Man who killed two girls and was spared jail 31 years ago is finally convicted
The families of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway have had to wait 32 years to finally close one of the most macabre and mediatic cases in the United Kingdom.
Thanks to the scientific advances of forensic technology, Russell Bishop has been accused of sexual assault and strangulation of the two minors.
Russell Bishop, a convicted pedophile, has now been convicted of one of the crimes that shook the United Kingdom and had not been resolved for 32 years.
In October 1986, Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows, two 9-year-old girls, were sexually assaulted and strangled. For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa
The bodies of the minors were found in the nearby forest of the town where they lived, Moulsecoomb, but they could never find the author of such atrocity, despite the efforts of the authorities who spent months investigating without rest.
The case had never been closed and had become the largest and longest investigation in the history of the Sussex police.
Bishop, five feet five inches tall, was 20 years old and had a thin mustache in 1986. His father had been arrested eight years earlier for the rape, mutilation, and murder of a 36-year-old woman in a Brighton park; a crime for which he was not tried and which has never been resolved.
Bishop dedicated himself to the same profession, fixing roofs, but he also committed small thefts in cars. At the time of the crimes, he lived with his pregnant girlfriend and his son two miles from the homes of the two girls.
When they disappeared, Bishop joined the search tasks. Three weeks later, he was arrested, but a chain of police errors (no fingerprints were searched or the blood found in the bodies was analyzed) allowed the man to be acquitted of the crimes.
The jury's verdict was announced on December 10, 1987. Three years later, a seven-year-old girl was abducted in Brighton, raped in a park, and strangled.
The aggressor believed that the victim was dead, but she survived and identified Bishop as the one responsible for the attack and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Karen's mother, Michelle Hadaway, assured of being relieved after so many years: "Time stood still for us in 1986, our girls will always be 9 years old. They will never grow ... what people like Bishop do to the families of the victims is to kill them in life".
The family of Fellows explained that the sentence "will not return Nicola and Karen, but we know that other children will be safe from the hands of Russell Bishop".
Another monster has recently been convicted, Joseph James DeAngelo, who had worked for two California police departments, was charged with two counts of murder under a warrant from the Ventura County sheriff's department, according to jail records.
The elusive, masked killer is blamed for 12 murders, 45 rapes and the ransacking of more than 100 area homes. New DNA techniques, plus beefed-up DNA databases, only recently allowed investigators to tie the various cases together and lead them to their suspect.
The story of these cold cases reminds us of the murder of Ricky McCormick, since much fuss has been made around the two handwritten notes found on his body. The coded messages may be the clue leading to his murder, but we may never find out.
Two hand-scribbled notes were found on the body of Ricky McCormick on June 20, 1999. By March 29, 2011, the notes got listed as one of the top unsolved murder cases, and the FBI appealed to the public to enlist their help in decoding the notes.
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