Unsolved Murders

Laurence Winstanley

Age: 24

Sex: male

Date: 2 Oct 1988

Place: Baitings Dam, Littleborough, Ripponden, West Yorkshire

Laurence Winstanley was shot in the head after havng been partly burned and mutilated.

His body was found in Baitings Dam, just off the A58, wrapped up in a curtain and weighed down with a pick-axe head about a year after he vanished on 26 September 1989. At the time his body was found the water level in the dam had been unusually low due to the hot summer.

At the time of his murder the police said that they thought that it was a targetted gangland execution and said that they thought that more than one person had been involved.

The police said that it appeared that an attempt had been made to burn his body.

He had lived in Ogden, Rochdale with his family but had previously lived in Cliff Hill Road in Shaw, Oldham the previous year and was a part-time car dealer and car mechanic with his own garage, New Start Autos, in Sholver, Oldham.

On the night that he vanished he had been out to a local pub, The Windsor, where it was heard that he received a telephone call that seemed to worry him. After that it was heard that he went off to his mother's house in Shaw which was a few minutes away, but that the journey took him over an hour. The police said that they were interested in finding out what he did during that hour.

After visiting his mother he then went back to the pub for a while but was never seen again. No one was sure what time he left after his return.

Two days after Laurence Winstanley vanished, on 4 October 1988, a man giving the name of Burrows took Laurence Winstanley's red Ford Cortina estate car, registration number SAT 385W, to a scrap yard in Milnrow, Oldham, but the man was never traced. It was noted that Laurence Winstanley had recently bought the car for £350 and had been planning to sell it for £800 and so wouldn't have scrapped it.

During their investigation, the police raided several homes in Rochdale and Littleborough in January 1990 and a man was questioned, no arrests were made.

In December 2016 the police searched a pond near Blackstone Edge Road in Littleborough for clues.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.