This double homicide from 1995 was close to home. For two reasons. Firstly, it happened in Eastham, on the Wirral, just a couple of miles away from Ellesmere Port, and secondly, a close work colleague of mine, used to employ the killer. Events began in July 1995, when a Police search found the bodies of two young boys, aged 12 & 13. Robbie Gee & Paul Barker. They were found by ponds used for fishing, close to the M53 Motorway that by-passed Eastham. Both boys were found with their clothes interfered with. Paul had been strangled, bludgeoned and stabbed. Robbie had been strangled and stabbed ten times. Suspicion immediately fell on 37 year old Stephen Heaney, a loner who still lived at home with his parents in Eastham. He confessed to the murders. However, it seems that he has never given any explanation for his brutal actions. Sentenced to life, Mr Justice Ognall said that he presented a serious risk if ever released.
Heaney had tried to entice two young boys shortly before the murders, telling them of badgers and owls in the local vicinity, and arranged to meet them the next day. But the boys appeared with a girl of 12, who Heaney tried to grab, so they refused to go anywhere with him. Then he arranged to meet two other boys at these ponds, where he separated them by asking one to go to another pond. He then launched his attacks. After he had finished, he went for a drink in his local pub, the Stanley Arms. After his conviction, it was announced by Police that they were going to interview him over a sex attack on two boys at a fishing pond in Lytham St Annes, near Blackpool, in 1990.
Then the media frenzy began with various people racing forward with their Heaney stories. Some were published, some were not. Some with their stories, I actually knew. My friend employed Heaney some years before and never noticed anything wrong, and did tell me some of the secrets of the people who sold their tales to reporters. Would have made good reading for the News of the World but libel writs would have flown about - for telling the truth! Two of them I knew, and they had nothing to shout about. Heaney may never be released and frankly, I say good. Another example of the evil that can lurk below the surface in people.