A John Travolta fantasist has been found guilty of rape and murder of a girl in north London in 1982.
Police using DNA evidence tracked down James Warnock and linked him to the horrific murder of a 17-year-old teenage girl 34 years ago.
Warnock told police that he looked like John Travolta at the time of the crime.
He will now die in jail after being found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey.
For half a lifetime, self-employed tiler James Warnock, 56, got away with strangling 17-year-old Yiannoulla Yianni in her own home just half a mile from where he lived with his wife in north London.
The murder shocked the nation and led to high-profile police appeals which led detectives as far afield as Australia in their search for the killer.
But it was not until December last year that Scotland Yard got a break when Warnock was arrested over indecent pictures of children.
His DNA was added to the national database and found to be a match for samples taken from Yiannoulla’s body.
The divorced father-of-two, who was still living in the local community, tried to explain away the evidence by claiming to have had a secret affair with Yiannoulla, even though the teenager was brought up in a traditional Greek Cypriot family and never had a boyfriend.
At the time of the murder Warnock was aged 22 and gave the impression of being a ladies’ man, with his hair carefully styled and blow-dried like his Saturday Night Fever idol.
But when officers tracked him down after matching his DNA to the crime scene, they found the balding and portly defendant, quietly drinking beer in his underpants.
In a police interview he was asked what he looked like in the 1980s and he said:
How can I put it? Er, John Travolta?
– JAMES WARNOCK
During the trial, Yiannoulla’s brothers and sisters relived the nightmare of her death while her now 86-year-old mother was among those to give evidence.
Her family broke down in tears as a jury at the Old Bailey took just over two hours to find Warnock guilty on Thursday.
Her brother Rick said:
Thankfully the long arm of the law has reached out from the past to bring this evil being to justice.
The magnitude and horror of what happened that day is indescribable.
– RICK, BROTHER
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