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The Soham Murders are the murders of two 10-year-old girls which occurred in Soham, Cambridgeshire, England, on 4 August 2002. The victims, Holly Marie Wells and Jessica Aimee Chapman, were asphyxiated by a local resident, Ian Kevin Huntley,[1] who subsequently disposed of the children's bodies in a field near RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk. The girls' bodies were discovered on 17 August 2002.[2]

Jessica Chapman
Holly Wells
HollyWellsJessicaChapmanSummer2002SohamCambridgeshire2.jpg
Jessica Chapman (left) and Holly Wells (right), pictured in the summer of 2002
Born
Jessica Aimee Chapman
(1991-09-01)1 September 1991
Holly Marie Wells
(1991-10-04)4 October 1991

DiedBoth c. 4 August 2002(2002-08-04) (aged 10)
Soham, Cambridgeshire, England
Cause of deathAsphyxiation[1]
Body discovered17 August 2002
Lakenheath, Suffolk, England
Resting placeSoham Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, England
52°19′36″N 0°20′47″W / 52.32662°N 0.34642°W / 52.32662; -0.34642 (approximate)
Known forVictims of child murder

Ian Huntley was convicted of the murder of both girls on 17 December 2003 and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, with the High Court later imposing a minimum term of 40 years. His girlfriend, Maxine Ann Carr—the girls' teaching assistant—had knowingly provided Huntley with a false alibi. She received a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for conspiring with Huntley to pervert the course of justice.[3]

The efforts made to locate Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in the thirteen days of their disappearance have been described as one of the most intense and extensive in British criminal history.[4][5]

DisappearanceEdit

At 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, 4 August 2002, Jessica Chapman left her home in Brook Street, Soham, to attend a barbecue at the home of her friend, Holly Wells, in nearby Redhouse Gardens.[5] Prior to leaving her home, Chapman informed her parents of her intention to also give her friend a necklace engraved with the letter H she had purchased for her on a recent family holiday to Menorca.[5]

At Wells' home, the two girls and a friend named Natalie Parr played computer games and listened to music for approximately thirty minutes[6] before Parr returned home.[7] By 3:15 p.m., both girls had changed into distinctive replica Manchester United football shirts; one of which belonged to Holly and the other to her older brother, Oliver.[8] At 5:04 p.m., a photograph of the two friends was taken by Wells' mother before the children ate dinner with the other house guests. They then returned to playing in Wells' bedroom at approximately 6:10 p.m.[5][9]

At approximately 6:15 p.m., the two girls left the Wells residence without informing any of the house guests to purchase sweets. While returning to 4 Redhouse Gardens,[10] Wells and Chapman walked past the College Close home of Ian Huntley, the senior caretaker at the local secondary school. Huntley evidently lured the girls into his house, stating that his girlfriend, Maxine Carr—the girls' teaching assistant at St Andrew's Primary School—was also present in the house. (Carr was actually visiting her mother in Grimsby, Lincolnshire on this date.[11])

The precise chain of events to occur after the girls entered 5 College Close is unknown, although investigators believe sections of Huntley's later claims in initial interviews granted to the media prior to his arrest and his later trial testimony—such as that he had been cleaning his dog at the time the girls passed by his house at approximately 6:30 p.m. and that one girl had been suffering from a mild nosebleed—may have actually been true.[12] In any event, the cause of death of both girls was later ruled to be asphyxiation.[13][14] Chapman's mobile phone was switched off at 6:46 p.m.[15]

Noting both children were missing from their home, at 8:40 p.m., Kevin and Nicola Wells phoned the Chapman residence to determine if the girls were at this location, only to learn Leslie and Sharon Chapman were becoming concerned why their youngest daughter had not returned home.[16] Following subsequent frantic efforts by the families of both girls to locate their daughters, Wells and Chapman were reported missing by their parents at 9.55 p.m.[17]

InvestigationEdit

Police immediately launched an intensive manhunt to locate the missing children.[18] Over 400 officers were assigned full-time to search for the girls.[19] These officers conducted extensive house-to-house enquiries across Soham;[20] their efforts to search local terrain were bolstered by the assistance of hundreds of local volunteers.[21][n 1]

To assist in their public appeals for information, Cambridgeshire Police released the photograph Nicola Wells had taken of the children less than two hours before their disappearance depicting both girls wearing distinctive Manchester United replica football shirts. A physical description of each girl was also released to the media, describing both girls as being white, approximately 4 ft 6 in tall, and slim. Chapman was described as being tanned, with shoulder-length, brown hair; Wells was described as being fair, with blonde hair.[23] Suspecting the children had been kidnapped, investigators questioned over 260 registered sex offenders across the United Kingdom—including 15 high-risk paedophiles—although all were eliminated from the enquiry.[24] Police also investigated the possibility that the girls had arranged to meet with an individual either or both had contacted via an internet chat room, although this possibility was soon discounted.[25]

On 8 August,[26] CCTV footage of the girls, recorded minutes before their disappearance, was released to the public. This footage depicted the children arriving at the local sports centre at 6:28 p.m.[27] A televised reconstruction of the children's last known movements was also broadcast nationally on 10 August,[28][29] and both friends and family members of both girls appealed via the media for the safe return of the children.[30] These appeals for information regarding the whereabouts of Wells and Chapman would see more than 2,000 phone calls and tips received from the public.[31][n 2] A candlelight vigil was also held by the community on 7 August.[33]

Shortly after the children's disappearance, Staffordshire Police contacted their counterparts to report their suspicions the girls' likely abduction may be linked to an abduction which had occurred in their jurisdiction the previous year, in which a six-year-old girl had survived an indecent assault by an abductor who was still at large and whose green Ford Mondeo was identified as having number-plates which had earlier been stolen in Peterborough. The individual responsible for this abduction and assault was also believed to have followed a 12-year-old girl in the same area, although in this instance, his car had been fitted with number-plates which had been stolen in Nottinghamshire.[34] The same vehicle had recently been sighted in Glatton, Cambridgeshire. This information was later included in a televised appeal pertaining to the children's disappearance on the BBC's Crimewatch, although this potential lead ultimately failed to bear fruition or relevance.[35]

SightingsEdit

Several members of the public reported having seen the children in the early days of the investigation. One individual, Mark Tuck, informed investigators that as he had driven past the girls upon Sand Street in Soham town centre at approximately 6:30 p.m. on 4 August,[36] his attention had been drawn toward their Manchester United replica shirts, causing him to remark to his wife, Lucy: "Look! There's two little Beckhams over there."[37] A young woman named Karen Greenwood also reported seeing the girls walking "arm in arm" along College Road approximately two minutes later.[38] Another woman living in the nearby village of Little Thetford claimed to have seen two girls whose appearance and clothing matched those of Wells and Chapman walking past her home the morning after the children had been reported missing.[39] Police also received statements regarding a white van that had been seen in Soham on the evening of the children's disappearance. Investigators located and seized this vehicle from a caravan park in Wentworth on 7 August, although this lead ultimately proved fruitless.[40]

On 12 August, police launched a media appeal to trace the driver of a four-door, dark green saloon car seen struggling with two young girls by a taxi driver who stated he had observed this individual "thrashing his arms" as he struggled to either placate or contain two female children inside his vehicle as he had driven upon the A142 south of Soham towards Newmarket on the early evening of 12 August. The following evening, a dog walker alerted police to two mounds of recently disturbed earth he had encountered at Warren Hill, just outside Newmarket. The initial speculation by this individual had been that these mounds of earth may be the impromptu burial locations of the two missing girls. However, an overnight examination of this location revealed the two mounds of earth to simply be badger setts.[41]

One individual who claimed to have spoken with the girls immediately before their disappearance was a 28-year-old named Ian Huntley, who informed investigators on 5 August he had engaged in a brief conversation with both girls on his doorstep the previous afternoon.[42] According to Huntley, Wells and Chapman had briefly enquired as to whether his partner, Maxine Carr, had been successful in a recent application for a full-time teaching assistant position at their school.[43] When he had replied Carr had been unsuccessful, one of the girls had said, "Tell her we're sorry" before both children had walked in the direction of the local library. Police were suspicious of Huntley's account of the children's disappearance. His house was searched by a single police officer on 5 August. Although no incriminating evidence was discovered on this date, this officer noticed numerous items of clothing upon the washing line despite the fact it had been raining. In reference to the evident extensive cleaning of the house's interior, Huntley stated: "Excuse the dining room. We had a flood."[44] This officer was unconvinced by Huntley's claims, and he remained a strong suspect.[45]

One day later, on 6 August, Huntley drove from Soham to Grimsby to pick up Carr. Shortly after the two returned to College Close, a neighbour named Marion Clift observed the couple standing at the rear of the vehicle, with the boot open. According to Clift, a "pale, shaking"[46] Huntley had simply gazed into the boot for several moments, while Carr stood alongside him, weeping. When Huntley became aware of Clift's presence, he had abruptly closed the boot.[47]

I don't know the girls. I was stood on the front doorstep grooming my dog down. She'd run away and come back a bit of a mess ... they just came across and asked how [Maxine] was ... I just said she weren't very good as she hadn't got the job and they just says please tell her that we're very sorry and off they walked; in the direction of the library over there.[48]

Ian Huntley, interviewed by Sky News correspondent Jeremy Thompson. 15 August 2002[49]

Media interviewsEdit

In the weeks following the disappearances, Ian Huntley reluctantly[50] granted several television interviews to media outlets such as Sky News and the regional BBC News programme, BBC Look East, speaking of the general shock in the local community and his apparent dismay at being the last individual to see the children alive.[51] In one interview granted to Sky News correspondent Jeremy Thompson during the second week of the search, he claimed to be holding on to a "glimmer of hope"[49] the children would be found safe and well, claiming that he had last seen the girls walking in the direction of a local library.[52] Having actively participated in the search for the children, Huntley also made efforts to ingratiate police officers; regularly asking questions as to how their investigation was progressing and just how long DNA evidence could survive before deteriorating.[21] One of these officers observed three vertical scratches upon Huntley's left jaw, each measuring approximately three centimetres, which he claimed had been recently inflicted by his dog.[53]

Maxine Carr was also interviewed by the press during the second week of the search for the children.[49] In this live interview, Carr corroborated Huntley's claims to have conversed with the children on their doorstep as she had been bathing before both girls had walked away from their doorstep, adding: "I only wish we had asked them where they were going ... if only we knew then what we know now. Then we could have stopped them, or done something about it."[54]

Discussing the individual personalities of each girl, Carr described Wells as being the "more feminine" of the two, adding that Chapman was "more of a tomboy"[55] and that on one occasion, she had jokingly remarked to Chapman how, unlike many of her friends, she seldom wore a skirt. To this question, Carr stated the child had expressed her desire to be a bridesmaid at her own future wedding, adding how Chapman had said she would willingly wear a dress for such an occasion.[56] Carr also displayed a thank-you card to this reporter which had recently been given to her by Wells on the last day of the school year. Referring to Wells in the past tense, Carr stated, "She was just lovely, really lovely", before making a direct appeal to the children: "Just get on the phone and just come home. Or if somebody's got them, just let them go."[52][n 3]

By the second week of the children's disappearance, Huntley had begun to lose weight and vividly displayed symptoms of insomnia.[58] To one officer, he begged the question: "You think I've done it? I was the last person to see them!" before beginning to weep. His erratic and distressful behaviour led to his being prescribed anti-depressants on 13 August.[59]

Police suspicionsEdit

On 16 August, twelve days after the children's disappearance, Huntley and Carr were first questioned by police. Both were questioned for approximately seven hours. Each provided formal witness statements to investigators before being released. By this date, police had received information from several Grimsby residents who had recognised Ian Huntley in the television interviews he had granted to the media; these individuals recalled that he had been accused of rape several years earlier. Other individuals recalled that, contrary to her own televised claims, Maxine Carr had in fact been in Grimsby on the night that the girls had disappeared, and not at home in Soham as she had indicated in the interview she had granted to the media.[60]

 
Soham Village College. Police discovered charred remnants of the children's clothes at this location on 16 August[61]

The same evening, police conducted a thorough search of both 5 College Close and the grounds of Soham Village College where Huntley worked as a senior caretaker[62] as the couple remained under police watch at separate locations outside Soham. Although each room of Huntley's home had evidently been recently and meticulously cleaned with what was later described as being a "lemony" cleaning fluid,[63] these searches located numerous items declared as being of "major importance" to the ongoing investigation. Although the evidence and artifacts were not made public at the time, the items recovered from the school grounds included items of clothing the girls had been wearing when last seen, including their charred and cut Manchester United shirts, which were recovered from a bin within a hangar at Huntley's place of work.[64] Fibres recovered upon these items of clothing proved to be a precise match to samples retrieved from both Huntley's body, his clothing and from 5 College Close. Furthermore, his fingerprints were recovered from the bin.[21]

Huntley's car was also subjected to a detailed forensic examination on 16 August. The forensic examination of this vehicle revealed the car had also been recently, extensively cleaned, although traces of a distinctive mixture of brick dust, chalk and concrete of precisely the same type used to pave the road leading to where the girls' bodies would be discovered were found around the wheel arches and upon and around the pedals.[21] Furthermore, a cover from the rear seat was missing, and the lining of the boot had been recently removed and replaced with an ill-fitting section of household carpet.[63][n 4]

ArrestEdit

Having discovered the children's clothes at Soham Village College,[65] police decided to arrest Huntley and Carr. Both were arrested on suspicion of murder at 4:30 a.m. on 17 August.[66] Although investigators had publicly stated they strongly believed the children had been abducted on 7 August,[67] they publicly announced their strong suspicions both girls had been murdered on this date.[68]

During initial questioning, Huntley refused to answer questions and appeared evasive, confused, and emotionally detached; occasionally drooling throughout police attempts to question him in an effort to feign symptoms of mental illness.[69] This tactic left police with no option but to initially refer Huntley to a mental hospital to undergo an extensive psychological evaluation.[20]

By contrast, Carr quickly confessed to detectives she had lied about her whereabouts and her partner's actions on 4 August as, shortly before she had returned to Soham from Grimsby three days later, Huntley had claimed to her in a phone call to have seen the two girls shortly before their disappearance. According to Carr, Huntley—referencing one of the 1998 rapes he had committed but had earlier claimed to her to have been falsely accused of—had voiced his concerns as to being falsely accused again on this occasion. She had therefore agreed to concoct a false story with her partner to support his version of events.[70]

After being informed of the discovery of the children's bodies and the ample evidence attesting to Huntley's guilt, including his fingerprints being recovered from the bin in which the children's clothes had been found, Carr burst into tears, shouting: "No! He can't have been! It can't have been! He hasn't done it!"[71] Despite these revelations, Carr initially remained emotionally attached to Huntley. She regularly enquired as to his welfare,[72] and is known to have penned several letters in which she professed her continued love for him.[73]

DiscoveriesEdit

At approximately 12:30 p.m. on 17 August,[74] a 48-year-old gamekeeper named Keith Pryer discovered the bodies of both girls lying side by side in an irrigation ditch close to a pheasant pen near the perimeter fence of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk;[75] a location more than 10 miles east of Soham.[76] Pryer had noticed what he later described as an "unusual and unpleasant smell"[77] in the vicinity several days earlier; when returning to the area with two friends on 17 August, he had decided to investigate the cause of this odour.[78] Walking through an overgrown verge approximately 600 yards from a partially tarmacked road, Pryer and one of his companions, Adrian Lawrence, discovered the children's bodies. Immediately upon viewing the corpses, Lawrence turned in the direction of his girlfriend, Helen Sawyer, and shouted: "Don't come any closer, Helen! Get back in the van!"[79] Lawrence immediately reported the discoveries to police.[80]

Both girls had been missing for thirteen days when their bodies were found, and both corpses were in an advanced state of decomposition.[52] In an apparent effort to destroy forensic evidence, the murderer or murderers had attempted to burn both bodies.[81] Despite the perpetrator(s) efforts to destroy evidence and hinder identification, investigators rapidly deduced whom the two victims most likely were, and that both had not died at the location of their discovery.[82][n 5]

 
Ely Cathedral. A service to remember and celebrate the lives of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman was held at this location on 30 August 2002[84]

On 21 August, the bodies of both girls were conclusively identified via DNA testing.[82][85] Nine days later, a public memorial service was held at Ely Cathedral to remember and celebrate the lives of both girls. This service was attended by approximately 2,000 people.[86] An online book of condolence attracted more than 31,000 messages of grief and sympathy[87] and on 24 August, football clubs across Britain held a minute's silence prior to commencing scheduled football matches.[88]

InquestEdit

The formal inquest into the children's deaths was held at Shire Hall, Cambridge, on 23 August 2002.[89] At this hearing, coroner David Morris testified the bodies of both girls were partially skeletonized, and that no precise cause of death could be determined for either decedent, although Morris stated that the most likely cause of death of both girls had been asphyxiation.[1] Furthermore, Morris stated the girls had almost certainly not died at the location where their bodies had been discovered,[82] and that both bodies had been placed at this location within 24 hours of their deaths.[90] These conclusions were physically supported by an analysis of the shoots of nettles located at the crime scene which enabled forensic ecologist and palynologist Patricia Wiltshire to approximate that the actual time the bodies had been placed at this location had been almost two weeks prior.[83]

Formal chargesEdit

By 20 August, investigators had established sufficient physical evidence from Huntley's home, vehicle and Soham Village College to formally charge him with two counts of murder.[87] He was formally charged with these offences while detained for observation at Rampton Secure Hospital, and all preliminary hearings against him were postponed until the conclusions of his mental health assessment.[91] Maxine Carr was also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice on this date.[92] She was further charged with two counts of assisting an offender on 16 January 2003.[20]

Although Mr Huntley made clear attempts to appear insane, I have no doubt that the man currently, and at the time of the murders, was both physically and mentally sound and therefore, if he is found guilty, carried out the murders totally aware of his actions.

Dr. Christopher Clark. Consultant forensic psychiatrist reciting the conclusions of his assessment of Ian Huntley's mental state (2002)[93]

Mental health assessmentEdit

To determine Huntley's state of mental health, he was detained under Section 48 of the Mental Health Act for almost two months at Rampton Secure Hospital. Here, his mental state was extensively assessed by a consultant forensic psychiatrist named Dr. Christopher Clark to determine whether he suffered from any form of mental illness and whether he was mentally competent to stand trial. Dr. Clark concluded in October that, although psychopathic,[94] Huntley did not suffer from any major mental or psychotic illness.[93][95] Resultingly, on 8 October, Huntley was deemed mentally competent to stand trial.[95]

Having been declared mentally fit to stand trial, Huntley was faced with a sentence of life imprisonment if a jury could be convinced of his guilt.[96] He was subsequently transferred to Woodhill prison in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, where he attempted suicide on 9 June 2003 by consuming 29 antidepressants which he had accumulated in his cell. Although staff initially feared Huntley may die as a result of this overdose,[97] he was returned to his prison cell within 48 hours. Huntley was later transferred to London's Belmarsh prison.[98]

FuneralsEdit

The funeral services for Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were conducted on consecutive days in September 2002. Services for both children were held at St Andrew's parish church and both were officiated by the Reverend Tim Alban Jones. Both girls were laid to rest in private ceremonies attended by only family and close friends. At the request of both families that their privacy be respected, the media refrained from reporting upon either service.[99][100]

TrialEdit

The trial of Ian Huntley for the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman opened at the Old Bailey on 5 November 2003 before Justice Alan Moses; Huntley was charged with two counts of murder, to which he entered a formal plea of not guilty. Carr was charged with two counts of assisting an offender and one count of perverting the course of justice.[101]

In his opening statement on behalf of the Crown, prosecutor Richard Latham QC described the last day of the friends' lives and how, by "pure chance", they had happened to pass by Huntley's home at a time when Carr was not present. Latham contended Huntley had deliberately lured the girls into his home shortly after 6:30 p.m. and that both girls had been murdered shortly thereafter. He then outlined the details of how Keith Pryer and his two friends had discovered the children's bodies on 17 August.[102] Referencing the likely motive for the girls' murder and the actual cause of death of each decedent, Latham stated that due to the extensive state of decomposition of the bodies, the coroner had been unable to determine the precise cause of death of either child, or whether the girls had been sexually assaulted before or after death. However, Latham stated neither body showed signs of compressive neck injuries, knife wounds, drugging or poisoning, and that both girls had most likely died of asphyxiation.[103]

In a direct reference to Huntley's claims both girls' deaths had been accidental, Latham stated that "only one person knows what happened" after the friends entered his home.[5] However, he further stressed the cause of death was undoubtedly murder, adding: "Ten-year-old girls don't just drop dead."[104] In reference to Carr's attempts to pervert the course of justice, Latham stated that "as surely as night follows day" the two had conspired to concoct a false alibi to divert suspicion from Huntley,[105] although he warned the jury Carr could only be convicted of assisting an offender if they believed she had known Huntley had murdered the girls, adding her actual motive for providing lies to police with reference to the charge of perverting the course of justice was irrelevant.[106]

Over the course of three days, Latham outlined the efforts of both defendants to divert suspicion away from Huntley, and Huntley's own efforts to destroy all physical and circumstantial evidence linking him to the crime,[21] although despite these efforts, investigators had retrieved enough evidence to prove the children had been murdered within his home and—within approximately twelve hours of their deaths—transported in his vehicle to the location where their bodies would be discovered on 17 August. This had included ample fibre evidence retrieved from Huntley's vehicle, clothes and carpets which had been a "precise match" to the Manchester United shirts the girls had been wearing at the time of their disappearance.[107] Latham then closed his opening statement by again bringing the jury's attention to Huntley's claim both deaths had been accidental, remarking, "We pose this question: Two of them?" He then speculated Huntley's defence counsel may try and argue that he had been confused, commenting: "In that case, they would have to consider [Huntley's] behaviour over the fortnight between the girls' disappearance and their bodies being found."[108]

Defendants' testimonyEdit

On 1 December, Huntley testified before the court in his own defence. Responding to questioning by his own defence counsel, Stephen Coward QC, Huntley admitted both girls had died in his house but denied that either death had been intentional. According to Huntley, he, Wells and Chapman had entered his bathroom to stem a mild nosebleed Wells had been suffering when the girls had walked by his home. The bath was already filled with water as he had been cleaning his dog that afternoon. In the bathroom, he had slipped and accidentally knocked Wells into his bath while helping her stanch her nosebleed, and this unintentional act had caused her to drown. He further claimed Chapman had witnessed this accident and that he had accidentally suffocated her while attempting to stifle her screaming, which had preoccupied his attention as opposed to ensuring Wells did not drown. By the time his state of panic had waned, it had been too late to save the lives of either of the children[109] and that his first coherent memory had been of himself sitting on his vomit-stained landing close to Chapman's body.[59]

When questioned as to his failure to call emergency services and subsequent, extensive efforts to both destroy evidence and divert suspicion from himself, Huntley insisted he had first become preoccupied with whether the police and public alike would believe the girls' deaths had actually been accidental, and he had therefore decided to conceal all evidence of the deaths as opposed to either notifying police or paramedics.[21] Weeping, Huntley admitted responsibility for both deaths, but repeated his insistence both deaths had been accidental. He further tearfully claimed he had not attempted to feign insanity upon his arrest; insisting the trauma of the children's deaths had temporarily erased his memory and his being in the presence of police had caused his mind to temporarily seize.[110]

On 3 December, Maxine Carr took the stand to testify in her own defence. Responding to questioning from her own defence counsel, Michael Hubbard QC, Carr briefly discussed her initial acquaintance with Huntley, their subsequent relationship and plans to start a family once they both obtained financial stability before Hubbard directed his questioning toward her return to Soham on 6 August and her discovering Huntley had recently washed their bedding and had evidently cleaned sections of the house. To these questions, Carr explained that her first impression had been that Huntley had "had a woman in the house", adding their bedding had been washed shortly before 4 August. Carr further testified to having noted a crack in the enamel of the bathtub which had not been there when she had travelled to Grimsby four days previously.[111] When questioned as to why she had then assisted Huntley in extensively cleaning their home in the days following the children's murder, Carr claimed she had done so as she had always been "obsessive about tidiness."[112]

Questioned as to the efforts she had subsequently made to mislead both police and the media to divert suspicion from her partner, Carr emphasised she had only lied to police and the media to protect Huntley, who had repeatedly assured her of his innocence of any wrongdoing and his fear or being "fitted up" by police for the girls' disappearance should they discover the 1998 rape allegation made against him.[113]

Carr further claimed she had initially attempted to persuade Huntley to contact police and "be open" as to his claims to have invited the children into his home in order that Wells could stanch her nosebleed, but that he had refused to do so, as inviting children into their home had been a violation of the rules imposed by St Andrew's Primary School. She further explained her focus had therefore been to protect Huntley's job and reputation, adding that had she known of Huntley's actual guilt, she would never have attempted to provide him with a false alibi, stating to her counsel: "If, for a minute, I [had known] or believed he'd murdered either of those girls I would have been horrified."[114]

Concluding his questioning, Hubbard cautioned the jury not to succumb to the temptation of judging Carr's morality, but to consider her state of mind prior to her arrest when considering whether the lies she had told warranted any criminal liability, stating she had "done no wrong" on the date of the children's murder, and had not returned to Soham until 6 August.[115]

Closing argumentsEdit

On 10 December, counsels for both prosecution and defence delivered their closing arguments to the jury. Richard Latham delivered his closing argument on behalf of the prosecution by describing both Huntley and Carr as "accomplished liars"[116] before outlining the prosecution's case both children had to die to satisfy Huntley's "selfish self-interest" before Huntley—with Carr's support—had embarked on twelve days of "cynical deception", with Carr only revealing the truth about her lies to police after being informed of the discovery of the children's bodies.[117]

Referencing Huntley's likely motive for the murders and his claims at trial that both deaths had been accidental, Latham stated: "We invite you to reject the accounts of both deaths [being accidental] as desperate lies; the only way out for him. We suggest that this whole business in the house was motivated by something sexual. But, whatever he initiated, plainly went wrong."[118]

Following the conclusion of the prosecution's closing argument, Stephen Coward delivered his argument on behalf of the defence. Coward conceded his client was indeed guilty of physical responsibility for the girls' actual deaths—as Huntley had admitted—and therefore deserved punishment, although Coward argued the prosecution had failed to provide definitive proof Huntley had actually intended to actually murder the children or cause them actual bodily harm.[119] Furthermore, Coward contended the prosecution had failed to provide conclusive evidence to support their claim that Huntley's actual motive for the murders had been sexual. Coward concluded his closing argument by requesting the jury deliver a verdict of manslaughter in relation to both deaths.[120]

Your tears have never been for them; only for yourself. In your attempts to escape responsibility, in your lies and manipulation ... you have increased the suffering of two families. There is no greater task for the criminal justice system than to protect the vulnerable. There are few worse crimes than your murder of these two young girls.

Section of Judge Alan Moses's, formal sentencing of Ian Huntley. 17 December 2003[121]

Following the conclusion of both counsels' closing argument, Judge Moses announced the jury would begin their deliberations on 12 December.[122]

ConvictionsEdit

The jury deliberated for four days before reaching their verdicts against both defendants.[123] On 17 December 2003, they returned a majority verdict of guilty on two counts of murder against Huntley. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of imprisonment to be imposed by the Lord Chief Justice at a later date.[14] Huntley's face displayed no emotion as the verdict was announced, although the mothers of both Wells and Chapman burst into tears.[124][125]

Although Carr willingly pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice, she pleaded not guilty to the charge of assisting an offender. The jury accepted Carr's insistence that she had only lied to the police and media in order to protect Huntley because, prior to their arrest, she had actually believed his claims of innocence.[126] As such, she was found not guilty of assisting an offender. Carr was sentenced to serve three-and-a-half years in prison for perverting the course of justice.[127]

Minutes after the convictions, the parents of both girls granted an interview to the media. Discussing Huntley's mindset, Leslie Chapman opined: "I think he was a time bomb waiting to go off and both our girls were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope the next time I see him, it will be like we saw our daughters—and it will be in a coffin."[128]

MotiveEdit

Huntley's actual motive for killing the children is unknown, although minutes prior to encountering Wells and Chapman, he is known to have engaged in a heated argument with Maxine Carr, culminating in his slamming the telephone down.[52] Huntley had allegedly suspected Carr of conducting affairs throughout their relationship, leading both his mother and some police officers to suspect Huntley had killed the two girls in a fit of jealous rage.[52][129] However, prior to his trial, a criminal profile had resulted in his being ruled by an eminent criminal psychologist as a "latent, predatory paedophile"[130] who had chosen to lure Wells and Chapman into his home upon a moment of opportunism.[12]

The prosecution had contended at Huntley's trial a likely sexual motive existed for the murders. Testimony from Carr had indicated her suspicions sexual activity had occurred in their home in her absence as, although Huntley had insisted throughout the entirety of their relationship that Carr perform all domestic chores, she had observed that he had washed the quilts, pillow cases and sheets of their bed in her absence.[12] However, pathological evidence retrieved from the bodies indicating at least one of the girls had been subjected to a sexual assault either before or after her murder was not disclosed to the jury at Huntley's trial. The reason for this decision had been that both bodies were too extensively decomposed and damaged by fire to enable a conclusive determination of either the actual cause of death or if either girl had been subjected to a sexual assault.[15]

Although prosecutors at Huntley's trial contended he had intentionally lured the children into his house with a likely sexual motivation, investigators found no evidence of premeditation in relation to the murders.[131] However, at the September 2005 hearing in which the minimum term Huntley should serve before any form of parole eligibility was decided, Justice Alan Moses stated: "There is a likelihood of [a] sexual motivation, but there was no evidence of sexual activity, and it remains no more than a likelihood."[3]

PsychologyEdit

Prior to murdering Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, Huntley had established an extensive record of consensual and unconsensual sexual activity with females—many of whom had been beneath the legal age of consent. He would typically use guile and/or force to achieve his desires. Between 1992 and 2002, Huntley had committed numerous acts of physical and sexual violence against women and children for which he had been legally unpunished.[132] The youngest girl he is known to have raped had been 12-years-old, with another girl he had attempted to rape being 11-years-old.[133][n 6]

Following his arrest, several former girlfriends and sexual partners stated that, although Huntley presented himself as a charming and considerate individual in the early stages of a relationship, he would become domineering and violent upon having established a sense of control.[135] Having established control over his partner, Huntley severely restricted and supervised any contact she held with her family or social acquaintances. He would also emotionally blackmail his partner if he detected any signs of her developing resistance to his control or indicating a desire to leave him.[136]

According to one columnist, the fact that Huntley had remainied unpunished for these often blatant and continuous acts had embellished Huntley's confidence and reinforced his domineering, misogynistic mindset in addition to fuelling his recidivism.[137]

Psychologists have also determined Huntley has mentally blocked any attempts to accept either the reality or enormity of his actions pertaining to his repeated violence against females in order that he may cope with the consequences of his actions.[138]

SentencingEdit

The minimum term of imprisonment Huntley should serve before being considered eligible for parole was decided on 29 September 2005. On this date, High Court judge Mr. Justice Moses announced that Huntley must remain in prison until he had served a minimum of 40 years' imprisonment; a term which would not allow parole eligibility until 2042, by which time Huntley would be 68 years old.[139] In setting this minimum term of imprisonment, Mr. Justice Moses stated: "The order I make offers little or no hope of the defendant's eventual release."[140]

Huntley avoided eligibility for a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, as the passing of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act had been just one day after his conviction; thus taking effect on 18 December 2003 and applying solely to murders committed on or after this date.[141]

Ian Huntley
 
Ian Huntley
Born
Ian Kevin Huntley

(1974-01-31) 31 January 1974 (age 45)
Other namesIan Nixon
OccupationSchool caretaker
Criminal statusConvicted
Conviction(s)Murder (x2)
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment (40-year minimum term)

Ian HuntleyEdit

Ian Kevin Huntley was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, on 31 January 1974, the first of two sons born to Kevin Huntley and his wife, Lynda (née Nixon).[142]

The Huntley family were working class and at the time of the birth of their first child, lodged with Lynda's parents in Grimsby. Following the birth of their second child, Wayne, in August 1975, the family moved into a rented property in Immingham, where Huntley attended school.[143]

Huntley was a timid child, and something of a mother's boy. In his early years, he frequently threw tantrums in order to obtain his mother's attention, although childhood friends would later remark how markedly afraid he was of his stern father.[144]

At both primary and secondary school, Huntley was an average scholar. He was regarded as a loner, an oddball and an attention seeker by his peers, and became a frequent target for bullies.[145] The bullying Huntley endured escalated when he entered Healing Comprehensive School at age 11, resulting in his academic performance waning. As a result, Huntley's parents enroled their son in Immingham Comprehensive at age 13. He was again the target of physical and verbal bullying at this school, although he did form a few friendships via a shared interest in computer games.[146] He also enjoyed football, and was an avid supporter of Manchester United.[12]

At the urging of his father, Huntley joined the Air Training Corps at age 13. His activities with this youth organisation fuelled an interest Huntley had held since childhood for aeroplanes, and he seriously considered a future career with the RAF. He also developed a hobby of plane spotting. Via this hobby, he became familiar with the environs of RAF Lakenheath.[147]

Despite having few friends, Huntley did form several relationships with girls while attending Immingham Comprehensive. Each of these girls was at least one year younger than himself, although none of these relationships lasted longer than a few weeks.[148]

In 1990, Huntley finished his schooling, obtaining five GCSE passes. He chose not to enrol in college or university and instead committed himself to finding employment. Between 1990 and 1996, he worked in a succession of menial jobs, although he seldom held any job for an extensive period of time.[149] He also viewed himself as something of a ladies' man, and was scrupulous with regards to his personal appearance and personal hygiene.[150]

MarriageEdit

In June 1994, Huntley began dating 18-year-old Claire Evans, with whom he first became acquainted through his employment at a local Heinz factory. After approximately two months of courtship,[146] Huntley proposed to Evans. The couple married at Grimsby Registry Office on 28 January 1995,[151] although the marriage lasted scarcely one week due to Huntley's volatile temper. On one occasion, he is known to have beaten his wife so extensively she suffered a miscarriage.[7]

Shortly after their separation, Huntley's wife formed a relationship with and later married Huntley's younger brother, Wayne.[152]

Previous criminal offencesEdit

In March 1996, Huntley was charged with burglary. In this offence, he and an accomplice allegedly broke into the house of a neighbour in Grimsby and stole numerous electrical goods, jewellery and cash. Although this case reached court, the prosecution offered no evidence, resulting in a judge ordering the offence to lie on file.[153]

Between August 1995 and May 1996, Huntley established numerous sexual relationships with teenage girls, all of whom were under the legal age of consent. Three of these girls were aged 15, and one 13. One of these girls would become pregnant,[149] and gave birth to a baby girl in 1998.[12] Although reported to police on three occasions, Huntley was not charged for any of these offences as each of the girls denied having engaged in sex with Huntley. Each refused to file criminal complaints and/or rebuffed offers of help from social services.[154] Despite not being charged with any of these offences, rumours of Huntley's sexual interest in underage girls soon became community gossip, and he was regularly insulted by neighbours and work colleagues. As a result, Huntley began rebuffing any offers to socialise with work colleagues for fear of being attacked while alone in their company.[155]

In April 1998, Huntley was arrested on suspicion of raping an 18-year-old woman. He admitted engaging in sex with the claimant, but claimed the act had been consensual. He was not formally charged with this offence. Just one month later, Huntley was charged and remanded in custody at HM Prison Wolds for one week after another 18-year-old Grimsby woman claimed to have also been beaten and raped by Huntley while walking home from a local nightclub.[156] This complainant further stated Huntley had threatened to kill her before assaulting her. Huntley admitted engaging in sex with this woman, although he insisted the act had been consensual.[157] The criminal charge was dropped a week later after the Crown Prosecution Service, having examined CCTV footage from the nightclub and environs and finding evidence of the two socialising within the nightclub, determined insufficient evidence existed to secure a conviction for this offence.[12] As a result of this criminal complaint, further rumours regarding Huntley's sexual violence also became community gossip,[158] resulting, in Huntley being fired from his job and forcing him to move into his mother's home. Furthermore, he was forbidden from initiating contact with his baby daughter or her mother.[159]

In July 1998, police were notified Huntley had also sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in September 1997; having also threatened to kill the child if she informed her mother. He was never charged with this offence, although he subsequently confessed to this attack in April 2007.[7]

The final criminal allegation against Huntley prior to his committing the Soham Murders dates from July 1999. In this instance, a woman was raped and Huntley–by this stage suspected by police as being a serial sex offender–was interviewed. Huntley supplied a DNA sample to assist in their enquiries, with Carr also providing an alibi to support his claims of innocence. The victm of this assault subsequently stated her belief that Huntley had not been the perpetrator of her assault. (This would prove to be the sole instance in which a suspected or proven victim of Huntley had not identified or named him as being her assailant.[160])[n 7]

By 2001, Huntley's proven and alleged criminal activities had been reported to Humberside Police on ten separate occasions and to the social services on five occasions.[12]

Acquaintance with Maxine CarrEdit

In February 1999, Huntley became acquainted with 22-year-old Maxine Carr, whom he first encountered in a Grimsby nightclub. On this occasion, Carr had been drinking with a former boyfriend named Paul Selby when Huntley—a casual acquaintance of Selby—approached the two and immediately initiated a conversation.[162] According to Carr, she was "instantly attracted" to Huntley's self-certain and pleasant persona, and agreed to begin dating him that same evening.[152] Within four weeks of their acquaintance,[163] she had moved into Huntley's Barton-upon-Humber flat, and the couple informed relatives of their eagerness to start a family.[164] Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to a ground-floor flat in Scunthorpe, where Huntley formally proposed to Carr in June 1999.[165]

Although publicly a besotted couple, Huntley was notably possessive of Carr, and is known to have both emotionally abused and/or physically assaulted her on numerous occasions, often culminating in Carr returning to live with her mother before Huntley persuaded her to return to live with him.[166] Furthermore, both Huntley and Carr are known to have conducted affairs throughout the course of their relationship.[167] Noting how Carr often became flirtatious whenever she had consumed alcohol, Huntley actively sought to minimise any opportunity for her to drink or otherwise socialise outside his presence for fear of her cheating on him with other males.[15]

At the time of their acquaintance, Huntley temporarily worked for an insurance company in Market Rasen.[168] He soon found alternate employment at a finance company in Binbrook while Carr maintained her employment packing fish at a local fish processing factory. The couple would relocate to East Anglia in early 2001. Shortly thereafter, Huntley secured employment as a bartender.[169]

By 2001, Huntley had re-established contact with his father,[n 8] who worked as a school caretaker in the village of Littleport, near Ely. He would regularly travel to Cambridgeshire from East Anglia on his days free from work to help his father, and soon developed aspirations to become a school caretaker himself. Via his father, Huntley learned of a school caretaker vacancy in nearby Soham Village Collage in the summer of 2001. He applied for and secured employment as a senior caretaker at this secondary school in September 2001.[170]

Maxine Carr
Born
Maxine Ann Capp[146]

(1977-02-16) 16 February 1977 (age 42)
Grimsby, Lincolnshire[171]
OccupationTeaching assistant
Criminal statusReleased
Conviction(s)Perverting the course of justice
Criminal penalty42 months' imprisonment

Maxine CarrEdit

Maxine Ann Capp was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, on 16 February 1977, the second of two daughters born to Alfred Capp and his wife, Shirley (née Suddaby).[172]

The marriage between Alfred and Shirley Capp was marred by frequent arguments. Following a heated argument in the summer of 1979, Shirley ordered her husband to leave the household. Shortly thereafter, she and her daughters relocated to the village of Keelby. Alfred Capp seldom maintained contact with his wife and children, and refused to provide any financial support for his daughters. Capp and her older sister, Hayley (born 1967), were largely raised by their mother and grandparents. The family regularly experienced severe financial difficulties, although Shirley would later state she "spoiled" her daughters to the best of her financial ability.[173]

As a child and adolescent, Capp was viewed by her peers as something of a timid outcast, with few friends.[174] She performed poorly academically, although she always held aspirations to become a teacher.[175]

By the time Capp entered adolescence, she was slightly overweight, leading her to become insecure about her physical appearance. Although she had shunned the company of boys as a child, as a teenager, she craved—but seldom received—the attention of boys her age, occasionally leading to bouts of binge eating[176] in addition to her developing the habit of self-harming.[177] By age 15, Capp weighed more than 10 stones, resulting in her becoming the recipient of bullying by her classmates. In an effort to lose weight, she developed a habit of forcing herself to vomit after eating.[178] This habit led to Capp developing anorexia by the age of 16, with her weight at one stage plummeting to just six stones, and her mother forcing her to eat in order for her to regain weight.[179]

In 1993, Capp finished her schooling, having obtained no qualifications. She briefly worked alongside her mother in a fish processing plant as she considered which career path she should choose before enrolling at the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, having chosen to study general care. Capp obtained her diploma in 1996. The same year, she and her mother moved from Keelby to Grimsby. Shortly thereafter, she briefly obtained employment as a junior care assistant at a care home for the elderly in Grimsby before opting to return to work alongside her mother as a labourer at Bluecrest fish processing plant.[180]

Several of Capp's colleagues would later remark how they found her to be a distant and immature figure with few friends and few hobbies. To one colleague, Capp would talk incessantly about her dreams of leaving this employment and embarking on a teaching career.[181]

By the time Capp had obtained employment at Bluecrest, she had garnered sufficient courage to begin dating men, although none of these relationships lasted more than a few months.[182] Notably shy and reserved and prone to wear clothing which concealed her figure when sober, Capp became markedly flirtatious when having consumed alcohol, and is known to have occasionally engaged in exhibitionism in addition to frequently engaging in one-night stands with individuals she encountered in pubs and clubs.[179][n 9]

While Capp resided with her mother in Grimsby, she legally changed her surname to Carr in an apparent effort to distance herself from her father.[179]

Soham employmentEdit

In September 2001, Huntley responded to a job advertisement relating to a vacant position of senior caretaker at Soham Village College. He applied for this position using the alias Ian Nixon.[184][n 10] No form of background check was conducted before or after this job interview,[69] and although Huntley lacked extensive experience in this form of employment, his application for this position was successful.[12] His employers assisted in his securing the tenancy of 5 College Close,[185] and he and Carr relocated to Soham in late September.[146] Huntley began his employment at Soham Village College on 26 November. He worked as a senior caretaker at these premises until the date of his arrest.[62]

In February 2002, Huntley secured part-time employment for Carr at St Andrew's Primary School, although Carr did lie as to her academic qualifications when applying for this position.[179] Although this employment was initially voluntary work, Carr later became a teaching assistant in the school's Year 5 class. Wells and Chapman became two of the pupils she taught,[15] and both girls were notably fond of her.[186]

In July 2002, Carr applied for a vacant full-time teaching assistant position at St Andrew's Primary School. She received notification on 23 July that her application was unsuccessful.[187] One of the children to express dismay at this decision was Holly Wells, who presented Carr with a hand-drawn card, depicting a smiling face, in which she stated: "I'll miss you a lot. Thank you! C ya around school!" [188]

 
Maxine Carr, seen here on 15 August 2002 displaying the hand-drawn card given to her by Holly Wells. This card was made approximately two weeks before the child's murder

Summer 2002Edit

By the summer of 2002, the physical relationship between Huntley and Carr had begun to deteriorate. By Huntley's own later admission, he had become sexually frustrated, and he had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade a married colleague to date him on the weekend Carr visited her mother in Grimsby. At 6:27 p.m., Huntley angrily terminated a phone call with his partner after she informed him of her intentions to socialise in Grimsby that evening. Four minutes later, Carr sent Huntley a text message which read: "Don't make me feel bad because I am with my family."[15] Huntley chose not to reply to this message.[189]

Bichard enquiryEdit

Immediately following Huntley's conviction, his previous criminal history was disclosed to the public. These disclosures revealed that, despite Huntley's extensive record of sexual offences against underage girls and young women and evident criminal recidivism, not only had police failed to pursue these previous criminal complaints and allegations, but Huntley had secured a position of employment facilitating his access to children.[190]

Upon learning of these public disclosures, Home Secretary David Blunkett announced a public enquiry into the intelligence-based record keeping and vetting system which had allowed Huntley to obtain employment as a school caretaker despite these previous criminal complaints, which had been reported to both police and social services. Chaired by Sir Michael Bichard, the Bichard enquiry opened on 13 January 2004.[125] The results of this enquiry were published in June that year.[191]

The stated purpose of the Bichard enquiry was:

One of the pertinent issues of concern to be scrutinised by the Bichard report surfaced almost immediately when Humberside Police stated their belief in it being unlawful under the Data Protection Act to hold data regarding criminal allegations which had not lead to a conviction; this claim was criticised by other police forces who thought this too strict an interpretation of the Act. The enquiry severely scrutinised the actual investigation by Cambridgeshire Police into the children's disappearance and murder, as almost two weeks had elapsed following the disappearance of Wells and Chapman before Cambridgeshire Police became aware of Huntley's previous criminal background, despite his claims to be the last individual to see the children alive.[192]

The enquiry also severely criticised Humberside Police for deleting information relating to the previous criminal allegations against Huntley and also criticised Cambridgeshire Constabulary for not following standard vetting guidelines. Both the Humberside and Cambridgeshire Police were heavily criticised for their failings in maintaining criminal intelligence records on Huntley.[193]

Sir Michael Bichard later ordered the suspension of the Chief of Humberside Police, David Westwood for ordering the destruction of criminal records pertaining to alleged child molesters which had not resulted in a conviction. (This suspension was later overturned.) Westwood retired from the position of Chief of Humberside Police in March 2005. The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Tom Lloyd, was also subjected to severe criticism as his force had failed to contact Humberside Police during the investigation into Huntley's criminal background prior to his securing employment at Soham Village College.[194]

An added complication in these criminal vetting procedures was the fact that Huntley had applied for the caretaker's job under the name of Ian Nixon, although he did divulge upon the application form for this position that he was previously known as Ian Huntley. It is believed that Cambridgeshire Police failed to perform a background check under the name Huntley. Had they actually done so, they would have discovered an outstanding burglary charge on file relating to his November 1995 arrest for this crime.[195]

RecommendationsEdit

The Bichard enquiry recommended the implementation of a mandatoty registration scheme for people working with children and vulnerable adults such as the elderly and mentally handicapped.[196] This recommendation later led to the foundation of the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The findings also suggested a national system should be implemented for police forces to share intelligence information, and that all police forces should follow a clear code of practice on record-keeping. These findings ultimately led to the tightening of various procedures within the Criminal Records Bureau system, including compulsory checks into potential criminal backgrounds of people who apply to work with children.[197]

AftermathEdit

On 3 April 2004, the house in College Close in which the Soham Murders occurred was demolished and the site levelled, with all rubble from the property being destroyed and later discarded in various, undisclosed locations.[185] The site where 5 College Close once stood is now a vacant patch of grass.[13]

In the years since his incarceration, Ian Huntley has been repeatedly attacked by other inmates. On 14 September 2005, he was scalded with boiling water while incarcerated at HM Prison Wakefield by a fellow inmate. The injuries Huntley received in this attack resulted in his being unable to attend the hearing at which his minimum term of imprisonment was decided.[198] Following this attack, Huntley alleged that prison authorities had failed in their duty of care towards him, and launched a claim for £15,000 in compensation. He was reportedly awarded £2,500 in legal aid to pursue this claim.[199]

Huntley was transferred from HM Prison Wakefield to HM Prison Frankland on 23 January 2008. Three years later, on 21 March 2010, he received non life-threatening injuries to his neck after his throat was slashed by a convicted armed robber named Damien Fowkes. The injuries Huntley received in this attack required hospital treatment.[200] Huntley again applied for compensation for the injuries he received in this attack, seeking £20,000 in damages.[201][202][203]

On 5 September 2006, Huntley attempted to commit suicide by taking an overdose of antidepressants he had accumulated in his prison cell.[204] This suicide attempt resulted in his hospitalisation and a thorough search of his cell, in which a cassette tape was recovered. This cassette tape contains a markedly different account of the murders of Wells and Chapman than that Huntley had testified to at his trial. In what Huntley had believed would be his posthumous confession, he claims to have confessed to having murdered both girls to Carr prior to their arrest and his plans to confess to authorities, to which, Huntley alleged, Carr had slapped his face and informed him to "pull [himself] together" as she did not wish to lose the teaching position she had yearned for all her life. Huntley further alleges Carr had encouraged him to burn both bodies in an attempt to destroy all forensic evidence linking him to the crime.[205]

It is believed Huntley had agreed to make this recording for a fellow prisoner (who had hoped to later sell the confession to the media after his release), in return for his being provided with the antidepressants he had used to attempt suicide.[205][206]

In April 2007, Huntley confessed to having sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl whom he had dragged into an orchard in 1997. This admission—in which Huntley also confessed to having a sexual interest in children while insisting the murders of Wells and Chapman had not been sexually motivated—was welcomed by the victim of this sexual assault.[207] Following Huntley's admission of guilt, this victim issued a press statement in which she confessed to feeling "a massive sense of relief", although she concluded this statement with the sentence: "Yet, I still feel upset that Huntley was left at large, resulting in the deaths of two innocent children."[208]

Maxine Carr was released on probation from HM Prison Foston Hall on 14 May 2004 after serving at total of 21 months' imprisonment (including the 16 months she had been detained while on remand).[209] She was given a secret identity to protect her from threats of attack from vengeful members of the public[210] in addition to being provided with a new home in an undisclosed location.[211] Carr is one of four former prisoners in the United Kingdom to be given an entirely new identity upon release.[212]

Carr won an injunction on 24 February 2005, granting her lifelong anonymity on the grounds that her life would otherwise be in danger. The costs of imposing this order have been reported by differing tabloid newspapers as being between £1 million and £50 million.[213]

Shortly after her release from prison, Carr and her family contacted a Tyneside-based publishing company with view to publishing her autobiography. Although Mirage Publishing initially agreed to publish Carr's autobiography, the company soon withdrew their offer after a feature on BBC Radio Newcastle prompted scores of complaints from the public.[214]

At least a dozen women have been falsely identified as being Maxine Carr and either persecuted or physically attacked due to false stories speculating as to her whereabouts and new identity which have been printed in lowbrow tabloid publications.[215][216][217][218]

In the years since her release, Maxine Carr has married. She reportedly gave birth to her first child in 2011. The imposed lifetime anonymity order extends to include the birth date and gender of her child, in order that he or she should never know their mother's previous identity.[219]

MediaEdit

LiteratureEdit

  • Gerrard, Nicci (2004). Soham: A Story of Our Times. Short Books. ISBN 978-1-904-09592-7.
  • Yates, Nathan (2005). Beyond Evil: Inside the Twisted Mind of Ian Huntley. John Blake Publishing. ISBN 1844541428.

TelevisionEdit

  • The Channel 4 documentary Being Maxine Carr focuses on the lasting public outrage at Maxine Carr's efforts to pervert the course of justice following the Soham Murders, and how numerous women across the United Kingdom have been falsely accused of being Carr.[220] This documentary was first broadcast on 14 December 2007.[221]
  • The 90-minute documentary Soham Revisited: 15 Years On was first broadcast on 25 April 2017. Narrated by Alison Steadman, this documentary features interviews with previous lovers of Ian Huntley.[222]
  • The Investigation Discovery channel has broadcast a 60-minute documentary focusing upon the Soham Murders as part of their Faking It: Tears of a Crime true crime documentary series. This documentary primarily focuses upon the efforts made by Huntley and Carr to deceive police and public alike, and was first broadcast on 18 August 2017.[223]
  • Channel 5 have also commissioned a documentary focusing upon the Soham Murders. This documentary, titled 5 Mistakes That Caught a Killer, was first broadcast on 23 May 2019.[224]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The total population of Soham in 2002 was 8,700[22]
  2. ^ Ian Huntley was present at one of the press conferences in which the parents of Wells and Chapman pleaded for the safe return of their daughters[32]
  3. ^ Carr's decision to corroborate Huntley's blatant lies to investigators and media in the early stages of the police investigation briefly resulted in police discounting Huntley as a suspect before eyewitness accounts as to Carr's actual whereabouts on 4 August and a search of mobile phone and telephone records proved the falsity of her claims[57]
  4. ^ Investigators would later discover that shortly before his arrest, Huntley had taken his car to an Ely garage to have the vehicle's tyres changed, and that he had given the mechanic £10 to place a false number plate on the receipt for this purchase[63]
  5. ^ At his subsequent trial, Ian Huntley admitted that, in an effort to destroy any forensic evidence, he had returned to the body disposal site several days after the murders to set the bodies alight[81][83]
  6. ^ Investigators believe that prior to his 2002 arrest, Huntley had engaged in illegal sexual activity with up to 60 underage girls[134]
  7. ^ Huntley had never been convicted of any of these criminal allegations, although his burglary charge had remained on file. Howard Gilbert, then-headteacher of Soham Village College—having admitted the college's failure to check Huntley's references prior to offering him employment—later said that he would not have employed Huntley if he had been aware of the burglary charge, as one of Huntley's key responsibilities was to ensure security in the school grounds—a role unfit for a suspected burglar.[161]
  8. ^ Huntley's parents had separated in 1993. Following their separation, Huntley had distanced himself from his father for several years
  9. ^ Several of Carr's former partners would later inform reporters they found her to be an emotionally detached and sexually promiscuous individual who had also been markedly jealous by nature. These had been the reasons several of her early relationships had ended[183]
  10. ^ Huntley's mother's maiden name had been Nixon. Following the separation of his parents in 1993, Huntley chose to use his mother's surname. He would only resume using his father's surname in 2002[169]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Soham Girls 'Likely to Have Been Asphyxiated'". The Guardian. 7 November 2003. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Two Arrested in Girls' Murder Enquiry". BBC News. 17 August 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Judge Gives Huntley Forty Years - And Little Hope". The Daily Telegraph. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Caretaker Charged with Murder of Two Girls and Sent to Rampton". The Telegraph. 21 August 2002. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Last Hours of Holly and Jessica". The Evening Standard. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  6. ^ "A Long Night Waiting For News That Never Came". The Telegraph. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "At Night I Sometimes Just Lay There and Cry". The Scotsman. 18 December 2003. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Coroner: Girls' Bodies Were Moved to Woodland". The Guardian. 23 August 2002. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  9. ^ "A Long Night Waiting For News That Never Came". The Telegraph. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Holly and Jessica: Timetable". The Guardian. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Mistake Made by Maxine Carr that Showed She Knew Ian Huntley had Killed Soham Schoolgirls". Chronicle Live. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "His Lies and Shallow Charm Fooled Dozens of People but They Hid a Violent, Bitter Man". The Guardian. 18 December 2003. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  13. ^ a b "As Day Breaks, Huntley's House is Turned Into Dust and Rubble". The Guardian. 3 April 2004. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Huntley guilty of Soham Murders". BBC News. 17 December 2003. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Was Jealousy Over Maxine the Trigger for Murder?". The Daily Telegraph. 18 December 2003. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  16. ^ "A Long Night Waiting For News That Never Came". The Telegraph. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Timeline: Girls' Last Movements". BBC News. 5 November 2003.
  18. ^ "Ian Huntley Biography". biography.com. 2 April 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  19. ^ "'Calculated Cover-up' by Huntley and Carr as Girls Lay Dead in Wood". The Telegraph. 7 November 2003. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  20. ^ a b c O'Neill, Sean; Sapsted, David (21 August 2002). "Caretaker Charged With Murder of Two Girls and Sent to Rampton". The Telegraph.
  21. ^ a b c d e f "How Huntley's Charade Crumbled". BBC News. 17 December 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  22. ^ "The Whole Town is Weeping: A Community Dazed by Grief and Disbelief". The Guardian. 18 August 2002. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  23. ^ "'Extreme Concern' for Missing Girls". BBC News. 5 August 2002. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  24. ^ "Abductionn Linked to Soham Girls". Peterborough Telegraph. 13 August 2002. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  25. ^ "Chatroom Contact Dismissed as False Lead". The Guardian. 12 August 2002. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  26. ^ "Soham Trial Timeline". 3 November 2003.
  27. ^ "Film Released of Missing Girls". The Guardian. 9 August 2002. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Reconstruction of Children's Walk Too Painful for Parents to Watch". The Telegraph. 11 August 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  29. ^ "Walking in the Last Known Footsteps of Holly and Jessica". The Guardian. 11 August 2002. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  30. ^ Beyond Evil: Inside the Twisted Mind of Ian Huntley ISBN 978-1-844-54142-3 p. 5
  31. ^ "Van Seized in Missing Girls Inquiry". BBC News. 7 August 2002.
  32. ^ Beyond Evil: Inside the Twisted Mind of Ian Huntley ISBN 978-1-844-54142-3 p. 13
  33. ^ "Friends Tell of Worry for Girls". The Evening Standard. 8 August 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Abductionn Linked to Soham Girls". Peterborough Telegraph. 13 August 2002. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  35. ^ "Abduction of Six-year-old May be Linked to Missing Girls". 12 August 2002.
  36. ^ "A Long Night Waiting for News That Never Came". The Daily Telegraph. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  37. ^ "Countdown to Murder of 'Two Little Beckhams'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  38. ^ "A Long Night Waiting For News That Never Came". The Telegraph. 13 November 2003. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  39. ^ "Beckham's Plea to Missing Girls". BBC News. 6 August 2002.
  40. ^ "Van Seized in Missing Girls Inquiry". BBC News. 7 August 2002.
  41. ^ "Driver 'Struggled' With Two Children". The Telegraph. 12 August 2002.
  42. ^ "Huntley Cries in Dock". Evening Standard. 1 December 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  43. ^ O'Neill, Sean; Clough, Sue (13 November 2003). "Jessica and Holly Doted on Maxine Carr, Says Teacher". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  44. ^ O'Neill, Sean (7 November 2003). "'Calculated Cover-up' by Huntley and Carr as Girls Lay Dead in Wood". The Telegraph. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
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Cited works and further readingEdit

  • Bruce, Alison (2012). Cambridgeshire Murders. History Press. ISBN 978-0-752-48413-6.
  • Collins, Danny (2010). Crimes That Shocked The World. John Blake Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-844-54974-7.
  • Duffy, Wendy (2003). Children and Bereavement. Church House Publishing. ISBN 0-715-14998-9.
  • Gerrard, Nicci (2004). Soham: A Story of Our Times. Short Books. ISBN 978-1-904-09592-7.
  • Grant, Thomas (2019). Court Number One: The Old Bailey Trials that Defined Modern Britain. John Murray Publishing. ISBN 978-1-473-65161-6.
  • McKenzie, Dennis (2009). Being the Soham Psychic. Headline Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-755-31982-4.
  • Wells, Kevin (2005). Goodbye, Dearest Holly. Psychology News Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0-907633-02-0.
  • Yates, Nathan (2005). Beyond Evil: Inside the Twisted Mind of Ian Huntley. John Blake Publishing. ISBN 978-1844-54142-3.

External linksEdit