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Russell Bishop: Babes in the Wood killer has died aged 55 from cancer – and what did he do?

Bishop was sentenced to at least 36 years in prison for the sexual assault and murder of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway

The children in The Woodslayer, Russell Bishop, who murdered two Brighton schoolgirls Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows, have died in hospital.

Babes in the Wood killer, Russell Bishop – who murdered two schoolgirls in the 1980s – died in hospital belong to cancer.

The 55-year-old was jailed for at least 36 years in 2018 after being found guilty of the murders of Nicola Fellows and 9-year-old Karen Hadaway.

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Bishop was 20 years old when he sexually assaulted and strangled girls in a house in the woods Brighton, East Sussex, in October 1986.

When did he die?

Bishop passed away on Thursday (January 20).

A Department of Prisons spokesman said: “HMP Frankland inmate Russell Bishop died in hospital on January 20. Detention and Probation Inspectors have been notified.”

It is understood that he has cancer.

The kids in Forest Killer, Russell Bishop.

Who is Russell Bishop?

Raised in Brighton on the south coast, Bishop was the youngest of Sylvia and Roy Bishop’s five sons.

Ms. Bishop, described in court as an “authoritarian” matriarch, is a successful international dog trainer and has written a training manual.

In 1978, Bishop’s roofer father was wrongly suspected of being the “Beast of Stanmer Park”. He was arrested but never charged with the unsolved rape and murder of Brighton woman Margaret Frame, who went missing in a park and later found buried in a shallow grave.

Fearing history repeating itself, he even warned his son not to join the search for the missing girls in 1986, the court said.

As a child, Bishop struggled with dyslexia and told jurors he had difficulty reading and writing as well as “problem solving”.

5ft 5in tall and weighing just over 10 stone, in 1986 Bishop grew a beard and was said to be very attractive.

He lives with his partner Jennie Johnson and their newborn son Victor in Stephens Street, Brighton, while also having a relationship with 16-year-old Marion Stevenson, who has been “besieged” by him.

He knows both Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway’s family and the girls are friends with Miss Stevenson.

Even before the murder, his behavior towards young girls was a cause for concern.

The court heard how lustful he was after the girls planted banana trees in the park, saying “wait until she’s 13 or 14”.

Karen Hadaway (left) and Nicola Fellows.

What happened to the murder of Babes in the Woods?

On October 9, 1986, Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway went missing while playing in Wild Park, Brighton, after school. Bishop had been seen in the area not long before.

The next day, Bishop and his dog Misty joined the search, which ended when two 18-year-olds found their bodies in a forest cave.

On October 31, Bishop, who was spoken to by the police, was formally arrested and interviewed cautiously. In December

He was remanded in custody after being charged with murder.

Bishop was cleared of the murders of Karen and Nicola on December 10, 1987 but within three years continued to kidnap, sexually harass, and murder a seven-year-old girl, leaving her to die at Devil Dyke .

While serving a life sentence for attempted murder, Bishop is ordered to face a new trial under the double danger law, due to a DNA breakthrough.

More forensic work was done in December 2005, and the yarn provides “very strong support” for the suggestion that a discarded Pinto sweater is linked to Bishop’s home. The word hair is also associated with Bishop. But CPS concluded the evidence was not strong enough for a retrial.

But in June 2015, strands and DNA linking Bishop and the victims to the Pinto sweater were found. Bishop’s DNA was found on a swab from Karen’s left forearm. The following year, he was released from the Frankland prison and re-arrested for the murders.

Bishop’s conviction ended a long battle for justice for the families of the two victims. However, in 1998, Karen’s father, Lee Hadaway, died without seeing his daughter’s killer brought to justice.

During the trial, Bishop adjusted his evidence against new forensic evidence, claiming to have touched the bodies to feel beats after they were found by two 18-year-olds.

But jurors saw through the web of lies and convicted Bishop on the basis of “flooding” evidence on the 31st anniversary of his acquittal.

Bishop refused to attend his sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey.

What has been said about his death?

Nicola’s cousin, Lorna Heffron, said the news had yet to be made and that while it was something the families “knew was coming”, it was still a “fairly big shock to the system”.

Speaking to the PA news agency, she said: “We’re glad he’s gone and he absolutely won’t be able to hurt anyone else in the future. The world is a better place without him.

“I think the biggest relief is that we got justice for Nicola and Karen before this happened.

“It’s gratifying to know that now we don’t have to worry that he, at any point in the future, can get pardon.”

She said the families “always knew” he had murdered the two girls and they wished he hadn’t been acquitted initially, leaving him free to strike again, but they hoped his death will close with his surviving victim.

Peter Kyle, Labor MP for Hove, described Bishop as a “disgusting man” who “murders and deceives who has caused endless pain to so many”.

In a Twitter post, he added: “I hope his death behind bars begins a new chapter for his victim’s family. They deserve it. These events have scarred Brighton and Hove forever. ”

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Huynh Nguyen

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