Police are offering a £50,000 reward to anyone who can provide information in the murder investigation of infamous Salford businessmen "Mr Big" Paul Massey. The 55-year-old was gunned down outside his home in Clifton in what police suspect was a targeted gang-related shooting.
Massey was frequently linked to organised crime, something he always denied. Following his death, local residents also described how he had become something of a reformed character from the reputation that proceeded him in the 1990s.
No one has been arrested in connection with Massey's murder, which occurred during a series of other shootings in and around the Salford and north Manchester area.
Greater Manchester Police is now offering the £50,000 reward - the second time it has offered such a large amount - for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible. The suspect has been described as white and of slim build and was wearing a hat, possibly fisherman style, a face covering, a green or khaki long-sleeved top and combat style trousers tucked into black, lace-up boots and carrying a black gun.
Greater Manchester Police previously offered a £50,000 reward for information on Dale Cregan, the man who murdered police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone while police were searching for in in relation to the killing of father and son David and Mark Short.
Detective Chief Inspector Howard Millington, the senior investigating officer, said: "Four months after Paul Massey was murdered and our detectives are still working hard to catch the person responsible.
"We are keen to speak to a man who was seen at 7pm on Friday 24 July 2015, in Clifton Country Park albeit the other side of the park near to the entrance to Giants Seat Farm around 150 yards before the Giants Seat Garden Centre. He was in what was described as a white Renault Kangoo van and has been described as white, in his late 30s to early 40s, about 5ft 10in tall, of average build, with a round face, and was wearing a black hat, black jacket, grey and black camouflage trousers, and was carrying a torch and a gun.
"We will investigate all avenues and the similarity to the description of the offender may be mere coincidence, but I would ask that he gets in touch so we can eliminate him from our enquiries.
"Over the last few months there has been understandable concern in the community about organised crime and the recent shooting incidents. I want to assure you that we are focused on tackling the issue of serious and organised crime.
"The key to this murder lies in the community and I believe someone out there knows who did it. Whatever you think of police, do the right thing and talk to us; your information could help to stop further violence in your community.
"I want to stress that if you come forward with what you know, we can offer you complete anonymity and I assure you that you will have our full support. Or if you don't feel you can talk to police but you have information, you can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously."
Massey was given the nickname "Salford's Mr Big" in 1992 by a local councillor who accused him of being involved in civil disturbances in the area, including the attack on two police officers by men wearing balaclavas.
In 1999, he was sentenced to 14 years in jail after stabbing a man in his groin and leaving him for dead outside a nightclub. In 2012, he lost his campaign to be the mayor of Salford despite offering to do the role for free and promising to get heroin off the streets. He came in seventh place overall after receiving 1,995 votes – 4.45% of the poll.
At the time of the shooting, Massey had been on bail for more than three years after he was arrested on suspicion of money laundering. He was never charged and denied any involvement.