Photography

Photographer Unknowingly Captured Murderer in Room With Hidden Body


Photographer Juliet Eden took this image of Lee Ann Sabine (center). A year later, Sabine was found out to be a murderer and her dead husband’s body had been hidden under the bed in this photo.

A photographer has revealed how she unknowingly took pictures of a soon-to-be infamous murderer in a bedroom where she had hidden a dead body in a new book.

In 1997, Lee Ann Sabine battered her husband John to death with a stone frog, wrapped his body in plastic, and hid the corpse around her home in the U.K.

Lee Ann Sabine
Lee Ann Sabine

However, Sabine’s murderous crime only came to light when her husband’s remains were discovered 18 years later, in 2015 — after she had died herself.

Around a year before Sabine’s death, photographer Juliet Eden did a candid portrait shoot with the elderly woman inside her apartment.

A person with curly hair, dressed in dark clothing and red shoes, sits in a kitchen at a table adorned with a floral centerpiece. The kitchen has a vintage decor, with a patterned carpet, white cabinets, and various trinkets and plates on display.
Some of Juliet Eden’s photographs taken in Lee Ann Sabine’s apartment.

An elderly woman stands in the doorway of a cozy, floral-themed bedroom. The room features a twin bed with floral bedspread, a nightstand with a doily, and walls adorned with framed pictures, including a large portrait of a smiling woman.

Eden had no idea that Sabine was hiding the decomposing body of her husband under her bed in the room where she had photographed her.

‘A Once-in-a-Lifetime Photo Scoop’

“Unbeknownst to me, I had stumbled upon a once-in-a-lifetime photo scoop,” Eden, who is based in Barry, South Wales in the U.K., tells PetaPixel.

“You see, after Lee Ann Sabine’s death a year after I photographed her, the body of her husband, who had not been seen since the late 1990s, was discovered in a communal bin in the block of flats where she had lived.

“The corpse was mummified from eighteen years of being wrapped in polythene bags.

“It emerged that Lee had killed her husband by hitting him over the head with a concrete frog statue, then hidden his body under her bed until shortly before her death, when she asked neighbors to help her dispose of a rolled-up carpet.

“His dead body had been in the flat when I had visited only a year prior.”

Eden has now written a book Frog Murderer about her encounter with the secret killer and how her photos of Sabine unexpectedly became the most successful images of her career when the murder was finally uncovered.

‘Had I Known, I Wouldn’t Have Set Foot in Her Flat’

In 2014, Eden visited Sabine in her apartment to take candid portraits after photographing her for a “Hollywood makeover” at a local salon. She says she found Sabine very eccentric but likeable.

A woman with curly blonde hair stands in a salon, leaning against a decorative wall with a black-and-white swirling pattern. She is dressed in dark clothing, including gloves, and appears thoughtful, gazing forward. Mirrors and salon chairs are visible in the background.
Eden took photos of Lee Ann Sabine after a ‘Hollywood makeover’ in a local salon.

An elderly woman with curly blonde hair stands confidently in a stylish salon. She wears a black long-sleeve top, black pants, black gloves, and black boots. She accessorizes with a black necklace and belt. The salon features a patterned wall and shelves with hair products.

During the shoot, Sabine asked to do a tarot card reading for the photographer. In the tarot card reading, Sabine predicted that she herself would become famous and Eden would write a book about her, which would be made into a movie.

Eden took several pictures of Sabine around her flat including one photograph of the secret murderer in the bedroom where she had concealed her husband’s remains.

“I got a picture of Lee puffing up her hair in the mirror in her bedroom,” Eden recalls.

“In that photo was her bed that was awfully high up from the floor — because there was a dead body stuffed under it.

“I obviously didn’t know that at the time. Had I known, I wouldn’t have set foot in that flat.”

‘Never Delete a Photograph’

Around a year after her photo shoot, the photographer received a call from her friend to say that Sabine was dead and a body had been discovered at a flat.

As the news of Sabine’s murderous crime broke, Eden came to the chilling realization that her husband’s body had been hidden underneath the bed where she had photographed her.

Consequently, Eden began being contacted by media companies and news outlets across the world that were eager to publish and acquire the rights to her photographs of Sabine.

“With Lee’s death came the news that shocked many, and suddenly I was being contacted by media companies from all over the world wanting to buy my photographs for articles and documentaries alike,” she explains.

“I only sold to the highest bidder. Both the ‘Hollywood makeover’ shoot I had done for her as well as the photographs of Lee in her flat sold well.

“And bizarrely, this is what Lee predicted when she read my tarot cards — the details of which are covered in my book.

“With the exception of two other photographs, I had the scoop of the only remaining images of Lee Ann Sabine.

“The timing worked in my favor, as in 2014 [when Eden took the pictures], most people didn’t use smartphones to take photos to the extent they do today.”

Eden says her photographs of Sabine have been her most successful images to date and she still gets requests to license the images. Last year, she was approached by a film company that is currently producing a three-hour documentary about Sabine.

Eden says she could never have foreseen the eerie significance of her photographs of Sabine. She advises other photographers to never delete an image in their archive.

“No matter how trivial a photograph may seem in the moment, I caution you to never delete a photograph,” Eden tells PetaPixel

“You never know, what is not important today may be in the future.”

Juliet Eden’s book Frog Murderer: Lee Ann Sabine Shocked The World Twice can be purchased on Amazon or directly via her website.

More information can be found about Eden and her book on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and her website.


 
Image credits: All photos by Juliet Eden.





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