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A.K.A.: "The Butcher of Cwmdu"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: The body was never found
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 14, 1953
Date of arrest: September 14, 1954
Date of birth: 1895
Victim profile: Stanislaw Sykut, 57 (partner pig farm)
Method of murder: ???
Location: Cwmdu–Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to death 1954. Commuted to life imprisonment 1955. Released 1965. Killed in a traffic accident in Bradford 1966

In November 1954 Michael Onufrejczyk was tried in a court in Swansea for the murder of his partner Stanislaw Sykut who he had apparently killed in order to get possession of his half of the farm.  For this act of greed he was sentenced to death but this was later commuted to life imprisonment.



Michael Onufrejczyk

After World War II 58-year-old Onufrejczyk, a Pole with a distinguished service record and known locally as 'Whiskers', settled at Cefn Hendre, Llandilo, Carmarthenshire. Cefn Hendre was a near-derelict farm that he had bought in partnership with a fellow Pole, Stanislaw Sykut.

In post-war Britain routine checks were required on all aliens and, accordingly, police arrived at Cefn Hendre in December 1953. Onufrejczyk told them that Sykut had sold him his shares in the farm and returned to Poland. When the authorities checked on this they found that Sykut had left behind £450 in a savings account and that none of his friends knew that he had left. According to Onufrejczyk, a Mrs Pokora had loaned him the money to buy out Sykut. She told police that she had not lent Onufrejczyk any money but had been asked by him to send two packets by registered post that looked the size and shape of £450 in one pound notes. She had also written several letters for Onufrejczyk in Sykut's name.

The police were well-aware of Onufrejczyk's fiery temper, that Sykut had complained about being beaten up by his partner and that Sykut had consulted a solicitor about dissolving the partnership. Onufrejczyk was arrested and on 19th August 1954 Onufrejczyk he charged with the murder of Sykut.

At Onufrejczyk's trial at Swansea in November 1954 evidence was given of the Poles' stormy relationship and of over two thousand tiny human bloodstains that had been found in the kitchen of the farmhouse. Despite the defence's contention that Sykut was still alive, Onufrejczyk was found guilty and sentenced to death. An appeal was dismissed but, on 24th January 1955, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He was released in 1965, still protesting his innocence, and was killed in a traffic accident in Bradford the following year.


The Butcher Of Cwmdu – Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, 1953

Michael Onufrejczyk was a highly decorated warrant officer in the Polish army.

He was wounded twice in the First World War and earned nine medal for gallantry in WW2 and, when the fighting ended, he chased a lifelong dream of becoming a farmer.

Enlisting in the Polish Resettlement Corps in South Wales he bought Cefn Hendre Farm in 1949, having raised a loan from Polish Army Funds.

He largely kept himself to himself and did little to integrate with the local community.

In April 1953 he took on a new business partner in fellow Polish war veteran Stanislaw Sykut to help him run down the dilapidated farm.

More importantly, he needed the capital of some £600 Sykut brought with him.

But the fiery-tempered Onufrejczyk was soon bullying Sykut, who complained to police that he’d beaten him up.

The same day he went to a local solicitor to arrange ending their partnership – either Onufrejczyk could buy him out or they’d have to sell up and split the proceeds.

By the end of the year Sykut had vanished, his disappearance explained away by Onufrejczyk as a result of taking a two-week trip to London.

Knowing his tendency for violence police kept a watch on Onufrejczyk, but, despite making intensive searches of the farm, no body was found.

Conflicting reports of the missing man abounded around Llandeilo: He’d gone to London, returned to Poland, Onufrejczyk even spreading word that he’d been kidnapped at gunpoint by Polish secret police.

Later discoveries that he’d attempted to forge transfer of the deeds to the farm solely to his name led police to make more searches, this time with a team from the Monmouthshire Forensic Laboratory.

Experts uncovered more than 2,000 dark stains on the walls, ceiling and passage leading from the kitchen to the farmyard, the majority of which were human blood. One thing, however was still missing, Sykut himself.

Onufrejczyk, who failed to convince anyone by explaining the stains as belonging to rabbits he’d skinned, was eventually charged with murder in August 1954.

The jury at the 12-day trial in Swansea returned a guilty verdict and he was sentenced to death, later commuted to one of life imprisonment – a case often quoted as a precedent whenever a ‘missing body’ murder comes to trial.

Upon his released in 1965, Onufrejczyk returned to Cwmdu asking anyone if they’d seen his old friend Sykut.

But police always suspected he’d met his end in the kitchen of the farmhouse he’d shared with the former war hero, who’d chopped him up and fed his remains to their pigs.

Onufrejczyk was killed in a road accident the following year, so we shall never know.


Michael Onufrejczyk



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