A £10,000 reward has been put up in an effort to solve a 20-year-old murder.

The independent charity, Crimestoppers, has offered the reward to help catch the killer, or killers, of 23-year-old Laurence Winstanley who went missing in Oldham on the 2nd October 1988.

His body was discovered almost a year later on the 26th September 1989 at Baitings Dam Reservoir, just off the A58 on the outskirts of Ripponden.

Laurence died as a result of a gun shot to the head.

Superintendent Colin Prime of the West Yorkshire Police Major Incident Review Team said: ‘’Someone out there knows who was responsible for Laurence’s death.”

“The circumstances of the murder, and the subsequent recovery of his body, lead us to believe that the killer did not act alone. I would urge anyone who may hold any information to come forward and assist in bringing the killers to justice.’’

‘’I have been in personal contact with Laurence’s family, and they wake each morning thinking of Laurence and how his life ended, not knowing who was responsible.”

“I am keen to be able to answer that question and finally bring some closure for Mrs Winstanley and her Family after all these years.’’


At the time of his disappearance Laurence lived in the Sholver area of Oldham. On the day he went missing, he went for a drink at his local pub, The Windsor, where he received a telephone call which seemed to concern him.

After leaving the pub, he went to his mother’s house but took over an hour to complete the journey which would normally take a matter of minutes. Officers want to know where Laurence went that afternoon before calling to see his mother.

He was seen again at the pub later that evening, but no-one can be sure what time he left.

He was never seen alive again.


A couple of days after his disappearance, his vehicle, a Red Ford Cortina estate, registration number SAT 385W, was taken to a scrap merchants in the Oldham area.

When Laurence was found in the reservoir, his body was wrapped in a curtain which had been weighted down by a pick axe head.

Laurence’s Mother, Vanessa Winstanley, has now moved away from the Oldham area, but issued a statement through the Police.

“Laurence was a wonderful son, the whole family have lost their normal lives.”

“We only function in the hope that this will come to a close, that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and that Laurence will finally be laid to peace.”

“He was given no chance to have a normal life; to get married, to have children and to grow old.”

“The people responsible for this horrific crime must be found and punished, somebody must know them, and we urge you the public to have the strength to come forward and speak out.”

‘Anyone with information can contact the Review Team on 01924 292456.’

Alternatively, anyone with information can contact Crimestoppers by ringing them on 0800 555 111 or using the secure online form which can be found on the Crimestoppers website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Both routes are anonymous; no personal details are taken, calls are not recorded and calls and forms cannot be traced.