Family hope Line of Duty plot could help crack real life pub car park axe murder

A Line Of Duty plot could help crack an infamous murder after more than 30 years, the victim’s family hope.

Private investigator Daniel Morgan, 37, is believed to have been probing police corruption when he was killed with an axe in a pub car park in 1987.

In last Sunday’s episode of the BBC crime drama, his real-life case was referenced in a storyline about the killing of a fictional journalist.

TV officers Det Insp Steve Arnott and Det Con Chloe Bishop learn the ­victim in their case, Gail Vella, planned to expose police corruption in a new podcast, inspired by one based on the murder of dad-of-two Daniel.

Daniel’s brother Alastair, who hosted the real-life podcast, said: “It’s good Daniel’s murder is being kept in the public eye, even if it’s bizarre it takes a fictional TV series to do it.

“There are parallels between the killings of Daniel and of the fictional journalist – the issues around police corruption are particularly salient.”

Alastair, 72, added: “It would be fantastic if Line of Duty inspired a witness to come forward, or someone to break ranks and tell the truth.”

Former Metro­politan Police detective superintendent David Zinzan – currently a script adviser on Line of Duty – took on Daniel’s murder as a cold case from 2001 to 2003.

David, 59, who retired in 2013, told us: “Any publicity that may lead to someone coming forward has to be a good thing.

“Somebody out there will know someone who was involved. I hope new evidence will emerge.”

Despite five probes into Daniel’s death, there have been no convictions. Three men were charged in 2008 but the case was stopped three years later and not guilty verdicts entered.

The trio won payouts of more than £100,000 for malicious prosecution.

An independent inquiry ordered in 2013 by then-Home Secretary Ther­esa May is due to report next month.