Hunt continues for double killer

by Mark Lavery MURDER hunt detectives have renewed pleas for information in their bid to catch a double killer still on the loose.

Today marks the anniversaries of the brutal deaths of retired miner Don Herbert, 64, of Sharlston, Wakefield, and window cleaner Paul Hemingway, 49, of Normanton.

Both men were murdered in their homes on consecutive Bank Holiday weekends – August 23, 1995, and August 23, 1996 respectively.

The man police believe committed the murders was quizzed numerous times, but was not charged through lack of evidence positively identifying him as the killer.

Detectives today said they are as determined as ever to solve the cases and believe information from the public could still hold the key to snaring the double killer.

"My dad's murder is the first thing I think about when I wake up every morning," said Don Herbert's son, also called Don, 48, today.

"I feel sick and empty. It is still as raw now as the day he died – it has ruined all his family's lives."

Don Herbert jnr still lives in the close-knit former mining village of Sharlston, close to the bungalow on School Close where his disabled father lived, and died, alone.

The former Sharlston miner, who suffered from lung disease, was battered to death with the oxygen cylinder he used to keep him alive for the sake of just 50.

Exactly a year after Don Herbert's death, a second killing rocked the neighbouring community of Normanton.

On August 23, 1996, loner Paul Hemingway was knifed to death in a frenzied attack at his flat in Park Green two miles from the first killing.

Det Chief Supt Paul Johnston, head of crime at West Yorkshire Police, said today: "We never give up on cases like these, and if anyone has any information that might help us, I really would urge them to let us know."

Retired Det Supt Bob Taylor said: "There may be something that someone didn't want to say at the time but if they came forward now the police would be glad to hear from them."

•Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01977 601085 or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111.

mark.lavery@ypn.co.uk