Unsolved Murders

Mark Burnett

Age: 27

Sex: male

Date: 13 Oct 1992

Place: The Podium, Nine Elms Lane, Lambeth

Mark Burnett was shot at a pop concert at The Podium in Lambeth.

He was shot in the back with a 9mm bullet at close range, about 12 inches, that exited through his stomach.

The gunman had fired four shots in total, one hitting Mark Burnett and two other bullets hitting two other people who later recovered.

The event at The Podium was said to have been over-crowded, having about 2,000 people attending but only having capacity for 750.

The police said that when they arrived at the scene at about 2.59am, they took the names of about 116 potential witnesses from a crowd of 2,000 and later found that 90% of the details they had been given were false names and addresses.

A BBC article states:

'There were 2,000 partying the night away alongside Mark Burnett when he was murdered. Yet 350 claimed to have been in the toilets when the shooting started, hundreds gave false names and addresses and of the 270 who were immediately arrested, none could recall seeing anything out of the ordinary'.

The police added that they made great efforts to encourage witnesses to come forward and carried out a massive publicity campaign and set a hotline up but that despite all that they didn't receive a single call. A detective inspector said, 'The line was installed within a day and it is the first time in my experience, with such publicity, that we should not have received a single telephone call'.

At his inquest the coroner said, 'There must have been a number of people who knew exactly who fired that gun in that densely packed hall', and the detective inspector agreed with him saying, 'It is impossible to say how many saw what happened and I would go as far as saying that witnesses we have spoken to have not been frank with us in talking about exactly what they had seen. I am quite satisfied there are witnesses to come forward, but not a single one has'.

The detective inspector said that he put it down to 'animosity towards the police' and added that there was the fear of reprisals, 'in that particular West Indian community' even though they were offering full police protection.

The detective inspector added that their investigation had involved 30 full time detectives and had uncovered numerous other offences, including illegal immigration, drugs dealing and an unrelated firearms offence, but no leads on the murderer.

The detective inspector added that two of his detectives had spent a week in Jamaica interviewing one of Mark Burnett's friends who had been standing next to him when he was shot but said that he had been unable to tell them anything that helped develop the enquiry.

Mark Burnett had been standing about 50ft from the stage at the time listening to the Jamaican rapper Capleton. It was heard that the dense crowds made it difficult for the ambulancemen to reach him and that by the time he arrived at St. Thomas's Hospital he was either dead or nearly dead.

One of the other people shot was a 24 year old woman who was hit in the buttock whilst the other was a 20 year old man who was shot in the knee.

Mark Burnett's brother said that one of the reasons that he thought that no one came forward was because the appeals on the television and in the 'The Voice' and the 'South London Press' had linked the murder with Yardies and drugs. He said, 'It has not been properly or sensitively dealt with. It was sensationalised'.

The police said that they were unable to establish a motive for the shooting.

The police added that they had no evidence to link Mark Burnett to drugs or the Yardies and noted that there was no evidence of any violence or arguments immediately before the shots were fired.

The police noted that the murder weapon was not recovered.

It was noted that Capleton was a big name in Jamaica, and the police said that it was inappropriate to hold the event at The Podium as it wasn't big enough, no matter how well run it was.

Mark Burnett, who was born in London, had lived in Woolacombe Road, Blackheath and had a child.

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