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Hunting a suspected killer: Why a former Scotland Yard detective will not stop until a fugitive faces justice

Kevin Parle has been on the run for 15 years.

A FORMER SCOTLAND Yard detective has vowed “never to stop looking” for a fugitive who is suspected of being involved in the murder of two young people in Liverpool over 15 years ago. 

Peter Bleksley was a founder member of Scotland Yard’s undercover unit in the 1980s. Since leaving the police, he has made it his mission to track down and help apprehend those who have evaded the law. 

For the last 18 months, Bleksley has been tracking down a man who has been on the run since 2005. 

In 2004, teenager Liam Kelly was shot dead on Grafton Street in the Dingle area of Liverpool. A year later, Lucy Hargreaves, a mother of three, was shot dead as she slept on her sofa in 2005. Her house was then set on fire with her body inside. 

Kevin Parle is the chief suspect in the murders of two young people. Merseyside Police is offering £20,000 for information leading to his arrest. Parle was questioned and released over the murders and then fled.

Bleksley explained that the hunt for Parle occupies his every waking thought and that he will not be able to rest until the Liverpudlian is before the courts to answer the allegations against him. 

Ex-detective Peter Bleksley is best known as ‘The Chief’, the star of Channel 4’s hit shows Hunted and Celebrity Hunted. Drawing on his former career as a fearless undercover cop at London’s Scotland Yard, Bleksley was the brains behind the hunters and fronted six series from 2015 to 2019.

His new book, Manhunt, details how close he has been to finding Parle, and the extraordinary amount of work that goes into a 21st-century hunt for a suspected killer. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Bleksley described how the fugitive is always on his mind and how social media and the internet, combined with current coronavirus restrictions, has made the world an incredibly small place for someone who is trying to avoid detection. 

“He occupies every waking moment of my days, and sometimes my dreams as well. As long as I am drawing breath or can bash a keyboard, I will be hunting Kevin Parle. He must be found, he will be found and he will be brought before the courts to answer the allegations against him,” Bleksley explained. 

The former detective says he has “an informal relationship” with the Merseyside Police, “whatever that means”, he quips. 

But not being a bona fide police officer has its benefits when chasing alleged crooks and killers, the former detective said. 

“I don’t have a warrant card. I often get further with a business card than I did with a warrant card. I have a laptop, a phone and a pen and a pad. The more publicity we get on this guy, the more the world gets smaller and it gets squeezed. 

“My very frequent posting on social media – newspapers and radio as well. It all helps. He will not be able to hide easily if his name and face are known everywhere. So hopefully, we squeeze tight enough and his six foot six ginger nut pops up somewhere and the police can slap the handcuffs on him.” 

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The detective said he believes there have been three times in the last 18 months where he has been close to Parle. He said that Parle is living a “charmed life”. There were also rumours that Parle was dead but Bleksley said he has “proof beyond compare that he is alive”. 

Covid-19 has hampered the scale of the investigation for Bleksley, but that has not meant he has been unable to do work from home. Like many, every facet of his work and personal life has been tested by Covid.

He explained: “Coronavirus has been a frustration for me but it’s the 21st century, it’s the era of the digital or desktop detective. There’s a lot I can do from the box room. I can’t get in front of people like I would really want to. But from the same token, there might be a frustration for Kevin Parle who might not be able to move about as freely as he once did. 

“Nothing about this has been easy – I have been massively tested, my emotions, my finances. Nothing has come easy but it will make his capture more rewarding when it happens.”

The former detective said no matter what happens, he will continue to pursue Parle until there’s “no breath left” in his body. He knows the pitfalls of hunting a fugitive all too well, he understands the frustrations and the dangers of chasing dangerous people.

But for Bleksley, there is just one goal: find Kevin Parle. 

Manhunt: Hunting Britain’s Most Wanted Murderer by Peter Bleksley is out now.

Peter Bleksley

Peter Bleksley

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