not an unfortunate death which had resulted in panicked decisions being made.’

Mother-of-four Carol, who had several medical problems, was reported missing by her children.

Police combing the garden of the house in Balbardie Crescent, Bathgate, West Lothian, where the remains of Carol Jarvis was discovered in 2009

Police combing the garden of the house in Balbardie Crescent, Bathgate, West Lothian, where the remains of Carol Jarvis was discovered in 2009

They didn’t believe their father’s account she had taken a trip to Dundee or gone into respite care.

Former bus driver Jarvis was jailed for a minimum of 15 years in 2011 and died of heart failure aged 67 in 2017 while serving his sentence at Addiewell prison.

Heyster, from Coldstream in the Borders, inherited a £2.5million fortune from her adopted father, Jus-Rol founder Tommy Forsyth.

But she fell on hard times and blew the cash before starting an affair with Jarvis. She was jailed for four-and-a-half years for helping to conceal Carol’s body.

In 2015, the pair planned to marry behind bars but just a month later Heyster called off the wedding.

  • Killer Britain with Dermot Murnaghan will be shown on Crime+Investigation at 9pm on June 4.



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