The Unsolved Murder Of Michael Trower, Brighton,UK,1967

Michael Trower. His remains were in such an advanced state that they could not tell if he had been sexually assaulted.

Michael John Trower was only 14 years old when he ran away from his mother in Hove. It was 19th September 1966. He was meant to be going to school yet he absconded again. He had some developmental issues and is described as having avoided school before.

Michael Trower lived in Hove which adjoins Brighton. Both are seaside towns with settled communities yet they have large numbers of tourists each year.

In an article in The Argus ( 2001) police in Sussex were stating they hoped to talk to Brian Lunn Field ( convicted child sex killer) about the case. Michael disappeared in 66 but his remains were found in January 1967. He had been placed in a shallow grave in the the Waterhall area of Brighton on the English south coast.

Michael Trower. His remains were in such an advanced state that they could not tell if he had been sexually assaulted.

His skull had been found by a group of youths out walking with an instructor from a youth detention facility. When his remains were examined it was determined his skull had suffered severe trauma from a blow or blows.

The boy was known to have frequented the amusement arcades and funfairs on the sea front. In the 2001 article a police spokesperson told the newspaper:

‘It was known Michael frequented amusement arcades and piers and he associated with known paedophiles.’

A local news source at the time said that police were interested in talking to two men who may have been seen with the boy.

One was described as:

About 49, scruffy with wire framed glasses, dark hair with a white patch on one side.

The other was described as:

6ft tall, 25-30 years with deeply tanned skin. This guy is said to have been driving a Green Morris Minor 1000. I have written about such a vehicle in the murder of 10 year old Brian McDermott in Belfast in 1973.

In addition the paper says that this younger man ‘was believed to have had a flat in the Kensington area of London’.

Loose Ends And Looser Thoughts

This lad’s murder is part of a wider issue that plagued England between the 1960s and on. Brian Lunn Field lived in Surrey at about this time. The Brighton area and Surrey are not that far from each other or London. You are talking a total distance of 40 miles (70km).

Field killed a 14 year old schoolboy called Roy Tutill in 1968 in Surrey. He raped him and strangled him. Crucially it was DNA evidence 30 years plus later that convicted him. He did commit offences against teenage boys in the meantime, yet only went to prison for short periods. So he is a favourite in this murder. However, he is not alone and how likely he was to have killed Michael Trower is a matter of opinion .

Michael’s murder came to light around the time a 17 year old lad called Bernard Michael Oliver had been found dismembered in a suitcase in 1967. He had been due to return from an evening with friends on 6th January. The following morning his father reported him missing. This all happened in Muswell Hill, North London.

10 days later his dismembered body was found in two suitcases. They had been dumped on farm land 70 miles away (125km) near Ipswich in Suffolk. I will do a full write up of that so he has his own mention on here.

The point is this murder and that of Michael Trower and Roy Tutill all went off at around the same time. Field was a determined abductor of children and young people over many decades until his useless carcass was thrown in prison.

That said much of this information I got from a website called The Needle Blog. It seems very well researched and put together with plenty of references. The author talks of another paedophile operation that had some connection with Kensington as mentioned in the Michael Trower case. Kensington is an upmarket area of central London. Obviously this is even closer to Muswell Hill than anything that happened in Brighton.

The group, according to The Needle Blog, included two doctors and activities ranged out from there to Leeds (north England) and internationally. The blog talks of a trial involving associated members including a vicar where boys were abused and photographed in a Huddersfield church ( also north England).

This case is referred to as the Holy Trinity group. The name comes from the church and vicarage used. The trial took place in 1975 and is a subject in itself. The link is below.  I found it interesting that the allegations were that some of these obscene photographs were allegedly traded into Europe.

I’m in serious danger of digressing here. The point is not just Field was active in the exploitation and harm of kids in the mid to late 60s.

Just because they are fresh in my mind I also would like to give mention to another group who are at least know to have operated a decade later. Sydney Cooke, convicted sex murderer of children, circulated amongst a group of low life abducting and raping kids. They set up a base of operations in East London. Doubtless they had interaction with other groups in their time. Certainly the gang that Cooke worked with numbered up to 12 individuals at times.

I have not finished there.

Kevin Hicks, 16, disappeared in the mid 1980s from Croydon, South London. Lee Boxell, 15, disappeared from Sutton, Surrey. That was only a few miles away and a little after Kevin had vanished. There are allegations that each lad may have fallen foul of active sexual predators. Notably the story around Lee is he attended an informal youth group in the grounds of a church. A third boy Reece Collins, whose hanging death is still ruled as a big ‘ we don’t know what happened’ ( open inquest verdict), may have been approached by paedophiles when he played for a Sunday youth football team in the Croydon area. Reece was found hanging from a belt he did not own in woodland in 1986, he was just 15 years old.

I have not even gone through the whole list. Nor have I mentioned the political movement to try and legalise child sexual contact with adults that was pushing to become mainstream between the mid 1970s and early 1980s. Guess where they were based? Yeah, London and the home counties in particular.  I am not saying that that group, the Paedophile Information Exchange (P.I.E) killed or knew who killed any of the poor lads I have mentioned. Equally I am not saying Cooke, Field or the Trinity lot did.

It isn’t because I am somehow worried about being sued etc that I don’t say who was doing what. It is simply the fact that at any one time there are countless waste of skin predators after children. The point is that in the time around the murder of poor Michael Trower many groups were active and circulating around southern England.

TBelow is a list of UK children who have gone missing under suspicious circumstances or who have been murdered without a culprit being identified. This list is just of those between 1960s and 2000 that we have written about. Sadly we will be adding to it as time goes on.

UK List Click Here

I’ll wrap this up. I mentioned above a green Morris Minor that was also in reports in the unsolved murder of Brian McDermott. It is unlikely it was the same one. They were very popular cars of their day and I was just mentioning it in passing. Also the description was in early news coverage of Brian McDermott’s murder. A later review of the killing made no mention of it.

Thanks for Reading

John T


Needle Blog: