It remains the only unsolved murder in the 10-year history of Police Scotland.

Anthony Ferns was sitting in his Audi A3 in Thornliebank on the outskirts of Glasgow on April 18, 2019, when a mystery man came up to the window around 10pm and engaged him in conversation.

Suddenly without warning the stranger pulled out a knife, stabbed Tony in the neck and ran off through the side streets.

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Despite his injuries, Tony managed to drive from the scene of the attack in Crebar Street, the short distance to the family home in nearby Roukenburn Street.

He staggered out of the car, across the street and collapsed in the garden of his mother’s home.

Horrified family and friends – including mum Phyllis – tried to revive him and dialled 999.

Paramedics were quickly on the scene but despite their best efforts they were unable to save Tony.

He died in front of his distraught mother and friends in a pool of blood on the doorstep of the family home.

A murder inquiry was launched, detectives spoke to more than 600 people and examined thousands of hours of CCTV footage.

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At the time, a friend of the Ferns said they were baffled by the murder, adding: “Tony was a lovely boy. A gentle giant. He was a tiler and worked hard.

“Why anyone would do this to him is a mystery.

“It is shocking that something like this can happen in a quiet residential area like this.

“I just keep asking myself why.”

Glasgow Times:

It was the latest tragedy to befall mum, Phyllis, then 62, who had been widowed several years earlier when husband Tony Snr died. Her other son, Mark, who had a disability, died in his sleep.

The family friend continued: “She has lived there for 40 years. They were a nice, normal family, and now it is only her. She is on her own. They are part of the community.”

However, some locals feared Tony may have been the victim of a set-up.

One said: “We’ve been told he was lured to Crebar Street so that the perpetrator would know where he would be.

“He was attacked and stabbed in the neck while in his car. It is as calculated and vicious as that.

“Why anyone would target him in this way, we just don’t know.

“He was a big friendly guy. He was not involved in drugs or criminality. He’s not the sort of person you would think that this could happen to.”

Another resident commented at the time: “As far as I know he has never been in bother with the police and is not linked to anything untoward. This is an outrage.

“Tony and his family have a really good name in the area.”

The following day Detective Chief Inspector Grant Macleod of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team described the murder as a vicious and apparently motiveless attack.

He said: “Our team of officers are working to establish a motive for this crime.

“They are currently piecing together the victim’s last known movements to find out as much information as possible on the circumstances surrounding this death.

“Tony was able to drive a short distance to his home address and got out of his car, but unfortunately, he collapsed in his garden.

“Paramedics were contacted but again, unfortunately and sadly, Tony could not be saved, and he died in front of his mother and friends.”

Police also issued details of a prime suspect, aged between 20 and 30, around 5ft 8in to 6ft who was wearing a dark tracksuit and baseball cap.

He was last seen running away from the crime.

However, in the early days of the investigation police struggled to make any headway.

The lateness of the incident meant there were few about at the time.

Exactly a week after the murder police conducted interviews at the spot where Tony was murdered in a bid to trace the killer.

DCI Macleod also revealed that Tony’s family had been left devastated by this murder.

Forty people were spoken to, including dog walkers and people coming home from work.

The DCI revealed that a car had passed Tony’s Audi at the time of the attack and asked the occupants and driver to come forward.

While insisting they were not suspects he added: “I am sure they have crucial information which will greatly assist us in our enquiries.”

A month later police seemed to have a breakthrough when they arrested four men aged 33, 44, 49 and 63, but all were later released, and the trail soon grew cold.

Glasgow Times:

A year after the murder Phyllis issued an appeal to the public in a bid to bring her son’s killers to justice.

She said: “I am pleading to anyone who may have information about whoever is responsible for my son’s murder to please speak to the police. I can hardly put into words how devastated I am at the loss of my son. The pain I feel is unimaginable and, while I know nothing will bring him back, I need to know who killed him and why his life was cut short.”

Glasgow Times:

Around the same time Crimestoppers offered a reward of up to £10,000 for information that would help the investigation.

Angela Parker, Scotland manager at Crimestoppers, said: “Tony died in front of his mother after an attack that has shocked the community.

“No one should ever have to go through that. He was a much-loved son and partner.

“It may be that you’ve been unable or unwilling until now to speak to the police directly, in which case we can help.

“Please help us find answers for a mother who deserves to know the truth.”

However, despite the offer of the reward the murder inquiry stalled again due to a lack of information from the public.

Two years after Tony’s murder, Phyllis made a second plea for help in catching her son’s killer.

She said: “I cannot believe it is now two years since my son Tony was brutally murdered and taken away from me forever. My life is on hold. I have not been able to move on or accept the fact I won’t see my boy again.

“I need closure. I need the person or persons responsible to be prosecuted. I appeal and plead with anyone who has any information to contact police or Crimestoppers.”

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Grant, who was now leading the murder investigation, added: “Two years have passed since this incident, and I am determined to find whoever is responsible for Tony’s murder. It’s clear he was a much-loved son and partner and is deeply missed by his family.

“I am convinced there are people out there who have information, vital to this investigation, who have failed to come forward.

“This may be down to fear or some misplaced loyalty to those responsible for this horrific crime, but please do the right thing and contact us, you can be assured your information will be treated in the utmost confidence.

“Phyllis had to watch her son, Tony, suffer and die, something no mother should have to go through.

“Put yourself in her shoes and think how she must feel, does she not deserve to know why her son was murdered and taken from her? Please help us find answers for a mother who deserves to know the truth.”

Glasgow Times:

Since Police Scotland was formed in 2013 there have been more than 530 murders and killings committed with only the murder of Tony Ferns remaining unsolved.

Outgoing Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone said the high detection rate is proof the decision to create a single national force was the right one.

Murders are now investigated by specialist Major Investigation Teams using the latest in forensic science rather than local CID officers as was the practice in the past.

However, Tony’s killer is still at large, and the crime remains unsolved.

Detectives believe it was a targeted attack but to this day there is no obvious motive – particularly given the level of violence involved.

Police Scotland said it is still committed to bringing the person responsible to justice and enquiries into the murder are “continuing”.

Glasgow Times:

However, one former Police Scotland detective, who asked not to be named, told the Glasgow Times: “You don’t stab someone in the neck just as a warning.

“It appears that the attacker intended the blow to be fatal.

“As always with these enquiries the answers lie in the local community.

“It may be that the killer is being protected by someone close to him.

“But loyalties can change over time.

“That is what the police will be hoping.”