FRESH CLAIMS IN
UNSOLVED BRADFORD MURDER
|MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE | Polish priest Henryk Borynski|
A former top detective has named a Catholic
priest as the prime suspect in an unsolved Bradford murder case.
The case has baffled police for 50 years.
But now, talking to BBC’s Inside Out, former Det Chief
Supt Bob Taylor claims that church officials covered up the role of Canon
Boleslaw Martynellis in the murder of a fellow priest.
Father Henryk Borynski vanished after leaving his lodgings
in Little Horton Lane on the evening of July 13, 1953.
He had ten shillings in his pocket when he disappeared.
He left behind £250 in savings and all his possessions, including his
No trace of him has ever been found.
in happier days amusing local children|
Father Borynski was chaplain to the 1,500-strong Polish
community in Bradford and it was the height of the Cold War.
The priest made no secret of his anti-Communist views.
But he was preaching to a divided community.
In those days, there were people prepared to take drastic
steps to deal with their political enemies.
It was believed at the time that he might have been snatched
from the streets of Bradford by the Polish secret police.
Father Borynski had been in Bradford only ten months
before his disappearance.
He had been sent to replace a colleague named Canon Martynellis.
But Canon Martynellis was settled in Bradford and had
refused to leave.
After re-examining the evidence, Mr Taylor believes that
Canon Martynellis was used by communist agents in Bradford’s Eastern European
community to set a trap for Father Borynski - and that the motive was
Mr Taylor says, "I believe Canon Martynellis may have
been told that this was the way to keep his old job and that he did not
realise what he was getting involved in until it was too late."
Martnellis did not want to be replaced|
Witnesses said Canon Martynellis made a mysterious phone
call to Father Borynski on the day of his disappearance, but Canon Martynellis
A month after Father Borynski vanished, Canon Martynellis
was found collapsed at his home.
He claimed to have been visited by two mysterious men
ordering him to ‘Milz Klecho’ or ‘keep quiet priest’.
He died of a heart attack two years later without shedding
any more light on Father Borynski’s disappearance.
The police inquiry into the disappearance got nowhere
- but Martynellis had supporters in high places.
The Catholic Bishop of Leeds at the time was John Carmel
Heenan. He later became the Archbishop of Westminster and was made a cardinal
by Pope Paul in Rome.
Bishop Heenan dismissed suggestions of Martynellis’ involvement
as "absurd" and advised police to exclude him as a suspect. The priest
was never charged.
Mr Taylor said: "I find it impossible to believe that
Canon Martynellis was not involved in the disappearance."
"I believe senior church officials knew more than they
disclosed to police in Bradford at the time."
These are interesting insights into the case. But with
Cannon Martynellis dead and no trace of Father Borynski, this case will
join other tragic episodes in the Polish community’s heritage.