Private Detective Stories of London’s Darkest Side

International Criminal London

Private Detective London Murder and Mystery

One of the truisms of city life is that rich and poor rub shoulders, as do good and bad. This month we’ve got a range of stories that reveal the deep, dark nature of city life and the many complex ways that private detectives must navigate the intricacies of city investigations.

We’ll begin with the story of Daniel Morgan, a sad tale that has become almost mythical in the annals of London private detectives.  In 1987 Daniel was working as an experienced private detective, and it is rumoured that he was about to reveal extensive police corruption when he was found dead in a pub car park in Sydenham, London with an axe blade buried in his head.

This alone would make a terrible story, but 28 years later, five police investigations have achieved nothing. It’s the UK’s longest unsolved murder case and when the most recent trial collapsed in 2011, Daniel’s brother, Alistair, began to take matters into his own hands because he believes that the mainstream media are unwilling to cover the story.

Now he is raising funds to produce a series of podcasts with journalist Peter Jukes, talking about nearly three decades of campaigning for truth and justice for his brother. His contention that the police are unwilling to reveal facts and may be making it difficult for journalists to explore the murder, seems to have some basis in truth – a recent report in the Press Gazette suggests that this very case may have led to a senior police officer being ‘thrown to the wolves’. Currently a ‘Hillsborough style’ investigation is being carried out into the case, as ordered by Home Secretary Theresa May.

International crime, London safe deposit boxes and hard cash

You might think Mayfair would be exempt from the insalubrious and seedy, but actually a recent scandal has revealed that Shepherd Market, long home of many Private Detective London agencies, has also been the hiding place for many ‘white collar criminals’. One Park Street safe deposit business which was raided by the police in 2007 revealed that a super-rich Luxembourg based investment adviser called Pierre Grotz had deposited over £2 million in used currency. But Pierre Grotz says the money belonged to one of his clients – Jeffrey Brooks, brother to David Brooks, who turned out to be embezzling his own USA based company DHB Industries, for millions. The courts contended that the money that Jeffrey Brooks gave to Pierre Grotz was stolen from DHB Industries. Finally, with David Brooks found guilty of fraud and Grotz under investigation in two European countries, Westminster Magistrate’s Court declared the money forfeit under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The cash was quietly deposited in the Home Office coffers and is likely to have been added to the Metropolitan Police’s budget. Yet another story of how difficult it can be to untangle the complex criminal proceedings of international financial fraudsters.