Detectives name top suspect in hunt for child killer


22 March 2001
Robert Sutcliffe
Yorkshire Post

A convicted child abuser has been named by detectives as the prime suspect they want to question in connection with the murder of an 11-year-old schoolgirl 26 years ago. Lesley Molseed's body was found near Ripponden on October 5, 1975. She had been stabbed a dozen times with a knife. The youngster had been abducted three days earlier while running an errand for her mum near their home in Rochdale. Det Chief Supt Max McLean, who is leading the investigation, said he was confident he would find Raymond Hewlett, a former Todmorden man, aged 56.  Officers are following up 148 leads in a dossier following a Sunday newspaper investigation.
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New leads on unsolved schoolgirl murder


22 March 2001
Rochdale Observer

Among them is a former Rochdale man who subjected his daughter and stepson to five years of persistent sexual abuse. Following a 23-day trial in 1992 - in what was dubbed the orgies-in-the-attic trial - he was jailed for 10 years but has since been released. It is understood he is now living in a hostel in London. On Sunday, the News of the World said the 52-year-old was linked to Raymond Hewlett - a convicted paedophile already under suspicion of Lesley's death - and a third, unnamed man.

Lesley disappeared from her home in Turf Hill on 5 October 1975 on her way to buy a loaf of bread. Three days later her body was found on the desolate moorland above the A627 Oldham to Halifax Road. She had been stabbed repeatedly. The man convicted of her killing, Stefan Kiszko, who spent 16 years in prison protesting his innocence, was cleared of the crime in February 1992. He died shortly afterwards.

According to the News of the World, the man it names was known to Lesley and was spotted on the day of her disappearance luring her away from the shop with a bag of sweets. It says that, later that day, the distraught child was seen with her abductor, clawing to get out of the car. Early the next day, says the report, he and another man spent two hours scrubbing clean a blue van.

It says that Lesley's body was found five miles from a house where the man under suspicion - along with other paedophiles - subjected children to abuse. It claims he was a close friend of Hewlett at the time of Lesley's murder. The newspaper also says it has tapes of a meeting it set up between the man and his ex-wife. Quizzing him about Lesley's death, he is said to reply: "You're putting me in a coffin.''

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "We cannot name individuals but I can confirm that we are investigating information that stems from this document and 148 new lines of inquiry. "The investigation may take some time, but we have a team of officers involved in the case.''
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Did these monsters murder little Lesley?


18 March 2001
The News of the World
Amanda Revell Walton, Terenia Taras
Additional reporting: Sarah Arnold, Neville Thurlbeck

25-year- old inquiry is reopened after NOW investigation

Two of Britain's most evil paedophiles are to be quizzed over the sex murder of schoolgirl Lesley Molseed 25 years ago-after new evidence was uncovered by the News of the World.

The 11-year-old-known as Little Miss Chatterbox was appallingly assaulted, knifed to death and left on moors. The News of the World has now linked the horror to pink-haired Michael Horgan, Raymond Hewlett and a third man we are not naming.

A hardened detective, who keeps a photo of Lesley on his desk, has opened 148 new lines of inquiry into her murder as a result of our dossier. Det Chief Supt Max McLean glanced at the picture and said:

"I've been looking at it for some time. This is a case that stirs you to want to do your best. Your dossier's been extremely helpful."

Lesley, who had a heart defect, was killed in October 1975 while on an errand for her mum. She was sexually assaulted, knifed 12 times and dumped near her home town of Rochdale, Lancs. Educationally subnormal Stefan Kiszko was found guilty of the murder, but freed after 16 years when DNA evidence cleared him.

Our dossier indicates that satanic child-sex abuser Horgan-now 52 and with a Mohican hairstyle-'groomed' Lesley leading up to her death. On the afternoon of her disappearance, loner Horgan - now at a hostel in London's Elephant and Castle-was spotted luring her away from the shops with a bag of sweets. Later that day he was seen with the distraught child clawing to get out of a car.

Early the next day he and the man we are not naming spent two hours meticulously scrubbing a blue van. We also discovered Lesley's body was found five miles from a house where Horgan and other paedophiles subjected children to satanic abuse. He was a close friend of serial child sex offender Hewlett, now 56, at the time of the murder.


We have tapes of meetings we set up between Horgan and his ex-wife Eileen, 63.

She quizzes him about Lesley. He replies:

"You're putting me in a coffin."

Horgan's stepdaughter, a schoolpal of Lesley, vividly recalls Horgan bringing the 11-year-old back to their home. The 33-year-old stepdaughter said:

"My stepdad said, 'Do you want some sweets?' Lesley said, 'Yeah'."

Eileen recalls seeing Horgan leading Lesley away from a nearby sweetshop. She said:

"She was walking by the side of him."

Witness Sandra Creese, 57, saw him with a little girl in blue clothing crying in a car with a man.

"She looked very frightened," Sandra said. "She put her hands up to the window."

Eileen said the next morning Horgan ordered her to fill a bucket of water. Eileen said he and the unnamed man cleaned the van. She said:

"You name it, they cleaned it. Then we had to do the wheels."

Horgan and his associate then scrubbed up and dumped their clothes. Eileen was ordered to cut their nails-even scraping dirt from under them. Horgan also ordered his wife to cut his hair short.

"He used to love his long hair," she said.

Horgan was convicted in 1992 of hanging children from hooks and sexually abusing them in satanic rituals.

Hewlett has a string of convictions for abducting and raping young girls and has served long stretches in jail. He is believed to be working on trawlers under another identity.


Raymond Hewlett was considered to be the prime suspect in disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Questions have been raised regarding the McCann photofit of alleged abductor, bearing a remarkable resemblance to Hewlett as he appeared years younger than he was at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.

Det Chief Supt Max McLean traveled to Germany to interview Hewlett  prior to Hewlett's death in German hospital.

July 2011 Questions are being raised regarding the earliest examples of the News of the World hacking phones.  Was this article based on illegally obtained information?  

Why did the News of the World provide details regarding Raymond Hewlett and Michael Horgan and yet protect the identity of the third man they suspect was involved in the Lesley Molseed murder?


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