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£20,000 reward offered for information on 1972 murder of Holocaust survivor in Bayswater hotel room

The Holocaust survivor's body was found by a chambermaid in a hotel room

A reward has been offered for information on a murder in a Bayswater hotel room 45 years ago.

Holocaust survivor Emmy Werner's body was found in a room at the Queen's Hotel in Inverness Terrace, by a chambermaid on September 17 1972.

The 68-year-old had been strangled and suffered several other serious injuries, suggesting she had awoken and disturbed her attacker, the police said.

A trial at the Old Bailey in 1973 acquitted a 16-year-old boy who was charged with her murder.

The the Met's Special Casework Investigation Team are taking a fresh look at the case, with the support of the family and up to £20,000 reward for information about the murder.

Emmy was murdered in her hotel room at the Queens Hotel in Bayswater, where her body was discovered by a chambermaid(Image: PA)

Emmy had grown up in Czechoslovakia where she lived with her husband Albert, a dentist, and her daughter Hedy.

The family were put in the Theresienstadt concentration camp near Prague in 1942.

Albert was taken to Auschwitz in 1944 and then later Kaufering where he was killed in February 1945, just months before the Second World War ended.

Emmy and Heda were liberated in 1945 and came to London in September 1946, eventually settling in Finchley.

As a result of her tortuous experiences during the war, Emmy suffered mental ill-health and lived with her mother until her death in 1966.

Emmy Werner aged 34. The Holocaust survivor's family has made a fresh appeal for information about her murder(Image: PA)

Emmy then moved to a residential care home in Finchley but would stay at the Queen's Hotel in Bayswater when visiting her sister in central London.

Having been to Vaudevill Theatre in The Strand, Emmy returned to her hotel room on September 16 1972 at around 8.30pm.

Emmy was known to carry around cash in her handbag and it is thought a thief slipped into her room in the early hours of September 17 to steal the money but was disturbed when Emmy awoke, leading to the fatal attack.

Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, of the Met's Special Casework Investigation Team at the Homicide and Major Command, said: "Although many years have now passed since Emmy's death it remains particularly difficult for her family that she survived the horrors of the Holocaust yet died in such brutal circumstances.

"Emmy was 68 years old and was physically and mentally vulnerable due to her past.

Emmy Werner suffered from mental ill-health and lived at a residential facility in Finchley(Image: PA)

"The hotel served a mixture of guests and employed a number of staff who were spoken to by police at the time.

"However, with the passage of time, it is possible that the events of that night have since been discussed and there is information that could be really useful to our inquiry.

"Or maybe someone who was scared to speak to officers at the time might now feel able to come forward.

"Did you stay or work at the hotel or in the area of Inverness Terrace W2 in the early 1970s?

"Has anyone told you anything in confidence that you feel you should now disclose to police?

"We would also be interested in speaking to the friends - one from the hotel and an Italian woman - who Emmy went to the theatre with that night in case they have any useful information.

A reward of up to £20,000 has been offered for information that could help some Emmy's murder(Image: PA)

"We would ask anyone who can help to please contact us in confidence.

"Even if you think what you know is insignificant, we would ask that you come forward and let us assess what you tell us."

Emmy's granddaughter Carolyn Franks, 58, said: "My grandmother was a vulnerable woman and no one should have to die like she did, especially after the trauma she had already endured.

"The effect on her close family continues to be a source of great sadness to us and we feel whoever killed her should be held to account."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 020 7230 4294 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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