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Anthony Littler: Cold case detectives say baseball bat attack ‘may hold key’ to unsolved 1984 murder | UK News

Cold case detectives believe a baseball bat attack near to the site of an unsolved murder may hold the answer to the 1984 crime.

Anthony Littler, 45, was found with “catastrophic” head injuries near East Finchley Tube station, in north London, a little after midnight on 1 May 1984.

The “kind and gentle” civil servant, who was single and lived close to the station, was in an alleyway known as The Causeway.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 6 Metropolitan police officers by an appeal poster outside East Finchley Underground station in north London as detectives are appealing for information in the unsolved murder of Anthony Littler, which took place just outside of the station in May 1984. Picture date: Tuesday December 5, 2023.
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Mr Little died near East Finchley Tube station in north London in 1984

Despite extensive inquiries at the time and further investigations in 1993 and 2013, his murder was never solved.

Metropolitan Police officers, who have carried out a routine re-examination, believe a serious assault in the same area three days before could be linked to the murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil John said Mr Littler “came through East Finchley Tube station and made his way home on foot through an alleyway.

“Sadly, within a few minutes of him leaving the station, a 999 call was made to emergency services requesting an ambulance and police.

“Upon arrival, the police found Mr Littler’s lifeless body with catastrophic injuries to his head.”

Two days earlier, a man with “quite serious injuries to his head and face” came into an off-licence near the station, complaining that he had been attacked by two males with baseball bats, Mr John said.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 6 An appeal poster outside East Finchley Underground station in north London as Metropolitan Police detectives are appealing for information in the unsolved murder of Anthony Littler, which took place just outside of the station in May 1984. Picture date: Tuesday December 5, 2023.
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Metropolitan Police detectives are appealing for information in the unsolved murder

The man, who was “described as 6ft tall, medium build, with short brown hair”, told the shopkeeper he had been assaulted the evening before, on 28 April.

Detectives are also interested in finding the man who made an anonymous call from a phone box to report the attack on Mr Littler to police.

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Mr Littler’s cousin, Tricia McClure, said: “Anthony was a lovely, kind and gentle man who wouldn’t have hurt anyone. It is heartbreaking to our family that this happened to him.

“After all this time, we hope this new investigation puts those responsible behind bars. It won’t bring Anthony back, but it will give us some closure.”

Last hopes for possible answers to unsolved murders gone as serial killer Peter Tobin dies after falling ill in prison | UK News

Serial killer Peter Tobin has died after falling ill in prison where he was serving three life sentences.

He was taken from HMP Edinburgh to hospital, thought to be the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, on Wednesday and subsequently died, sources said.

He was serving a life sentence for raping and murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, and hiding her body under the floor of a Glasgow church in 2006.

The killer, who was 76, was also serving life terms for the murders of 15-year-old schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton, of Redding, near Falkirk, in 1991, and 18-year-old Dinah McNicol the same year.

Undated handout photos of victims of serial killer Peter Tobin (left - right) Angelika Kluk, Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol. Peter Tobin has died after becoming unwell at the prison where he was serving three life sentences. He was taken from HMP Edinburgh to hospital, thought to be the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, on Wednesday and subsequently died, sources said. Issue date: Saturday October 8, 2022.
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Tobin’s victims (left – right) Angelika Kluk, Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol

Their bodies were found 17 years later, buried in the garden of his former home in Margate, Kent.

Dinah went missing while hitch-hiking home from a music festival in Liphook, Hampshire. Vicky disappeared from a bus stop in Bathgate, West Lothian, while Angelika was working as a cleaner at a church in Anderston, Glasgow, when she vanished.

The murderer, rapist and paedophile was said to have been in “total denial” about his crimes and never admitted his guilt for the killings he carried out.

Detective Chief Superintendent Laura Thomson, head of major crime at Police Scotland, said after Tobin’s death was announced there had been “recent attempts to encourage him to do the right thing” and give police information about other crimes he may have committed.

Peter Tobin, whom police are seeking in connection to a missing Polish student, is seen in this undated handout photograph released by Strathclyde Police on September 30, 2006. Scottish police searching for the missing Polish woman have found a body hidden in the Glasgow church where she had been staying, Strathclyde Police said on Saturday. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY REUTERS/Strathclyde Police/Handout (BRITAIN)
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Tobin in 2006

Operation Anagram

Over the years, police have looked at hundreds of other unsolved murders to see if they could also be linked to Tobin.

That operation, codenamed Anagram, began in 2006 and was wound down in 2011.

Officers believe Tobin had at least 40 aliases and 150 cars during his life to hide his tracks as he targeted vulnerable women.

Police officers dig in a garden behind the Marine Parade former residence of serial murderer Peter Tobin, in Brighton southern England July 21, 2010. The police are searching in the grounds of a number of properties that Tobin used to live in. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS SOCIETY)
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Police dig the garden of Tobin’s former home in Brighton

In 2010, two addresses in Sussex – Marine Parade in Brighton and Station Road in Portslade – both the Scottish murderer’s former homes, became the subject of police searches for more than a week.

As Anagram was postponed, Detective Superintendent David Swindle, of the then Strathclyde Police, who led the operation, voiced hope Tobin would give up his secrets before he died in prison.

But the killer has now taken those secrets with him to the grave.

Mr Swindle said: “Peter Tobin is totally evil. He has absolutely no respect for human life.”

Wife beater

Born in August 1946 in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Tobin’s life of crime began after he was sent to a reform school at the age of seven.

In his teens and early twenties he served jail terms for burglary, forgery and conspiracy. Then, in 1994 he was jailed for 14 years for a sickening double sex attack on two schoolgirls.

Tobin had plied the teenagers with a cocktail of drugs and alcohol at his flat in Havant, Hampshire, before abusing them.

He went on the run, but was found after hiding in a Christian drop-in centre in Coventry under a false name.

Tobin was also a serial wife beater, with all three of his former spouses claiming he repeatedly and viciously attacked them.