DNA swab programme in hunt for Lisa’s killer

Lisa Hession
Lisa Hession

POLICE investigating a notorious unsolved killing have revealed they have been running DNA tests on local men for the last 17 months.

Lisa Hession was just 14 years old when she was murdered just 500 yards away from her home in Leigh in 1984.

Nobody has ever been charged in connection with the brutal crime but police say they have not given up the hunt for the Bedford High School pupil’s cold-hearted killer.

Lisa was sexually assaulted and strangled and her body was found by a dog walker in an alleyway off Rugby Road, just yards from her Bonnywell Road home.

More than a quarter of a century later and there is no sign of a let-up in the quest for justice.

It was revealed this week that officers have been systematically swabbing men in Leigh for DNA samples since November 2009.

Martin Bottomley, head of Greater Manchester Police’s cold case unit, said: “This is one of the cases we won’t let go of. We are out in the community swabbing people and this is an on-going process.

“This is an active investigation. Her family is right behind us and is very supportive.”

Lisa was murdered as she walked home from a party in Leigh on the night of Saturday, December 8, 1984, she was attacked from behind and killed.

Her mum Christine searched the streets for her in vain and called the police. Within 15 minutes, officers were at her door – asking her to come to Leigh Infirmary.

Christine, 64, said: “I had to go there and identify her. I felt shocked – just devastated. You don’t think this sort of thing is ever going to happen to you.”

Christine, speaking from her home 27 years after the horrific murder, said she is still no wiser about who killed her child. But she added: “I think it’s someone who lives in this town and I think someone knows who it is and is shielding them. I don’t know how they could do that.

“I still think about her every day. I don’t cry as much any more and the pain isn’t quite so bad. The first five years were the worst. Every year, it gets a little bit easier. I still miss her. I’ll never forget her. Other people forget, but you never do.”

Lisa’s is one of a handful of murders which remain unsolved in the Wigan borough over the past three decades.

Still on the run are the killers of Ashton pensioner William Brennan, found dead in his home in August 1997. Gunned down in his bed was gangland figure Billy Webb at a house in Bryn in May 2001.

And justice evades the families of two prostitutes whose bodies were found in Wigan. The dismembered remains of Maria Requena from Manchester surfaced at Pennington Flash in January 1991 and the body of Liverpool call girl Linda Donaldson was found in Lowton in 1988.