Date: 5 Aug 1992
Michael Towler was stabbed to death at his home in Holly Street, Horton Bank Top on the Wednesday night 5 August 1992.
He was said to have been stabbed to death with a long-bladed knife in a frenzied attack.
During the investigation the police said that they spoke to over 900 people and took more than 200 statements.
He was a former postman but had been working as a part-time shop assistant and for a charity, DIAL (the Disabled Information Action Line), at the time of his murder. He worked at the DIAL office several times a month.
Michael Towler was a homosexual and the police said that they thought that his murderer might have been one of his homosexual partners.
On the morning of 5 August 1992 Michael Towler had been volunteering at the DIAL office in Shipley. He was later seen in his street by neighbours.
Holly Street was described as a dead-end road with houses back to back and to get to the house that Michael Towler lived in you needed to go through a small passageway known as a ginnel.
Later in the day, at about 6.40pm Wednesday 5 August 1992 a neighbour was at home with her son watching the finals of the women’s hurdles in the Olympics when she said she heard Michael Towler shouting from his house, shouting something like, 'Go away, go away and don't come back'. She said that she knew that it was Michael Towler's voice that she could hear but said that she didn't know who he was shouting at and just thought that it was some kids in his garden or something.
However, it was noted that Michael Towler was later talking to a friend on the phone at about 7.10pm at which time he seemed OK, but during the call he was again heard to shout at someone in his garden, shouting something like, 'Go away, this is private property, if you come back again I’ll call the police'.
The police said that whoever he had been angry with that evening was an important witness, stating that they might have seen something.
Two hours later, at about 9pm, a couple that lived on the street on Michael Towler's side said that they had come out of the ginnel into the street and saw Michael Towler in the street by his car with the car door open apparently waiting for someone. The police later appealed for the person that Michael Towler had been waiting for to come forward.
Later on at 10pm, the woman that lived next door to Michael Towler said that she heard someone knocking at the door and thinking that it might have been for her, she looked out of her bedroom window but saw no one on her step and so assumed that the caller was for Michael Towler.
The woman’s son, who was downstairs said that about an hour later, at 11pm, he was settling down to a late supper in front of the television. He said that he then heard Michael Towler's television on quite loud, and then some other noises. However, he said that he couldn't actually hear what they were saying, saying that it was just a mumble and that after a few moments he thought no more about it.
At about 11.45pm a couple who were leaving the Hare and Hounds pub, which was just around the corner from Holly Street said that they saw a man acting strangely by the petrol station. They said that the man, who was wearing a white jumper appeared strange and was looking about erratically and that as they drove off he ran off passing in front of their car as they drove off along Beacon Road and ran into the back of Holly Street. The woman said that as they then passed the front of Holly Street, she looked round to see if she could see the man come out there and said that she saw a man by a white Sierra bending down and apparently putting something in the car.
The following day he was found dead on his living room floor with multiple stab wounds.
He had missed several appointments and wasn't answering calls.
It was found that his video-recorder had also been stolen. It was a Toshiba Model V55B and the police appealed for anyone who had just come into possession or seen a similar model to come forward.