Date: 11 Aug 2000
Place: Sheerness, Kent
Jonathan Bristow was shot in the head and dumped in a river.
He was said to have been the victim of a professional execution. It was thought that he had not known what had hit him. It was thought that he had been shot with a shotgun.
After he was shot a heavy chain was wrapped around his head and looped through to the belt on his jeans after which weights were attached to his body and he was then taken out into the Medway and dumped in the water. It was thought that he had been taken out in a boat and dumped. The police said that his murder was planned and professional and that from the way he had been weighted down it was clear that his body was not meant to have been found. The police said that he could have either been shot near the shore and then put on the boat or taken out on the boat and then shot there.
The police said that they were interested in hearing from anyone that had seen a small fishing boat being towed by a Sherpa pick-up during the weekend.
However, within a week the weights came away from his body and his body floated to the surface and was discovered by two river pilots out in a boat at 11.30am on Friday 11 August 2000. He was found near buoy number eight about a quarter of a mile from Sheerness Docks on the Isle of Sheppey.
A while later a 40-year-old man from the Medway area was arrested in relation to his murder but was not charged.
Jonathan Bristow had lived in Chatham, Kent with his girlfriend and had run SEC Environmental Services, a small building firm. At the time he had been renovating rooms at the Chequered Flag pub on the High Street which he intended to open as a bed and breakfast.
He was last seen leaving the Chequered Flag pub at about 11.30am on Friday 4 August 2000 in his black Chrysler people carrier car, registration number W531 YKP. He had taken a green holdall with a change of clothes. However, he was never seen again. He was also said to have had £20,000 with him when he left which was not found.
His car was found parked outside his flat that he shared with his girlfriend, but it was thought that it had been left there by the people that had murdered him.
It was noted that the green holdall was missing as well as a chunky gold ring that he had been wearing which was said would have needed to have been pried off of his finger.
The police said that they thought that he had been lured to his death although noted that he had no known criminal connections and his finances appeared to be in order with no suspicious transactions other than the accumulating of the £20,000. However, the police said that it was possible that he had been involved in some sort of high level criminal activity, such as a drug deal, which would provide an obvious explanation but noted that there was nothing to support that possibility.
The police said that they knew that he had been accumulating the £20,000 in the weeks before he vanished but said that they didn't know what it was for. The police said that it could possibly have been money for drugs or bootlegging.
The police said that they thought that local people in Sheerness knew who had killed him but said that people were refusing to speak to them and that they had come up against a wall of silence.
It was said that Jonathan Bristow had known one of the people involved with the Brink's-Mat gold robbery and that that might have had some relation to his murder although the police said that they could not prove that.