Police Re-launch Appeal for Witnesses to 1980 Whiston Murders

By on Friday, April 21, 2017

(Previous coverage here.)

Via Merseyside Police:

Detectives investigating the murder of two schoolboys in Whiston nearly 37 years ago are appealing for more potential witnesses to come forward.

A new appeal was launched in October 2016 after Merseyside Police’s Serious Crime Review Unit was given new information into the murders of John Greenwood and Gary Miller, who were just 11 years old when they were murdered in Whiston in 1980.

The schoolfriends were found at 7.20pm on Saturday, 16 August 1980, by a local dog walker hidden under a mattress on the site of a disused colliery on Pottery Lane, Whiston, which had been turned into a local rubbish tip. The area is now known as Stadt Moers Park.

Both boys were taken to Whiston Hospital. Sadly John Greenwood died in the early hours of Sunday, 17 August 1980 and Gary Miller died on Wednesday, 20 August. Post mortems revealed that both boys had died as a result of head injuries.

Since the appeal a number of people have been spoken to by officers but detectives are keen to speak to potential witnesses who they believe could have information which is vital to the investigation.

They are specifically looking to trace two boys who, a witness has told police, were seen being assaulted by an older male outside Whiston Health Centre in July 1980. It is believed that the boys were aged between 10 and 15 at the time.

Officers also want to speak to a boy, called either ‘Duffy’ or ‘Cuffy’, who was also aged around 10-15, and was in the company of another boy at the rear of the Labour club in Whiston on the day that John and Gary were found.

In addition detectives are keen to trace anyone who attended the 28th St Helens (1st Whiston) Scout Group (latterly known as the 2nd Knowsley Scout Group) in 1980 or anyone who attended Halsnead junior school with Gary Miller and John Greenwood around the same time.

Detective Chief Inspector John Middleton said: “I appreciate that a considerable amount of time has passed since the murders of John and Gary but their families have had to live with the agony of losing their children ever since.

“Since the new appeal was launched last October we have spoken to a number of people who have come forward and as such we have a number of lines of enquiry we are looking to progress.

“We are particularly keen to speak to the two boys who were seen being assaulted by an older male outside Whiston Health Centre in the month before Gary and John’s death and also the boys who were playing at the rear of the Labour club in Whiston on the day they were attacked.

“I would ask people to cast their minds back to 1980 and see if they can remember anything which could assist us with this investigation.

“The families of both boys quite rightly want justice and I am sure the people of Whiston, and Merseyside, as a whole, would want to help them get that.

“Any piece of information, however small, could be vital in helping us take this investigation forward.”

Anyone with any information which could help with the investigation are asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 8652 or the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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