6 Welsh Cold Cases From the 1970s and 1980s

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Though one of the smaller nations in Great Britain, Wales has its fair share of unsolved crimes. These Welsh cold cases are the tip of the iceberg.

This will be one of a series of lists looking at unsolved murders and cold cases from Wales.

If you have any information on these cases, then get in touch with Welsh Police.

Here are 6 Welsh Cold Cases from the 1970s and 1980s.

Unidentified Male | Port Talbot | 1979

15th August 1979, in Port Talbot, Wales, the body of an adult male between the ages of 45 to 60-years-old, washed up on the beach. The unidentified male had grey hair and no teeth.

He was wearing a shirt and tie and was dressed in a formal manner. No missing person reports matched his description, and no one came forward to say they may have known him.

The identity of the man and the circumstances of his death have long remained a mystery.

John Armstrong | Cowbridge | 1979

5th October 1979, in Cowbridge, Wales, 58-year-old taxi driver, John Armstrong, drove to pick up a customer known only as Williams. It was the last time he was ever seen alive.

John’s body was found three days later, 11 miles from where the abandoned taxi had been dumped. He had been beaten to death.

On the night of the disappearance, John, known as Jack to his friends and family, radioed in to confirm he had picked up the fare from the Fairwater Pub on St. Fagans Road.

Despite an extensive investigation, hundreds of witness statements from pub customers and locals, John’s killer has never been found. The case remains open.

Christina Bracken | Swansea | 1979

1st May 1979, in Swansea, Wales, Irish nun Christina Nuala Bracken went missing on her way to the shops. Also known as Sr Jacinta Bracken, she had left the Stella Maris Convent in the morning and was never seen again.

It is suspected that she may have been a victim of serial killer Peter Tobin but as with most cases of this era, allocating a disappearance to Tobin became a matter of course. No trace of Bracken has ever been discovered.

Modern investigators suspect she had fallen into the waters off Swansea dock and lost her life to the sea in a tragic accident.

However, there are those who believe she had fallen victim to murder, due to her association with many homeless people and drug users in the city.

John Connors | Neath | 1978

30th March 1978, in Neath, Wales, 85-year-old retired dentist John Connors was beaten to death in his own home. The following day, his body was discovered by social services.

There was no forced entry, and the suspect was said to have been known to the victim. A police officer on the case told reporters it was possibly the most vicious attack he had ever witnessed.

John Connors, photographed before his death. Public domain.

The murder weapon was a large heavy object not found at the scene. There were two piles of ashes, as if the killer or killers had attempted to start a fire to hide the evidence.

A large investigation got underway, and hundreds of nearby residents were interviewed. Sniffer dogs were brought in to help search the gardens, streets and drains but turned up no clues.

Despite witness accounts of a large man with dark hair seen nearby, no suspect has ever been caught and the murder remains a mystery to this day. This disturbing Welsh cold case remains an open investigation.

Unidentified Skull | Colwyn Bay | 1978

5th December 1978, in Colwyn Bay, Wales, the skull of a man aged between 50 to 70-years-old was washed up on the shoreline.

The identity of the man remains a mystery to this day as no-one in the age range had been reported missing in the area.

The likelihood of a skull being carried around the country before washing up in the Bay was considered unlikely which meant the man had died close to the area the skull was found.

Sandra Phillips | Neath | 1985

14th June 1985, in Neath, sex shop worker Sandra Phillips was found dead in her shop by area manager Anthony Williams. It was a busy Friday afternoon when Williams discovered Sandra’s body.

Sandra Phillips. Public domain.

She had been raped and beaten to death. Within days, two brothers, Paul and Wayne Darvell, were arrested for the attack. They were later found guilty and sentenced to life in jail based on Wayne’s confession.

But the story didn’t end there. Wayne had a history of confessing to crimes he didn’t commit to make himself appear more notorious than he was.

The brothers were freed seven years later in 1992. The police investigation into Sandra’s death came under fire for accepting Wayne’s false confession.

It meant the real killer or killers had a seven-year head start on the investigation. The case was reopened in 2002 but nothing new came of it. In 2009, the case was put on hiatus until new evidence is submitted.

If you have any information on these Welsh cold cases, then get in touch with Welsh Police.

READ NEXT: 8 Unsolved English Murders from the 1970s.

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