Pizza, Socks and Rubbish

Never before had a missing pizza, grey sock and 293 tonnes of domestic rubbish played such an important part in a murder investigation. But this was all the police had to go on when 25-year-old landscape architect Joanna Yeates went missing on 17 December 2010.

Joanna Yeates was born in 1985 in Ampfield, Hampshire. The perfect daughter, she had just moved with her boyfriend Greg Reardon into a beautiful ground floor flat in the upmarket area of Clifton in Bristol. Having recently graduated with a postgraduate diploma in landscape architecture, she had an amazing future ahead of her. Christmas co-incidentally happened to be her favourite time of the year.

Living above Joanna and Greg was their landlord Chris Jefferies. Described “as an eccentric pillar of society” he was a retired 65-year-old English teacher. Also a member of the local neighbourhood watch group, it was alleged that Jefferies had seen three people, including Joanna, leave her flat the night she disappeared. He would go on to play a key part in the hunt for the killer.

Joanna and Greg’s next door neighbour was Vincent Tabak, a 33-year-old Dutch national. Described as an “introverted loner” as a child, he had grown up in Uden, Holland. After gaining his masters degree and later a PhD in engineering he moved to the UK. He worked in nearby Bath and lived with his girlfriend, Tanja Morson. The events on the night of 17 December would change his life forever.