UK police reopen investigation into 1985 death of singer Shirley Bassey’s daughter

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

UK police probe death of Shirley Bassey’s daughter

LONDON — British police have reopened their investigation into the 1985 death of singer Shirley Bassey’s daughter after detectives received new information that suggested she might have been murdered, they said Tuesday.

Samantha Novak was found face-down in a river near a 250-foot (76.2-meter) suspension bridge in the southwest English city of Bristol 25 years ago. A coroner’s report said the 21-year-old tumbled off the riverbank after a night out with friends.

Avon and Somerset Police said the force is making fresh inquiries into the case after the mother of Penny Beale — who was killed by her partner Michael Moffat in 2001 — told police her daughter had said Moffat was involved in the death.

“The mother of Moffat’s victim wrote to us with some information in the last couple of weeks,” police said in a statement. “Her daughter had said that Moffat told her he was involved in the murder of Samantha Novak.”

The police statement added: “There was nothing from the coroner’s report to suggest it was murder rather than suicide, however this information is obviously additional so we are making fresh inquiries.”

Moffat, 47, was jailed for 11 years for brutally murdering Beale in East Sussex.

Bassey, 73, has maintained that Novak’s death was not an accident or suicide. Novak’s father was Sergio Novak, Bassey’s second husband.

In October Bassey told reporters she always had suspicions about her daughter’s death.

“I never believed that she killed herself. If she’d jumped off the bridge, all her bones would have been broken,” she said.

The Welsh singer is best known for the theme songs to several James Bond movies including “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever.”

Her recording career started in the 1950s and she has been performing ever since.

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