A widow has told of her 23 years of heartache and unanswered questions on the aniversary of her husband’s murder as the hunt for his killer continues.
Kevin Nightingale, 33, was gunned down outside his home in Drake Close, South Shields, on February 17, 1996.
Despite repeated appeals, including a tearful plea by his late mother Maud for information as to who killed her baby boy, vital information that could reveal who pulled the trigger has not been forthcoming.
Maud died on Christmas Eve 2008 - never seeing the person behind her son’s murder brought to justice.
Kevin’s two older sisters, Ethel Weedy and Elizabeth Dick, have also since died.
That’s something his widow Julie fears will be her fate as she continues to hold on to a glimmer of hope that Kevin’s killer will be caught in her lifetime.
As another year passes on South Tyneside’s longest unsolved murder case she has described the torture she lives with each day.
She said: “As time goes on, the chances of someone coming forward with information is getting less and less. You start to lose faith.
“There’s been little glimmers of hope over the years but nothing seems to come of it. It’s like the killer and whoever knew anything about it have just disappeared into thin air.
“Every day since it happened, it’s all I think about. Who did it? Why did they do it? I just don’t understand why anyone would want Kevin dead.
Kevin was a good man, a good husband, a good dad and a good boxer - obviously the coward who done it couldn’t face him like a man.Julie Nightingale
“His mam has died never knowing who killed her son, his two older sisters have died never knowing who killed their younger brother and the way things are going, I’ll probably die never knowing either.”
She added: “Kevin was a good man, a good husband, a good dad and a good boxer - obviously the coward who did it couldn’t face him like a man.”
“We haven’t been able to move on with her lives - I’ll never be able to move on with my life until his killer is found.”
Mr Nightingale, described by his family as “happy-go lucky”, was gunned down as he unlocked the front door of his home in the early hours of February 17.
The 33-year-old was discovered lying in a pool of blood by his wife and 11-year-old daughter Michelle.
Many believe Mr Nightingale was targeted because he was trying to prevent drugs being taken into a club where he worked.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “This incident took place 23 years ago but the investigation into Kevin’s death is not closed.
“We remain committed to establishing the circumstance behind Kevin’s death and will continue to act on any new lines of enquiry or information.
“If you have information that could help detectives with any of our unsolved cases then please call us on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”