Christine Holohan & The Murder Of Jacqueline Poole

On the cold night of February 11, 1983, a murder took place in Ruislip — an otherwise peaceful and inviting suburb in West London.

The unfortunate victim was a 25-year-old woman —a barmaid by the name of Jaqueline Poole.

On February 12, several of Poole’s friends and family members tried to call her.

As she wasn’t answering the phone, they started to become worried.

Eventually, the father of Poole’s boyfriend went to her apartment to check on her.

A Quiet Apartment

When he got there, the front door was locked.

He knocked and shouted, but no response could be heard.

Getting anxious, he went around the building and climbed through an open window.

When he got inside the residence, he was met with a horrifying sight:

Jaqueline Poole’s body — bruised and lifeless on the floor of the living room.

The postmortem showed she had been savagely beaten, raped, and strangled to death.

The Medium

On February 13, two days after the bestial murder, a woman named Christine Holohan heard about it from an acquaintance.

As she went to bed that night, she thought about the awful event and felt sympathy for the victim.

Shortly after these thoughts entered her mind, she received a brief vision of a young woman.

When prompted for a name, the female presence answered with “Jacqui Hunt”.

Holohan didn’t know it at the time, but this was the maiden name of Jaqueline Poole.

The next day, on February 14, Christine Holohan experienced another vision.

She first saw a faint outline of a person surrounded by a bright, white light.

Then, she could hear a soft, female voice — the apparent spirit of the murdered Jacqui Poole.

The Story of A Ghost

The apparition stated she was supposed to be at work on the night she got killed.

But since she felt ill, she called in sick at the last moment, which turned out to be a fatal choice.

Later that day, she was visited by a shady man who she said knew but really didn’t like.

Poole decided to let this man into her apartment, thinking he had an important message for her.

As he lingered, however, the atmosphere grew more and more unpleasant — she could sense bad vibes coming from him.

Eventually, the man snapped and violently attacked her in the bathroom, beat her, threw her to the floor, raped her, and then strangled her to death.

After this, he gathered most of her jewelry in a bag and jumped out of the back window — unseen by the neighbors.

Alerting The Police

Holohan was startled to receive such a detailed story from what seemed to be a spirit.

With the whole ordeal still in her mind, she immediately went to the police station the next day.

There, she met officer Tony Batters and detective Andrew Smith.

Once she had told her astonishing story, the two officials were visibly skeptical.

To warm them up, Holohan offered to perform psychic readings.

First, she spoke about some very personal details relating to officer Batters.

He later stated that the info she gave was correct and very intimate.

Batters added:

“To my dying day, I cannot disclose what she said.

It was quite extraordinarily detailed.”

Establishing Credibility

After impressing the officer with her clairvoyance, Holohan turned her attention to detective Smith.

She stated that he had just received a letter concerning potential problems with a pending mortgage.

He confirmed that this was correct.

She also mentioned that he would soon be transferred to another police station.

Though Smith initially doubted this claim, it turned out to be true as well — he got a transfer notice just a few days later.

A Highly-Detailed Recounting

After both men had been made more receptive, Holohan gave them extensive, specific information about Poole’s murder.

According to officer Batter’s report, she listed over 100 distinct details about the event.

Later on, when the crime scene had been fully examined, the police came to a startling conclusion:

The alleged psychic medium had been proven right.

Despite Poole’s body being found on the living room floor, the attack had clearly started in the bathroom.

The details about the struggle, including the bestial rape and strangling, were correct.

Correct Minutiae

Descriptions about the crime scene before, during, and after the incident were also found to be true.

These included many minute things like:

  • Number of cushions and were they were laid down
  • How furniture had been moved around
  • The specific number of cups that were left out in the kitchen
  • How much coffee had been poured in the cups
  • The number of times Poole had changed clothes during the day
  • A recently-delivered letter
  • The rings Poole were wearing
  • Which newspapers were laying around and where
  • The description and location of a black address book

And more.

After these very specific details had been confirmed, the officers became more accepting of Christine Holohan and her mediumship.

On The Trace Of The Murderer

When the night of the murder had been mapped out, the investigators began looking for potential suspects.

Based on Holohan’s sessions, the murdered woman had previously been entangled with criminals.

More recently, she had tried to put that behind her — seeking proper employment and a more respectable life.

Holohan added that Poole had been suffering from depression for a long time.

In the end, she was put on anti-depressants in an attempt to lessen her struggles.

These very intimate details were confirmed by a close friend of Jacqui Poole.

The Prison Connection

When it came to the elusive murderer, the apparition hadn’t given many specifics— only that both Poole and her ex-husband had both known the man.

Holohan established a new communication to get more information about this.

At one of the meetings with the police, she entered a light trance state and gave the following information, as if she was relaying it directly from Jacqui Poole:

“The link is with nick.

Both (Poole and her ex-husband) had the same friend, who was in nick…

Not nick, she says, “bird”.”

In this context, “nick” or “the nick” is British slang for prison or police station.

“Bird” is yet another slang term, meaning detention center.

While receiving this info, Holohan was reportedly confused, since she didn’t know the difference between the two words.

Jacqui Poole, however, did, due to her past experiences with criminals.

The True Power Of Mediumship

Holohan also mentioned that Poole had visited her ex-husband in prison two weeks before the murder.

This turned out to be correct.

So, Poole’s ex-husband was in the ‘nick’, while their shared acquaintance (the murderer) had previously been in the ‘bird’.

Now they were on to something.

In an extraordinary session, Holohan requested further details about the killer.

Seemingly relaying Poole’s word-for-word description, Holohan uttered the following:

“Five-foot eightish, dark skin, afro-wavy hair, in his early 20s.

She knows him.

April-May date of birth.

He is a Taurus.

Tattoos on his arms.

Swords? Snake? Rose?

I get a name now… Tony.

Goes by a nickname, not his proper name.”

Further Details

When the officers asked for the killer’s nickname, Holohan closed her eyes yet again.

Using automatic writing, she slowly wrote down the name “pokie” on a piece of paper.

She also mentioned that the killer had been working as a part-time painter, or some other profession involving a brush.

Furthermore, she claimed he struggled to hold on to proper jobs, had robbed many houses, and was a fairly skilled car mechanic and thief.

While Holohan kept in touch with Poole’s spirit, she also got to know many intimate things about her family.

Without ever contacting them, Holohan could name:

  • Terry, Jacqui Poole’s brother
  • Betty, her mother
  • Gloria, her best friend (and what her apartment looked like)
  • Sylvia, the mother of her boyfriend
  • Barbara Stone, a close friend who died in a crash two years prior to the murder

The last mentioned was unknown even to investigators until two years afterward.

The Missing Jewelry

After all the details about Poole and the murderer had been laid out, the police asked Holohan about the missing jewelry.

In response to this, she once again entered a light trance state and used automatic writing.

On a piece of paper, she scribbled down the words “Ickeham”, “garden”, and the number 221.

The investigators figured “Ickeham” meant Ickenham.

Since the stolen goods were not a priority at the time, police didn’t pursue these clues until a few years later.

Then, when looking through the area, officer Tony Batters noticed that only one road had numbers going up to 221 — Swakeleys Road.

The Perfect Hiding Spot

However, there wasn’t a house at this location like he anticipated.

Instead, Batters was met with a small public park.

Sensing he was onto something, the officer scoured the grounds and noticed a number of rocks that looked out of place.

When he moved them, an empty, medium-sized hole was uncovered.

Though no jewelry was found there, it looked like the perfect hiding place.

Considering this was two years after Holohan’s vision, it’s possible that Poole’s stolen jewelry could have been stashed there after the murder.

Years later, when cops deduced the killer’s most probable escape route, this exact location was indeed included.

18 Years Later

Despite all the aforementioned information and clues, the murder of Jacqueline Poole went unsolved for a whole 18 years.

While many doubted Holohan’s abilities during this time, the final ruling proved her legitimacy as a medium.

The man arrested for Poole’s murder was one Anthony Ruark.

Ruark was a 5’9, mixed-race man.

He was born in late April (Taurus) and was 23 years old at the time of the killing.

Much of his body was covered in tattoos, and he was known by the nickname “Pokie”.

Ruark had indeed struggled to hold down a job, and his only legitimate source of income was as a part-time plasterer.

He made most of his money by stealing cars and robbing houses.

Those who knew him said he was a “grease monkey” — a skill he mostly employed in his criminal ventures.

How The Killer Finally Got Caught

Despite the long list of credible information relayed by Holohan, a medium’s visions alone couldn’t be used in a courtroom.

Ruark was not a prime suspect since he didn’t have a history of violence.

Furthermore, when the police requested info from people who knew Poole, he contacted them quickly and didn’t act suspiciously.

He’d also evaded all the neighbors’ attention directly after the murder, and hadn’t left any physical evidence behind.

Big Clues In Small Samples

It was not until new DNA testing became accessible that conclusive evidence could finally be presented.

By employing a highly-sensitive technique known as “DNA low-copy number testing”, investigators identified genetic samples from Jacqui Poole found on a sweater in Ruark’s garbage.

Pieces of Ruark’s skin were also found underneath some of Poole’s fingernails — which got stuck there when she tried to defend herself.

Since he’d been arrested for theft a year earlier, his DNA had been put in a national database, which would seal his fate.

The Final Chapter

For almost two decades, Ruark thought he had gotten away with the rape, murder, and theft.

However, with vital physical evidence secured, everything previously found by police (with Holohan’s help) could now be used against him.

In 2001, Anthony Ruark was finally found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

While Holohan’s information couldn’t directly convict him of his crimes, her efforts certainly assisted in the investigation.

Officer Tony Batters later wrote the following about her involvement:

“Without Christine’s information, we would not have retrieved the pullover (sweater), interviewed and then taken statements from everyone Ruark came into contact with after, and checked and verified all his movements during the night.

These three elements were essential to combat potential defences, which I believe would have raised sufficient doubt as to lead to a “not guilty” verdict.”

Considering the massive amount of highly-detailed information Holohan transmitted and the effortless way in which she did so, this is surely one of the most convincing cases of mediumship in modern history.

In 2006, Christine Holohan wrote about her experiences with the Poole murder case in her book, “A Voice From The Grave”.

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