A LEADING criminologist says the murders of Jim Attfield and Nahid Al-Manea are “almost certainly linked”.

In an interview with The Gazette, Prof David Wilson said both victims were “overkilled” in the attacks, which means they were stabbed more times than was needed to kill them.

Jim was fatally wounded after being stabbed 102 times near to Lower Castle Park, in Colchester, in March.

Saudi student Nahid was found fatally wounded on the Salary Brook Trail at 10.40am on Tuesday, having been stabbed 16 times.

Prof Wilson, who works for Birmingham City University, also said the perpetrator would not stop until they were caught and he urged residents to follow Essex Police advice not to walk alone is secluded places.

Prof Wilson said: “In my experience of people who kill in this way, they do not stop until they are caught.”

He added the perpetrator is most likely a local man who is known to mental health authorities in the area: “Everything points to the fact the man lives locally.

“He has to have somewhere to return to having completed the murder.

“He would need to wash his clothes or discard the clothes.”

Prof Wilson added: “Understanding more to the James Attfield murder is central to bringing this perpetrator to justice.”

Essex Police have stressed they are not linking the murders, but are conducting the separate investigations "in parallel".