When police were called to the Victoria Road, Worthing, flat of retired vet William Howe on Monday, January 8th, 1990, they found his body face down on the floor, legs and arms tightly bound with electrical flex. He had been severely beaten with a hammer and possibly with fists. The attackers had also stamped or kneeled on the small of his back, fracturing his ribs.
The subsequent ransacking of the flat testified to the fact that Howe, 63, had refused to say where the safe was kept, preferring to pay for his silence by being tortured to death. The safe, in fact, contained tens of thousands of pounds, money the murderers failed to find.
Howe, a bachelor, was a hugely popular vet. The savage murder caused shock and disbelief in the seaside town and prompted a massive manhunt. But 15 years on, the trail has run cold.