Unsolved Cheshire murders
1970 mystery of Jackie Ansell Lamb adds to grim statistics

Surprisingly over the past forty years there have been fourteen 'unsolved' murders in Cheshire. The police files technically remain open on all of them, although in one or two instances the culprits may be known, such as in the case of the IRA atrocity in Warrington in 1993 which took the young lives of Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry.

Others are a lasting mystery and may never be cracked. One of these, featured in a recent issue of the Cheshire Magazine, involved a Middlewich solicitor, Herbert Wilkinson whose body was found in a shallow grave alongside the Trent & Mersey Canal in 1967.

Another equally tantalising, and almost forgotten murder from that period involved an 18-year-old hitch-hiker, Jackie Ansell Lamb, who disappeared on Sunday March 8, 1970.

Six days later the girl's body was discovered by a farmer in Square Wood, Mere, near Knutsford. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

Twenty-three years on and the culprit is still at large.

The police, headed by Chief Supt. Arthur Benfield, instigated a nationwide appeal to find the murderer but, although there was a 'good response', it drew a blank.

The police even made a loudspeaker appeal at Manchester City's big European football match of the day because on that weekend of March 8-9 over 40,000 supporters had travelled to watch their team play in a Wembley cup final. Many had travelled on the M6 and it was known that the girl had been hitch-hiking from London to her home in Manchester.

One motorist reported seeing a girl fitting Jackie Ansell Lamb's description getting into a saloon car at Keele services between four and five o'clock. If that was Jackie Ansell Lamb it was probably the last time anyone other than the murderer saw her alive.

She was wearing a blonde wig, false eye lashes, a dark blue maxi coat and maroon patent shoes and 4,000 posters were distributed of a policewoman in similar attire. Teams of detectives also mingled with dancers at Manchester discos and night clubs...but all to no avail.

The murder of Jackie Ansell Lamb simply remains another unsolved Cheshire murder stastistic.