Police appeal for individual witnesses to infamous Whiston double murder

John Greenwood, aged 11, with sister Deborah, two, and brother David, eight
John Greenwood, aged 11, with sister Deborah, two, and brother David, eight
  • Police re-opened murder probe last October
  • They want to speak to man named Duffy who may have clues
  • Detectives also want to speak to anyone who was in the Scouts with the murdered schoolboys
  • Appeal made for two others lads assaulted by an older male close to the murder scene

Detectives investigating the murder of two Whiston schoolboys almost 37 year ago say their investigation has uncovered a number of potentially key witnesses.

Police re-opened the probe into the 1980 murder of John Greenwood and Gary Miller last October.

A family picture of John with his younger brother David

A family picture of John with his younger brother David

The pair were found by a dog walker under a mattress on a rubbish tip in an area which has since been transformed into Stadt Moers Park.

Detectives have today made a number of appeals, including:

* An appeal to speak to two boys who witnesses say were assaulted by an older male outside Whiston Health Centre in July 1980, just weeks before the murder.

* They want to find 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.

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

Det Chief Insp John Middleton

* They also want to speak to anyone who was in 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.

John and Gary were found at around 7.20pm on Saturday, August 16, 1980, by a dog walker. They were taken to Whiston Hospital but John died the following day, while Gary passed away the next Wednesday.

Both died on head injuries.

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.

Murdered schoolboy John Greenwood

Murdered schoolboy John Greenwood

“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.

Gary Miller

Gary Miller

“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.