Cold case into hot disposals ? Joe Meek fluff Freeman and Mr Savile ?

BBC News - Police probe new 1967 Tattingstone 'suitcase murder' lead

The witness saw the man, wearing surgical gloves, inside the gates of Paul's maltings Ipswich docks.

If this new information is correct then, no doubt, the cold case team are looking at Maltings Furnace as a line of inquiry into planned corpse disposal. Other places with furnaces could have been hospitals like St Marys of Tattingstone. (All that is needed is a helpful night porter ...... now then now then ??)

"while sleepy rural Suffolk was getting itself back into harness after the Christmas period, the Suitcase Murder story broke. As the Beatles' Penny Lane jangled cheerily from kitchen radios, the chopped-up body of Bernard Oliver, a seventeen year old Muswell Hill boy, was discovered in two suitcases at the edge of a muddy field.

Less than three weeks later, in the Holloway Road in North London – a couple of miles or so from where the boy had gone missing – a famous record producer, his career now in tatters, blasted his landlady to death with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself. Joe Meek, who'd produced numerous hit records including Telstar and Johnny Remember Me, was now facing financial ruin. He was also reported to be suffering from mental health problems. In 1963, he'd been prosecuted for 'importuning for immoral purposes' – homosexual acts still being illegal at this time. As news of the murder investigation spread – along with its connection to what the London Evening News called, 'the twilight world of homosexuals' – Joe Meek became increasingly worried that he would be questioned, blackmailed or visited by hoodlums.

Despite minor speculation that Bernard Oliver the missing boy, may have done some work at Joe Meek's recording studio, there was actually no connection, so far as anybody knew at the time, between the unfortunate record producer and the murdered teenager. The speculation and tittle-tattle however, could only have exacerbated Meek's anxiety. The period was, as we can now observe, a time of contrast, coincidence, and great complexity.

As the murder investigation got underway, an official photo was circulated of its victim With no clue as to the identity of the young man, the police had taken the unusual step of 'dressing' the severed head. To do this, they stuck its eyes open, set it upright with a scarf at the base of the skull, then tidied it up as best they could before photographing it. It was a macabre sort of thing to do. The move, however, soon paid its sad dividend when the boy's father recognised the face in a newspaper picture and came forward to formally identify his son.

Described as quiet and gentle, if somewhat 'backward' with a mental age of eleven, Bernard Oliver had been missing from home for a fortnight. Up until his disappearance, the young man had been working for some weeks as a factory hand in north London. The police now stepped up their investigation, working exhaustively on the case. Alas, despite their best efforts, apart from the identity of the victim, not much more transpired and as the weeks turned into months, the months into years, the case remained unsolved. As one exasperated detective later remarked, the police had only been able to work with clues from the scene where the body had been dumped – none from the scene of the murder itself. After his retirement, Tom Tarling, head of East Suffolk CID, who'd led the murder inquiry in 1967, said of the case, “It was the most gruesome thing I investigated, in 37 years with the police.” The village of Tattingstone itself remained in shock long after the investigation petered out. A yellowed newspaper cutting, dated January 1968 reveals that a full year after the event, in the village once described as, “A place where nothing ever happened,.” few of the villagers would now walk down the road now dubbed “Suitcase Lane.”

It wasn't until the eve of the 2005 Freedom of Information Act – almost 38 years after the murder had occurred – that any further significant information came to light. Two doctors, one wanted for questioning about the murder and homosexual assault of another boy, had been prime suspects in the murder case, it was revealed. Dr Martin Reddington and Dr John Byles, both of them now dead, had resurfaced as even stronger suspects, when the case was reopened in 1977. Byles though,

a former ship's surgeon, had committed suicide in Australia in 1975 after being arrested and charged with an indecent assault in London. He left letters to Scotland Yard and to Dr Reddington apologising for what he'd done and yet, frustratingly for the investigators, not confessing to the murder of Bernard Oliver.

In 1965, a warrant for Martin Reddington's arrest had been issued, 'for buggery and the indecent assault of males'. The Colchester-born Reddington, however, fled the country for South Africa and the warrant was never executed. His guilt was neither proved nor disproved. Even though he returned to the UK from time to time, he was never apprehended. In a further astonishing piece of information, a private investigator claimed to have recognised one of the suitcases, pairing it firmly with a man she'd spoken to in a launderette upon numerous occasions. She picked out Reddington's likeness from three pictures of suspects and even identified one of the suitcases as the one in which the the doctor had often carried his laundry. Dr Reddington, who was never questioned, died in 1993, aged 63. It was only over long years that such fragments gradually emerged. However much they seem to point to a general assumption of the two doctors' culpability, however, the Suitcase Murder remains, to this day, officially unsolved."

Joe Meek .... Ronnie Kray ...... Fluff Freeman .... Jimmy Savile ??? "Despite minor speculation" at the time. That sounds familiar now. The sort of minor speculation that appears to be getting complainants out of the woodwork now half a century on ?


Book Reviewer
If only we could have a "Who gives a ****" forum. And one about diesel-electric trains.

a famous record producer, his career now in tatters, blasted his landlady to death with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself. He was also reported to be suffering from mental health problems.
Cant think where anybody got that idea. He was a lovely boy who bought flowers for his Mum.

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