27 years after his mystery death - who was the Clifton Suspension Bridge Man

A number of items were found in the man’s possession including a Holy Bible and a cardboard sign with a handwritten message saying ‘Sleeping rough, thank you’

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A last-ditch attempt to identify a mystery man who died after falling from the Clifton Suspension Bridge is underway as a group of volunteer cold-case detectives try to crack the case.

Dubbed the case of the ‘Clifton Suspension Bridge Man’, the body of a man was discovered on the bank of the River Avon on Sunday, May 19, 1996. Several public appeals to identify the man were launched in the subsequent years but to no avail. The man was found with a few distinctive items with him; a Holy Bible, a cardboard sign with a handwritten message saying ‘Sleeping rough, thank you’, a red penny whistle, a copy of Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’, a satire dating to the early 16th Century – it was missing an outer cover and had the words ‘West Glamorgan County Council’ on the first page, a paperback copy of ‘The Greatest Batman Stories’, a Great Britain A-Z map, a Eurohike Adventure guide map, Silk Cut cigarettes, a blank Barclays giro slip.

He was also carrying another possibly significant clue: a passport-sized photo of himself as a young man. The man’s appearance had changed since the photo was taken: at the time of his death he had light brown hair.

He was white, of medium build and was thought to be aged between 25 and 35 years old. He was approximately 6ft (185cm) tall, with blue eyes. He wore a black sweatshirt and jacket, blue ‘Lee Riders’ jeans and brown boots.

“We believe he must have been visiting somewhere or travelling around,” said Dave Grimstead, Locate International’s CEO and co-founder.

“So we’re confident someone, somewhere must have interacted with him, or remembered him. That might have been in the Bristol area or anywhere else in the UK. Ask yourself if this is someone you encountered – maybe on the street, busking with a penny whistle, or while travelling around the country.

“He could well have been an interesting and memorable man to talk to, with a range of interests, so someone out there must remember meeting him.”

The latest e-fit of the man.The latest e-fit of the man.
The latest e-fit of the man.

If you have any information, contact Locate International by emailing appeal[email protected], by calling 0300 102 1011 or by visiting https://locate.international/clifton-suspension-bridge-man-appeal-2023/