Date: 13 Jun 1958
Henry Manley was battered and strangled at his home in Falkland Place, Kentish Town on Friday 13 June 1958.
He was a retired postman and before that had been a miner in Wales. He was found after a local youth climbed in through his window because he had not been seen and the milkman got no answer when he had called with the 1s 7½d bill.
His living room had been ransacked and it was said that he had been killed by someone that thought that he was rich as he was known to have claimed to have hidden treasures that he didn't have.
When Henry Manley was found he had a bloodstained bandage wrapped round his neck.
His killer had also broken open his gas meter and taken the money and the police appealed for anyone that might have come across some bloodstained coins that would have come from the meter.
The police also appealed to anyone that had seen anyone with blood stained clothing to come forward.
Henry Manley was known locally as 'Old Harry' and it was said that he was a dreamer and that he would sit on a roadside bench in the sun and talk to anyone about his 'lovely house' and the fine things in it. However, it was said that Henry Manley's 'lovely house' and the fine things were castles in the air and that they killed him.
It was said that he had been battered to death by someone that had believed his musings of days gone by and treasures he never possessed.
His home, which was described as quaint, was 100 years old and narrow. He had lived alone.
It was not known how Henry Manley's murderer got in, but it was thought possible that they had met that evening as it was known that Henry Manley had been sitting on his favourite bench near the railway station until 8pm. It was thought that Henry Manley might have answered a knock at his door and had then been hustled into his dining room at the back.
It was thought then that Henry Manley had been coshed a savage blow on the head with an iron bar.
It was reported that the killer might have then looked about them and to have found their dreams vanish, as they realised that it was no 'lovely house', and that it was just a dingy, dusty, ill-kept place and that there were no fine things, just dirty cups and saucers and empty tins and boxes.
It was said then that the murderer frantically ransacked every room and found nothing and that he would have then realised that he had battered an old man to death for his dreams.
It was said then that the murderer, in a rage, then smashed the coin box from the gas meter and broke it open and then fled with the few coins that it contained.
However, it was also reported that the murderer, described as a small-time thief, had also stolen Henry Manley's only valuable thing, his gold pocket watch which had his initials, HAM, engraved inside the top lid. It was said that Henry Manley had carried the treasured watch in his pocket for years and would never be parted from it.
It was said that the police were hoping that the watch might trap the killer and that detectives were calling on all jewellers, pawnbrokers and dealers in gold to see if there had been any attempts to sell the watch.
It was said that Henry Manley had had nothing to live for after his wife died a year earlier other than his dreams.
see National Archives - MEPO 2/9828, HO 332/16 - STA 502/3/33
see Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail - Saturday 14 June 1958
see Coventry Evening Telegraph - Saturday 14 June 1958
see Daily Herald - Saturday 14 June 1958
see Daily Herald - Monday 16 June 1958