Investigation Disocvery’s ‘Vengeance: Killer Lovers: Secret Lives & Alibis’ chronicles how 46-year-old Ged Gilbert was brutally murdered inside his Huyton, Liverpool, office in late October 2002. The authorities were led on a wild goose chase initially as they pursued several leads handed to them that never panned out. However, old-school police work and diligent investigation helped them arrest the killers in less than two months. However, the gruesomeness of the crime leaves the viewers wondering — why did the perpetrators do it?
How Did Ged Gilbert Die?
On October 28, 2002, it was 9:00 am at Huyton, a small town outside of Liverpool, England, when a warehouse owned by CTI Trading, a local trading company, was about to be open for the day. The warehouse was situated on an industrial estate with no residences nearby. The owner of the premises, Steve Canavan, spotted blood in the passage entrance and followed the trail of bloody footprints into a back room to make a terrifying find. 46-year-old Gerald “Ged” Gilbert, the sales manager, was lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood.
When the local authorities arrived, they found shotgun damage to the ceiling and recovered shotgun pellets. The wounds to the victim’s face were so horrifying that it was initially impossible to make an identification. However, the officers found his identity card inside his jacket pocket. Ged was described as a dynamic businessman and an excellent salesman. His earnings financed him to make a good living and enabled him to purchase a Victorian townhouse in the nearby town of Tuebrook.
Criminal Defense Attorney Lawanda Hodges recalled, “Ged was a decent person who knew how to have a good time. Hence, it was shocking when the 46-year-old was found dead inside his office in late October 2002. The investigators noticed a mark on the back of his neck, which was bruising in the shape of a rifle’s butt. But, the autopsy report determined no ammunition was involved as the cause of death was sheer blunt force trauma. He had been battered so hard with a fire extinguisher that it seemed like he had been shot from close range.
Who Killed Ged Gilbert?
The office had a floor safe, and while its cover had been removed, the police noted the lack of attempt to search for the keys or force it open. They initially hypothesized Ged might have interrupted a burglary in the process. The forensic technicians found bloody pieces of latex under Ged’s body that seemed to have torn out of a pair of gloves. There were no signs of forced entry and nothing but a fire extinguisher — the murder weapon — was reported missing. The perpetrators had attempted to stage the scene to make it look like a robbery.
Soon, Ged’s former wife, Ann Huxley, arrived to identify her late ex-husband. According to the show, it was in 1997 when Ged met Ann Huxley in a nightclub, and the pair almost immediately hit it off. He was 41 when he met Ann, then 32, and they hailed from very different backgrounds. Ann came from a part of Liverpool called Kensington, a poor working-class neighborhood of Liverpool. Unlike Ged, she had been married and divorced twice already. She had a son and a daughter and lived in the Newsham Park area of Liverpool.
However, the couple shared the same kind of work ethic and ambitions in life. Ann operated several local businesses, including a local coffee shop for police officers. The relationship moved fast, even though Ged’s family disapproved of her. By 1998, she had moved into Ged’s townhome, and the couple got hitched soon after. However, the marriage did not last long, and the couple divorced in 2002 after only four years. Even though they were legally separated, the pair still resided in the same home in separate rooms.
Ann told the officers Ged had a gambling addiction and owed a significant amount of money to casinos and debt collectors. She also informed the police that Ged had taken about 11,000 pounds in loans from his company, implying the owner, Steve, might also be involved in the homicide. She even mentioned one of her scorned ex-lovers who might have committed the crime out of jealousy. The investigators pursued all the leads, but none panned out. However, while interviewing the former lover, they learned Ann owned an escort service agency.
According to the show, Ann’s businesses were a clever front for her escort service. The police looked into her and soon learned she had a string of lovers, including her erstwhile fiancé, Paul Eaton. They also realized she often used part-time night club bouncer and friend Paul Lewis for odd jobs, including roughing up a former lover who kept allegedly harassing her. When the authorities brought Eaton and Lewis in for interviews, they offered an implausible alibi that involved them covering for each other.
Meanwhile, the police looked into Ann and Ged’s finances to make another startling discovery. Less than six weeks before Ged’s murder, Ann had purchased a life insurance policy that promised £400,000 when either died. They also discovered she had visited an attorney and had drawn up a will that ensured she owned all of Ged’s properties in his absence. The officers also visited Lewis’ workplace to learn he and Eaton had gone there with a fire extinguisher that they later dumped in a vat of acid in a neighboring galvanizing factory.
Where Are Ann Huxley, Paul Lewis, and Paul Eaton Now?
The police had the vats drained and recovered the severely damaged extinguisher to determine it was the murder weapon. They also found Lewis’ DNA on the latex pieces recovered from the crime. Six weeks after Ged’s murder, Eaton and Lewis were arrested on December 16, 2002. Eaton was the first to break and pled guilty to murder in exchange for testimony against his other co-conspirators. He, then 41, was jailed for life in 2003. Ann was found guilty of conspiring to murder and sentenced to 20 years in April 2004. Lewis was simultaneously found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 16 years. The trio are serving their sentences in British jails.