Police Hope New Review Will Solve Taxi Driver’s Murder

Jack Armstrong was brutally murdered in a hammer attack in 1979, and evidence kept in storage could hold the key to solving the crime.

Verity Partington


Jack Armstrong, murdered in 1979 (Image: South Wales Police)

Police in South Wales are hoping to use modern forensic techniques to solve a murder that has haunted the city of Cardiff for more than 40 years.

John ‘Jack’ Armstrong was a 58-year-old taxi driver on October 5th 1979 when he answered a call to pick up a fare in the Fairwater area from a man calling himself Mr Williams.

The man had called the dispatcher at Castle Cabs and requested a lift from Fairwater to Cowbridge. Jack responded to the call and radioed to say he had successfully collected the passenger at around 1:30 PM.

However, that was the last anyone heard of Jack and he failed to return home that evening. Meanwhile, a resident from the village of Treoes nearly 20 miles away had called police to report an abandoned car at the side of the road.

That car was Jack’s taxi, a metallic bronze Colt Sigma 1600cc — and there was blood inside it.

Worried by now, South Wales Police began an extensive search for Jack and appealed to the public for help. On October 8th 1979, his body was discovered on common land around five miles away from where the taxi had been abandoned.

Jack had suffered extensive head injuries and it was the opinion of the pathologist that he had been killed with a hammer, although this was never located. Police surmised that he had been attacked inside his own taxi before being dragged out.

Although it looked as though £20 had been stolen and robbery was therefore perhaps a motive, the extent of the violence seemed excessive if that were indeed the case.

Hundreds of people were interviewed as part of the murder inquiry and eyewitnesses said they had seen a man of around 20 cleaning the inside of a car that matched the description of Jack’s taxi.

Another witness said he had seen the taxi being driven towards a dead end, but had thought nothing of it at the time and assumed the driver knew where he was going.



Verity Partington

A writer and author of crime thrillers living in the UK. Partial to books, stationery, papercrafts and walking. You can find her books on Amazon here: https://a