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Who killed Daniel Morgan? Murder in the Car Park looks at suspects in his death

Morgan died in a car park killing in 1987.

murder in the carpark

Channel 4 are continuing with their true crime documentaries with Murder in the Car Park.


Throughout the course of three nights, we’ll learn about the complex case and true story of Daniel Morgan, who died in 1987.

The private investigator was killed in a car park of the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, south London. He was found with an axe embedded in his skull.

What happened to Daniel Morgan?

It’s currently unknown why Daniel Morgan was killed on 10th March 1987.

When his body was discovered, the PI had £1,000 in his pocket, ruling out the possible robbery motive.

According to the Channel 4 documentary, Daniel – who co-owned a detective agency in South London called Southern Investigations – was looking into London drug networks as well as potential police corruption.

Many believe this was the reason for his murder, however, nothing has ever been confirmed.

At the time, six men, including his business partner Jonathan Rees, were arrested for the murder, but they were later released.

The murder is still unresolved and has reportedly cost around £30 million in investigations. Morgan left behind a wife and two children.

murder in the car park
Daniel Morgan with brother Alastair (Channel 4)

Timeline of Daniel Morgan’s murder

10th March 1987 – Daniel Morgan goes for a drink with his Southern Investigations partner, Jonathan Rees, at the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham. He is killed on the same night and found in the pub’s car park with an axe in the back of his head.

April 1987 – Six men are arrested on suspicion of his murder. All six are released without charge.

1988 – Southern Investigations staff are asked to give evidence at an inquest into Morgan’s death. An accountant close to Morgan, Kevin Lennon, suggests Morgan and Rees’ relationship deteriorated.

July 1988 – The Police Complaints Authority announces they will launch an inquiry into the handling of the case as well as the murder. Hampshire police take on the case.

February 1989 – Three men, including Rees, are arrested on suspicion of murder. Rees and another man are charged.

May 1989 – The charges against Rees and the other man are dropped. They both sue the force. At the same time, Sid Fillery leaves the Met and joins Rees at Southern Investigations.

November 1997 – Sir Paul Condon – the Met’s commissioner at the time – reviews the case.

1998 – A third police inquiry takes place. Anti-corruption officers bug Southern Investigations and the following year, they arrest Rees when they overhear his plan to plant cocaine on an innocent woman during a custody battle.

Murder In The Car Park
Murder In The Car Park reconstruction (CHANNEL 4)

2000 – Rees is convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He receives a seven-year sentence.

2002 – The fourth police inquiry takes place. Bugs are planted in in and around suspects but the Crown Prosecution does not take action.

2005 – A secret fifth police inquiry takes place. The Met’s commissioner at the time says the first inquiry with Fillery was “compromised”.

2006 – Bugs are planted at Glenn Vian‘s home.

April 2008 – Rees, Glenn Vian, Garry Vian and a builder named James Cook are arrested on the suspicion of murder. Fillery is also arrested, on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

October 2009 – The trial of the four men arrested on suspicion of murder starts at The Old Bailey.

February 2010 – The judge dismisses a key supergrass (a police informer who implicates a large number of people) witness.

November 2010 – A second supergrass is dismissed. James Cook is discharged.

January 2011 – A third supergrass is dismissed.

March 2011 – The Director of Public Prosecutions abandons the case. Rees and the Vian brothers are acquitted – Fillery’s case is also dropped.

May 2013 – The Home Office announces it will hold an independent inquiry.

October 2014 – Rees, the Vian brothers, Sid Fillery and James Cook launch a £4million lawsuit against the Met. Rees and the Vian brothers lost their claim initially, but Fillery is awarded £25,000 in interim damages, with more promised later.

May 2016 – Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder podcast is released. It tops the UK iTunes podcast chart.

2018 – Rees and the Vians appeal and the following year, they are awarded £414,000 after winning their case against the Met.

murder carpark
Reconstruction (Channel 4)

Is there a podcast about Daniel Morgan’s murder?

If you’ve been gripped by the case of Daniel Morgan’s murder, you are not alone. In May 2016, a podcast about the investigations and the unusual true story topped the iTunes charts, called Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder.

What to read next?

Alastair Morgan penned a book on his brother’s death along with Peter Jukes. It’s called Who Killed Daniel Morgan? Britain’s Most Investigated Murder and can be found on Amazon.

When is Murder in the Car Park on TV?

The three part series begins on Channel 4 on Monday 15th June at 9pm. Actor Matthew Batte stars as Daniel Morgan in the dramatic reconstructions.

Murder in the Car Park starts Monday 15th June at 9pm. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.


Read more about Daniel Morgan’s murder with Who Killed Daniel Morgan? available on Amazon now.