There were four employees of Hebe Sports Ltd. in the lift as it rose up from the ground floor at the company’s Islington, north London, headquarters – two workmen and two accountants who had been to the bank to collect the £4,000 wages. When the lift stopped at the second floor the gates opened and standing in front of them were two men with drawn guns.

“Throw out the money,” one of them commanded. The two accountants hurled some of the money-bags at the gunmen while one of the workmen hastily pushed the lift button. Just when the gate was almost closed one of the gunmen pushed his revolver through the gap and fired.

Fred Lee, 23, one of the workmen, was hit in the chest and slumped to the floor. Soon afterwards he died in Bart’s Hospital.

The senseless pay-day murder happened at around 11 a.m. on Friday, March 7th, 1958. Scotland Yard were soon convinced that Greek-Cypriots were mixed up in the crime. They even named their suspect. He had returned to Cyprus a few months after the murder but extradition proceedings foundered. The Cypriots refused to let the man go and as a result no one has ever been charged with Fred Lee’s murder.

The killers may have been satisfied with that result, but they couldn’t have been much satisfied with the proceeds of their crime. The bags thrown out of the lift contained just £120 in silver and coppers. UK Murder Stories from True Crime Library.

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