When Andrew Cunningham, 53, was found dead in his caravan in Earlsfield on 10 December 2008 police were shocked by the brutality of the slaying, in the otherwise quiet South London suburb.
The father of five had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck and chest, and his genitals savagely mutilated, before he was left to die, naked in a pool of his own blood, laid out on the bed of the modest motor home, parked near the haulage firm where Cunningham worked as a driver.
Attacker Stole Cash From Pedophile As He Lay Dying
Despite the savagery of the crime, there was no evidence of forced entry and police believe Andrew Cunningham may well have known his killer. £6,000 cash had been stolen during the attack, and the authorities were confident that given the nature of the crime and the large quantity of forensic evidence gathered at the scene, that they would quickly be able to trace the offender with public support.
But what police hadn’t reckoned with was that there were plenty of otherwise law-abiding people who didn’t want this crime to solved.
Despite taking over 500 witness statements and the offer of a £20,000 reward, in 2018 police are no nearer to knowing who killed Andrew Cunningham than they were in 2008.
Murder Victim Had Sex With 15-Year-Old Girl
In 2001 Andrew Cunningham was jailed for engaging in unlawful sexual acts with a fifteen-year-old girl. He had been required to register as a sex offender until March of 2008, and was unpopular locally as a result of persistent rumors that he was still targeting young girls for sex.
Cunningham was was questioned by police in 2003 about allegations that he was grooming youngsters, but no further charges were ever brought.
But in the days before his murder, Andrew Cunningham was seen by neighbors bringing young teens to his caravan.
Detective Inspector Alison Hepworth, who lead the investigation into the 2008 murder, told press at the time: ‘We know he had girls in his caravan. Three girls were present on the Monday of that week, the 8th December, at about 4.30pm.
‘He was seen with the girls in his caravan, young girls about 13 or 14, this was the day before he died, he had been entertaining the girls in his caravan.’
In their interviews with police the schoolgirls told investigators that Andrew Cunningham would often invite them into his caravan, where he would ply the youngsters with alcohol. However, they denied that any of them had ever engaged in a sexual relationship with the dead man.
Only Sister Mourns Murdered Pedophile Andrew Cunningham
Despite appeals from Andrew Cunningham’s sister and an attempt by police to revive public interest in the case in 2014, no-one has ever been charged with the brutal slaying. Even Cunningham’s own daughter reportedly told journalists she wishes she could spit on her father’s grave.
As one local at the Corner Pin pub, just meters from the site of the 2008 murder, put it at the time; “[Andrew Cunningham] was a nonce. Everybody around here knew it. I suppose there were some who felt he had it coming.”