Scotland Yard Appeal To Clear Up Peter Watts Mystery

Forty years after the mysterious death of a Welsh teenager in Euston, London, detectives are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Peter Watts was just 15 years old when he left a note to his parents at his home in Colwyn Bay, North Wales. He said he was planning to help a school friend with homework and would return soon. His family never saw him alive again.

Just hours later Peter was discovered collapsed in London in the middle of the Euston Road underpass, around half a mile from Euston station. A passing cab driver called an ambulance but Peter died in hospital an hour later.

Following extensive police appeals in both England and Wales, officers were able to piece together some of Peter’s last known movements.

The teenager was last seen at his home address at 16:00hrs on Sunday, 18 January 1976. After a family lunch he told his parents he wanted to finish his homework rather than go for an afternoon drive with them and his older brother.

A short while later Peter wrote his parents a brief note and then left his home to purchase a train ticket from Colwyn Bay station to Chester. He is thought to have travelled on the 17:15hrs, Holyhead to London train, but failed to leave the train at Chester. It is then thought he continued on to Euston, possibly arriving at 21:15hrs.

Apart from the guard who sold Peter his train ticket at Colwyn Bay, there were no further confirmed sightings of the 15-year-old.

Peter was found below a bridge at Euston Road underpass at around 01:30hrs on Monday, 19 January by a passing taxi driver. A post mortem examination gave the cause of death as head injuries consistent with a fall. There were no marks on Peter’s body to indicate he was pushed from the bridge or had been involved in an earlier struggle. There was also no evidence of any sexual assault.

Officers established that Peter was missing his watch and glasses when he was found. These items have never been found.

Peter was described as white, 5ft 11in tall with long brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a long brown leather jacket, trousers and a roll-neck sweater.

Four decades on, the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team, are releasing details of Peter’s death in an effort to trace anyone who is yet to speak to police about the incident.

Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, of the Met’s Special Casework Investigation Team, who is leading the investigation, said: “Despite numerous appeals, mystery still surrounds the death of Peter Watts. He came from a loving and close-knit family but tragically his parents both died without the answers they were seeking.

“After 40 years, his only surviving relative – his older brother Mark, aged 57 – said this may be his last opportunity to find out what happened to his older sibling.

“At the time Peter went missing, 40 years ago, there were no mobile phones and wide-spread CCTV was not available.

“The investigation continues to be dealt with as an unexplained death and is not being linked to any other investigations. We’ve never had any information to suggest that anyone else was involved in Peter’s death but, for the sake of his brother, we would like to speak to anyone who may be able to assist.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Incident Room on 020 7230 7963; alternatively, to remain anonymous, call Crimestoopers on 0800 555 111.


Filed under Abuse, News

14 responses to “Scotland Yard Appeal To Clear Up Peter Watts Mystery

  1. Martin

    This is reply from The Met concerning new details on Peter Watts case that I reported to Operation Midland in Dec 2014 this reply is about its latest appeal

    It states clearly in our release that he was not sexually assaulted.

    “Peter was found below a bridge above the Euston Road underpass at around 01:30hrs on Monday, 19 January by a passing taxi driver. A post mortem examination gave the cause of death as head injuries consistent with a fall. There were no marks on Peter’s body to indicate he was pushed from the bridge or had been involved in an earlier struggle. There was also no evidence of any sexual assault.”

    On your other point:

    It was mentioned during the Inquest that Peter’s body was ‘clean’ when discovered. Peter’s family noted that, on the day of his disappearance, he had helped his father in the family garden before taking a bath. It is believed that this is why the inquest specifically mentioned the cleanliness of the body.

  2. Puzzled

    I’m actually a bit surprised the jury were so confident Peter was murdered.

    Being unfamiliar with the area he could have become disorientated and attempted to cross the very wide Euston Road in a dangerous place and then fallen over a parapet.

    Pathologist said wounds consistent with fall rather than assault. May have been a fluke no dirt in wounds. Father said he tended towards obsessive cleanliness. May have got off train at Euston, gone into toilets to keep warm and washed there.

    True it’s a puzzle about his watch etc, why there were no sightings after Colwyn Bay and why he might have travelled to London without luggage. Is it strange that family reported him missing but asked that his name not be revealed?

    If the new taxi witness is talking about the same case, it adds another element of mystery

  3. Sabre

    A passing reference and rapid dismissal to a link with establishment abuse.
    Justification for the reference? We wouldn’t want another ‘Nick’ would we.

    • The team and I looked into this case a year or so ago.

      It is naturally impossible to say for certain but I think the police interpretation at the time of what may have happened was the most plausible explanation.

      Somebody will know something and I’m confident that there was some homosexual element, and given his age therefore abuse but the fact that his wounds were cleaned and that he was left still alive very near a hospital would suggest that his death wasn’t intentional.

      How he arrived in London from North Wales is a mystery.

      • Owen

        If the intention was for Peter to be found and taken for treatment of what it must have been obvious were very serious injuries, the underpass wouldn’t spring to mind as the best place to ensure his safety, visibility or rapidest transfer to UCH.

        • On the contrary. It would be busy and he would and was found quickly and taken straight to the hospital still alive.

          Whoever did it didn’t want to be caught. They obviously tried to take care of him themselves and the clearly didn’t want him to die.

  4. dpack

    thanks Jeremy,i have thought for a while that some of the recent developments in “extremist” politics from several directions have strong similarities to those of the 70’s/80’s.
    it could be that some old hands in the link above needed some retirement cash (or have been raised from the forgotten to make a point) but when one considers the sudden rise of the far right in many european countries and the “othering” of the non radical Islamic community globally it seems the strategy of tension is alive and well .

    ps the deep black lies link was very useful and leads to some rather scarey places,colby is almost certainly a moider and the archer stuff has potential implications for some uk history.

    my sympathy to the family of the unfortunate dead lad,if it is correct that he was very clean when found that seems at odds with a long journey,a wander around london and a fatal fall into the euston underpass.
    tis probably good that the police have a full cold case reinvestigation of how he came to meet his sad end.

  5. Owen

    Thanks for posting that.

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