How The Lazy Media And Blinkered Police Use Levi Bellfield To Let Other Killers Escape
MILLY Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield appears on the front page of just one newspaper. The Sunday Express announces:
“A lifetime of killing”
The story goes:
EVIL Levi Bellfield may have begun his killing spree at the age of 12 with the murder of his first girlfriend, it emerged yesterday.
EVIL… LEVI… You can hear the journalist’s minds whirring.
We are reintroduced to 14-year-old Patsy Morris. Her body was found in Hounslow, Middlesex, in 1980.
The appear also mentions the murders of Lin and Megan Russell in 1996.
We hear from Patsy’s father George:
“If Bellfield took Patsy like he took those other poor girls, he deserves the worst punishment possible. I just hope our police force do everything in their power to get to the bottom of it.”
Well, now they might. But the police missed Bellfield for years. And if they missed him, might they miss other killers? The media so swiftly behave like the police – they see one suspect and pile in. His name is linked to all manner of unsolved crimes. Is this an effort to make the reader feel safer, to ensure us that one lunatic has been nabbed? Or is it just because the news media and the police are hamstrung by a combination of laziness and funds? They have neither the money nor the will to investigate.
Retired detective Nick Biddiss, the former head of Kent CID, told the Sunday Express he wants police to consider if Bellfield was responsible for the deaths of two young women in Tunbridge Wells 24 years ago.
Why dos he want this?
Wendy Knell, 26, was found dead in her bedsit in June 1987 after being sexually assaulted and smashed over the head with a blunt instrument. Six months later, Caroline Pierce, 20, was attacked outside her bedsit in the same part of the town and also suffered a severe blow to the head. Her body was found a month later dumped in a field 40 miles away.
Is there anything to link their deaths with Bellfield other than his name being high on the news cycle? The police knew of Bellfield’s attitude to women before he was arrested.
Police tried to charge him with six cases of drug-induced rape on girls aged 14 to 16 two years before he was jailed for the murders of Miss McDonnell and Miss Delagrange, but he was not charged due to lack of evidence.
The Guardian speculates:
Perhaps his violent obsession with blondes had its roots in an incident at the age of 12, when his blonde girlfriend Patsy Morris, 14, was found strangled on Hounslow Heath. Nothing suggests he was responsible.
Why not just says the name Levi is an anagram of evil? The murderous mutter was a himself a victim of nominative determinism. The Express says he is evil. The Guardian says he is victim of unfortunate circumstance, maybe. But if you want facts, these will do:
Bellfield murdered Amelie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, after they got off buses in south-west London. He also tried to kill 18-year-old Kate Sheedy by twice running her over.
The Express tells us:
Last night solicitor Paul Bacon said he had written to Kent Chief Constable Ian Learmonth calling on him to set up a team of detectives from his force and the Surrey force, which investigated Milly’s murder, to pool their resources. He wants Bellfield to be viewed as a prime suspect for the murders of Lin and Megan Russell. Mrs Russell, 45, and her six-year-old daughter Megan were battered to death in woods near their home in Chillenden, Kent, in 1996.
Mr Bacon’s client, heroin addict Michael Stone, 50, was convicted of their murders and also of attempting to murder Megan’s nine-year-old sister Josie, who survived the attack.
Mr Bacon said: “There is a great deal of circumstantial evidence that links the Russell case to Bellfield. “This is the time for both police forces to take a proper look at all the information they have. Bellfield’s movements 15 years ago need to be ascertained to see where he was and what he was doing.”
Are police to move their resources – limited by cash and talent – towards the reinvestigations of a twice-convicted killer? Better they solve their current caseload and tale reports of men truing to kidnap children seriously. Get his:
Yesterday Surrey Police apologised for what they described as a “missed opportunity”. That missed opportunity came the day before 13-year-old schoolgirl was snatched as she walked home from school when police believe he tried to abduct another girl, 11-year-old Rachel Cowles, just three miles from where he went on the snatch Milly. Despite the Cowles family reporting the incident to police immediately, it was not passed to detectives working on the Milly inquiry when that began.
The police failed. And so did the media.
The Independent reports:
As well as charging Bellfield for the murder of Milly Dowles, the Crown Prosecution Service tried to bring an attempted abduction case against the former nightclub bouncer and wheel clamper. But yesterday, Mr Justice Wilkie discharged the jury after an “avalanche” of publicity in the tabloid press following Bellfield’s conviction of murder the day before.
Speaking outside court yesterday, Miss Cowles, now 21, described how she felt “robbed”.
“I am extremely hurt and angry that some of the media reporting has meant that this case has now robbed me of the chance of justice for what happened to me in 2002,” she said. Giving evidence in court has brought back many memories, and I hope that now I can put this ordeal behind me and move on with my life. I am pleased that justice has been served for the Dowlers today and that the verdict will start to bring some closure to them.”
So. As the media press for more salacious news of women being killed, using Bellfield to dig up fog details of lives snuffed out, they desory one vitim’s chance of justice.
The state of journalism and modern policing are poor. All the experts need do is stick to the facts and use their resources to speak truth to power and catch the villains. It need not be too hard – not if you make the effort…