Cops launch cold case probe into pub landlord stabbed to death 50 YEARS AGO

September 6, 2013 | by | 1 Comment

Detectives have launched a cold case probe into the murder of a pub landlord who was brutally stabbed to death 50 YEARS ago.

George Wilson, 41, was knifed 14 TIMES outside his pub while out innocently walking his dog in the early hours of September 8 ,1963.

He had left at 12.15am for his usual stroll with pet mongrel Blackie but 20 minutes later wife Alberta was disturbed by the sound of the dog scratching at the door covered in his master’s blood.

Pub landlord George Wilson was murdered 50 years ago

Pub landlord George Wilson, who was murdered 50 years ago, and is now the subject of a cold case review

The Fox and Grapes pub in Sneinton, Nottingham, which later changed its name to 'Peggers'

The Fox and Grapes pub in Sneinton, Nottingham, which later changed its name to ‘Peggers’


Alberta then stepped outside and spotted her husband’s lifeless corpse in a pool of blood in an alleyway just yards from the front door of the Fox and Grapes pub, in Nottingham.

Post mortem tests revealed the popular landlord had been repeatedly stabbed in the base of the skull, face and back.

The murder weapon – a six inch bowie knife – was found by two young boys nine days later in a ditch and traces of George’s blood were found on the sheath and the blade which was bent at the tip.

However, his killer has never been caught to this day.

Five decades on Nottinghamshire Police have reopened their investigation into the slaying – which became known as the “Pretty Windows Murder” due to the pattern on the windows of the boozer.

George’s wife, Alberta, died in 1997 without knowing the motive for his death and his daughter Margaret, 56, has now joined police in the hunt for the killer.

Talking on the 50th anniversary of the death Margaret – who was only six when her father died –  said: “Whoever did this robbed us of our dad.

“We would really like to know for our own peace of mind, even if the offender is dead.

“Many years have passed but if you know who did it, or have any new information, please speak to the police and give us some closure.

“What we did find strange, thinking about it after the murder, is that he was wearing a suit on the night, as though he was intending to go somewhere, but didn’t.

“We think that quite a lot of local people will have known something about Dad’s death., as everyone knew each other’s business back then.

“We are also pretty sure that Blackie would have attacked whoever attacked Dad; he was very protective of him.

“Our mother died in 1997, without ever knowing who did this or why.

“No motive has ever been established.

“Over the years Mum was able to talk about what happened to Dad, and she re-lived it a lot.”

At the time of the murder no money was stolen from his wallet, sparking a line of enquiry that the murder was personal.

Two months prior to his death he had received an anonymous death threat but police could find no one with a grudge against him.

Pieces of broken slate from a nearby low roof suggested that the killer had jumped down before the attack.

Five people even confessed to his killing but not one of them could describe the murder weapon or identify the victim from pictures.

One of them was a Dartmoor prisoner who said he got into an argument with George  when the landlord made a few jokes at the expense of Nottingham Forest in their game that day with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

One witness described a man running down Longden Street at 12.50am wearing a green Robin Hood style hat, a light-coloured raincoat and appeared to have a knife or chisel in his hand.
But the trail went cold after that discovery despite the biggest manhunt in Nottinghamshire Police’s history.

Police relaunched the case releasing a touching picture of former miner George and his sweetheart Alberta on their wedding day.

Detective Chief Inspector Tony Heydon, who is continuing the hunt for George’s murderer, urged anyone with information on the case to get back in touch.

He said: ““It is 50 years since George Wilson was murdered outside the Fox and Grapes pub, known locally as the ‘Pretty Windows’ because of the intricate design on the windows.

“It was a well-known and busy place for local people to go.

“Over the years we have had people calling in with information in relation to George’s murder, but we are still keen to hear from anyone who hasn’t come forward before.

“Those who have previously spoken to the police if they wish to corroborate their accounts or anyone out there who has information which they may previously have thought to be of little relevance is also asked to contact us.

“I would also be keen to hear from anyone who was in the local licensing industry in the 60s, other landlords, or even older residents who still live in the area.

“People do change alliances, and it may be someone you knew many years ago arrived home on 8 September 1963 acting out of character or even gave you information about what had happened.

“We need to hear from you, and I would urge you to contact us.

“Fifty years has passed but for George’s children, Margaret and David, so many questions remain unanswered.

“Cases such as this never close and we remain determined to get justice for George’s family.”

Category: News

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be really good for the family to have some form of closure. Yes it’s a long time ago but people will still be alive who know something. Do the decent thing and come forward

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