Date: 22 May 1996
John Marshall was found shot dead in the back of his black Range Rover beneath some straw in Thorpewood Avenue, Round Hill.
He had been shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest, and his body was then bundled into his car and covered with straw. It was noted that John Marshall was a big lad, being 6ft 2in tall and about 15 stone, and that it would have taken more than one person to have lifted him into the back of his vehicle.
It was thought that he was not shot where he was found and the police said that they were interested in finding out where he was shot and also who drove his car from that place to Thorpewood Avenue where it was found.
He had £5,000 in cash on him for a car deal that was left behind but the murderer was thought to have taken the Range Rover keys, a grey Head sports bag with all his business documents and things, two mobile phones and a Patek Philippe 18ct gold watch with a blue face.
However, it was not known where the grey Head sports bag had gone missing as it was noted that John Marshall's car had been dumped in Thorpewood Avenue with its doors unlocked and a window open, opening the possibility that it could have been taken after the car was dumped.
John Marshall left home between 10.20am and 11.20am on 15 May 1996 for a business meeting regarding the purchase of a house in Kent, telling his wife that he would be back in a few hours.
He was seen next at the Century Salvage parts yard in Pitsea at about midday where he bought some parts off of a Fiesta car and left at some time between 12 noon and 1pm.
His car was seen crossing the Queen Elizabeth II bridge at noon, but he didn’t come home.
He had had a dentist appointment in Burns Avenue at 3pm where he had also arranged to meet a business associate, to whom he was going to give the £5,000, which he didn't make either. The man that he had arranged to meet said that he tried to call John Marshall's mobile number when he didn't turn up but said that he couldn't get through.
He was found dead in his car seven days later on 22 May 1996 in Sydenham, South London. The police said that they knew that he had been in his car in Round Hill from at least 6.30am on 22 May 1996. They said that they thought that the car had been dumped there either on the Wednesday night or in the early hours of the Thursday morning that it was found.
The police said that they were interested in finding out where John Marshall had been between 12noon and 3pm.
It was said that he had been a business partner with Pat Tate, a drug dealer, who had been found dead with a number of other men in a Range Rover in Rettendon five months earlier. However, the police later issued a statement saying that there was no evidence that John Marshall's murder had anything to do with drugs although they were keeping an open mind.
John Marshall was a car dealer and bought and sold high performance cars and was on his way to becoming a millionaire. He advertised most of his cars in the Exchange and Mart publication.
He was married with three children.