Cabbie picked up last fare... and was stabbed 87 times
TAXI driver John Landa shared a joke with his eldest daughter outside the family home on the evening of August 13, 1982, and drove away for another night shift.
The father of eight never returned.
In the early hours of the following morning the 33-year-old from Forest Fields would be stabbed 87 times in Mapperley Park after picking up one last fare before he planned to head home.
His killer has not been caught, despite the efforts of more than 100 officers who worked on the case 30 years ago and others who have reviewed the mystery since.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Mr Landa's family and Notts Police have today relaunched an appeal on the anniversary of his death.
Detectives hope more information or new technology may help finally solve the horrific crime which still haunts the memories of Mr Landa's family.
Officers hope to jog the memories of potential witnesses and will see whether new techniques could be used to try to crack what they say remains one of the biggest unsolved "cold case" crimes in Notts.
Satnam Kaur, 42, John's eldest daughter, told the Post the family remained desperate for justice.
She said: "We need this chapter to finally be closed for us. We've been going for 30 years now without knowing.
"We're still suffering, and maybe we will always suffer – but we could move on knowing he has been caught and faced justice."
Gurcharn Singh Landa, known to everyone as John, was born in India and emigrated to England with his parents as a one-year-old baby.
He married Jit Kaur and the couple raised a family in Premier Road, Forest Fields.
A taxi driver by trade, he had been devastated to have to spend around two years off work due to tuberculosis and had been in his new job as a driver for Fon A Car for just 10 days when he was killed.
Satnam says his death and the days leading up to it are still as clear in her mind now as they were three decades ago.
She said: "He was always on the go and not a man to laze about. He couldn't wait to get back to work.
"For me, the day it happened is like yesterday.
"I went into Mum and Dad's bedroom and Mum was awake.
"She was saying 'your dad hasn't come in yet, go down and call the office and find out what time he's coming home'."
The dispatch office, then in Glasshouse Street, told her he had been in a fight and to ring the police. But calls to several stations drew a blank.
Satnam said: "I rang the taxi base back and they said he had gone to hospital, so I called for a taxi to go there.
"Then this car turned up with two big guys in it."
As they headed for the front door, the two men, who were Notts Police officers, saw the taxi Satnam had called pull up outside the house and turned the driver away.
As she was the only person in the house who could speak enough English, it was 12-year-old Satnam who had to hear first the news from the officers that her father was dead.
She added: "I went 'no, not my dad, have you got the right guy?'
"My mum just screamed and collapsed on the floor. There's no words that can describe the feelings at that time.
"I was just thinking 'how? why? My dad's died'."
Mr Landa had pulled his beige Ford Cortina taxi up outside his house in Premier Road at 7pm the evening before and Satnam had taken his tea out for him to the car.
She added: "He said 'I'll be home at 4am; let your mum know', and 'get your shoes on, make sure you shut the door', he was laughing and joking with me.
"I didn't know that was the last time I'd see him."
Mr Landa's cab was dispatched to Peel Street at about 4am to pick up a fare waiting at a telephone box.
The booking had been made by a man who said he wanted to be taken to Mapperley.
Officers think Mr Landa picked up the customer before driving to Cyprus Road, about a mile away.
At about 4.05am, as Mr Landa was meant to finish his shift, a woman living in Cyprus Road heard a car brake suddenly and, from her home, saw Mr Landa's taxi rocking violently as though a fight was going on inside.
She spotted a man searching the dashboard of the taxi and, after calling police, went out into the street to find the body of Mr Landa on the pavement just yards away from his cab.
He had been stabbed 87 times in the head and body less than a mile from his home.
Detectives launched a huge inquiry and interviewed hundreds of people, including several suspects, but drew a blank.
Mrs Landa died in 2004 without ever knowing who killed her husband and why.
Today, Mr Landa's son Jasvinder Singh Landa, 37, is himself a taxi driver for Nottingham Cars, along with several other relatives in the city.
He said: "We're still suffering and that guy is still out there somewhere. He may even live close to us.
"When I'm on a bus I think, 'I could be sitting near to him, could that be the person?'
"When I get a job in that area it's in my mind all the time. When I hear 'Mapperley Park' it's still the first thing I think about."
Police are hopeful the family's appeal will prompt a witness, or even the killer himself, to finally come forward.
Satnam added: "If there's anyone out there who knows something, even if they think it's nothing or not relevant – please come forward. Please help end this for us."
Anyone with information is urged to call the incident room on 0115 8446913, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.