Unsolved Murders

Billy Holloway

Age: 10

Sex: male

Date: 10 Mar 1962

Place: Grand Union Canal, Station Road Bridge, Hayes

Billy Holloway was found drowned in the Grand Union Canal at Hayes on Wednesday 14 March 1962.

He was found in the canal near Station Road Bridge in Hayes about 50 yards from where he was last seen.

The pathologist said that his death was due to drowning and that his body had been in the water for about a month. He had other injuries which were initially thought could have been caused before his death.

He was last seen whilst playing with an 11-year-old friend in Clayton Road in Hayes at the car park by Hayes railway station.

His friend said that shortly before he vanished that he had seen him speaking to a man. Billy Holloway had been missing since Wednesday 14 February 1962.

He had lived at Wheately Crescent in Hayes and had been a Wolf Cub. His father had been a paint sprayer.

He was said to have walked off with a tall thin-faced strange man wearing a fawn raincoat who spoke to him in a car park. Billy Holloway's friend described the thin-faced man to the police. He said that they had been playing at smashing milk bottles and that the man had told them he was a detective and was taking Billy Holloway to the police station.

He said that they had been breaking milk bottles against a wall when the man, 'who said he was a private eye', asked them for their names and addresses and then told him to go home. He said 'I turned round to look back. They were moving away. Billy was walking at the side of the man'. He added that he thought they were going to the police station.

Billy Holloway had been wearing his Cub uniform when he went missing, and it was noted that the cap he had been wearing had not been his own and that the name inside of it had been that of another boy and that in addition to the normal Cub's badge on the cap there was one star.

Before his body was found dead in the canal, a large search was made for him and the police said that they thought that he might be locked in a room or in a shed or garage somewhere and residents were asked to look through their houses to make sure that he was not there unknown to them.

Intensive searches of all open spaces in the area were also made and more than 1,000 volunteers joined in.

Fifty detectives with photos of Billy Holloway questioned people in the area and police in a squad car made loud hailer appeals to anyone who could help.

On Monday 19 February 1962 it was reported that the search was extended towards Cranford Park. A cabbage field was also searched.

A search of the Grand Union Canal was made on 19 February 1962 and it was reported that shop and office workers had crowded on to the bridge over the canal in Hayes High Street during their lunch break to watch a team of Berkshire police frogmen who were taking part in the hunt. It was reported that the frogmen were making constant dives to search the part of the canal that ran through the centre of the town.

Two Hayes boys came forward to say that a man with black, wavy hair and a long face offered them orangeade in a cafe in Uxbridge, adding that he left when they told him to leave them alone.

The police also checked on an ex-prisoner who had a history of sexual attacks on young boys who lived in London.

Watford police also investigated the story of two women who said they saw a lorry driver at a North Watford cafe on the morning of 19 February 1962 with a boy who resembled Billy Holloway. The driver left the cafe before the police arrived, but the woman took the vehicle's number. Two woman that saw the boy said that he had looked 'a bit cold and wary'. They said, 'The boy struck us as having something amiss. The man with him was a typical lorry driver'.

On 19 February 1962 the police also received an anonymous message stating that Billy Holloway could be found 'in Hertfordshire, near the crematorium', after which the police searched the rear of West Herts Crematorium in Garston with tracker dogs.

Billy Holloway's inquest was held in Ealing and returned an open verdict.

The pathologist said that his death was due to drowning and that his body had been in the water for about a month. He said that wounds to his head were typical of injuries caused in waterways where propeller-driven boats passed and that there was nothing to suggest any violence during life.

It was noted by a detective that no evidence was found that would lead to a positive identification of the man referred to by Billy Holloway's 11-year-old friend that was said to have led Billy Holloway away.

The detective added that there was no suspicion of foul play.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Friday 06 April 1962

see Leicester Evening Mail - Monday 19 February 1962

see Torbay Express and South Devon Echo - Monday 19 February 1962

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Friday 16 March 1962

see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 14 March 1962

see Edinburgh Evening News - Friday 06 April 1962

see Daily Herald - Thursday 15 March 1962 (picture)

see Daily Mirror - Thursday 22 February 1962 (picture of search through cabbage patch)