Unsolved Murders

Richard Haywood

Age: 36

Sex: male

Date: 16 Oct 1989

Place: Shirley High Street, Southampton

Richard Haywood was shot at point blank range in the bathroom of his flat in Southampton on Monday 16 October 1989.

Five shots were fired. It was thought that he had been shot with a small calibre .22 revolver which was quite old and quite worn. The police said that they thought that Richard Haywood had been killed by a professional hitman and that it was a contract killing, or that he was murdered by someone that bore him a grudge or who Richard Haywood had upset.

After he was murdered, his shop was later broken into that same night using the keys that were stolen from inside his flat when he was shot.

He was an antique jewellery and furniture dealer and lived in a flat above his antique shop called Ambiance, The Gold Exchange, jewellers, gold and silversmiths.

It was noted that before his murder he had been trying to negotiate a deal on a 3-acre farm property outside of Southampton in Cadenham and had already put a £25,000 deposit. It was his intention to sell off the land and to make a large profit.

It was also noted that he had dreamed of becoming a millionaire by the time he was 40, but he had got into debt and he still needed another £55,000 before he could close the deal.

The police said that Richard Haywood led a complicated life and had several girlfriends and that a number of people that he had dealings with, had decided not to tell them the truth.

It was suggested that his murder might have been drugs or gang related but his sister denied that saying that he was not involved in anything like that to any great degree, and said that it seemed obvious to her that he had upset someone in the jewellery trade, saying that she didn't think that it was someone that had come down from London, but someone that was local.

On the evening of Sunday 15 October 1989 Richard Haywood took his mother, sister and girlfriend out for a meal. He had persuaded his mother to remortgage her bungalow in order to lend him some of the extra cash that he wanted. However, it was also noted that he had been planning on making a deal with some financial consultants.

It was noted that Richard Haywood was obsessed with his own security and he carried a panic alarm with him and had installed video monitor in his bedroom that bleeped all the time, covering his flat and the shop below. However, it was noted that Richard Haywood's security cameras had not been recording on the night he was murdered.

On the morning of Monday 16 October 1989 at about 10.30am Richard Haywood opened his shop and shortly after got a call from one of the financial consultants that he was planning to getting some of the extra money from and had arranged to meet them at about 12.30pm. However, they said that when they met Richard Haywood at 12.30pm, he had not taken too kindly to being told that it would take a few days to arrange things, noting that they could make no promises, saying that Richard Haywood was asking them for a definite decision in writing that day. They said that when they left him he had told them that their position was not good enough and they left saying that they would see what they could do.

Shortly after his meeting with the financial consultants, Richard Haywood got a call from his girlfriend who said that he told her that he wasn't able to raise enough cash even with the help from his mother in remortgaging her bungalow and that it was driving him up the wall. She said that he then told her that they should cancel their plans for that evening, saying that he didn't know if he was coming or going. She said that they then ended the call with Richard Haywood telling her that he would ring her later and talk about it.

Later, at 5.15pm, a woman who was sat on a No. 3A bus which passed Richard Haywood's shop said that she saw Richard Haywood inside arguing with a short fat bold man. It was noted that the man was never traced.

At about the same time, a married couple who had a shop a few doors up from Richard Haywood said that they were clearing up their shop.

At about 6.05pm, Richard Haywood was shutting up his business for the night, bringing in the pavement sign and rolling down the shutters. It was said that Richard Haywood was helped to bring in the sign from outside by a man that looked very much like Richard Haywood. However, he also was never identified.

At about the same time a scruffy man was seen loitering near Richard Haywood's flat at the back. He was said to have been acting strangely and carrying something underneath his arm.

After shutting his shop, Richard Haywood walked back to his flat along the alleyway at 6.30pm. It was said that no one knew whether Richard Haywood had gone into his flat alone, but it was said that he had then gone through his usual routine.

Then, the couple that were sorting out their shop a few doors down from Richard Haywood's shop heard several bangs. The woman said that she commented to her husband that she had heard gunshots, but that he had told her that that was rubbish and that it was just a car backfiring.

However, Richard Haywood had in fact been shot multiple times at point blank range.

At 6.35pm, about the time or shortly after Richard Haywood was shot, an accountant had arrived to talk business with Richard Haywood. The accountant had a limp resulting from a rugby injury and the police said that when he called that they thought that Richard Haywood's murder or murderers were still inside his flat. It was noted that anyone that had seen the accountant outside Richard Haywood's flat that evening might also have seen whoever killed Richard Haywood. It was heard that the accountant waited for Richard Haywood for about five minutes outside his flat to the rear of the shops before then heading back to his car.

As the accountant left, the couple that had been clearing their shop were also leaving and the woman said that she noticed a red car outside of Richard Haywood's shop. She said then, that moments later, she saw two men rush out of the alley and get into the red car and speed off.

The police later said that they were very anxious to trace the two men that the woman saw speed off in the car and released their descriptions.

Man A:

  • Age: mid 20s.
  • Height: 5ft 8in.
  • Build: Slim.
  • Clothing: Tight fitting trousers and a blouson jacket.

Man B:

  • Age: mid 20s.
  • Height: 5ft 11in.
  • Hair: Fair.
  • Clothing: Tight fitting trousers and a blouson jacket.

The police said that they also wanted to trace the man that was seen outside the back of Richard Haywood's shop and flat.

The police also said that they wanted to trace the man that was seen arguing with Richard Haywood earlier in the evening inside the shop by the woman on the bus at about 5pm. The police released a drawing of the man that was seen arguing with Richard Haywood in his shop and appealed for anyone that recognised him to come forward. His description was:

  • Age: 40.
  • Build: Stocky.
  • Hair: Receding hair that was brushed straight back.

The police said that they believed that Richard Haywood had known his murderer. They noted that Richard Haywood had previously bought stolen property and had mixed with some shady characters and said that there were no signs of a disturbance in the flat and that as such the indication was that he knew the person that killed him.

The police noted that Richard Haywood's shop was broken into after his murder, and it was thought that it had been broken into after 7pm, but before 8.30pm. The police noted that when his shop was broken into it activated the blue alarm outside his shop, a blue flashing light.

The police further stated that they thought that whoever had broken into Richard Haywood's shop after he was murdered had in fact been his murderers. The police said that whoever later went into his shop didn't steal antiques or other valuables such as jewellery or cash, but had instead opened his safe and it appeared as thought that had been looking for something specific.

In the search for the murderer the police spoke to over 11,000 people and took over 4,000 statements.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.