‘Evil’ child killer joined search party
CHILLING photographs have emerged showing child killer Russell Bishop joining the search for two schoolgirls after he brutally murdered them.
Bishop, 52, was today convicted of strangling nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in Brighton, England on October 9, 1986, in a case that was dubbed the Babes in the Woods murders.
Eerie pictures showed him looking unphased as he smoked a cigarette a matter of hours after the horrific killings, as well as handing out leaflets three years later as the desperate search for their murderer ramped up, The Sun reports,
Bishop, who was friends with the parents of the little girls, was cleared of the double murder in 1987 but in his second trial has been convicted of killing them thanks to a DNA breakthrough linking him to a discarded sweatshirt.
The investigation into the two girls' deaths is the largest and longest-running inquiry Sussex Police have ever had.
A collection of black and white images were released during the trial, with one showing a dead-eyed Bishop sitting in a field smoking as people searched for their bodies.
He showed no emotion as he held a cigarette in his left hand, hours after he sexually assaulted and strangled the pair in Wild Park.
Bishop also appeared to be "grief stricken" when officers told him the pair were dead following a police hunt.
In 1989, he was also seen handing out leaflets asking the people of Brighton for information in relation to the murders.
A voice recording of Karen's mum, Michelle Hadaway, phoning emergency services to report her daughter as missing was also released by police.
She could be heard saying she had been "walking around for hours and nearly collapsed" after trying to find her daughter.
Bishop was slammed for leaving the family in the dark for 32 years over who had murdered the two girls as they called him "evil personified".
Karen was discovered lying across Nicola with her head in her friend's lap and their hands close together following the murder. Their bodies were discovered the day after they were killed.
Bishop, who was then aged 20, later told a neighbour the vision of them lying across each other was a sight he would never forget.
Families of both girls today wept in court when the verdict was delivered, with a devastating statement released by both families branding Bishop a "monster".
Speaking after the verdict, Mrs Hadaway said the families "finally have justice".
"Time stood still for us in 1986. To us the beautiful girls will always be nine-year-olds. They will never grow up," she said.
"We've been deprived of a happy life to watch them grow into adults.
"What people like Bishop inflict on the families of their victims is a living death. They take the lives of children but they also take the lives of the families left behind.
"Kas and Nicky, as they were affectionately known, were friends playing out together only to have their lives wiped out by a sexual deviant, a monster.
"What's been hard, horrendous and heart breaking is to hear that they were murdered by a disgusting paedophile, who we actually knew and the two girls liked and trusted. He abused that trust.
"Bishop doesn't deserve to breathe the same clean air as we do. After all, he decided that day to strangle the life out of our two angels, leaving them no air to breathe.
"What makes a man want to squeeze the life out of two innocent children with his bare hands? Unbelievable when he had a child himself and another on the way.
"He's a coward, without a conscience. I don't believe you can rehabilitate evil.
"I think Bishop was just born that way. People talk to me of forgiveness but I can never forgive or forget what the evil monster did to my beautiful Kaz and Nicky.
"I'm trying so hard to get my head around this but I will because I'm a fighter and I'll never stop being strong for my family."
Bishop is soon to receive his sentence for the murders.
This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished with permission.