‘Streets they felt they owned’: The murder of Edmond Jonuzi

What happens when groups of people, or ‘gangs’, attempt to assert control over areas of public space such as parks or housing estates? The evidence suggests that if legitimate sources of authority (e.g. the police) do not impose themselves powerfully enough, these groups may then begin to develop their own…

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Unsolved Murders in London: 2017

These 26 murders in London in 2017 remain unsolved. Can you help?

Jonathon McPhillips, 28, was stabbed in the chest during a fight between two groups of youths in Upper Street, Islington, in the early hours of 25 February 2017. The father-of-two died four days later in hospital. Michael Dyra, 22, (29.12.95) of Hoxton, was charged with murder but the prosecution dropped the case on the day he was due to stand trial. Police offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. Call the incident room on 020 8345 3775.

CCTV footage shows Mr McPhillips colliding with a bystander as he tried to escape.

David Adegbite, 18, was shot in the head in St Ann’s, Barking, at 7.09pm on 19 March 2017. The former college student was attacked as he cycled through the housing estate. Call the incident room with information on 020 8345 3715.

Malachi Brooks, 21, was stabbed to death in the street in a revenge gang attack on 28 March 2017. He was walking home along Surrey lane in Battersea when a car pulled up and three masked men got out and attacked him shortly after 1am. Mr Brooks, a carpenter from Battersea, suffered a fatal stab wound to the heart and was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.55am. The stolen Red Nissan Micra used to drive the killers to and from the scene was abandoned and set on fire. Evidence heard in court proceedings suggested Mr Brooks was targeted by members of the Tooting Trap Stars (TTS) gang as part of a long-running feud with the Battersea-based Stick-em Up Kids (SUK) which also claimed the lives of Lewis Elwin and Mahamed Hassan. On 2 September 2017 Joel Preddie, 20 (29.08.97) of Chantry Way, Mitcham, was charged with murder and arson but the charge of murder was later dropped.

Bjorn Brown, 23, was stabbed in Kelling Gardens, Thornton Heath, at around 8.33pm on 29 March 2017. He died in hospital five days later. No one has been arrested and detectives are trying to trace two suspects seen running away from the scene of the attack.

CCTV footage shows two male suspects with Bjorn – who was riding his bike – on Bensham Lane before they double back into Kelling Gardens. The two suspects then run back out onto Bensham Lane, followed shortly afterwards by Bjorn on his bike.

Ahmed Deen-Jah,  21, was stabbed to death at the BJ Wines off licence in Freemasons Road, Canning Town, at around 3.30pm on 2 April 2017. Six men were arrested on suspicion of murder but noone has been charged. Detectives appealed for information about a black Mercedes CLK220 registration KJ106 CCZ which was found burnt out later the same day. Contact the incident room on 020 8345 1570

Sixteen year-old Karim Samms was shot in the chest in Pier Parade, off Pier Road in North Woolwich at around 10.44pm on 7 April 2017. He was with friends in when two suspects approached the group and opened fire. Police believe the suspects were taken to and from the scene in a Nissan Juke, which was captured on CCTV.
contact the incident room on 020 345 3715.

Two suspects arrive at the scene in a Nissan Juke

Abdullah Hammia, 24, was stabbed in the heart in Melody Road, Wandsworth, at around 7pm on 25 April 2017. Police said he was attacked during an altercation with a group of males. Two men were charged with murder but the case was dropped before trial.
Call the incident room on 020 8721 4054.

Seun Isaiah McMillan, 23, was stabbed in the chest in Cowper Gardens, Southgate, at around 7.15pm on 2 May 2017. Detectives believe he was the victim of a targeted attack by a group arrived at the scene in cars as he sat on a wall with friends. A man was charged with murder but the case was discontinued before trial. Contact the incident room on 020 8721 4205.

Joao Ricardo Gomes, 18, was stabbed to death in Enfield on 13 May 2017. Police were called to a fight involving a large group of youths in Hertford Road shortly after 10.30pm. Two other teenagers were also injured. Contact the incident room on 020 8217 6582.

Satnam Singh, 45, died in hospital on 23 May 2017, two months after being hit with a baseball bat in the street in Hayes. He had been walking with a friend along Atlee Road when he was attacked near the junction of Ayles Road at around 10.20pm on 6 March. The suspect was described as a white man who arrived at and left from the scene in a silver car. Call the incident room on 0208 358 0200.

Mohanna Abdhou, 20, was hit by a ricocheting bullet during a suspected gang shooting in Kilburn at around 8.54pm on 26 May 2017. She was talking to friends near Dickens House in Malvern Road when two men approached the group on bicycles and opened fire. Three suspects were charged with murder but were cleared of all charges at trial. The prosecution claimed that Mohanna was shot by members of the Harrow Road Boys (HRB), who were involved in ‘tit for tat’ violence with the ‘Killy’ or ‘SK’ from the South Kilburn Estate.

Mahad Ali, 18, was stabbed to death at a party in East Acton on 29 June 2017. Police were called to reports of a fight at the ‘West Wednesday’ Eid celebration in a warehouse in Coronation Road at 2.35am. Mr Ali, a college student and boxer from Crouch End, was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead at 4.33am. A post-mortem confirmed the cause of death was stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. A man was charged with murder but the case was discontinued before trial.

Joshua Bwalya, 16, was chased by a groups of youths on bicyces and stabbed to death on a traffic island at the junction of Movers Lane and Ripple Road in Barking at around 1am on 2 August 2017. He was about to study business at college and played football with Barking FC’s youth team. Two teenagers were charged with murder but the case was discontinued due to lack of evidence in October 2017.

Cafer Aslam, 54, was found shot dead in Westminster Road, Enfield, at around 9.10pm on 23 August 2017. Contact the incident room on 020 8345 3985.

Patrick Oyeri, 29, was stabbed to death during a fight in Rosebery Road, Hounslow, at around 3.35pm on 4 September 2017. Two men were charged with murder but the case was dropped before trial and they were convicted and jailed for the lesser offence of violent disorder. Call the incident room on 020 8721 4054.

Corey Junior Davis, 14, was shot dead at a playground in Forest Gate on 4 September 2017. The teenager was attacked as he socialised with friends in Moore Walk at around 3.08pm. He was shot in the head at close range and a 17 year-old boy suffered potentially life-changing injuries to his leg. Corey, who had been staying at his grandfather’s flat nearby, died in hospital at 10.01pm the following day. Detectives said Corey was being targeted by ‘older, hardened gang members who wished to draw him more fully into their world.’ They appealed for information about a stolen a metallic grey 2011 Range Rover Sport HSE TDV6 seen leaving the scene at around 3.15pm. Contact the incident room on 020 8345 3775

Jude Gayle, 30, was stabbed to death in Dunbar Street, West Norwood, at around 5.39pm on 24 September 2017. Three men were acquitted of murder by an Old Bailey jury in April 2018. Their defence to the charge was that they were innocent bystanders. Call the incident room on 020 8721 4961.

Adetokunbo Jordan Ajobo, 21, was stabbed to death in North Woolwich on 8 November 2017. Police and paramedics were called to Pier Road at around 8.10pm. Jordan was pronounced dead at hospital at 9.30pm. A post-mortem confirmed the cause of death was a stab wound. The Metropolitan Police is still appealing for help tracing Cristiano Filipe, 21, in connection with the murder investigation.

Moosakhan Nasiri, 20, was stabbed to death at a park in East Ham on 15 October 2017. Mr Nasiri, who came to the UK in 2015 as a refugee from Afghanistan, was attacked in Plashet Park at  around 4pm.Police and paramedics were called to the scene near the Shrewsbury Road entrance at 4.07pm but he was pronounced dead at the scene.The post-mortem gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the heart. Jurors heard the evidence indicated that the fatal stab wound was inflicted by Javid Ahmadzai, who fled the country after the attack and is still wanted by police. Four men aged between 16 and 25 were cleared of murder in May 2018 following a trial at the Old Bailey. The prosecution claimed Moosakhan was attacked because he owed £10 for some drugs.

Michael Jonas, 17, was chased and stabbed to death in Penge on 2 November 2017. He was attacked by a group of males on bicycles as he walked through Betts Park at 7.22pm. Michael, from Penge, was pronounced dead at the scene just after 8.15pm. A post-mortem confirmed the cause of death as stab wounds to the chest and haemorrhage. The case remains unsolved after murder charges against six suspects aged between 14 and 18 were discontinued on 15 January 2018. On 2 May 2018 the Metropolitan Police launched a fresh appeal for witnesses and offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible.

Kacem Mokrane, 18, died four days after being stabbed during a fight in Walthamstow. He was attacked in Mount Pleasant Road at around 11.15pm on 16 November 2017 and died in hospital of multiple organ failure on 20 November. Seven men were arrested but noone has been charged. Call the investigation room on 0208 345 3775.

Piotr Woroniecki, 32, was found lying dead on Parma Crescent, Clapham Junction, at around 5am on 23 November 2017. A special post-mortem established that the cause of death was compression to the neck, consistent with being held in a headlock for a prolonged period of time. CCTV captured several men trying to gain entry to his flat in Clapham Common Northside both before and after the discovery of his body. Police believe the murder is linked to organised crime. Contact the incident room on 020 8721 4054.

Noel Brown, 69, and his daughter Marie Brown, 41, were found dead in Deptford on 4 December 2017. Police forced entry to Mr Brown’s home in New Butt Lane at 2.45am after Marie’s family reported she had failed to return home after checking on the welfare of her father. Their bodies were found at the scene. Postmortem examinations confirmed that both Noel and Marie died of strangulation. On 10 May 2018 police revealed that they had forensically linked suspect Nathaniel Henry, 37 (26.07.80), to the offence. Henry was reported missing by his family on 12 December 2017 and was found dead at a residential block in the borough of Southwark near to his home on 31 December 2017. His death was deemed non-suspicious. Call the incident room on 020 8721 4205.

Alex Vanderpuye, 23, was stabbed in the chest in Christie Road, Hackney, at around 4.45pm on 7 December 2017. Witnesses said he was attacked by a man – who appeared to know the victim – suddenly after a short conversation. The motive is unknown. An inquest recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

Taofeek Lamidi, 20, was stabbed in the heart in the street in Memorial Avenue, West Ham, at around 7.37pm on New Years Eve 2017. Call the incident room on 020 8721 4005.

Joseph Davis: Death by natural causes?

The death of Joseph Davis could not be directly linked to an assault he suffered several hours earlier, an inquest heard. Mr Davis, 68, collapsed unconscious after a fight in the street in Parnell Road, Bow, at around 8.45pm on 3 April 2017. Police and paramedics were called to the…

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The Waterloo Bridge Mystery

London: 11.30pm, 8 October, 1857. Out of the darkness shuffled an elderly woman carrying a large, heavy bag. The toll keeper on the Strand side of the Thames, Henry Errington, watched as she laid a halfpenny on the iron plate and struggled to push through the stile. The bag was…

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Fingerprints: The murders of Thomas and Ann Farrow

The first British murder case to be solved using fingerprints took place in Detpford, south London, on 27 March 1905. At 7am shop manager Thomas Farrow, 71, had not yet got dressed to open up for the day when there was a knock at the door. Not wanting to pass…

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Joseph Cullimore: The story of a fatal stabbing in east London

The 999 call came in at 4.37am on 17 August 2018. The caller said he had stabbed a man in the neck and ribs at a flat in Flaxen Road, Chingford. The caller said this man was now lying face down in a pool of blood in the living room.…

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Murders up or murders down? The strange world of homicide statistics

Did the number of murders in London increase or or decrease last year? It depends whether you mean calendar year or financial year.

Most headlines last week focused on the increase in UK murders to their highest level in a decade (or alternatively, lower than they were in 2007). Other reports went on the record level of knife crime offences (since comparable records began in 2011).

This fits in with the general picture in London, which saw an increase in the number of homicides (both murder and manslaughter) to around 130*, the most since 2008. The Metropolitan Police recorded the most knife offences (14,660, a one per cent rise since 2017).

But then another perspective was offered by the Metropolitan Police themselves, who released their latest financial year statistics (April 2018 to April 2019), which showed a significant drop in homicides from 163 in 2017/18 (or 154 not including terror attacks) to 122 in 2018/2019. The force was also able to highlight a reduction in knife injuries by 9.6% from 4,732 to 4,277, although there was a 0.5% increase in total knife crime offences (which would include possession offences).

The police say this is evidence that they have made progress in “tackling and reducing violent crime in the capital”. Perhaps it is also evidence that putting more effort and resources into policing, as a result of the outcry at the sharp spike in murders in early 2018, can affect the crime rate. We can only hope it points towards a significant reduction in murders in 2019.

Then again, it may simply be a reflection of the variation in the number of murders every day, week and month. The sharp rise in murders in February and March 2018 (19 and 20 respectively**) were enough to prompt headlines stating that the London murder rate had overtake New York’s (but you only looked at those two months, ignoring January 2018 or the year as a whole etc). The figures for the rest of the year, and the start of 2019, were significantly lower, although there were 15 homicides in March this year.

This variation in the number of murders over short periods is one reason why most murder statistics are analysed by year rather than by day, week or month. For example, in July 2008 there were four murders in London in one day. You could have viewed this as a sign of increasing violence in society, or you could have concluded that having four murders in one day was highly likely to happen once every three years.

Conclusion: Statistics are useful, as long as you know what you are looking at and can see how they vary over different time periods.

*we counted 129, the Metropolitan Police say 136, and media reports give figures varying between 132 and 135. It depends which cases you count as homicides.

**our figures, the Met say 18 for both months, but they can record cases differently depending on when they declare a case a homicide (rather than when the victim died).

Alex Vanderpuye: A ‘swift and unexpected’ attack

Update (17 June 2019): Police have offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. The case remains unsolved. Report from inquest in April 2019: Detectives investigating the murder of Alexander Vanderpuye nearly 18 months ago are hoping to charge two suspects later this month, an inquest heard. The…

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New Project: Full reporting of a murder trial

The sentencing of murderer Frederick Henry Seddon at the Old Bailey in 1812

The decline of court reporting over the last 25 years has been described as a “threat to justice”.

Local newspapers may not have the staff or resources to cover a trial in depth and the national press, TV and radio are naturally interested only in the most important or topical cases. Most court reports in the media will either be the start of a case (the prosecution opening, a summary of the evidence against a suspect) or the end (conviction and sentence).

But what about the witness evidence and the defence? Juries make their decisions based on all the evidence put before them (or at least they are supposed to do so), not the summaries provided by the prosecution, the defence or the media. If the public do not hear all the evidence (or at least the most important parts of it), it is perhaps not surprising that some jury verdicts are greeted with dismay (or even anger).

That is why we want to fully report a murder trial from start to finish to give the public a better idea of what happens in court. It will not be a verbatim transcript with ever umm and err – that would take too long to read, let alone write up – but it will be an in depth report of what happened with the most important parts quoted as accurately as possible.

Most murder trials last between two to three weeks. Sending a reporter to cover one trial all day would potentially cost (depending on the reporter or their employer) between £70 and £200 per day. We have therefore set a rough minimum of £950 to support full coverage of a short trial. If possible, the case chosen will be one that would otherwise receive very little coverage at all.

If the target is met, we will commit to providing daily coverage on the blog. All donors will also receive a long-read summary of the entire case upon its conclusion and an option to take part in consultation on the next project.

All of the above will be subject to legal restrictions such as the Contempt of Court Act and the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, for example. Explanation of the effect of these will, if possible, be provided.

You can donate to our one-off project here.

We are also trying to build a more long-term solution, which involves funding regular court reporting with a monthly subscription via Patreon.

A further appeal would support the development of the new website. Please email us at mailbox@murdermap.co.uk for if you have any further questions about the project.

Changes to murdermap

[UPDATE: The new website is still tracking homicides (for 2019 at least) and is testing a new, improved map. We are hoping to raise money to continue the site through donations and monthly subscriptions. Please consider donating to one of the projects on our Help Us page or signing up for membership via Patreon. Or both.]

Unfortunately parts of the old murdermap website will disappear this week after nearly nine years’ service.

The main reason for this decision is that the site was based on a content management system (created by the original developers) that is no longer being supported.

Regular users will also have noticed that the map stopped working properly after Google brought in its new pricing plan in July 2018 and effectively ended the free Maps API service.

The choices were, therefore, leave the website up to deteriorate until it goes down completely (or, worse, gets hacked), or replace it.

Sadly it is also clear that the site is no longer sustainable in terms of time and resources. There are many reasons for this, but in reality the project was hamstrung from the start because it was based on the (unrealistic) idea that it could be funded by online advertising. It has only ever earned enough money to pay for hosting fees and most of the time the site has been maintained by one court reporter (although the information it contains is based on the work of many other people).

So what next?

Since murdermap began in 2010, the site’s database has grown to include more than 1,600 victims of homicide (including both murder and manslaughter, mostly for the years 2008-2018).

This database will not be lost. It has been saved offline and is likely to return in a different form at some point. And most of the original webpages have already been archived on the Wayback Machine.

After the original site comes down, it will be replaced by the murdermap blog while other avenues are explored. Crowdfunding may be difficult because running a site like this properly, with in-depth reporting of each murder in London, would require significant annual investment (see the Homicide Watch website in Washington DC for one example). Likewise turning murdermap into a subscriber-only site might be self-defeating, given that it was originally set up with the aim of publicly and openly tracking each and every murder – not just the high-profile cases that already attract media attention – to reveal the stories behind the crime statistics.

While murdermap had many frustrating flaws from the very start, hopefully this site has helped to inform the debate around violent crime in London. And even if murdermap disappears completely, in recent years there has been a greater focus on homicides and violent crime in London. During 2018 several national newspapers maintained lists of homicide victims in the capital and produced in-depth articles using maps and charts (one example being The Guardian). The Office for National Statistics is also providing a lot more detail about homicides than it did ten years ago. Long may this continue.