The forensic specialist directing the search for Peter Wilson played a key role in the Moors murders investigation.
Geoff Knupfer, a 62-year-old former detective with Greater Manchester Police, helped lead the hunt for Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the 1980s.
After that he pursued his interest in forensic science and ballistics.
He said: "I was deputy head of the Moors murder (investigation) in the 1980s and worked with forensic archaeology, trying to develop forensic archaeology in the intervening period as a forensic scientist."
The married Manchester native retired in 1997 and was appointed Dean of Studies at the National Training Centre for Scientific Support for Crime Investigation .
He was approached by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains six years ago and has worked as a senior investigator on Disappeared digs since - a period that has seen three bodies recovered.
Two of those, Charlie Armstrong and remains believed to be that of Gerry Evans, have been found since the summer.
But Mr Knupfer dismissed suggestions that the recent successes were linked.
He said: "It's a very slow, laborious process. The remains that were recovered a fortnight ago (Mr Evans) we'd been working on that site for 18 months or longer and we had to install two-and-a-half miles of drain to drain the bog before we started work.
"So it's just the way it's unfolded but there's no significance in the fact that we've found two victims in the last two or three months."