Gardaí launch fresh appeal in Cork murder case

Gardaí launch fresh appeal in Cork murder case

Gus Hornibrook, murdered in Cork in 2007.

A FRESH garda appeal for information on the unsolved murder of pensioner Gussie Hornibrook is being made to mark the 13th anniversary of his death.

A tie found at the scene of the 73-year-old’s murder is seen as one of the vital clues in the murder.

During their investigations at the house, gardaí found a Profumo tie which they believe is linked to the murderer or murderers. Gardaí established that very few of the ties had been sold in Cork and had hoped releasing a photograph of it would jolt people’s memories.

It was navy and blue and believed not to be Gussie’s. Its origin remains a mystery.

A review of the killing by the Garda Cold Case Unit in 2011 failed to solve the mystery of who killed the pensioner.

A garda spokesman said a fresh appeal for information is now being made in a bid to progress the investigation, which remains open.

Mr Hornibrook was found dead in his home on Templeacre Avenue in Gurranabraher after midday on November 6, 2007 by his brother Robert.

During their investigations at the house, gardaí found a Profumo tie which they believe is linked to the murderer or murderers. Gardaí established that very few of the ties had been sold in Cork and had hoped releasing a photograph of it would jolt people’s memories
During their investigations at the house, gardaí found a Profumo tie which they believe is linked to the murderer or murderers. Gardaí established that very few of the ties had been sold in Cork and had hoped releasing a photograph of it would jolt people’s memories

It is believed he had been killed some hours earlier, late on November 5. Nobody has ever been questioned or charged in relation to the murder.

There was no sign of a forced entry at the home but Mr Hornibrook had always left his door unlocked. There was also no sign of robbery and sums of cash were found in the house after the killing.

However, an inquest into his death heard Gussie’s hands had been bound to his sides by two neck-ties, which were then wrapped around his flexed knees.

He had cuts to both sides of his face, blood on his hands, and several rib fractures.

Gardaí are hoping that the passing of years will mean that changed friendships and loyalties will result in members of the public coming forward with fresh information. His body was found in a downstairs room the day after he was killed.

He was last seen at 9.30pm at his home, minutes after leaving Singleton’s shop on Gurranabraher Road. He had also visited a local chipper that evening — which was his daily custom. He was regularly seen feeding birds in the area and was often seen walking along the local roads at all times of the day.

Footage of him in Singleton’s shop, along with a reconstruction of his last known movements, were aired on CrimeCall on RTÉ in November 2012.

Up to a dozen calls were received after the programme was aired but nothing resulted from the appeal.

Gardaí believe there are people who know what happened to him but who were afraid to come forward.

Gardaí feel that one man has vital information which could progress the investigation. The man rang Gurranabraher Garda Station on November 7, 2017, at 9.55am and spoke to Detective Garda Derek Mulcahy for five-and-a-half minutes.

The anonymous man ended the call by promising to make contact with an update later that day. He has not come forward since, despite numerous appeals by gardaí and members of Mr Hornibrook’s family.

Attempts to trace him from the call have failed.

An inquest, which was concluded in September 2014, heard Mr Hornibrook died from a combination of blunt force trauma to the chest and neck, and restraint asphyxia, in association with severe heart disease.

The conclusion of the inquest came just months after the death of his brother Robert, who had found Gussie’s body.

In his statement read to the Coroner’s Court, Robert said he had noticed the lights were off when he went to the house, which he said was unusual. He said he had asked Gussie to get up but when there was no movement from his brother, he ran to his daughter’s house to raise the alarm.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gurranabraher gardaí on 021-4946200 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.

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