In early March 1987, a private investigator called Daniel Morgan told friends that he’d uncovered evidence of major corruption within the Metropolitan Police, which he planned to share with the media. Days later, he was murdered in a pub car park in Sydenham, south London.
Nearly 30 years on, after five separate police investigations into the killing and some decidedly suspicious goings on behind the scenes, the case remains unsolved – making it one of the murkiest, and most conspiracy-laden, stories in the Met’s long history.
Onto this journalistically fertile ground comes a new 10-part podcast called Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder.
Podcast 1: Luckiest Mugging in the World
Daniel Morgan ran a detective agency called Southern Investigations. The night he was killed he had a 90-minute meeting with his business partner Jonathan Rees at the Golden Lion. At 9pm he left by a back entrance to get to the car park, a Rolex watch on his wrist and £1,100 in his pocket.
He was later found lying on the ground near his car with an axe embedded in the side of his head. The Rolex was missing but the cash remained.
The following month Rees, his brothers in law Garry and Glenn Vian, and Sid Fillery, one of the Catford police station detectives initially assigned to the case, were arrested, only to be released without charge.
At the inquest in 1988, the bookkeeper at Southern Investigations alleged that Rees and Fillery planned the contract killing. By this time Fillery had retired and joined the agency as Rees’ new partner.
The pair went on to carry out work for a number of tabloid newspapers including the News of the World and are said to have provided the information for exposes of celebrities, politicans and royalty.
A second inquiry by Hampshire Police began on 24 June 1988 following a complaint by the Morgan family to Home Secretary Douglas Hurd. Rees was again arrested, but the charges were dropped.
For more on the corrupt practices of the met police – there was an informative article written in the DailyMail by Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright.