On August 22, 1961, a couple were in the throes of having sexual intercourse in a car parked in a field at Dorney Reach in Bedfordshire, England. Michael Gregsten (36), was a scientist at the Road Research Laboratory at Slough and Valerie Storie (22), was an assistant at the same laboratory.
Suddenly a man tapped on the car window. Gregsten wound down the driver’s window to find a black revolver gun pointing at him. The man brandishing the gun told the couple that he had been on the run for months and that he was desperate. He had a cockney accent.
“If you do as I tell you, you will be all right” he said as he proceeded to keep them there for two hours.
At 11.30pm, the abductor indicated that he wanted food and told Gregsten to start driving. They drove aimlessly around the suburbs of north London before stopping at a milk vending machine. At no point had the kidnapper disclosed to the couple what he wanted or planned to do with them. Despite the couple offering the man money, he still appeared to want to stay with them. Gregsten was ordered to go into a shop and buy cigarettes. Later they stopped to refuel.
Around 1.30am while the car was driving south on the A6 road, the man then said he wanted to sleep. His erratic behaviour was changing constantly and after demanding that they turn off the road, he ordered them back on the A6 again. Finally he told Gregsten to pull into a lay-by and became aggressive brandishing the gun at the driver when he refused.
All the time the couple pleaded with the gunman not to shoot them who had then decided to tie them both up in order that he could sleep. He tied Storie’s hands behind her back using Gregsten’s tie. Then, after spotting some rope in the back of the car, he told Gregsten to pass a bag over. As he did, the gun went off twice killing Gregsten.
A short while later the abductor raped Storie in the back of the car before forcing her to drag her lover’s body out of the car. Rather bizarrely, he then told her to show him how to drive the vehicle. The gunman had clearly never driven before and his attempts were futile. Ordering Storie out of the car she assumed she was about to be killed and pleaded for her life before taking out a pound note from her pocket and offering it to him while screaming for him to go. The gunman then shot at her five times in the darkness hitting her legs. Storie fell to the ground next to the body of Gregsten and pretended to be dead. The car raced off.
Storie lay on the ground, terrified and in shock for three hours until she was discovered by a farm labourer at 6.45am. The labourer ran for help and came across a student, John Kerr, who was undertaking a road census. Kerr flagged down two cars shouting at them to get an ambulance. Later that evening Gregsten’s 1956 Morris Minor was found abandoned behind Redbridge Tube station in London.