Fifty year anniversary of unsolved murder

6 September 2013, 13:59

A fresh appeal for information about the brutal murder of a man in Sneinton is being been launched this weekend, 50 years after his death.

George Wilson, 41, was the landlord of the Fox and Grapes pub, in Southwell Road, Nottingham on 8 September 1963.

After closing up the pub, the father-of-two had taken his mongrel Collie-type dog called Blackie, for a walk around the market, around 12.30am – something that he did every night.

Around 20 minutes later, George’s wife Betty Wilson, heard the dog barking in the market alleyway next to the pub. When she went outside, she found George lying face down on the pavement, with injuries to his face, neck, head and back. He died at the scene.

The former miner was found to have been stabbed 13 times. The motive remains unclear even after all this time.

In the early stages of the investigation, detectives spoke to a number of witnesses, including a security guard who reported seeing a white man just up the road from the pub. He was described as being in his early 30s, between 5ft 10” and 6ft tall, wearing a green Trilby and a light-coloured raincoat, said to have been carrying a knife or a chisel.

Nine days later, two young boys playing in Polser Brook, a ditch just off the A52, near to Holme Pierrepont, discovered a knife, which they handed in to police. A forensic examination subsequently linked the weapon to George’s murder.

Speaking about today’s anniversary appeal, George’s daughter, Margaret, who was six at the time of the murder, and son David, who was ten, said: “Every time there is an appeal we hope there is going to be something new, or that someone will genuinely come forward and tell the police what happened.

“In the day before he was killed Dad had been to watch Nottingham Forest play Wolves – they won three – nil. Dad was originally from Newcastle and had moved down to Nottingham after living in Doncaster. He wasn’t a Forest fan, but enjoyed football.

“What we did find strange, thinking about it after the murder, is that he was wearing a suit on the night, as though he was intending to go somewhere but didn’t. We think that quite a lot of local people will have known something about Dad’s death, as everyone knew each other’s business back then.

“We are also pretty sure that Blackie would have attacked whoever attacked Dad, he was very protective of him.

“Our mother died in 1997, without ever knowing who did this or why. No motive has ever been established. Over the years Mum was able to talk about what happened to Dad, and she re-lived it a lot.

“Whoever did this robbed us of our Dad. We would really like to know who did this for our own peace of mind, even if the offender is dead. Many years have passed, but if you know who did it, or have any new information, please speak to the police and give us some closure.”

DCI Tony Heydon, who is continuing the hunt for George’s murderer, said: “It is 50 years since George Wilson was murdered outside the Fox and Grapes pub, known locally as the ‘Pretty Windows’ because of the intricate design on the windows. It was a well-known and busy place for local people to go.

“Over the years we have had people calling in with information in relation to George’s murder, but we are still keen to hear from anyone who hasn’t come forward before. Those who have previously spoken to the police if they wish to corroborate their accounts or anyone out there who has information which they may previously have thought to be of little relevance is also asked to contact us.

“I would also be keen to hear from anyone who was in the local licensing industry in the 60s, other landlords, or even older residents who still live in the area.

“People do change alliances, and it may be someone you knew many years ago arrived home on 8 September 1963 acting out of character or even gave you information about what had happened. We need to hear from you, and I would urge you to contact us.

“Fifty years has passed but for George’s children, Margaret and David, so many questions remain unanswered. Cases such as this never close, and we remain determined to get justice for George’s family.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call the incident room on 0115 8446913.

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