A DYING man is offering a £1,000 reward to catch the man who knifed his brother to death - 30 years ago.

Michel Bega, aged 66, believes the reward is his last chance to track down the killer who devastated his family. And he is asking BEN readers to help.

Louis Maurice Bega, a 43-year-old mill night shift worker, was stabbed 26 times in the living room of his terraced home in Canal Bank, Eccles, in 1966.

A coroner at the time described the murder of the father of two as a "merciless, savage and ferocious killing which almost beggars description."

A team of 65 detectives was involved in a painstaking inquiry, but, despite 12,000 house-to-house inquiries, fingerprinting 379 people and tracing 504 possible suspects, the killer was never caught.

Detectives believed he was killed by a burglar although Louis accused his wife's lover of the Crime as he lay dying.

A neighbour spotted the tall, thin-faced killer walking away after the murder.

Louis came to the UK from India in 1946 and moved from the south coast to Eccles in search of work in the mills. He was married in 1948 and at the time of his murder in June 1966 had two children, aged 17 and 15.

He and his wife separated in 1964.

In a letter to Greater Manchester Police offering a reward Michel Bega - who had to identify his brother after the murder - said: "I know this could be my last chance to seek justice. I would like this case solved although I know the chances are very slim." Michel, a retired chief engineer with the merchant navy now living in Southampton, has also appealed to BEN readers for help.

"Despite the fact that it happened 30 years ago hardly a day goes by when I don't think about him. The sight of his face in the mortuary haunts me daily."

Michel suffers from asbestosis and inoperable heart disease and admits he is living on borrowed time. He has been told he needs a heart transplant but that is not possible because he is too old.

The file on the murder has always remained open.

Det Chief Insp Kenny Caldwell of Swinton CID said: "In rare cases such as this - an unsolved murder from 30 years ago - Louis Bega's family have not had the knowledge that the person responsible has been punished. That must be an extremely difficult burden to carry. It may be that the murderer himself is now dead.

"I have never yet investigated a murder when the killer was the only person who knew his guilt. Invariably there is a wife, relative of friend who knows he has killed.

"I am sure that will be so in this case and I ask that person to come and talk to us. Mr Bega and his family deserve to know the truth."

The £1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone who can help is asked to contact Swinton CID or Crimestoppers detectives on the free phone number 0800 555 111.

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