THE file on the murder of Rushden pensioner Percy Francis will never be closed until his killer or killers are caught, the man leading the hunt has vowed.
And today, the anniversary of 70-year-old Mr Francis's murder, almost 30 officers were trying to jog memories of local people in street interviews designed to crack the 12-month old mvstery.
The intensification of the campaign included dozens of posters being put up around the town and an incident vehicle parked outside the Upper Park Avenue bungalow where Mr Francis's stabbed and battered body was found on Tuesday, August 2 last year. He had died the day before.
Det Supt David Johnson, in charge of the investigation, said: "The fact that the inquest on Mr Francis has not been concluded in itself is an indication the investigation is still very much alive. Information is still coming in and there was an upsurge in interest from the public about four or five months ago."
Mysterious aspects of homosexual Mr Francis's death include the fact there was no sign of a break-in at his home, no sign of any money being stolen and the fact someone had been to visit him and cut his hair sometime during the two days previous to his death.
The hair cutting could be connected with a man or youth named Mac who is known to have been a visitor to the bungalow, but who has never been traced.
Although 200 known visitors to the bungalow have been interviewed, Mr Johnson says he knows there are still others who have yet to be found.
He added: "One thing we may find this time is people who were visiting relatives in the area last year and who have not been back since. It may well be that such people don't even know a murder has been committed.
"It seems that whoever did this was in Mr Francis's home with his knowledge and approval."