A new social media group has been set up to try to crack one of the most notorious unsolved murders in the borough.
Schoolgirl Lisa Hession was strangled to death in Leigh in 1984, but despite the police’s best efforts the person responsible has never been brought to justice.
Now Andrea Ashcroft Aldred, who knew the tragic 14-year-old, and her friend Ryan Daly have joined forces on Facebook to see if anyone out there has crucial information.
Ryan began posting on forums and other local internet outlets in 2016 after Lisa’s mum Christine died without seeing justice for her daughter.
That led to him and Andrea, who are both from Leigh, teaming up to create the group Let’s get justice for Lisa Jane Hession and her mum Christine.
Ryan said: “Andrea was a childhood friend of Lisa and really wants justice after the case has been unsolved for 34 years, and I know about the case because I am originally from the estate where the murder happened.
“I always felt sorry for Lisa’s mum, never getting closure and living so close to where it happened.
“We hope with this group the person responsible is finally caught, even after all these years.
“Any information we get from the public we always pass onto the cold case team as they are well aware of mine and Andrea’s campaign.
“Social media is a good way to make sure people don’t forget this tragic and horrific case.
“A lot of people in Leigh don’t think enough has been done to help catch the person responsible and want this case to be solved even after 34 years. We will not give up raising awareness about this.”
So far the group has attracted more than 1,000 members and Ryan says it has had a very strong response, with a lot of residents sharing posts and spreading the word.
Bedford High School pupil Lisa was walking back from a party when she was sexually assaulted and strangled.
The Bedford High School girl, who was described by her teachers as kind, popular and well-behaved, had been given permission by her mother to attend, but was under strict instructions to be back by 10.30pm.
Lisa spent a couple of hours at the house in Leigh Road before making her way home alone on foot. Under normal circumstances the one-and-a-half-mile walk should not have presented any difficulties.
She was travelling along well-lit main roads and there were plenty of people around - many out on Christmas dos - for all but the last few hundred yards.
She left the party house at between 10.10pm and 10.15pm, travelling along Leigh Road into the town centre and out the other side onto St Helens Road.
Lisa was last seen alive by two customers of a takeaway on St Helens Road who watched her pass the outlet. One of them, who then happened to be standing at the door, then also saw the teenager turn into Buck Street, which was her usual route for getting back to nearby Bonneywell Road. But Lisa never arrived home.
At 10.45pm Christine began to worry and went out to look for her daughter in the surrounding streets. It was all the more worrying for Christine because it was out of character for Lisa not to be punctual. The search was fruitless so she went back home and waited a short while. But as panic increased then Christine went out searching a second time, again to no effect.
At around 11.30pm she rang the police to raise the alarm. Just 20 minutes later, at 11.50pm, a local man walking his dog down a dark alley behind Rugby Road (which runs parallel with Bonneywell Road) found Lisa collapsed. It was only 100 yards from the youngster’s home.
He tried to keep her warm and telephoned for an ambulance which took her to hospital, but there was nothing medics could do for her.
A massive police operation was launched and, while several names were offered as suspects, no-one has ever been charged with Lisa’s murder.
Police offered a £50,000 reward in 2017 in the hope it might finally crack the matter and after that did not produce a breakthrough a fresh appeal for information was made late last year.
For more information about the group visit www.facebook.com/groups/394291454325906/