Lesley Molseed murder - Discovery of her body


Notes from the book "Innocents"

October 8, 1975
On Wednesday morning around 6:45 AM, David Greenwell found Lesley's body.

The circumstances were:

Nottingham resident, David Greenwell was a joiner working for a firm of Birmingham shopfitters who were at that time refitting a jewelry shop in Rochdale. Although the company provided an allowance to cover overnight expenses, David often slept in the van which he had set up with a mattress, sleeping bag, primus stove, etc., but there was no toilet.

David woke on Wednesday morning and noticed what appeared to be a blue fabric flapping in the wind, about 25 feet above his head at the top of the embankment. He climbed the hill to relieve himself, out of view of anyone passing by on the main road. As he was returning to the van, he saw the blue cloth from another angle and decided to take a closer look and realised it was actually a bundle of clothes. After taking another step toward it, he reeled back, seeing that it was actually the body of a little child, face down on the grass, fully clothed. He could see stab wounds, bruising and the complete stillness of the child. He remembered the news reports regarding the missing child and ran back to his van, in a panic. He drove to the work-site, immediately informed his co-workers, and contacted the police.

Greenwell was eventually carefully investigated by the police - often the person to claim to discover a body ends up having prior knowledge. His alibi was rock solid and he was completely eliminated from any suspicion regarding the murder.
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Raymond Hewlett's van and the Lesley Molseed murder - Notes


Raymond Hewlett's Blue Morris 1000 van:

Witnesses (no fewer than 14 people) described seeing a dirty blue-green 5cwt Morris van parked at the A-657 lay-by (where Molseed's body was eventually found) on October 5th (the day Lesley Molseed disappeared). The van was spotted by various people during the period between 1:30 and 6:30 pm that day. It had been seen by a couple driving past on Sunday Oct 5 - at 2 pm and again at 3:30 pm.
(Note: Raymond Hewlett's official alibi -  that he had been with Rosalie Dolan that day was later proven to be false.  When the case was re-opened, after Kiszko's release, Dolan told police that she had lied in 1975, and that actually on Oct 5, the day of Lesley's murder,  Hewlett had arranged to meet her at Todmorden market place at 5 pm. He had arrived over two hours late for their meeting. Dolan said that Hewlett "appeared bothered" and asked her "Will you cover for me with the police?" She agreed, thinking it had to do with stolen cars )
The van had a green check blanket draped over the windshield and drivers window parked at the lay-by.
(Note: Rosalie Dolan later described to police, a trip previously taken with Hewlett to Scotland and the stolen tartan blanket they used for privacy while having sex in the van.)

The vehicle was subsequently described as being a Morris Minor type van, hand painted in turquoise or light green. It was believed to be a 1967 or 1968 model.

DCS Dibb assigned 20 officers to the task of tracing the van. The team was lead by Det. Inspector Brian Sidebottom and they worked full time on this one aspect of the investigation. Details of over 6000 vehicles were considered. By the end of October 1975, the blue-green van had not been found.


See "Who killed Lesley Molseed" - notes from the book Innocents re: Raymond Hewlett for details of Det. Sergeant David Paxton's efforts to investigate Raymond Hewlett in regard to the blue van.

Hewlett owned a blue, ex-GPO Morris 1000 van but during the 1975 police interview, Hewlett claimed to have exchanged it with his brother in law, Martin Ginley, for another vehicle and said that Ginley had sold the van.  He claimed to not know who was the current (Oct 1975) owner of the van.
During the re-investigation of the case, John and Michael Goodall, of Burnley, were interviewed and stated that on Oct 9, 1975 (the day after Molseed's body was found) Hewlett and Dolan had arrived at the Goodall's house in a blue Morris 1000 van, similar to a GPO van.  The four of them had driven to Hewlett's sister in law,  Margaret Ginley's house in Rochdale, but upon arriving there, Hewlett changed his mind and they did not call on Ginley.  (Margaret is Martin Ginley's ex-wife.)  The Goodalls told the police that on the following day Hewlett and Dolan had left for Ireland in the blue Morris 1000 van.
(Note: After the case was re-opened, multiple witnesses were interviewed and stated that at the time of Lesley's murder, Hewlett owned and drove the blue van.  Rosalie Dolan specifically stated that  during the drive to Liverpool, Hewlett took back roads - telling Dolan that the police were looking for him and he wanted to avoid being filmed by the cameras on the main highway.  She said that, although they had little money, Hewlett abandoned the van in Liverpool and they took the ferry to Ireland.)
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