Former Portsmouth musician found shot dead in French farmhouse

Glenn Miller pictured in Portsmouth
Glenn Miller pictured in Portsmouth
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A GRANDMOTHER has told of her shock after an old family friend was shot in the neck in an apparent murder in France.

Glenn Miller, 65, was discovered slumped in the corner of the dining room at his farmhouse in the hamlet of Traon Bras near the village of Plounevez-Lochrist by a neighbour who raised the alarm.

GLENN MILLER    (CS)     MRW    22/9/2014   ''re: Glenn Miller - murdered in France ''Jane Osterholm at her home in Havant ''Jane's late husband was a good friend of Glenn Miller ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142601-1654) PPP-140922-223235003

GLENN MILLER (CS) MRW 22/9/2014 ''re: Glenn Miller - murdered in France ''Jane Osterholm at her home in Havant ''Jane's late husband was a good friend of Glenn Miller ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142601-1654) PPP-140922-223235003

Mr Miller, who is originally from the Portsmouth area, had a single gunshot wound to his neck.

No weapon was found, despite an extensive search of the surrounding area by 25 officers following the grim discovery.

It is believed that he had no known enemies and lived a quiet life.

Jane Osterholm, from Havant, said she met musician Mr Miller about 30 years ago through her late husband Steve.

She was shocked to learn of his violent death.

Mrs Osterholm, of Wendover Road, Havant, said: ‘It’s horrendous.

‘Glenn wouldn’t hurt a fly.

‘It will have a terrible impact on his family.

‘He was well thought of.’

Mr Miller’s home, in north-west Brittany, near the port of Brest, was sealed off after the neighbour, who visited him every Sunday, found him dead on September 14.

It is understood that he had moved to Canada in the 1990s and set up home in France several years ago after inheriting the house in which he was found.

It is believed that he lived alone.

Mrs Osterholm said: ‘I hadn’t seen him for a long time because he moved to Canada.

‘He’s lived all over the world.

‘I knew him quite well when he lived in England.

‘He had a young family like we did.

‘We used to go to their house for dinner on a Sunday.

‘He was into music a lot. He played the guitar and he sang. He always thought he was going to be famous.

‘He played in pubs and clubs, and he was a taxi driver in Portsmouth.

‘He called himself Funky George.

‘He was eccentric, he was a real character.’

Widow Mrs Osterholm, whose husband Steve died in 1998, said they lost touch after Mr Miller moved to Canada in the 1990s.

However he got back in touch a couple of years ago and invited her to stay at his home in France, which he said he had inherited from a relative.

Sadly, she did not make it over to visit before he died.

She said: ‘It was really nice to hear from him. It was like speaking to him yesterday. He was telling me jokes, it was really nice talking to him.

‘He invited me over.

‘He was phoning up for quite a while.

‘My partner used to answer the phone sometimes.

‘He made friends with my partner.

Speaking about Mr Miller’s death, Mrs Osterholm said: ‘I can’t believe it. Why would anyone kill him?

‘He didn’t have any enemies.

‘It was upsetting [to find out].

‘It was a shock, you just think why would anyone want to murder him?

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘We were made aware of the death of Mr Miller in Brittany, France on September 14.

‘Local officers assisted by notifying the next-of-kin. We have no other involvement at this time.’

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: ‘We were made aware of the death of a British national in France on September 14 and we are providing consular assistance to the family at this sad time.’

Confusion over musicians with the same name

IT HAS been reported that former Hampshire resident Glenn Miller was impersonating a famous Canadian musician of the same name while he was living at his farmhouse in France.

The 65-year-old musician from Hampshire, who was found dead of a single gunshot wound at his home in the hamlet of Traon Bras near Plounevez-Lochrist, had travelled to Canada in the 1990s, it has emerged.

He also played the guitar.

But he may have been confused with a late Canadian, also called Glenn Miller who shot to fame in the band Chilliwacks.

That musician played bass guitar for nearly 30 years in the cult rock band – and neither Glenn Miller has any connection to the famous big band leader of the same name of the 1940s.

Chilliwacks enjoyed their heyday in the 1970s.

The Canadian Glenn Miller died in 2011.

It is not clear where the confusion over the two men has arisen, but friend Jane Osterholm, from Wendover Road, Havant, who knew the Hampshire Glenn Miller when he lived in the Portsmouth area, said: ‘He was a real character. He was really good at telling stories.’

She added: ‘It’s very strange but Glenn would do that sort of thing to get attention.

‘I do believe he would have done that, that he would have taken on somebody’s persona.

‘He liked to be the centre of attention, he did want to be liked. He was a good musician in his own right and he probably thought that people would admire him for it. Glenn was like that, he was like a storyteller.

‘Nobody deserves that [what happened to him].

‘It’s just so shocking.

‘He had an exciting life. He really lived that life.’

Mrs Osterholm’s daughter Kate, 43, from Battenberg Avenue, North End, Portsmouth, also remembers Mr Miller.

She said: ‘It was a shock.

‘He was such a laid-back sort of happy guy. You would never imagine anything like this happening to him. I had known him since I was a child.

‘He was a real character.

‘One of the strongest memories I’ve got, he was driving an old 2CV, with a sliding roof.

‘I remember him sat on the roof steering it with his feet.

‘He’s not the sort of person you would imagine this happening to. He was really easy-going.

‘He had no enemies. I can remember going to see him play.

‘I remember seeing him at a gig at a pub in Southsea and he played under the name Funky George.

’He got a bit fed up with the [1940s] Glenn Miller thing.

‘He sang and he played the guitar. He was well liked.’