Police appeal to anonymous Wapping murder witness

Father-of-two, John Kennedy

Father-of-two, John Kennedy

An anonymous witness who handed in a note containing “vital information” relating to an unsolved 1997 murder in Wapping has been urged to come forward in a new police appeal.

John Kennedy, 31, of Poplar, died from stab wounds suffered during an altercation in February 1997 at the Railway Arms pub, in Sutton Street, Wapping.

Police had issued an appeal for information in November 2013 in the hope that witnesses’ initial reluctance to aid their investigation may have eased with time.

An anonymous note was then handed in on 2 December 2013, but the police’s inability to contact the witness appears to have stalled the investigation again.

Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin, said: “It is clear to us that the author of the note has some vital information that could assist the investigation into John’s murder.

“I would urge this person to contact the incident room so that we can speak to them. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure them they will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

“It has been 16 years since John was murdered and people move on. Some of those reluctant to talk to us at the time may now feel they are able to.”

The father-of-two of Oban Street, Poplar, had been out drinking with friends when an “animated conversation” with another man spiralled out of control.

Kennedy was taken to the Royal London Hospital where he died the following morning.

A £20,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or people responsible for Kennedy’s death.

During appeals last June, Kennedy’s family appealed to witnesses to overcome their “misguided loyalty or code of conduct,” and aid the police investigation.

“John’s life was taken away and the murderer should be held accountable for his death. Please find it in your hearts after 16 years to do the right thing and help bring the person responsible to justice,” said the family.

Any witnesses or anyone with information can call the incident room on 020 8345 3865; if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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