Leeds unsolved murders: Masked attackers who killed John Luper and stole £100,000 remain at large

It was 19 years ago that Leeds businessman John Luper was targeted by a group of masked attackers as he walked his dog.

The group of four or five men – and possibly a woman – ambushed him near his neighbour’s driveway and dragged him back to his home in Sandmoor Drive, Alwoodley, at around 11.30pm on February 16, 2004. His wife, daughter and the family’s au pair had been tied up and found Mr Luper unconscious in another room when they later freed themselves.

Despite attempts to resuscitate him, Mr Luper was pronounced dead at the scene in the early hours of February 17. A post-mortem examination found he died due to asphyxiation.

The case is among a series of unsolved murders in Leeds, including those of 20-year-old Deborah Hall, young dad Adam Chadwick and pensioner Leonard Farrar. It is also one of the ‘cold’ cases taken on by West Yorkshire Police’s Major Investigation Review Team with the aim of unearthing new leads.

Speaking in 2017 when the specialist team announced a review of all the evidence, Mr Luper’s brother, Toby, said: “You read in the media, all the time, that old criminal cases are regularly solved by technical advances being made in the field of DNA and I am confident that one day John’s murderers will be brought to justice through this method too.”

While forensic examination of existing evidence was said to be a key focus, both the police and Mr Luper’s family have regularly urged anyone with information to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Here we take a look at key details in the case.