Neighbours shocked by brutal murder

PUBLISHED: 11:36 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:05 26 October 2009

John Finney

John Finney

NEIGHBOURS of a traveller found decapitated two weeks after he was kidnapped have spoken of their shock. Police are confident that a headless and handless corpse found slumped against a garage is that of Northaw traveller John Finney. A murder hunt has be

Forensic experts at the cordoned off area where the body was found

NEIGHBOURS of a traveller found decapitated two weeks after he was kidnapped have spoken of their shock.

Police are confident that a headless and handless corpse found slumped against a garage is that of Northaw traveller John Finney.

A murder hunt has been launched after the 42-year-old's brutally mutilated body was discovered by a passer-by in Icknield Close in Ickleford, near Hitchin, just after 4.30pm on Friday.

Dad-of-four Mr Finney was bundled from his Mitsubishi Shogun outside his home in Park Farm on Northaw Road West, on February 29.

A post-mortem examination held on Sunday was unable to determine the cause of death but detectives were able to ascertain that it was the traveller by recognisable tattoos.

Neighbours told the WHT they were shocked by the murder of Mr Finney, who lived in an isolated caravan but would often be seen playing darts at pubs in the village.

Resident Sally Hopping, who also lives in Northaw Road West, said: "It's very disturbing that something of this horrendous nature all started just over the road.

"The gruesome things that have happened do not bear thinking about."

Another neighbour said: "Murder is not a shock to me but the shock is that he had his hands and head cut off.

"It must have taken about four people to kidnap him as he was a huge guy, probably about 6ft 3in and very wide."

Forensics continue to scour both Mr Finney's former home and the garages where his corpse was dumped for clues of his killers.

Detective chief inspector Bill Jephson, leading the murder hunt, called it a "targeted attack".

"This is a very traumatic time for John's family, our thoughts are with them.

"While investigations to trace those responsible are well under way, I would urge any witnesses to come forward."

Those with information on Mr Finney's disappearance or murder should call 01707 355666.


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