Unsolved Murders

George Leitch

Age: 37

Sex: male

Date: 30 Jul 1993

Place: Cormongers Lane, Redhill, Surrey

Source: www.independent.co.uk

George Leitch was found dead near a landfill site on 30 July 1993.

Three men were charged with his murder in 1996 but the charges against them were later dismissed. They later claimed that the police had fabricated and manipulated witnesses' evidence and attempted to sue the police but their claim for £800,000 was dismissed.

George Leitch was found naked on some wasteland near Cormongers Lane in Redhill, Surrey having been stabbed three times in the heart. His body had been covered with 54kg of lime although it was thought that it had not been there for long as much of the grass was still green beneath his body, meaning that his body had been stored somewhere else between the time he was murdered and the time he was dumped. It was said that his body had not been where it was found for more than seven days.

It was said that it was not known why his body had been covered in lime but that it was assumed that it might have been used to hasten decomposition but that it had in fact acted to preserve George Leitch's body, mummifying it.

The post-mortem on George Leitch's body showed that he had been stabbed three times, once through the heart, and that at least two people had been involved in killing him. The post-mortem also stated that it was probable that he had been murdered on the day he disappeared.

He had gone missing on Friday 2 July 1993 from Beckenham High Street.

George Leitch had lived in Gipsy Hill in south London and was last seen by family members on 2 July 1993 and was reported missing four days later on 6 July 1993. He was married and had a young son but had separated from his wife four months earlier.

When he was last seen, he had been wearing black shorts, a white shirt and gold jewellery that included a necklace, bracelet, ring and watch.

He had previously spent 18 months in prison for handling stolen property, being convicted in 1987.

He had a distinctive tattoo that featured an ace of hearts, three sides of a dice and a glass of champagne on his right thigh which helped police identify him and also led them to believe that he was involved in gambling. The police said that he was known to have various business interests in licensed premises, including clubs and wine bars, across the south London area.

George Leitch was described as being 5ft 8in tall, slim and with brown hair.

When his wife described him, she said that George Leitch was a really lovely fella and really popular with everybody and that everyone really liked him. She added that he was the life and sole of the party and a bit of a jack the lad.

It was noted that George Leitch was fit and was proud of his physique and enjoyed playing squash.

It was noted that George Leitch had been without a regular job for several months and spent a lot of his time at a club known as The Bar in Beckenham that he had helped his brother-in-law to establish.

On Thursday 1 July 1993 he had been at The Bar and was at that time trying to organise a hen night with an MC and a male stripper for the following evening and spoke to people about it on the phone whilst at The Bar.

He was described as the perfect entrepreneur and had been successful in business, but a bar that he had run called Gossips, had been smashed up by a gang. It was said that it was smashed up because he had been trying to stop drug dealing in the premises, and as such, it was noted that his livelihood was lost.

The following morning, 2 July 1993, George Leitch left home in the morning, being picked up by his brother-in-law, arranging with his partner beforehand to pick him up later and take him to The Bar.

The woman that he had been living with at the time said that George Leitch had been really bubbly on the morning he left. She said that he did have money problems but that he never let it show. She said that when he left he had been really looking forward to the evening.

After being picked up by his brother-in-law he asked to be taken to his mother's house saying that he had to pick up a few things. When he got there had picked up an A4 envelope with things in it and then told his brother-in-law that he would make his own way to The Bar as he wanted to have a word with a person there.

George Leitch then went off with the man in his car, on the way telling him that he was having a lot of trouble with the brewery, saying that he was trying to do a deal with them to soften a loan that he had arranged and adding that he would be seeing them the following Tuesday.

The man said that he then dropped George Leitch off at about 12.40pm outside some shops on Beckenham High Street about 100 yards from The Bar.

However, later, at 10pm, George Leitch had not arrived at The Bar for the hen night.

However, it was noted that when his body was found on 30 July 1993, green grass that was found beneath his body indicated that he had not been there for long and it was thought that George Leitch's body had been kept somewhere else for about three weeks.

The police noted that a lot of lime had been used and that it was commonly used in the building trade and in agricultural fields. They appealed to anyone that had had a comparable amount, at least 54kg, stolen from them to come forward. However, the police also noted that someone might have purchased 54kg of lime, probably at least two bags, in either June or July and they asked for anyone that had sold that amount over that period to come forward.

The police also appealed for anyone that had noticed any suspicious vehicles, in particular a blue van or blue car in Cormongers Lane near to where George Leitch's body was found in the last week of July 1993. They said that they knew that a vehicle had been involved because of tyre marks found at the scene and also because they had found blue paint at a certain height on a tree nearby at the same spot, indicating that George Leitch's body had been brought to the scene in a blue vehicle, probably a van.

The police also noted that when George Leitch was found he was naked and appealed for anyone that might have found his black knee length shorts, white shirt and sandals to come forward.

It was also noted that his jewellery was missing, a square gold bangle, two square gold rings and a unique watch and the police appealed to anyone that might have been asked to dispose of them or had handled them. The police noted that the rings and bracelet were unusual in that they were square. The watch was a French make, Emerich and Meerson of Paris.

The police said that they refused to speculate on whether George Leitch's murder had been a gangland killing.

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