New investigation launched into rubbish dump deaths of 11-year-olds

A new investigation has been ordered into the deaths of two 11-year-old boys who were buried alive in rubbish.

Best friends John Greenwood and Gary Miller had gone out to play together in August 1980 and never returned home.

Now, 36 years later, police say they have re-opened the case because new evidence has come to light.

The two boys were beaten and then buried alive in a rubbish tip in Whiston, on Merseyside. They were rushed to hospital where they later died and post mortem examinations showed both had suffered serious head injuries.

Detectives investigating the case have now make a new appeal for information after an investigation by The Sunday Times found new witnesses.

A man, John Cheeseman, from Prescot, was charged with the murder of both youngsters but was then found not guilty by a jury sitting at Liverpool Crown Court.

The boys were found by a dog walker under a mattress at the site, which is now called Stadt Moers Park.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Richardson said investigators were using the new information as an opportunity to appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

In particular, police want to talk to anyone who saw the boys on the afternoon of Saturday, August 16, 1980. They also want to talk to anyone who may have been either at, or near, the rubbish tip on Pottery Lane.

Det Chief Supt Richardson added: “We are particularly interested in talking to anyone who may have seen a man with three young boys, aged between 12 and 14 years, near to the church hall on Dragon Lane, Whiston, between 6.45pm and 7.20pm on Saturday, August 16.

“Two of the boys who were seen with the man were stood on the wall of the church hall and one was in the grounds of the church hall. Were you one of the three boys? If so, please come forward and talk to us. This is a tragic case and the families of both boys quite rightly want justice.”

Deborah Lewis, who is John Greenwood’s sister, said: “Losing the boys in such an horrific way was devastating for both families and has been heartbreaking to cope with.

“The fact that no-one has been convicted for their murders has made it so much harder.


“For 36 years we have lived with the frustration and the fear that we could be sitting next to their killer on a bus, or walking past them on the street.”