It’d be nice to think that gangsters aren’t as bad as they make them out on TV and movies, right? But in this shocking case from London in the UK, one total sicko and his two equally messed up buddies would do the worst thing imaginable and all just to get some easy money. In mid-February 2003, Neil Cohan, also known as Amaya, was a happily married and very successful London businessman in the freight trade. He had two sons with his wife Nancy, and they lived in a nice home with their grandma, who helped to take care of their little family. Neil Cohan was a good boss, too. He ran a successful and very busy freight company, and his workers honestly seemed to like him.
A lot of running the company was a relaxed, happy guy. Lucky attitude.
However, Neil was thinking about returning to India and regularly discussed it with his wife, Nancy. Then on Thursday morning, right before Valentine’s Day, he drove off to meet some investors at a place near Stonehenge.
I’m going off to do a deal and sell the company, he said. Then I’ll let you know. And that was the last time I saw him.
Nobody thought much more about it until Monday morning. The freight workers got a huge shock when they learned they had a new boss and Neil had left for India with his wife and family. At least that’s how it seems they got to work. And nobody even questioned the change. At least not at first. Nancy’s brother lived in New Zealand. Despite that, he was looking forward to seeing them all again soon.
I was very excited because I was going to see Nancy after nine years and it was like a family reunion. After a long time.
He used to talk to them every day, but by February 16, he just couldn’t get a hold of his sister or his mom. And that made him worried.
I thought something was not right.
He contacted the police and the authorities checked the house. No one answered the door, and neighbors all thought that they’d left for India. But Oscar wasn’t convinced, so he flew to the UK to investigate it himself. At the family home in Holmeslow, he found a lot of worrying stuff.
I entered the house. I could see the kids twice on the floor. The baby feed bottles, all the baby feed, and the clothes. They were still in the house. They opened the fridge. There was uncooked food inside.
Of course, he was freaked out. I mean, who just leaves all that if they’re leaving the country forever? Even worse, he found his mom’s prayer book. She would never have left that behind as she took it with her everywhere she went. So three adults and two babies were missing without a trace. It wasn’t hard for an encore to get the police involved, and the last person Neil had been in contact with was an ex Con named Kenneth Reagan. But who was this Kenneth guy? Kenneth Reagan was a bit of a character. And that’s me being super nice about him.
He was a bit rough, I think. Not well educated, dressed well, nice watch. Spent a lot of money. He was kind of like a rich, wide boy.
Now, a wide boy is someone who’s a bit of a player. And Kenneth liked the good life so much, he was known as Captain Cash. He liked to show off. His briefcase is full of money. All legit. Of course, when his freight business came crashing down, thanks to a lot of narrow trading, the police brought him in. He made a deal with the cops that lowered his prison sentence from 20 to just four years. But when he was free again, he had no friends on the outside. Well, turning snitch will do that. Even worse, all his money from his illegal dealing had been seized by the authorities. He was broke with no way out. When he got tired of living with his dad in a tiny bungalow, he began to take a major interest in Angel Kohan’s freight business. When the cops talk to Kenneth about their meeting, he made it sound like Cohan was running away from a big illegal mess of his own. So that was why he’d disappeared. But the police were suspicious about that, too. It just didn’t add up.
The police pinged two cell phones to get Cohan and Kenneth’s location. On the day he disappeared, they tracked Neil from Hounslow London to Wilton in Salisbury. They met here. Then the two phones were tracked further south into Extra and down to Devon, where a woman named Belinda Brewin lived. And she had a pretty important role to play in this mystery. Belinda Brewin had kind of been stalked by Kenneth right before he went to jail for four years. And she’d never been far from his thoughts while he was locked away. When he got out, he offered her a job. Although she had her doubts, she’d fallen on relatively hard times and had very reluctantly started to work for him. She set up an office at his freight business that used to be owned by Neil Cohen. On her very first day, she fell ill and decided to go home early. So she drove back to Devon. When she got back, she saw something unexpected on her land.
When I pulled into the drive, I couldn’t believe it. There was this old beaten-up Jaguar. And I thought, what on Earth is going on here? And I saw these two guys in my field with a digger.
These two weirdos were a guy called William Hornsey and our old pal Ken Reagan. They claimed that they were digging Belinda a drainage ditch, but Belinda was furious that they were invading her land like this. They eventually left and she didn’t think about it again. Not until the police got in touch with her and wanted to visit her at her house. Kenneth acted very strangely when he learned the police were interested in her. But then the cops called off the meeting. They traced another lead to Newport in Wales. When the cops went to investigate where they thought Kenneth and Cohen had made up, Belinda got even more visitors. This time Kenneth and his buddy were joined by another guy, Peter Reese. They were adding gravel to another area near the house. This area did need some attention. Belinda agreed. As far as Belinda knew, they did what they said they would and left again. Although not before telling her to the cops that he’d been there because of her water system. That sounded super strange to her. And it was only a short time later that the police got back in touch with her.
And this time they wanted to ask her a lot more questions. But would she protect Kenneth and lie to them about what he’d been up to? Despite what Belinda was told by lovely Kenneth, she wasn’t crazy enough to lie for him.
And they said well what was he doing? And I said he dug a drainage ditch and the two of them looked at each other and said he did what?
So the police began to dig up anywhere on the farm where something or someone could have been buried. They used every forensic tool they had. It was CSI UK. They spent five days in that field looking for the missing family but nothing turned up. The police had no idea where to look next. At that point finding the family looked hopeless. But everything would change horribly. In April 2003, David and Carl Chapman were enjoying a warm evening out on the water. In April 2003. The sea was calm and they decided to take their canoes out a lot further than they normally would. After a short while, I noticed the floating in the sea and they found something from a nightmare.
As we were sort of just canoeing around looking about I had noticed something that I just totally discarded.
It wasn’t until he sort of shouted body at me. I was like what?
It was clear what it was. When they got nearer and could see the feet and upper body floating face down. David sent his son home and stayed with the body until the police arrived in the dark for nearly 3 hours.
He does get a bit unnerving. You can’t ignore a body unless you find a body stays there. I’m going to still see the body floating.
Kudos to David for hanging around like that. But his effort meant that the police and the Kohan family had a chance at getting some justice. The autopsy showed that Mr. Cohen had been tied up with plastic tape. And that is so awful. They also looked for proof of where they had been kept. So the cops headed right back to, you guessed it, Belinda’s muddy field.
And we recovered some substantial evidence from that dig side, namely hairs from their burnt clothing jewelry. Those hairs were subsequently identified as Mr. Chohan.
With Anniel Kohan located another. The even worse realization was starting to hit. The workers at his freight factory.
Put it best we knew what happened to Anil. But then our concerns drifted towards Nancy and the kids and the mother.