Unsolved Murders

Nicholas John Hanscomb

Age: 38

Sex: male

Date: 26 Aug 1991

Place: Notting Hill Carnival, Fernhead Road, Maida Vale

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Nicholas Hanscomb was stabbed to death at the Notting Hill Carnival at around 10.15pm on 25 August 1991.

He was stabbed in the groin with a Rambo style knife. The wound severed the femoral artery in his left thigh.

He had been leaving the event when he had got involved in an argument with some youths. Witnesses said that they saw six men standing around him before one of them stabbed him in the groin.

He staggered about 100 yards and then fell into the arms of a policeman and was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington but died three hours later from massive blood loss.

The police said that they were looking for a gang of black youths aged between 16 and 20 who were thought to have been arguing with Nicholas Hanscomb before he was stabbed.

The police also appealed for anyone that had been around the Libido float on the Sunday evening around 10pm to come forward, saying that they wanted to speak to both people on it, or who had been dancing around it.

The police later appealed for a black woman that was seen standing near the place where Nicholas Hanscomb was stabbed to come forward in case she had any information that could help. She was described as being aged 18 to 25, with bobbed hair and wearing a black and white diagonally striped lycra cycling outfit.

Three woman that were standing nearby eventually came forward, but the murderer was not identified.

The police said that they had studied thousands of hours of video tape and later released three stills of the revellers.

Nicholas Hanscomb had been following the procession with other members of his religious sect and had been following the Libido float as it was leaving the main carnival.

The carnival was otherwise noted as being one of the most peaceful carnivals on record. It was said that about a million people attended the carnival and that about 55 crimes were reported, including four stabbings and that 60 people had been arrested, which was described as a drop compared to the previous year.

However, a local councillor said that it was unfair for the murder to be blamed on the carnival community, stating that Nicholas Hanscomb was stabbed two miles from the centre of the carnival and that there was no way that they should have to take responsibility for it.

Nicholas Hanscomb was a Dr of science and had been involved in the development of the DNA genetic fingerprint test and at the time had been researching tinnitus, which causes ringing in the ears. He had a PhD in physics and biology, a double first from Cambridge in molecular biology and a doctorate in genetic engineering.

He had lived in Highgate, London, at the time.


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


see Wikipedia

see Bolton News

see Bolton News

see Dailymail

see Express

see Kensington Post - Wednesday 15 April 1992

see Kensington Post - Thursday 29 August 1991

see Kensington Post - Thursday 12 December 1991

see Kensington Post - Thursday 02 January 1992

see Reading Evening Post - Friday 30 August 1991

see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Wednesday 04 September 1991