Date: 10 Dec 1994
Michael Meenaghan was shot dead on 10 December 1994 at his home on the Blackbird Leys estate in Oxford.
He had been shot at about 4.30pm through the chest with a shotgun through the kitchen window at the rear of his end-terrace house as he made a pot of tea.
Michael Meenaghan was a lecturer and research scientist at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University and had spent the previous four years researching molecular biology. He had lived alone.
After being shot he called 999. No speech could be heard in the call, but he could be heard struggling to breath.
However, when the police arrived they found him dead on the kitchen floor with the phone nearby and off the hook.
The police said that his kitchen window was broken, suggesting that the murderer had either broken the window and then fired at Michael Meenaghan, or shot straight through it.
His post-mortem concluded that his cause of death was haemorrhage of the chest.
It was heard that neighbours had said that Michael Meenaghan had appeared nervous recently and had been keeping his curtains drawn both night and day. It was also heard that he had kept a sheet draped across an upstairs window as an additional bid to avoid being seen.
The police said that when they went to Michael Meenaghan's house, they found all the doors locked from the inside and noted that he had made his telephone number ex-directory within the previous twelve months.
However, they added that they had found nothing unusual about his personal life and that there was nothing to suggest a reason for him being shot.
Although the police said that they could not determine a motive, it was later suggested that his murder might have been connected in some way with the murder of Janet Brown the following year in April 1995 as she was also involved in university research. Janet Brown was murdered at her home, Hall Farm in Spriggs Holly Lane, Radnage, High Wycombe.
Other speculation suggested that his murder had been a professional hit.
However, colleaues at the university said that Michael Meenaghan's research was quite straightforward and not controversial in any way and could think of no reason why he had been targetted.
Michael Meenaghan was nicknamed Spike.