Unsolved Murders

Peter Jowett

Age: 43

Sex: male

Date: 8 Apr 1992

Place: New Manor Farm, Winterslow, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Peter Jowett was found dead at his farm.

He was a wealthy farmer and was found dead with two bullets in his back.

It was heard that he had been stabbed during a break-in some months earlier but had asked the police to call off their investigation.

However, he was later heard, shortly before he was found dead, to openly state that he was as good as dead. He told a private detective two days before he was shot, 'I'm going to be dead by the end of the week'.

When he was first found the police said that they were treating his death as a murder and opened up a murder enquiry, however, they later concluded that his death had been accidental, after they found a gun mounted device that they thought that Peter Jowett had set up to shoot deer or foxes on his farm.

The police said that they thought that a gust of wind had probably completed the electrical circuit whilst he was standing in front of it and that it had fired a .357 magnum bullet that was recovered from his body.

Peter Jowett's wife said that Peter Jowett had spoken to her before about a gun device that he had made to deal with deer after he had problems with them damaging his crops, stating that she thought that the weapon was made out of part of a shotgun and was triggered by wires. She said that the device was fitted onto a wooden frame and that the barrel was directed towards a stake that had a snare attached.

Peter Jowett's wife said that Peter Jowett had told her that he was worried for his family’s safety and had spoken to her about going off to Australia.

At the inquest, the private detective said that two days before he was shot, that Peter Jowett had asked her to find him a false name and address and had told her, 'Time is running out. I'm going to be dead by the end of the week'.

However, the police said that they found no evidence that Peter Jowett had been murdered. However, the police also said that it would have been almost impossible for him to have set the gun up to take his own life.

The police said, 'We are confident this was a tragic accident with the gun activating whilst Mr Jowett was close by. We can speculate it was for the purpose of shooting animals, but the reality is we don't actually know the reason. We must always keep an open mind, but at this stage we are not treating it as a murder inquiry'.

At his inquest, the coroner recorded a verdict of misadventure, stating that he agreed with the view of the police that Peter Jowett had not been murdered.

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

see find.galegroup.com

see Stewart Tendler, Crime Correspondent. "Policy find gun near murder site." Times [London, England] 10 Apr. 1992: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 8 Sep. 2012.

see Newcastle Journal - Friday 17 April 1992

see Newcastle Journal - Saturday 30 May 1992