The victim of an unsolved savage torture and murder was seen for the very last time nearly a decade ago, and officers are still investigating the case.
Alan Wood’s hands were bound with sellotape and he had been stabbed repeatedly in the head at his home near Bourne in 2009.
His throat was then cut, which was the fatal injury. The most disturbing element of the attack came after his death – a deep wound to the back of his neck suggesting an attempted decapitation.
Detectives think these wounds were inflicted to torture the 50-year-old possibly to give up his bank card PIN numbers. The cards were used at cashpoints in Bourne and Stamford to remove a small amount of money from his account over a couple of days after his murder.
Police said there is no clear motive other than financial gain.
A £40,000 reward is being offered by Sainsbury’s, where Alan worked, for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.
Crimestoppers have added £10,000 to the reward, bringing the total to £50,000, making it one of the largest offered in a UK murder investigation.
Mystery continues 10 years on
October 21, 2019 will mark 10 years since Alan’s disappearance as this is the date he was seen for the very last time. Three days later his body was found in his home in Edenham Road in Lound near Bourne on October 24, 2009.
The body was found in his living room by work colleagues, who were concerned that he hadn’t been at work.
The person or people responsible have never been identified, and a decade later officers are still investigating the case.
Four people were previously arrested in relation to this case. All were arrested for murder (one of them) or conspiracy (three of them) and all were released without charge.
As part of Lincolnshire Police’s latest appeal, Senior Investigating Officer Martin Holvey, wishes to target the Stamford, Bourne and Peterborough areas and the general Lincolnshire area as the force tries again to get closure for Alan’s family.
He said police never close a murder investigation and that this case is on of “our force’s most serious and disturbing unsolved crimes”.
Family closure is needed
Alan led a quiet life – he worked at Sainsbury’s in Bourne, ran a small gardening business and enjoyed a drink at the Willoughby Arms in Little Bytham.
Investigating officers remain in contact with Alan’s family, who have never come to terms with his murder.
Alan’s mother Maureen Wood said: “I have tried to get on with my life but the last 10 years have been really difficult, losing such a loved son and not knowing why it happened or who was responsible.
“There is not a day that goes by without me thinking of Alan and why someone would have done this to such an innocent man. I don’t want to go to my grave without knowing why it happened.
“I appreciate that people have heard this before, but if there is anyone out there who has any information that can help the police identify the murderer and in doing so provide me with some closure before I have to leave this world, then please, please get in touch with the police.”
Alan’s sister Sylvia Allet added: “I don’t think we will ever come to terms with what happened or why Alan was targeted in such a way. He was a genuine good guy and although he did not have a great deal of money or valuables, if someone was so desperate for help he would have given them what he had. There was no reason for him to have been treated as he was.”
Alan was married to Joanne Wood for 17 years and, although they separated in 2003, they remained on good terms.
CCTV images and other evidence
It is not clear how many people carried out the attack, but one of the offenders did injure themselves, leaving blood at the scene.
Forensic analysis has given detectives a full male DNA profile. It has been run through the national DNA database in the UK, which has not provided a match. Similar database searches have been done around the world, but so far there have been no matches.
Detectives also found suspect footprints at the scene that match Converse trainers. A print type was narrowed down to a particular upper, which is available in two styles and was largely sold in Europe and North America at the time.
A trawl of thousands of hours of CCTV revealed images of a person as seen below, who is described as having an unusual walk. Experts analysed the footage and concluded that he limps due to his right leg being slightly longer than his left.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or via email at [email protected] quoting reference 111 of October 9, 2019.
It can also be reported through the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online here.