On the 30th anniversary of one of Greater Manchester’s most notorious unsolved murders, police are renewing an appeal for information.
The body of 31-year-old Linda Suzanne Donaldson was found with multiple injuries lying in a ditch in a field off Winwick Lane, Lowton, on 18 October 1988.
Her body had been mutilated with multiple stab wounds.
Despite numerous enquiries, repeated appeals for information and new forensic techniques developed in the intervening 30 years, her killer has never been caught.
A £50,000 reward remains in place for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Linda’s killer.
In the late afternoon of Monday 17 October 1988, Linda – who struggled with heroin use – got up and went to the red light district in Liverpool to earn some money as a sex worker.
She returned to the flat a number of times that day, having last been seen by her flatmate when she left the property at 11.30pm.
A Merseyside police officer who knew Linda well also recalls seeing her between 11pm and midnight.
When Linda did not return, her flatmate became concerned and contacted police.
However, by the time the report had been made later that afternoon (October 18 1988), Linda was already dead.
Enquiries established the body had been transported to the ditch after Linda’s death but the location of the murder has never been verified.
Three decades on, specialist officers are renewing their appeal for information.
Martin Bottomley from GMP’s Cold Case Review Unit said: “The murder of Linda Donaldson shocked everyone who worked on it.
“She didn’t have the best start in life and through no fault of her own was forced into a lifestyle she would never have chosen for herself.
“She ended up losing her life in horrific circumstances and her killer has never been found.
“There are many unanswered questions but we believe there are people out there who know what happened to her.
“Thirty years is a long time, but it’s living memory for a great many people.
“Maybe you lived in Merseyside or the Lowton area at the time and recall something that seemed out of place.
“Perhaps you’ve heard someone talk of the case since and thought something they said seemed odd, or out of character.
“The smallest pieces of information can often lead to fresh lines of enquiry that help police crack unsolved crimes such as this.
“This was a young woman with a good heart. If you know something – look into your own and volunteer this information to the police.”
Anyone with information can call GMP’s dedicated team on 0161 856 5978.
Alternatively, information can be left with the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.