New hope of justice for murdered sex workers

Maria Requena was found murdered at Pennington Flash
Maria Requena was found murdered at Pennington Flash

A popular British podcaster is set to shine a light on the unsolved murders of two women whose mutilated bodies were found in Wigan countryside.

In 1991, the dismembered remains of 26-year-old Maria Requena was found floating in Pennington Flash, but despite numerous attempts to crack the investigation, police have not yet uncovered her killer.

Paul Sutherland, the True Crime Enthusiast, hopes to reignite interest in the cases.

Paul Sutherland, the True Crime Enthusiast, hopes to reignite interest in the cases.

Only a couple of weeks earlier she had given an interview to a television reporter about the dangers of working on the streets of Manchester.

Three years before that grim discovery, the body of a 31-year-old sex worker, Linda Donaldson was found naked, mutilated and dumped in a Lowton farmer’s fields.

She had been on the streets of Liverpool at the time of her disappearance. The last confirmed sighting of Linda Donaldson alive was at 11pm on Monday October 17, 1988, by a

Merseyside Police vice squad officer who knew most of the girls on that patch. She was on Canning Street waiting for work.

The brutal slayings of both women remain two of Wigan’s few unsolved murders in recent decades.

However, Paul Sutherland, host of the popular True Crime Enthusiast podcast has said that the sex-workers’ deaths will “not be forgotten” as he prepares to record an episode the hope of “shining a new light” on the case.

“It puts the case fresh in people’s mind,” said the ex-police officer.

“No one victim is worth more than another, no one should be forgotten.

“This is always a case that stuck with me.

“I have an unusual memory for things and I remember certain cases from Crimewatch.

“These cases stuck in my mind because it was possibly linked to another murder.”

Indeed, officers at the time and cold case experts since have said they cannot rule out links between the two violent deaths.

Paul, 39, who used to work in the armed forces, has always been interested in investigation due to his previous career path.

He is hoping to put both his podcasting skills and his experience as a police officer to the test in an attempt to uncover new facts about the case.

Having only launched earlier this year, Paul’s stories have already featured on American podcast show The Minds of Madness and chart-topping podcast UK True Crime.

“It would be wonderful if I could help solve this case,” he added.

“If it reignited public interest or even if it gets like-minded people interested and thinking ‘I’ll look over that for an extra hour’.

“I’m not some all-seeing eye; I make educated guesses based on the information that’s available.”

The True Crime Enthusiast podcast started life as a blog, but after gaining a large following, Paul tried his hand at broadcasting cases he feels have not had a lot of exposure.

The weekly episodes are have attracted interest from the country’s growing podcast audience and a surge in success has seen the True Crime Enthusiast gain up to 17,000 downloads a week.

Paul, who is well-connected in the UK podcast scene, will delve into the lesser known facts of the case in order to try and establish a link between the two crimes and other unsolved murders.

“I have been speaking to a retired police officer,” he said. “He mentioned the name of someone, a massive angler who could be linked but there were a couple of other names as well that I think may have been more likely than him.”

Paul will record the episode shortly after Christmas with the aim of posting it for listeners to download in early 2018.

The True Crime Enthusiast can be found on Apple podcasts or on audioboom.com

For more information follow @tc_enthusiast on Twitter.