Thursday, October 21, 1999 Published at 23:43 GMT 00:43 UK
Mystery man 'professionally cut up'
A mystery man, whose dismembered remains were washed up on the foreshore of the River Thames in London, had been "professionally cut up", an inquest has heard.
Posters have been put up all over the capital, using a portrait of the victim which was made in clay by a facial reconstruction expert.
The deceased's torso has never been found, Southwark Coroners Court was told.
But from a detailed forensic examination of the head, experts deduced that he had been beaten about the head and strangled.
The mystery began on 14 December when a passer-by noticed a number of body parts which had washed up on the foreshore close to the Pepys estate in Deptford, south-east London.
South London link
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Shirley told the inquest that police had conducted experiments using pieces of dead pig to work out how the remains ended up at Deptford.
They concluded that the killer or killers had thrown the body parts into the Thames from somewhere on the south side of the river.
DCI Shirley said the body had probably been in the water for no longer than 36 hours.
He said the remains were those of a man who was five feet, two inches tall, and probably of Balkan extraction.
Computer reconstructions of his likely appearance have been sent to police forces in a number of eastern Mediterranean countries but so far there has been no clue about his identity.
'Evidence of strangulation'
Appeals for witnesses which were broadcasted on BBC's Crimewatch UK had also proved in vain, but the murder inquiry continues.
Pathologist Dr Paula Lannas said an examination of the head had revealed skull fractures and "evidence of strangulation".
The coroner, Selina Lynch, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing by person or persons unknown.
Police are offering a reward of £5,000 for information leading to the identification of the dead man and the subsequent arrest and conviction of his killer or killers.
Anyone with information about the murder should contact the incident room on 0181 284 9777 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, which promises complete confidentiality.