THE last reported sighting of 17-year-old Minnie Stott was just before 8pm on Saturday, November 16, 1940.

Having left her home in Clarence Street, telling her father, James, she was going to the pictures, the teenager popped in to the restaurant where her mum, Alice, worked in Deansgate.

The last words her mother said were to instruct her daughter, known to pals as Peggy, not to stay out too late. The teenager would never return home.

She was found strangled in a deserted garage yard off Bradshawgate. Her green scarf which was used in the murder has never been found.

More disturbingly, neither was another article of clothing — her blue satin camiknickers.

The newspapers of the day did not report such things in detail, but there were enough hints to let the reader know the true nature of the attack.

But the final four hours of Minnie’s life remain a mystery.

Clues emerged about a mystery soldier, who the young grocery store worker had met with a friend, Emily Wilkes, the previous Thursday night.

The pair had been to a chip shop in Bridge Street before carrying on to the Palais de Danse — now the Ikon nightclub.

In between, they drank a modest two glasses of sherry in the Founders Arms with an on-leave soldier, who they met in the “chipped potato shop”.

On that night, both girls got home safely, but police believed Minnie may have met up with the man again on the Saturday. The soldier was eventually tracked down and cleared of any involvement, but local suspicions remained.

Historian’s bid to solve a 70-year-old murder

Two months later, her parents, visiting their daughter’s grave, spoke with a woman who claimed to have seen Minnie with a friend on the night of her death.

The woman told Mr and Mrs Stott she had spotted Minnie and the other girl getting into a car in Bradshawgate with two men.

Despite having the names of the other girl and one of the men, police were unable to trace any of the people concerned.

To this day, Minnie’s murder remains unsolved.

Her killer is now most likely dead, but interest in this horrific crime is still very much alive