Police probe new 1967 Tattingstone 'suitcase murder' lead

  • Published
Tattingstone at the time the suitcases were discovered
Image caption,
Two suitcases containing body parts were found in a field in Tattingstone

Police are investigating a potential new lead in a murder inquiry dating back more than 45 years.

The dissected body of Bernard Oliver, 17, from Muswell Hill, north London, was found dumped in two suitcases on farmland in Tattingstone, near Ipswich, on 16 January 1967.

No one was ever charged over the inquiry. Two doctors, both now dead, were prime suspects.

Police said they had been contacted by a man with new information.

"Officers have spoken to a gentleman in relation to the inquiry, are reviewing what they have been told and will follow up where necessary," said a Suffolk police spokeswoman.

'Fantastic news'

It is understood the man initially contacted police in the 1970s but never made a statement.

He is believed to have reported seeing two unattended suitcases and a man wearing medical gloves in the Ipswich docks area in the days before the teenager's body was found.

Police have said previously they believed the murder was carried out by someone with expert knowledge because of the way the body was cut up.

Image caption,
Tony Oliver (left) was 13 when his brother Bernard (r) was murdered

Tony Oliver, 57, who spoke publicly about his brother's death for the first time in December, described the development as "fantastic".

He said: "I have always believed there is someone out there who knows what happened to Bernard.

"I hope something does come of this. It's fantastic news."

'Suitcase murder'

One of the doctors investigated left a suicide note apologising to police for past crimes but made no reference to the Suffolk inquiry, which became known as the Tattingstone suitcase murder.

The investigation was reopened in 1977 but little progress was made.

The crime remains one of the most brutal ever investigated by Suffolk police.

It was also notorious for the appeal made by detectives following the discovery of the body parts.

With no knowledge of who they belonged to, police released a photograph to the media of Bernard's severed head.

His family came forward after seeing it published in a newspaper.

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