An almost expressionless Julie Mugford stood arm-in-arm with an inconsolable Jeremy Bamber as he mourned the deaths of his family. At the time, police had ruled the deaths of Jeremy’s adoptive parents, Neville and June, his adoptive sister, Sheila Caffell, and her twin sons, Daniel and Nicholas Caffell, as a murder-suicide.
Authorities believed that the schizophrenic Sheila killed the whole family before turning the gun on herself. However, Julie Mugford changed her testimony, placing the blame firmly on her ex-boyfriend Jeremy Bamber. Upon further investigation, prosecutors found sufficient evidence to charge Jeremy and convince the jury of his guilt.
Julie lives a quiet life with her husband Glen and is an education officer in Canada
After providing her incriminating testimony, Julie left the UK to travel. She met her husband, Glen Smerchanski, during a trip to Australia in 1990.
The couple married, settled in Winnipeg, Canada, and welcomed two children who are now grownups.
Julie landed a job as special needs teacher before bagging promotion to deputy head of a primary school. She now works as an education officer in Winnipeg.
“She’s rebuilt her life,” a neighbor told The Daily Mail. “She’s not the same person now and then. She and Glen are a lovely couple.” Julie lives an ocean away from Britain, but the memory of the White House Farm murders still haunts her.
“Julie just wishes it would all go away and we could get on with our lives,” Glen said. “How would you feel if you did the right thing and your life continued to be ruined by ir.”
Before leaving Britain, Julie sold her story to News of the World for a reported 25,000 pounds, a small fortune at the time. She told the outlet that she was utterly infatuated by Jeremy, though he did little to hide his infidelity. Julie said:
“Jeremy completely swept me off my feet. He was a skillful lover. He taught me how to enjoy sex in a way I never had before. I did everything for him. As long as he was happy, I was happy. I gave everything to him, including myself. I knew I was under his spell.”
Why did Julie turn on a lover she held in such high regard? Bamber’s philandering ways proved to be his downfall as a phone call to an ex-girlfriend, and a subsequent fight with Julie forced Julie to end the relationship. Julie went a step further, revealing all she knew about Bamber’s role in the murders to authorities.
Julie said that her motivation to speak to the police wasn’t revenge but a need to clear her conscience. She knew that Bamber would go to prison, but she did it anyway.
“I felt I was on the edge of a breakdown and that soon I would have to tell the police,” Julie told News of the World. “That meant I would be responsible for sending the man I loved to prison, perhaps for life. Surely, death would be better than that.”
Julie is still pestered by groups who believe that Jeremy Bamber is innocent
There is no doubt in Julie’s mind that the person responsible for the White House Farm Murders is Jeremy Bamber. In an interview in 2000, Julie said;
“I thought this was long in the past. As far as I am concerned nothing has changed. I sincerely believe he is guilty. Do I stand by my story? Yes, absolutely.”
Others aren’t as convinced as Julie. They include Trudi Benjamin, founder of The JB Campaign Ltd, an organization set up to raise funds to campaign for Jeremy’s release.
“I know Jeremy did not and could not have killed his family,” Trudi writes on the Campaign’s website. “Jeremy loved his family very much.”
Benjamin claims that Julie offered her testimony to avoid jail time for crimes she was suspected of and to gain revenge for Jeremy’s infidelity. Julie and other family members who testified against Jeremy are constantly pestered by groups advocating for Jeremy’s release.
The murders happened nearly four decades ago, but they’ll seemingly loom over Julie’s life forever. There appears to be an insatiable fascination with the White House Farm murders.
In late September 2021, journalist Louis Theroux released a documentary titled The Bambers: Murder At The Farm in which he claims that he’s no longer sure that Jeremy was responsible for the murders.
“Because of the nature of the case, we’re not in the realm of absolute certainty,” Louis says. His assertions will galvanize the campaigners for Bamber’s release.
It might also work to Julie’s detriment as, due to her involvement in the case, any light shone on it will cast a shadow in her life.