What Information Was in Daniel Morgan’s Notes Providing Motive to Kill?

On March 10, 1987 Daniel Morgan and Jonathan Rees, business partners with Southern Investigations, met for a beer at the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, in a southeast district of London. After meeting with Rees, with two packets of crisps in hand for his children, someone killed the private investigator right there in the parking lot of the Golden Lion. The means of death, apparently, four blows with a Chinese-made axe, by a very strong assailant.

But why, you might ask, am I dwelling on a 24 year old homicide that occurred in London, England? To start with, I watched CNN reporter Atika Shubert’s feature on Daniel Morgan’s case this morning, and realized this shady event from 1987 ties in with the News of the World ‘hacking scandal’ that boiled to the surface, earlier this year. One can go back to that time and trace a continuous stream (no breaks whatsoever) of corruption, intrigue, and even murder most foul!

daniel morgan golden lion pub

Its one rocky road you’ll travel if you dare to follow the rickety path of investigations and murky news stream regarding Daniel Morgan’s case, where he seems to have uncovered some touchy information that someone didn’t want him to expose. And I must add, attempting to understand how the English judicial system works (or its dysfunction) is an arduous task for a bumpkin such as I, fairing from the rowdy Heartland of Texas!

What I mean, I think, is it appears to be very hard to get a conviction that will stick in court. Thus, the main suspects (Sid Fillery, Jonathan Rees, Glen Vian, Garry Vian and two other Metropolitan police officers) are still walking around free. To avoid confusion, you may want to keep a timeline of developments handy. The Guardian published such a timeline on March 11, 2011, (Daniel Morgan axe murder case: timeline), which I’ll link for your convenience at the end of my piece.

daniel morgan

My primary source for the suspicious circumstances surrounding Daniel Morgan’s actual death is a Sun article (Detective held over axe murder), dated April 21, 2008. Surely I’ll link this one for you also. There are more specific details in The Sun piece that are anchored in the provenance of continual intrigue and corruption (from 1987-2011), where the Metropolitan police are paid off by the press and, maybe, by drug dealers as well.

For example, we learn in the article that Glen Vian may have been the strongman who wielded the axe in the backlot of a quaint, cozy little London pub. One contradictory item I just noticed, when looking at a different source (the Wikipedia entry for Daniel Morgan), is that this source says his Rolex watch had been stolen, while The Sun article says it had not been stolen.

This is a fairly large discrepancy, but I’m going to favor what The Sun said, until I can find a third, possibly more reliable source. We know that Daniel had 1,170 pounds on him still, so robbery can be ruled out as the motive. It’s the notes the killers needed, not the watch or the money. Oh, many of Morgan’s vital files were missing from his workplace at Southern Investigations. Wonder who took them?

Detective held over axe murder | The Sun |News

Daniel Morgan axe murder case: timeline | UK news | The Guardian