Unsolved Murders

Philip John Little

Age: 28

Sex: male

Date: 20 Aug 1952

Place: Clayton Tunnel, Hassocks, Sussex

Philip John Little fell from a train in the Clayton Tunnel near Hassocks on the night of Tuesday 19 August 1952.

His headless body was found on the line in the tunnel on the morning of Wednesday 20 August 1952 by an up train and it was thought that he must have left the train the previous night.

When the 10pm train from Victoria to Brighton arrived in Brighton a carriage door was found to be open.

It was first thought that his death had been accidental, but it was later claimed that he had been murdered. It was associated with the death of Richard Marking who was found dead in the empty carriage of a Brighton to London train.

Philip Little and Richard Marking were said to have both police informers and to have been known to Scotland Yard's 'Ghost Squad' which worked secretly among crooks and their associates and it was said that Philip Little had often helped Sussex CID. It was said that they had both supplied the police with news of burglaries and given information to them about receivers of stolen goods. It was also said that one of them had helped the police with their inquiries into the great mailbag robbery in May 1952.

It was said that the wallet found on one of the men listed the private telephone numbers of police chiefs at Scotland Yard and in Sussex.

Philip Little was a wine and spirit merchant and had lived in Lynwood, Highcroft Villas, in Brighton and had two children. He was said to have been well known in Brighton and to have been recognisable by his quick bird-like walk and the heavy suitcase that he almost always carried.

It was also said that he was thought to often have had large sums of money on him.

His inquest returned a verdict of accidental death. However, the police later received anonymous messages suggesting that Philip Little and Richard Marking had been murdered in revenge because they had helped the police. It was said that a woman called the police and said, 'Don't believe in the accident idea. They were killed'. It was said that after the woman called the police that they re-opened their investigations.

It was noted that he had been beaten up by two men three years earlier and that the men were convicted of assault and attempted robbery.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Tuesday 26 August 1952

see Daily Herald - Tuesday 26 August 1952

see Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 22 August 1952

see Aberdeen Evening Express - Tuesday 26 August 1952