MERSEYSIDE Police are following fresh leads in a 55-year-old murder case after information was posted on a website.
Prostitute Alice Barton, 49, was strangled and her body dumped in a wartime pillbox in the Fender Valley area of Woodchurch, Birkenhead, in September 1955.
A schoolboy picking blackberries found the body – triggering a police manhunt which led to 40,000 people across Britain being quizzed.
Now detectives are following up a new line of enquiry after the posting on the internet claiming the murderer was her grandfather.
Aimee Buckley, 19, from Wirral, relates a story that was passed down through her dad’s family over the years.
She describes the suspicion that her grandfather – her dad’s father – who frequented a pub just minutes away from the murder scene, was involved in the killing.
Aimee wrote: “One night, he came home wearing blood soaked clothes demanding my nan to burn them. My nan was so horrified that she went to throw them in the wash immediately, but he ordered her to burn them there and then.”
She goes on to say that a couple of days later the murder of Alice Barton was reported in the newspaper.
She adds: “The killer has never been found and from my grandad no words have ever been said about it.”
The News understands that the “grandfather” referred to is no longer alive.
Following the discovery, the identity of Alice Barton remained a mystery, until the police controversially decided to put the face of the dead woman in our sister paper, the Liverpool Echo.
Several readers recognised her including estranged husband John, who had not seen his wife for more than 10 years.
The Pillbox Murder sent shockwaves through the Wirral community at the time.
Lancashire-born Alice had drifted into prostitution after leaving her husband some years earlier.
She would take her regular customers, mostly truck drivers, to the pill box.
A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “The investigation into the death of Alice Barton in 1955, as with all unsolved murder investigations, remains open.
“The Serious Crime Review Unit has recently received new information.
“The unit would urge anyone who has information about such crimes to contact 0151-709-6010 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.”