Corner shops have always been vulnerable to thieves and Alice Moran, 65 and unmarried, knew it. She went to extraordinary lengths to protect her corner shop at 248 Collyhurst Road, Collyhurst, a run-down area of inner Manchester. All the windows and doors had locks and bolts, and her bedroom was rigged to an alarm system connected to the house next door, where her brother lived.

On top of that she had no till, so each time a customer needed change she went to get it from the back room – always locking the door behind her if she didn’t know the customer.

Despite all these precautions, the body of “Auntie” Alice, as she was known locally, was found, with her clothes on fire, in her back room on Wednesday, August 28th, 1957. She had been battered over the head and stabbed in the throat and chest with a small kitchen knife that had been buckled out of shape by the violence of the attack.

In falling, she had upset the coals from the grate, which rolled on to her clothing.

In normal circumstances the motive would have been presumed to be robbery, but no cash was missing from Alice’s home, suggesting that the killer panicked. Or there may have been two of them – for two men were seen running away from the corner shop at the time of the murder. That they were never found exasperated investigators, who complained they were “running into a brick-wall of non-cooperation.”