True crime fans make pilgrimages to the obscure rural location that was the setting for the infamous 1990s shooting of the ‘Essex Boys’.
The triple murder involved the shooting of three drug dealers in a Range Rover on White House Farm land in Rettendon, Essex, in December 1995.
And Bill Theobald – whose brother first found the bodies – says at least two people a week are now walking to his family’s land to try and find the exact spot where the trio were shot dead in a Range Rover 28 years ago in a targeted hit. .
And he says it’s “bizarre” that the crime has become such a notoriety that many of the unwanted visitors weren’t even born when it happened.
Bill, whose brother Peter Theobald made the gruesome discovery, said: ‘We have a constant interest in the murders with at least one or two visitors a week.
Police officers with the Range Rover on the farm track in Rettendon where the three men were found dead
Patrick Tate, Anthony Tucker and Craig Rolfe (left to right) were all found shot dead in a Range Rover near the remote farm track in Rettendon, Essex in December 1995
Now creepy hunters have started to descend on the gruesome place to take pictures
“Most people just go there without asking and some weren’t even born when it happened – it’s very bizarre.”
Tony Tucker, 38, Pat Tate, 37, and Craig Rolfe, 26, were shot in cold blood as they arrived at the end of a remote farm track, ostensibly to complete a drug deal.
All three had been shot in the head, while Tate was also shot in the stomach – an act that some have speculated silenced him while his friends were executed in front.
The bodies of the three men were found the next morning by farmer Peter and his friend Ken Jiggins as they went to feed the farm’s 800 pheasants.
At first the couple thought they were poachers who had fallen asleep – then they saw blood.
Speaking of a Crimewatch re-enactment in 1996, Ken said: ‘I got out and walked over to the Range Rover and as I walked over I saw the person sitting in the passenger seat and I could see the driver and I assumed they were asleep.
“I went forward and looked straight into the driver’s side, looked straight at the passenger. There was blood all over his forehead. The driver sat with his head tilted and blood on his face.’
Peter added: “There was also a third person in the back seat. It didn’t look like there had been any sort of battle. The two in the front just sat there as if they were asleep.’
Police soon arrived on the scene with people speculating that the men may have been murdered in revenge for being involved in the supply chain of an ecstasy tablet linked to the death of Essex teen Leah Betts, 18, the previous month .
Bill now runs the shooting range on the farm and lives on the property close to his brother Peter and his wife Fran.
The murders have become notorious and spawned books and several films, including Essex Boys starring Sean Bean in 2000 and Rise of the Footsoldier in 2007.
YouTube searches yield recent videos of the farm track, and TikTok has several videos of people walking the track.
True crime sites on Instagram also show recent snaps of the location.
A TikTok video poster reads: “If you’ve seen the rise of the foot soldier and the Range Rover killings, this is where it happened. I’ll show you the exact spot.
“This road here, this one wasn’t here when it happened, just this track. They come over here in the Range Rover.
“The Range Rover was parked here, that’s where the three bodies were found that morning, in ’95.”
The murder in the small village of Rettendon was made into a film starring Sean Bean in 2000
Bill Theobald (right) says two people a week walk to his family’s land to find the spot where the trio were shot dead in a Range Rover
The ghost hunters begin to annoy local landowners with their trespassing
Michael Steele, 76, (left) was convicted of the same triple murder along with Whos (right). Steele, now 80, will be paroled this month. In the photo in 2006
And he added, “If these trees could talk. I’ve always wanted to visit this place.’
Another who filmed himself walking the track and posted it to YouTube said: ‘We are now going to take a walk to the exact point where the Range Rover was found.
“Where I am now was the Range Rover. This tree right here is right where it was. It’s a little creepy.’
Jack Whomes and Michael Steele were convicted of the murders in January 1998 and sentenced to life imprisonment despite protests of their innocence.
Whos has since been released.