Unsolved Murders

Karoly Varga

Age: 76

Sex: male

Date: 30 Jul 2011

Place: Cannon Street, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

Source: www.northants.police.uk

Karoly Varga was killed at his home with an axe-like weapon.

He was found at his home by his daughter on 30 July 2011 shortly before midday, dead, with head injuries probably inflicted with a bladed weapon. He had been struck with it 14 times to the back of the head with severe force. The weapon was said to have been about 7cm long and 0.5cm wide.

It was thought that he had been targeted by someone that he knew or that he knew of and thought that he had had a visitor to his house on Wednesday 27 July 2011 around lunchtime. However, the pathologist said that he could have died anything up to three days before he was found.

The police said that he had probably been attacked on 29 July 2011.

He was a wealthy pensioner although he lived in a rented property and lived a frugal life.

It was also known that he lent money which he kept in his house.

When the police examined his terraced house they found evidence that it had been searched. They also found the front and back doors locked and the back-door keys missing suggesting that his attacker had left the property via the back door.

Two men and a woman were arrested in connection with his murder but no charges were made.

One of the men arrested returned from Hungary later to attended the inquest. The Coroner reminded him that he did not have to answer any questions that might incriminate him. He said that he never hurt Karoly Varga. His finger print was found on the door knob to the outside of the back door. When asked if he could explain why police had found his fingerprint on the door handle of the locked back door he said 'I was told the fingerprint was on the outside. I would like to stop the questions now.'. He was then asked about a pair of Lonsdale trainers that he was said to have owned and asked where they were now and he replied 'I never throw shoes away. The police took all the shoes.'. He was also asked how a letter that he had wanted help translating that he had never shown Karoly Varga had some of Karoly Varga’s blood on it and the man said 'I don’t know.'. He later said 'All I can say is I never hurt him.'.

When the man had first been interviewed in 2011 he had said that he had last seen Karoly Varga on 26 July 2011 but at the inquest he said that he could not remember exactly.

At the inquest a fingerprint expert said 'I have no doubt that the fingerprint ridges found on the door handle match those of the man charged but acquitted as their clarity suggests they are recent, and there were no other visible prints on top. However, I cannot say with certainty that he was necessarily the last person to touch the handle.'.

A policeman that had gone to Karoly Varga's house on 30 July 2011 said that all the curtains were drawn and that he had had to get in through an upstairs window as the key Karoly Varga's daughter had would not work. After he went in he said 'The body appeared to have been there for some time and it did not seem at all unsuspicious.'.

Karoly Varga was a Hungarian and was well known for giving support and advice to other Hungarian nationals, including offering lodgings. He had moved to the UK about 50 years earlier and had worked as a property buyer and developer.

His inquest returned an open verdict.


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


see Northamptonshire Telegraph

see BBC Man questioned over murder of Hungarian-born Karoly Varga

see BBC Theft 'likely motive' in murder of Wellingborough man