1985 Goble Murders
The four members of the Goble Family lived at 38 St Helens Road. On Sunday the third of February 1985 at around 1:30 am, Lee, the mother looked in on her children, Louise (11) and Robert (4) before going to bed herself. A taxi drove up the road at approximately 2:45am, the driver recalled seeing two men with an oil drum alongside a van that was parked near the house, and at 3:34 a passing driver saw a man run across the road into Alexandra Park. Shortly after this, neighbours are woken by Lee's screams for help - the house is on fire and the family are trapped upstairs. The neighbour gets a ladder to help, while another calls the fire brigade. Robert senior and Lee manage to escape via the ladder, the fire brigade subsequently pulled Louise and Robert from the house. Despite the best efforts of the fire brigade and medical staff, both children passed away due to smoke inhalation. A young man with a white crash helmet wearing motorcycle leathers was seen watching the fire - he remains unidentified. An empty oilcan was found in the garden of the house that smelled of petrol and did not belong to the Gobles.
An appeal including featuring on Crimewatch is put out to identify the arsonists, but no-one is identified and charged with the murder of the Goble children - the fire having been started deliberately with petrol being poured through the letter box.