A former Scotland Yard detective has challenged the underworld to prove claims Liverpool’s most wanted man is dead.
Rumours of the death of Kevin Parle have persisted for years. Peter Bleksley, who has launched a personal campaign to track down the fugitive, says he has seen no proof that is the case.
Detectives want to speak to 6ft 6in Parle in connection with two murders. Mr Bleksley, an ex-undercover officer who appeared on Channel 4 show Hunted, has been searching for him since before the Coronavirus pandemic.
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In the latest in his podcast series on that campaign, Manhunt: Finding Kevin Parle, Mr Bleksley addresses the claims of Parle’s death he is repeatedly met with. Suggestions include that Parle was killed by criminals in London after ‘robbing drug dealers’ or that he was murdered - and his remains buried or placed in the sea - while on the run in Spain.
Of the claims, Mr Bleksley said: “There is no continual, credible thread that runs through any of this that would make me believe that he’s dead.”
Instead, he believes the potential sightings of Parle reported to him over recent years add strength to the possibility he is still alive. Sightings in England, Spain and Thailand have been reported to his campaign.
He said the information he had received from Spain - members of the public who believed they had seen him - amounted to “irrefutable” evidence Parle at least escaped Liverpool and made it to the south of that country.
In relation to the rumours surrounding his death, Mr Bleksley said: “Clearly there are some people who have got Kevin Parle’s interests at heart. Why would you have a dead man’s interests at heart? That’s because he’s not a dead man, because he’s alive.”
He added: “I’ll believe it. If there is irrefutable evidence of Kevin Parle being killed I will accept that. But nobody can agree on when he was killed… nobody has been consistent, nobody can agree on when he was apparently killed.”
The hunt for Parle has been ongoing for more than 15 years with detectives on Merseyside desperate to speak to him over the shooting murders of Liam Kelly and Lucy Hargreaves. Mr Bleksley believes he could be operating as the “henchman” for a criminal kingpin based in Spain.
Mr Kelly was just 16 when he was shot dead on Grafton Street, Dingle, in 2004. Parle was questioned in connection with the teenager’s murder but was released on bail - which he failed to answer. He is the subject of a European Arrest Warrant in relation to that investigation.
The following year 22-year-old mum Lucy Hargreaves was shot as she slept on a living room sofa in her Walton home. Petrol was then poured around the room and set alight. Detectives also want to speak to him as part of inquiries into the mum’s killing.