Dando stalker tracked down address on the Net
Was it the killer?
A suspected stalker used the Internet to trace Jill Dando’s address months before she was murdered, police revealed yesterday. The man used the Website 192.com to find details of her home in Fulham, London, in 1998. This site -- which accesses UK Info Disk Pro -- holds the telephone numbers and addresses of more than 42 million British residents. By entering the name of a person and the town they live in, it brings up a list of possible addresses in around 10 seconds. The individual suspected of using the site to track Dando has also been linked to a man who later masqueraded as Jill’s brother to gain access to her water, gas and electricity accounts. Detective Chief Inspector Hamish Campbell, who is leading the murder hunt, said yesterday: "We urgently need to know who was making those inquiries. "We don’t know if the person was a stalker or a hitman carrying out research into his intended victim." The saga has been traced back to November 1998 when the man is first thought to have used the 192.com site to find the former TV presenter’s phone number. It was ex-directory, but he was able to view her address in Gowan Avenue, as well a street map of how to get there. On Feb 1 1999 --the day news broke of Dando’s engagement to gynaecologist Alan Farthing -- a man posing as Dando’s brother made three phone calls to her water, gas and electricity companies. Using the aliases James Dando and Mr J Dando, he claimed to be living at Dando’s address and tried to get her bills made out in his name. In April 1999 BT received a similar call -- a few days before Dando’s death and soon after she was pictured leather-clad on the cover of the Radio Times. Police are baffled as to why anyone should want to see Dando's utility bills. But they think they may have stumbled across the electronic footprints of a fantasist who wanted to infiltrate her life, national newspapers reported today. In a bizarre twist, the 192.com site news section contains an article warning of the threat to women of the hi-tech directory from the Scottish Daily Record. Dated November 1997, it quotes civil rights groups claiming: "the computer CD ROM infringed on people’s privacy and could help violent men track down and stalk their former partners". The article can be found here. ® Related story Police issue Net appeal to find Dando’s killer