Beds, Herts & Bucks

John Sheppard: Aylesbury bookmaker's killer 'cannot be sleeping well'

John Sheppard Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption John Sheppard, pictured alongside his wife Mary, was murdered at the betting shop he managed

The daughter of a bookmaker murdered 25 years ago in a "horrific" attack has said she does not believe his killer can be "sleeping well at night".

John Sheppard, 66, was stabbed more than 40 times at the John Horwood betting shop in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on 3 December 1994.

The case remains unsolved and a £20,000 reward for a conviction is available.

His daughter, Emma Meir, said the family were desperate to find the killer.

No-one has ever been charged with the murder.

Mr Sheppard, from Leighton Buzzard, was the manager of the store and had a call to another branch at about 17:15 GMT.

Police believed after that call he was robbed, hit on the head with a hammer and repeatedly stabbed.

His body was found at 18:30 GMT when he failed to meet a friend as planned.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption The John Horwood betting shop where John Sheppard was manager

Ms Meir, who had moved to Australia the year before her father was killed, said when she was first told of his murder she was in "disbelief".

She said for a while she had to take care of her mother Mary, Mr Sheppard's wife, and "wasn't able to deal with my own grief for quite a while because I guess I was numb with it all and I really had to be there with my mum".

Mrs Sheppard has since also moved to Australia and her daughter said: "She tells the same stories about him that I've heard 100 times but they're still amazing to hear. His memory still lives on."

Ms Meir said the family "still need clarity" over why Mr Sheppard was murdered.

"I can't believe that this person will be sleeping well at night, knowing what they have done," she said.

"Somebody needs to have the courage to come forward to be able to put this person to justice for the horrific attack they actually did on my father.

"It's inhumane. It's something that needs to be closed."

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Mary Sheppard had moved to Cairns in Australia and is pictured with her grandson, Akira, and granddaughter, Mala

Peter Beirne, Thames Valley Police's cold case manager, said the force had a DNA profile which "could be used to either implicate or eliminate people".

"John's family have waited a quarter of a century for answers about their love-one's murder," he said. "It is time for the truth to be revealed and it's time for justice for John."

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