Like the attack on drug dealer Joseph Nee, each victim was shot at close range with handguns in streets near their homes. The gunman would be dressed in black and approach the target on foot. And just like Cashman and Nee, in some cases the killer and victim appear to have been known to one another. Each of the three victims was suspected of involvement in crime. All the killings remain unsolved.
Merseyside Police have urged anyone with information “which could help with the investigation and bring justice for the families” to contact its cold case review team or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Cashman, 34, was hired to kill Nee by a feared international drug cartel, which suspected him of a jail plot to steal a consignment of their cocaine, sources said.
Nee was said to be known in underworld circles as a “dog”, a slang term for criminals who steal drugs from rival dealers.
He had been shot at in 2018 and just two weeks before Olivia’s death.
Cashman’s name was first given to detectives within 24 hours of the murder by terrified locals who thought he was untouchable.
Det Supt Mark Baker, who led the investigation, said the killer remained in the area to “rain terror” on the community. But the murder was a watershed moment, which led to witnesses standing up to the Liverpool gangsters.
Mr Baker said: “This dreadful, abhorrent murder has really drawn a line in the sand. We hoped from the outset that people would come forward and support us.
“People who wouldn’t ordinarily support the police clearly have done and we will continue to target people involved in drug dealing.”
Mr Baker said Olivia’s murder was caused by “serious and organised crime” and vowed to hunt down Cashman’s associates.
Father-of-two Cashman was a feared enforcer for an organised crime group, who had been building a reputation on Merseyside as a “man with the gun”.
One underworld source said: “When I met him, which was 2018, he was just a skinny little rat with a firearm. He can’t fight with his hands but he could use a gun and he was willing to use a gun anywhere on anyone.”
The source said Cashman made money from cannabis “grow houses” on the outskirts of the city, where criminal gangs harvest huge quantities of drugs.
He said: “Basically his main line of work was being an enforcer alongside people doing cannabis grows. And every time these cannabis grows got robbed, he would be recruited by the people that were growing them to do the damage.”
The son of a meat porter, Liverpool-born Cashman told his trial he grew up with his four siblings before leaving school at 13 and becoming a fairground worker in Wales.
He returned to the city and began small-scale cannabis dealing, but said he graduated into a “high level drug dealer”, earning £3,000 to £5,000 a week at the time of Olivia’s shooting.
Cashman claimed he was selling five to 10kg of the drug every week in “Finchy” – his patch around Finch Lane.
But in 2020, while living with “childhood sweetheart” Kayleeanne Sweeney, he began an affair with a woman who would go on to give crucial evidence against him.
Sources say Cashman was heavily involved for many years in the higher echelons of Liverpool’s organised crime world.
He is understood to be linked to a group suspected of being behind a string of grenade and gun attacks in the city.
Cashman’s Facebook profile shows links to a Who’s Who of the Liverpool underworld, including convicted criminals, robbers and other contract killers.
Friends include Dylan Westall, jailed for life for his role in the shooting James Meadows, 17, and who is linked by police to a spate of other shootings across the city.
Another, Reuben Murphy, was convicted last year of murdering Patrick Boyle, 26, by shooting him twice in the chest from an electric bike.