A new documentary has focused on the brutal murder of Alan Wood as the sixth anniversary of his death draws close.
The 50-year-old supermarket worker and gardener, described by a friend as “a kind, big cuddly teddy bear”, was found dead at home in Lound, near Bourne, on Saturday, October 24, 2009.
Donal MacIntyre: Unsolved, shown on CBS Reality, saw cold case experts asking why a man with no known enemies was murdered and mutilated. Alan’s killers have never been found.
Experts agreed the crime pointed to the murderers having mood swings through drug misuse, underlined the perpetrators’ comfort with use of a knife and the “frenzied attack”, coupled with an attempt at decapitation, was not their first crime.
Criminologist Professor David Wilson said: “Taking someone’s head is meant to send a warning to people.
“This is something which is utterly barbaric and therefore it also serves the point of not only destroying Alan’s individuality but sending a message to other people who might have behaved, as the perpetrator saw it, as Alan had done.”
It feels that somebody was meaning to cause the maximum injury and the maximum humiliation to Alan, which doesn’t fit with his background.Retired Scotland Yard Det Chief Insp Clive Driscoll
Suspicions were raised about the migrants who have settled in Lincolnshire because little or nothing is known about their past criminal records.
Retired Scotland Yard Det Chief Insp Clive Driscoll said: “I am never really too sure that we know much about the history of the people that are coming here and I think that has to be a significant factor.”
THREE DAY NIGHTMARE OF ENTRAPMENT, TORTURE AND MURDER
It was “a three-day nightmare of entrapment, torture and murder” according to the documentary focusing on the last hours of Alan Wood.
Saturday is the sixth anniversary, to the day and the date, that Alan’s mutilated body was found in his cottage in the tiny hamlet of Lound, near Bourne.
His killers have never been found but it is hoped the showing of Donal MacIntyre: Unsolved on CBS Reality will spark fresh interest in one of Britain’s most brutal murders – and perhaps encourage someone to come forward with a vital piece of evidence.
Experts including Mr Driscoll, the retired Metropolitan Police detective chief inspector who secured convictions for the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence, took part in the programme – and spoke to this newspaper about the case, making a plea for anyone with information to come forward.
He said even a tiny piece of information could be the last piece of the jigsaw that will lead Lincolnshire Police to Alan’s killers and give justice to his family and friends.
“I have always said that the least we can do for Alan is at least try our hardest,” he said.
The programme explored possible mistaken identity: did Alan’s killers wrongly think he was a manager at Sainsbury’s, as he was virtually the double of a senior member of staff at the Bourne store, and believe they might get their hands on thousands of pounds if he handed them the store keys?
It also explored the possibility of some kind of revenge attack arising from a previously undisclosed potential link between Alan and prostitutes.
On the programme, MacIntyre said: “I have discovered from discussion with some of his friends that Alan used prostitutes from time to time, something which may have unwittingly led him into a more dangerous world.”
In the documentary, Mr Driscoll says: “It is a possibility that either somebody he knew had come to see him or he had invited a prostitute that allowed access (for others).”
Mr Driscoll told us the information on prostitutes came via MacIntyre and his researchers, but it’s something he personally hasn’t seen any evidence on.
In an interview with this newspaper, a friend of Alan’s ruled out any link between Alan and sex workers, and said the most likely scenario was Alan being mistaken for the store manager and for a rich man because he drove a Jaguar.
Sunday’s programme also asked if Alan’s murder could be linked to his previous work at a prison but – in the end – MacIntyre comes down on the side of Alan being mistaken for his boss at Sainsbury’s.
While it’s been said by Lincolnshire Police that injuries inflicted were part of an attempt to “torture” Alan, Mr Driscoll told us torture doesn’t fit with the extreme level of violence used.
Mr Driscoll said: “I can only give you my opinion.
“Someone was venting rage and anger at Alan.
“If you are causing that many injuries to the person, being able to speak would be a challenge.
“The purpose of torture is normally to get information.
“I have dealt with quite a few cases where people have been tortured for their bank details, but the level of violence here feels more like a personal attack.
“It feels that somebody was meaning to cause the maximum injury and the maximum humiliation to Alan, which doesn’t fit with his background.
“There is nothing about Alan which suggests to me that he was anything other than a bloke going through life at his own pace – nothing that would even remotely get him into an area of that level of violence.
“This was almost decapitation and quite a personal attack to the head with a knife.”
As well as CCTV images of ATM man, who drew cash from Alan’s bank account on four consecutive days, Lincolnshire Police has a full DNA profile of one of the killers as blood was left at the scene.
Experts agree the DNA profile is the best hope of catching Alan’s killers – unless a vital witness comes forward.
Police continue to check DNA databases at home and abroad, but Mr Driscoll says not all countries have them – and some countries only take DNA for murder and rape so the offenders could evade justice forever or until they commit another serious crime.
THE DAY ALAN WAS LAST SEEN ALIVE
Alan Wood (50) was last seen alive at The Willoughby Arms in Little Bytham, on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.
His body was found at his home in Lound at about 1pm the following Saturday. He was repeatedly stabbed, his throat was slit and there was a post-death attempt to cut off his head.
Family and friends paid tribute to the gentle man who had a gardening business and worked at a supermarket.
Friends were interviewed for the documentary along with reporters who had covered the case, Lynne Harrison, of The Lincolnshire Free Press, and Stephen Briggs, of The Peterborough Telegraph.
In the documentary, the man who heads the murder inquiry, Det Chief Supt Stuart Morrison, described Alan’s murder as “like a bomb going off” in Lound.
Earlier this year, he told us he took part in the documentary “on the basis that someone who has not come forward with information may do so now”.
• You can review all of the available information on Alan Wood’s murder – and see CCTV pictures of ATM man, who used Alan’s bank card to steal from his bank account. Click here to visit the special website set by Lincolnshire Police, www.alanwoodmurder.com