This week marks 57 years since the dismembered body of a teenager was discovered in two suitcases in a field in Tattingstone – a murder which remains unsolved to this day. 

Suffolk found itself at the heart of a national murder inquiry in 1967, when a horrified farm worker came across the two suitcases on January 16.

Inside, the body of a young man had been carved into eight pieces. 

Unable to identify the victim, the police took the unusual step in sharing a photograph of the young man’s face with the media, hoping that someone might come forward. 

For newspaper editors up and down the country, this presented an ethical dilemma as to what to do.

Former Evening Star editor Tony Pyatt, who died in 2022 aged 105, would later recall the decision to publish the photo as one of the most difficult of his career. 

Ipswich Star: Headlines from the Evening Star newspaper in 1967.Headlines from the Evening Star newspaper in 1967. (Image: Archant)

The appeal worked, and the family of Bernard Oliver contacted the police. 

Bernard was 17 when he disappeared from Muswell Hill, North London on January 6, 1967. 

His brother, Chris Oliver, learned of his elder brother’s death from seeing his photograph in a newspaper as he was getting on a bus, aged 15. 

Mr Oliver remembered that day to the East Anglian Daily Times for the 50th anniversary of his brother's death in 2017. 

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. 

“How do you feel when you are reading something like that? When his body has been found in a suitcase.” 

His brother was, he said, a very gentle and friendly person. 

Ipswich Star: 1967 picture of the scene of the Tattingstone suitcase murder of Bernard Oliver.1967 picture of the scene of the Tattingstone suitcase murder of Bernard Oliver.

Despite numerous appeals for information, this case has remained unsolved since 1967 

There were two main suspects, both doctors who had worked in London but later moved to Australia.  

Dr John Byles, a former ship’s surgeon, was found dead in his hotel room in 1975 at the age of 38. He had booked into the hotel under than name of John Matthews. 

At the time of his death he was wanted for extradition to England as he was said to be part of the Holy Trinity paedophile ring, a case revolving around a church in Huddersfield. 

Three notes were found beside Byles’ body in the Australian hotel room which were addressed to Scotland Yard, his family and to another doctor – believed to be Dr Martin Reddington.

The note to Scotland Yard threw no light on the Tattingstone murder. 

Ipswich Star: Superintendent Tom Tarling pictured in 1992 at the scene.Superintendent Tom Tarling pictured in 1992 at the scene.

In February 1977, Colchester-born Dr Martin Reddington was charged at the Central Court in Sydney with committing an indecent assault on a male. 

Reddington had previously had a surgery in Muswell Hill. The premises were in the direction of the street Bernard Oliver was last seen walking down. 

Two years before Bernard Oliver's murder, an arrest warrant was issued for Dr Reddington on charges of buggery and indecent assault on males in 1965. 

Before he could be caught, he fled to South Africa, but apparently made a number of return visits to the UK. 

Reddington is believed to have died aged 63 in Surrey in 1995. 

A spokesperson for Suffolk police said: “The Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Unsolved Case Team routinely review unsolved major crimes from both counties, but as the years pass the opportunities to progress cases such as this become more limited. 

“However, as with all unsolved murders the inquiry remains open pending any new information coming to light. 

“For each victim, there are family and friends who continue to grieve and who require closure. It is never too late for people to come forward with any information they think may help this inquiry.” 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Unsolved Case Team on 01953 423819, or by emailing 

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: