Police review case in hunt to find killer of city cabbie
DETECTIVES are reviewing an unsolved murder case in the hope of finally discovering who killed a Stoke-on-Trent cabbie two decades ago.
Steven Johnson was slashed in the throat by a mystery knifeman in the early hours of December 22, 1990.
But, despite a huge police manhunt and repeated appeals for information, the 25-year-old father-of-two's killer has never been found.
And officers from Staffordshire Police's Major Investigation Department (MID) will now revisit evidence collected on the case through the years to see if any new leads emerge.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Garrett, pictured, said unsolved murders were "extremely rare" in Staffordshire.
"Twenty years after his death, our officers remain committed to catching Steven Johnson's killer," the MID officer added.
"All such cases undergo regular, periodic reviews by our MID.
"In line with this, Mr Johnson's murder is currently undergoing a fresh review, which will take some time to complete.
"Officers will consider any new evidence that may have come to light, along with advances in forensic science, and revisit profiles of potential suspects at the time of the murder."
Mr Johnson, an insurance salesman who worked part-time as a cabbie, was earning some extra Christmas cash for his young family at the time of his death.
He was described as a 6ft 4in gentle giant who would never have picked an argument or provoked a violent confrontation with a customer.
Mr Johnson was last heard from after picking up a fare in Hanley Road, Hanley, at 3.30am and was heading for Packmoor.
His body was found by a dog walker four hours later in a snow-covered farm track at Mow Cop.
Mr Johnson had managed to stagger 20 yards in a bid for help before bleeding to death from horrific wounds to his neck.
The motive for his killing was never established and the deceased's takings for the night were still in his cab.
Mr Johnson, of Melville Street, Hanley, left his 22-year-old wife Kathleen and daughters Roxanne, aged three, and two-year-old Deborah.
And employer Geoff Scragg said Mr Johnson's death remained at the forefront of his mind 20 years later.
The 69-year-old director of Scragg's Taxis said: "After 20 years it's not as hard, but he's still in our thoughts at all times, especially at this time of year.
"Customers still mention it, especially at Christmas. It was such a tragic thing.
"I'm glad the police are looking at it again.
"There's somebody out there somewhere that knows something. Maybe their circumstances have changed now and they might pick up the phone.
"It would be lovely to see it all sorted out after all this time."
Police believe someone in the area could still have vital information on the killer's identity.
DCI Garrett said: "Mr Johnson was a mild-mannered man who was much-loved by his family.
"His murder was shocking and brutal.
"We believe the murderer had connections with the local area at the time and may still be known by someone who lives locally. We would ask anyone with information to get in touch with us."
Anyone with information should call Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or alternatively Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.