Date: 6 Jan 1991
Place: Pennington Flash, Leigh
Maria Requina was found dismembered and packed into bin bags in Pennington Flash in Leigh.
She was last seen alive on New Year’s Day 1991 just south of Manchester city centre at about 10.15pm in the Minshull Street area. It was also noted that several people said that they thought that they had seen her in the first days of the new year, 1991 including 2 January 1991 and possibly 3 January 1991.
It was also noted that a person said that they had seen a brown coloured Cortina or Datsun car at about 4am on 3 January 1991 with a woman in it accompanied by an elderly West Indian driver in Broadfield Road in Moss Side.
She was a prostitute and had lived in the Upper Brook Street area of Manchester and had a number of convictions for soliciting. The area that she had worked in was Canal Street and Minshull Street and it was said that she would work through the night until around 5am or 6am.
Maria Requina was also known as Christina.
It was noted that in an earlier conversation that she had had with a friend on Monday 24 December 1990, that Maria Requina had said that she had had enough and was getting out and told her friend that she was going to go and stay with a woman that she knew, saying that she had known the woman for years and that she lived up in Lees or Leeds, although the friend said that she didn't quite catch what place she said. However, it was noted that Maria Requina didn't leave and that she was still at her home in Moss Side on 28 December 1990.
Ordinarily, after she had finished working, it was said that she would visit a newsagents near to where she lived, but it was noted that those visits ended after Friday 28 December 1990. The newsagent said that he remembered Maria Requina coming into his newsagents shop as she would always buy lots of crisps and would buy a KitKat and feed his dog with it.
When she was last seen, she had been wearing a three-quarter-length coat/anorak that was dark blue or black that had a drawstring fastening at the bottom, mini skirt and a floral beige/pink round-neck pullover.
Her remains were found in Pennington Flash, Leigh, about 15 miles away on 6 January 1991. The police said that they had not recovered any of her clothing.
Her dismembered remains had been packed in plastic bags and then stuffed into a mattress cover and were found by a man and his son who had been out fishing. When the mattress cover was examined, it was found to contain a laundry mark, 08230, which was about an inch in length,
The police said that they determined that she had been strangled but said that her body had not been in the water for more than 24 hours.
The police investigation revealed that on the night before her body was discovered, several people had said that they were suspicious of what was happening in the car park near where Maria Requina's body was found.
A couple said that at about 7.40pm on Saturday 5 January 1991 that they had driven up Slag Lane near the car park and saw a white van reversing into the car park with two men inside. They said that one of the men, the driver, seemed to be wearing a peaked cap.
The white van was also seen by three people that had been walking by on their way to dump some rubbish on Slag Lane tip. They said that the white van appeared to reverse twice into the car park to avoid passing traffic and looked suspicious. They said that then, when they were closer to the tip, they saw the van drive out at speed without its lights on. The police said that they would like to trace the van but noted that it could have been a courting couple or just some people dumping rubbish that didn't want to be seen.
Later on, at around midnight, a couple that had been driving up Slag Lane saw a Datsun Cherry car parked in the car park. The driver said that when he saw it, he mentioned to his wife that it must have been a courting couple or something like that but said that they then thought that that was strange as the car had its headlights on. The police also asked for the owner of the Datsun Cherry car to come forward.
The police said that they didn't know why Maria Requina had been killed, speculating that it would have been an argument that she had had with an acquaintance, or drug related or a relationship with a client that went terribly wrong.
The police also noted that Maria Requina had a £100 a day drug habit.
Maria Requina was noted for having appeared in a documentary discussing the dangers of being a prostitute. In the documentary, she was quoted as having said, 'There's a hell of a lot of danger going on. Some girls get raped, some mugged. There's been girls down here that's been murdered, that's been put in the canal'.
It was later suggested that her murder was connected with the murder of Linda Donaldson who was found murdered about two miles away in Winnick Lane, Lowton, near Leigh on 18 October 1988. Linda Donaldson had been repeatedly stabbed and it was suggested that the murder of both Linda Donaldson and Maria Requena was the same person who was labelled, 'The East Lancs Ripper' in the press.