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Police review death of Adelaide accountant

19 Jun 2017 7:00pm

SA Police have released further details about the unsolved 1988 murder of Adelaide accountant Samuel Hayward as part of an ongoing cold case campaign called Operation Persist.

Police say new technology has enabled more forensic material to be gathered in relation to the active investigation.

“Advances in technology have provided police with new forensic material that is now being examined,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Shane Przibilla, a criminal investigator with the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch, said.

Further information about a man seen in company with Mr Hayward on the night of his murder has also been released as police seek assistance from the community to further the inquiry.

Mr Hayward’s death was caused by a series of violent blows to his head with a dumbbell, which was found next to his body.

The 46-year-old who lived alone and was not in a relationship at the time of his death, was found in his Kingston Park unit on Tuesday, 22 November 1988.

Expert medical opinion suggests that he was killed two days earlier either on the evening of Saturday 19 November or on Sunday, 20 November.

On Saturday, police understand Mr Hayward had lunch with a man and then returned to his home with him.

His companion is described as being a short, well-presented, dark haired Caucasian man in his mid to late twenties at the time, so he would now be in his late 50s. It is understood he spoke with an accent.

Mr Hayward trained as a priest in New South Wales and police believe he may have met this man through his New South Wales connections.

After the murder, the man is believed to have stolen the victim’s vehicle, wallet and credit cards as well as other personal possessions.

Police enquiries established that Mr Hayward's credit cards were used after his death in Victoria and New South Wales to purchase fuel and accommodation, with his vehicle and some possessions later recovered in Wollongong by New South Wales police.

A single, unidentified fingerprint belonging to a possible suspect was found in the bathroom of the property and police now also have located blood that is believed to belong to the suspect.

Fingerprint examinations later matched a print in the recovered vehicle and one on a credit card voucher to the one found in the victim’s bathroom.

Samuel Hayward

Anyone with information about Mr Haywood (pictured), his companion or any other information that may assist in this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at

“We’re confident we will get a result,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Przibilla said.

Operation Persist, led by Major Crime, is reviewing a number of unsolved murder and long-term, suspicious missing persons cases.

Police never ‘close’ unresolved cases of this type, with any matter unresolved after 12 months classified as a cold case.

A range of operational strategies are being used to progress cases, including detailed reviews, the provision of rewards, targeting prison inmates for information and seeking public assistance via publicity of cold cases.

The murder of Mr Haywood was featured tonight on Crime Stoppers television partner, Channel 9, and a reward of $200,000 is available in connection with this case.