Levi Bellfield: Serial killer may have committed more murders, says ex-Met Police detective

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A former Met Police detective involved in the operation to catch Levi Bellfield says he believes the "evil" serial killer may have committed other murders for which he has never faced justice.

Bellfield, who is serving whole life sentences for three murders including that of the schoolgirl Milly Dowler, has confessed to also killing Lin Russell and her daughter Megan 26 years ago, according to a lawyer.

Another man, Michael Stone, is behind bars for the murders of Ms Russell and six-year-old Megan, having twice been convicted of the notorious hammer killings in Kent. He has always denied any involvement.

His solicitor, Paul Bacon, has spent 15 years trying to prove Stone's innocence and has a copy of Bellfield's alleged confession.

Former Met detective Neil Lancaster, who spent 10 straight days following Bellfield as part of a surveillance team before his arrest in 2004, said it was "entirely plausible" that he had committed other murders.

"He's a horrible, arrogant, narcissistic person," Mr Lancaster told Sky News.

"An evil, horrible man - the worst I ever saw.

"Somebody who goes to that level of offending doesn't start there. He works up to it.

"He'd always been an abusive person.

"I wouldn't be in any way surprised if he had killed before."

Bellfield's murder convictions

Bellfield kidnapped and murdered 13-year-old Milly in March 2002, but it would be several years before his involvement in her death was realised.

The nightclub doorman went on to kill 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell, who was beaten to death yards from her home in February 2003.

A year later, Bellfield struck again when he murdered Amelie Delagrange, a 22-year-old French student, with a hammer on Twickenham Green in August 2004.

Bellfield had also tried to kill 18-year-old Kate Sheedy by running her over in May 2004, leaving her with horrific injuries including a ruptured liver and a collapsed lung.

'Full and frank confession'

Mr Bacon said that Bellfield, 53, had now made a "full and frank confession" over the Russell murders and he believes the killer would admit the crimes if he was interviewed by police.

Mr Lancaster said the alleged confession would be taken seriously by detectives.

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"This will be looked into in great detail," he told Sky News.

"I wouldn't put it past Bellfield that this is a way of making it all about him again, getting the attention back on him.

"You can see through the level of narcissism that this would give him some attention.

"By the same token I can see the reverse - here is a man who is never getting out of jail… has he decided now is the time? I don't know the answer."

Mr Lancaster said that family liaison officers would be speaking to the families of Bellfield's victims as well as the Russell family.

He added: "You can imagine what it must feel like to be Mr Russell thinking: Have they got the right man? Has the right man been convicted of my wife and daughter's murders?

"He needs that clarity so it has to be looked into."

What happened to the Russells?

Ms Russell, 45, and her daughters Megan and nine-year-old Josie were attacked in July 1996 as they walked down a country lane in Chillenden, Kent, having been at a swimming gala.

They were tied up, blindfolded and bludgeoned with a hammer - Ms Russell was hit at least 15 times in the head - but Josie miraculously survived. The family's dog was also killed.

Stone, 61, had an appeal turned down by the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) 12 years ago, but it is already considering a second application over his conviction.

Mr Bacon said he would be forwarding Bellfield's statement to the CCRC and the police.

Kent Police said its position on Stone's conviction remains unchanged.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham said: "Following two trials at which Stone was found guilty by a jury on both occasions, and an appeal to the High Court, Michael Stone remains convicted of the murders of Lin and Megan Russell, and the attempted murder of Josie Russell in 1996.

"Michael Stone made an application to apply for a Judicial Review in respect of his conviction in September 2012. The Honourable Mr Justice Blake ordered that permission for the application should be refused.

"The Criminal Case Review Commission commenced an extensive re-examination of the murder investigation in 2017 and has had access to all forensic evidence, documentation and exhibits from the original investigation, the review by Hampshire Police, details of the two Crown Court trials and appeals to the High Court."

Last year Stone's barrister Mark McDonald said that a bootlace found at the scene could be a crucial piece of evidence because it could yield DNA that would "undoubtedly point away" from his client.

Mr Fotheringham said all evidence from examinations of the shoelace had been disclosed to the CCRC.

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