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UK KEITH LYON: 12 year old stabbed to death in East Sussex - 1967

Discussion in 'Europe: Cold Cases' started by Lily, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    [​IMG]

    Keith was killed while out walking on the South Downs near Brighton.

    His body was discovered under bushes on a bridle path between Ovingdean and Woodingdean. He had been stabbed with a steak knife.

    Keith was stabbed 11 times in the chest, back and abdomen.

    A blood-stained knife was found — but police lost it. The weapon was discovered again four years ago in a sealed room at Brighton’s John Street police station. Two men were arrested in 2006 in connection with the murder of the 12-year-old schoolboy but were later released without charge.

    One theory is that Keith – a smart boy who was wearing part of his Brighton and Hove Grammar School uniform at the time – was picked on by young yobs because of the way he was dressed. A total of more than 5,000 youths from the area have been fingerprinted. Keith’s father, Kenneth, died in 1991 and his mother, Valda, died in October 2005, having failed to see justice done for their son’s murder.

    https://theukdatabase.com/cold-cases-missing-murdered-uk-kids-can-u-help/keith-lyon-sussex-1967/

     
    MissyMoo and Ladyslug like this.
  2. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    On a pleasant Saturday afternoon in May 1967, 12 year old Keith Lyons, the eldest son of Ken Lyon, the well known band-leader set out from his home in Ovingdean.

    He had decided to walk along the path that runs from Ovingdean to Woodingdean in order to purchase something to go with his geometry set. About 45 minutes after leaving his home about 3pm he was attacked by someone and stabbed to death, his body being left close to the pathway in which he had just walked.

    A little while after the stabbing a young 16-year-old girl, out walking found Keith’s body. In total fear she rushed back along the path to Woodingdean and raised the alarm. The Police were quickly on the scene and cordoned off the area, making sure that nothing was disturbed and keeping people away from the scene.

    [​IMG]
    Woodingdean Primary School

    Simon Carey

    The Police set up a temporary murder headquarters in the headmaster’s study at Woodingdean Primary School. More officers were drafted in to take part in the hunt and included those from East and West Sussex as well as the Regional Crime Squad was called in to assist with the enquiries. Senior Officers knew that this was probably going to be a large enquiry and a special magnetic mine detector was rushed to the scene from Aldermaston to help with the search for the murder weapon. This detector was in the form of a roller; it had 260 magnets and was capable of pulling metal objects out of the ground.

    However, it wasn’t the roller that found the alleged weapon, a steak knife with a wicked serrated edge to it. This was found by some schoolboys in a field close to the rear of Fitzherbert School.

    [​IMG]
    A knife was found after the murder, mislaid, and later found in a box

    BBC News

    The Brighton Dog Section, of which I was a member were all involved and police dogs from the surrounding Forces were also brought in to search the nearby fields for any clues to the murder/s. The main field that was searched was the large one that runs parallel to Falmer Road between Woodingdean and Rottingdean. We spent several hours searching this particular field but it was in vain.

    The police were at full stretch and made successive swoops on beatniks, tramps and anyone who was in the area and sleeping rough, lonely farm building were often searched at this time.

    [​IMG]
    Using a magnetic mine detector in the search for the murder weapon.

    Sgt Frank Morgan and Pc Ian Wilson

    A day or so later a wax dummy was borrowed from a nearby boy’s outfitter and dressed in identical clothing as worn by Keith at the time of the murder, this being in a bid to jog the memory of anyone who was in the area at the time. A pilot of a light aircraft who was flying in the vicinity at the time was questioned in the hope that he may have seen something but that drew a blank. The Police inquiries even stretched down to Roedean Girls School in case they too may have seen anything.

    The Police had hoped that good clues would have come to light during the first 48 hours after the crime but as time dragged on the police became more desperate to find the necessary clues to cause the break through in order to solve the murder.

    [​IMG]
    Police instructing boys and cubs before search of the south Downs

    A few days after the murder it was reported that new evidence indicated that Keith had been stabbed to death by a youth or gang of youths. This led to the investigating officers to announce that they would fingerprint the local boys. They were hoping that those responsible would not allow their fingerprints to be taken thus giving some idea towards who may be guilty. The fingerprinting started and soon close on 4,000 boys had been done. The Local Education Committee fully co-operated with the police and three centres were set up for this mammoth task to be undertaken.

    It wasn’t very long before letters of sympathy started to come in and within a few days more than 500 had been received, including some from as far away as Australia at the home of the murdered boy.

    The giant fingerprinting exercise was extended in July to cover most areas of Brighton and the fingerprinting team worked overtime in an effort to keep pace with the job.

    The inquest was held in December and the Coroner was told at this time that 75,000 visits had been made to houses in the quest for information, just over 2,000 written statements had been taken, 17 schools had been visited by the Police investigation team and 1,900 school children were interviewed. It was also announced that more than 6,000 fingerprints and palm prints were obtained and 726 items of clothing had been examined with 361 being forwarded to the forensic science laboratory for tests to be done.

    The blood on the steak knife was identified as being of the same blood type as Keith’s. The Jury returned a verdict of murder by person or persons unknown.

    Police inquiries continued and the following year, on the anniversary of Keith’s death, his father offered £1,000 reward to anyone giving information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

    Sadly, no one came forward at this time but in January 1974 there was a dramatic development. Detective Superintendent Jim Marshall announced that new information had been received and opens a new line of inquiry.

    Things moved quickly and a Special Squad of detectives was set up and began re-interviewing dozens of people who had made statements at the time of the murder inquiry a few years before. However, after renewed efforts it all came to nothing and the killer/s remain free to this day.

    It is true that during the time of the murder investigation in 1967 a number of people were arrested and taken to the police station, ‘assisting the police in their inquiries,’ but they were later released and no charges were ever made.

    [​IMG]
    In the late 1990’s the Police announced that they were re-opening their inquiries into Keith’s murder but that quietened down and nothing more was heard about it.

    Now in 2005, the 21st Century, the killer/s remain free and one can only wonder if anyone will be brought to book for this heinous murder of a young innocent boy. I would love to see this crime brought to a successful conclusion. The murder of children always leaves a nasty taste.

    http://www.oldpolicecellsmuseum.org.uk/page/keith_lyons
     
    MissyMoo, Kimster and Ladyslug like this.
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Fifty years on, ‘confession’ may help solve Sussex Downs murder mystery
    April 2019

    The murder of 12-year-old Keith Lyon shocked the nation. The 12-year-old boy was stabbed to death on the Sussex Downs in 1967 on his way to buy a geometry set with his pocket money. Despite one of the biggest investigations ever launched, no one was charged with the killing.

    Now, more than half a century later, his younger brother, Peter Lyon, hopes that fresh evidence could finally establish what happened on that afternoon of 6 May 1967 in the same way that Sussex police were last year able to solve the “Babes in the Wood” case, also in the Brighton area, 32 years after those murders.

    “The older I get, the more desperate I am to have it finally solved,” 59-year-old Lyon told the Observer.

    Keith, son of well-known Brighton band leader Ken Lyon, was walking from the family home in Ovingdean to nearby Woodingdean when he was attacked and stabbed to death. The insides of his pockets were pulled out and the four shillings he had with him were missing. His father was playing at a ball in Brighton when the police informed him of the murder.

    Detectives believed Keith was attacked and robbed by three boys. There was a report of a fracas near the scene where Keith’s body was later found by a woman walking her dog on the bridle path from Roedean school to Woodingdean. A white-handled steak knife was later found, and a bus driver reported seeing two youths in an “agitated state” on his bus to nearby Whitehawk.

    Some 2,000 children were interviewed, 6,000 fingerprints taken and 75,000 house-to-house calls made. But no one was charged. The case was reopened in 1976, 2002 and again in 2006 – still to no avail.

    Then, earlier this month, police were told that a local man, who had become an alcoholic, had confessed his involvement in the killing to his mother, who had told a health worker in confidence. The man has now died. “Perhaps he had become an alcoholic because he could not deal with what he had done,” said the person who passed this information on to Sussex police. The hope now is that, if the man’s involvement is confirmed, his schoolboy associates might also be identified.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/27/confession-keith-lyon-unsolved-schoolboy-murder-1967
     

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