Babes in the Wood victims’ families urge killer Russell Bishop ‘to come clean’


Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop was today urged to come clean and finally confess to his horrific crimes before he dies of brain cancer.

The 55-year-old has always denied murdering best friends Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, both nine, in 1986 before dumping their bodies in woodland near their homes in Brighton. 

Today both girls’ families urged the paedophile, who is receiving palliative care in jail, to stop being a ‘coward’ and make a deathbed confession to the killings, which were one of the most notorious murder cases of the 1980s. 

Babes in the Wood murderer Russell Bishop  - who murdered best friends Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1986 - is dying from brain cancer in his prison cell, aged 55

Babes in the Wood murderer Russell Bishop  – who murdered best friends Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1986 – is dying from brain cancer in his prison cell, aged 55

Karen's mother Michelle Hadaway (left) with Nicola's parents Barrie Fellows and Susan Eismann. The trio issued a joint statement urging Bishop to come clean

Karen’s mother Michelle Hadaway (left) with Nicola’s parents Barrie Fellows and Susan Eismann. The trio issued a joint statement urging Bishop to come clean 

They told The Mirror: ‘Russell Bishop has a chance to come clean before he dies unless he is a bigger coward than he has always seemed.

‘And if he doesn’t have the guts to confess his crimes and admit his guilt, he will be the loser, so our message to him is simple.

‘We don’t need your admission of what you did to our beautiful girls. Your refusal doesn’t matter to us… but your admission would show you have finally had the courage to take responsibility for your despicable crimes.’

Nicola’s parents Barrie Fellows and Susan Eismann and Karen’s mother Michelle Hadaway issued the statement with the help of Nicola’s cousin Lorna Heffron.

The child killer escaped justice for 32 years before he was jailed in 2018.

He was initially diagnosed with bowel cancer but it has now spread to his brain, The Sun on Sunday reported.

Bishop underwent surgery in a bid to stop the cancerous growth but it was unsuccessful.

He is said to be ‘devastated’ by the diagnosis and is having palliative care at HMP Frankland in County Durham where he is being held.

Nicola Fellows

Karen Hadaway

Bishop brutally killed Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in 1986 when they were both just nine

Bishop pictured after his initial arrest for the 1986 Babes in the Wood murders

Bishop pictured after his initial arrest for the 1986 Babes in the Wood murders

A source said: ‘Bishop has weeks or, at most, months left and he is devastated by the diagnosis.

‘His life is ebbing away and he is getting progressively weaker.

‘Bishop has never shown much remorse for what he did so people feel justified in not feeling much sympathy towards him.’

Bishop lured the two best friends to a secluded den in Brighton’s Wild Park where he sexually assaulted and strangled them.

The tragic discovery was made just half a mile from both of the girl’s family homes.

Bishop was cleared of the Babes in the Wood murders in 1987 after a series of blunders by police, forensic experts and prosecutors.

Within three years he went on to kidnap, molest and throttle a seven-year-old girl at Devil’s Dyke.

While serving life for that crime, Bishop was ordered to face a fresh trial for Nicola and Karen’s murders in light of a DNA breakthrough.

The girls were found dead in this 'den' in undergrowth in Wild Park, Brighton

The girls were found dead in this ‘den’ in undergrowth in Wild Park, Brighton

In 2017 Bishop’s acquittals were quashed and the following year he was found guilty after a trial.

This summer, Bishop’s girlfriend Jennifer Johnson, 55, was convicted for perverting the course of justice for lying in his first trial.

Johnson stunned police in the dock after suddenly claiming a blue jumper that linked him to the crime scene and killings was not his. She had previously told investigators it had been his garment.

Johnson had admitted lying, but had pleaded not guilty to perjury and perverting the course of justice, on the basis that she was acting under duress.

But the jury at Lewes Crown Court decided she was lying again and had been ‘part of Team Bishop’, desperate to get him cleared of murder.

Love letters sent from Johnson to him during the Devils Dyke case and shown to these jurors, had laid bare the lengths she would go to for him.

The case was also brought to recent public attention after the mother of murdered Karen Hadaway accused shamed journalist Martin Bashir of losing her daughter's clothes

The case was also brought to recent public attention after the mother of murdered Karen Hadaway accused shamed journalist Martin Bashir of losing her daughter’s clothes 

They trilled: ‘I’m not going to leave you so don’t worry because I won’t. cos I love you very much and I will write every day because you’re special to me and you mean all the world too.

‘Don’t get worried when I’m not up with your mum as I can’t get a babysitter all the time but I’m still thinking of you love. 

‘Can we get married quite soon and I will book the church OK? It is wonderful that you want to marry me. It’s not prison talk is it love? I haven’t got a lot to say so bye for now.’

The case was also brought to recent public attention after the mother of murdered Karen Hadaway accused journalist Martin Bashir of losing her daughter’s clothes.

Michelle Hadaway says the former BBC religion editor obtained the clothes for DNA testing for BBC Two’s Public Eye programme 30 years ago, but the investigation did not air and her calls to the broadcaster were ignored, she claimed.

Ms Hadaway previously said Mr Bashir approached her in 1991 and asked to have her daughter’s clothing DNA tested, saying that science had advanced in the five years since the murders, but never returned the clothes.

She called him a ‘dishonest rogue’ and called for a criminal investigation after she claimed he delayed the killer’s capture. 



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Written by bourbiza

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