Five years on from the fatal shooting of John Palmer at his Brentwood home, detectives continue to hunt his killer and appeal for information.
John Palmer, 65, was at his home in Sandpit Lane in South Weald, Brentwood on Wednesday June 24, 2015, when he was killed.
He was burning rubbish in his garden when at around 5.30pm it is believed the killer climbed over the fence and shot Mr Palmer six times.
A mortally wounded Mr Palmer managed to walk a short distance towards his house before collapsing. He was discovered by relatives who called for help, but Mr Palmer died from his injuries.
A hole found in the garden fence of Mr Palmer’s rural home suggests the killer may have been watching him in the days leading up to his death.
Since the shooting, detectives have closely examined the dead man’s history and associations in the UK and abroad; gathered intelligence in the UK and abroad; taken hundreds of witness statements; traced vehicles; examined more than 1,400 documents and pursued more than 700 lines of enquiry.
Despite the efforts of detectives, Mr Palmer’s killer remains at large.
In the weeks prior to his death Mr Palmer and ten others were charged with various offences in relation to a real estate fraud in Tenerife.
That trial has now concluded and several of those involved have been found guilty and sentenced.
Senior investigating officer Det Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Five years is a long time for John’s family to be left without answers.
“In the years since his death a lot has changed, particularly within the underworld. The Spanish fraud trial, in which he was due to be a defendant, has concluded with several people sentenced.
“Over the years loyalties change and people who may have information, and once felt unable to come forward, may now feel free to do so. If you do have information please, now, do the right thing.
“There has always been speculation and rumour within the media and underworld about Mr Palmer’s connection to organised criminals; specific high profile crimes; that he was a police informant; and that charges brought against him in Spain were about to be dropped.
“Over the years a number of these rumours have been found to be untrue or based wholly in speculation.
“Regardless of Mr Palmer’s past the reality is that he was much-loved by his family and he was murdered in a calculated, callous killing within the grounds of his own home.
“It is impossible to imagine how his family must feel, without justice and answers, and we continue to do all we can to bring his killer to come forward.
“We know that the key to solving Mr Palmer’s killing lies within the underworld.”
If you have information call Essex Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 on use their anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.