A British subject, born in 1921, Peter Arne served as a Royal Air Force pilot in Battle of Britain at age 19. Following the end of World War II, he pursued an acting career that included roles in such films as Straw Dogs (1971) and The Return of the Pink Panther (1975). In early August 1983 Arne was scheduled to film an episode of the British Broadcasting Company’s Dr. Who television series, but he never made it to the set.
On August 1, 1983, London police were summoned to Arne’s Knight-bridge apartment building, after a neighbour found a bloodstained fireplace log in the hallway. Inside Arne’s flat officers found the 62 year old actor dead from blunt trauma and slashing wounds to his throat. A medical examiner, Dr. Ian West, reported that the throat wounds had produced ‘a torrential hemorrhage’ resulting in rapid death. Investigation of Arne’s background revealed that he was in the habit of soliciting sex from young homeless men around London’s Charing Cross railway station.
On August 3, 1983, authorities found bloodstained clothing and the passport of a 32 year old Italian immigrant, one Giuseppi Perusi, on the banks of the River Thames. Perusi’s nude body was pulled from the water a short time later . Police discovered that Perusi had been an active member of the Communist Party in his native Verona, and that he had served as a teacher for handicapped children. ‘Sexual identity problems’ had driven him to London, where he had run out of money and taken to sleeping in parks. Witnesses reported seeing Perusi in Knights-bridge on July 31,1983, asking for ‘Peter,’ and a note in Arne’s diary suggested a meeting with Perusi. A bloody hand-print in Arne’s apartment was also identified as that of Perusi. A coroner’s verdict subsequently blamed Perusi for Arne’s murder, followed by remorseful suicide, but the case remains officially unsolved since no chargers were filed.