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Tags Levi Bellfield , murder cases , UK cases

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Old 30th November 2017, 02:34 PM   #1
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Russell murders, new suspect.

News that Levi Bellfield, already convicted murderer, has made a confession to killing Lin and Megan Russell in Kent in 1996. The admission, to another prisoner, allegedly contains details only the killer would know.

Then there is also a witness who says she reported seeing a man, who she now identifies as Bellfield near the scene of the murder. Apparently she made the initial report on the day of the murder. When she later saw Bellfield in publicity for a later trial, she is sure it was him.

The conviction of Michael Stone for the murder was primarily on a supposed admission he made. There was no forensic evidence linking him, which is odd considering the ferocity of the attack with a hammer, that also killed the dog the Russells had with them.

The MO is also like Bellfield, who killed Amelie Delagrange with strikes from a blunt instrument.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-42144445

Initially this looks pretty compelling Stone is the wrong man for the murders. The sad thing is that despite the evidence, this will likely take a long time, as the justice system hates to admit it has made a mistake with a conviction.
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Old 30th November 2017, 06:55 PM   #2
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Have you seen this? The part about the Russell murders is a few pages in.

http://www.davidwolchover.co.uk/docs...onfessions.doc

I read it about six years ago and I've doubted that they got the right guy ever since. Of course since the guy they pinned it on seems to be an actual psychopath it's a bit difficult to argue he should be freed.
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Old 1st December 2017, 12:05 AM   #3
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Thanks Rolfe. That's a very persuasive and interesting piece.
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Old 1st December 2017, 02:24 AM   #4
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The thing about the legality of accepting evidence of a confession made to a third party which the accused then denies being questionable because it's hearsay is something I never thought about. It sounds as if it shouldn't be admissible but the courts have been turning backflips for centuries to get these confessions in under the radar.
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Old 1st December 2017, 02:32 AM   #5
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I once reported to the police a conversation I had had with a neighbour who had seen an (illegal, obviously) handgun in another neighbour's vehicle. They (the police) didn't even entertain it. This was hearsay. If that's the standard police operate at, how the courts can take the blindest bit of notice of "he told me"-type evidence without corroboration is utterly beyond me.

As a fun aside, Bellville and Stone are held in the same prison (Durham, from memory). I'll bet they have some interesting conversations when they bump into each other.
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Old 1st December 2017, 02:32 AM   #6
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He's hardly a "new suspect". He's been considered a likely perpetrator of this crime for ages.

The interesting thing here is that the main evidence against him seems to be a confession to a cellmate that he now denies having made, which is exactly the same evidence that was used to convict Stone in the first place. So Stone's legal team are saying the evidence that shouldn't have been enough to convict their client, should be enough to convict someone else's client.
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Old 1st December 2017, 03:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
He's hardly a "new suspect". He's been considered a likely perpetrator of this crime for ages.

The interesting thing here is that the main evidence against him seems to be a confession to a cellmate that he now denies having made, which is exactly the same evidence that was used to convict Stone in the first place. So Stone's legal team are saying the evidence that shouldn't have been enough to convict their client, should be enough to convict someone else's client.
Not quite - listened to an interview with one of the solicitors involved, there is meant to be a difference in the confessions. Stone's alleged confession only included details of the murders that were already in the public domain and being reported in the press at the time of the confession, Bellfield's confession is supposed to have details about the murders that have not been made public.

If the legal team can "prove" that those details were not in the public domain when Bellfield is alleged to have made his confession then that does indicate that he has knowledge only the murderer or an accomplice could have.

Problem I see with that argument is that the details may not have been in the press but I am sure they would have been known to various police officers, police personnel, solicitors, barristers etc. so Bellfield could have obtained the information from those sources, even indirectly.
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Old 1st December 2017, 03:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I once reported to the police a conversation I had had with a neighbour who had seen an (illegal, obviously) handgun in another neighbour's vehicle. They (the police) didn't even entertain it. This was hearsay. If that's the standard police operate at, how the courts can take the blindest bit of notice of "he told me"-type evidence without corroboration is utterly beyond me.

As a fun aside, Bellville and Stone are held in the same prison (Durham, from memory). I'll bet they have some interesting conversations when they bump into each other.
They should have done some checks and then acted. I remember a similar incident, which, because there was no intelligence held on the person with the alleged gun, two cops were sent to the house just to ask if he had any. Turns out he had loads, but they were all airguns and legal. Some just looked like "real" guns.

If there had been intelligence on the person suggesting involvement in say an OGC, then expect the premises to be raided by armed officers.
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Old 1st December 2017, 03:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The thing about the legality of accepting evidence of a confession made to a third party which the accused then denies being questionable because it's hearsay is something I never thought about. It sounds as if it shouldn't be admissible but the courts have been turning backflips for centuries to get these confessions in under the radar.
I think the issue is specialist knowledge. Show that and the witness to the conversation has now got specialist knowledge, which is not just hearsay.

Another example of what appears to be hearsay being used as evidence is in rapes, where the person who the victim initially reports the rape to becomes corroboration. That person is speaking to not just what the victim said, but their demeanour and appearance.
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Old 1st December 2017, 03:24 AM   #10
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I think the most damning evidence is the witness who reported it was Bellfield she saw that day!

Plus the MO for the Russells was exactly the same as the other murders and attacks he committed. Random, violent batterings.

The jail cell confession is the weakest of all the reasons to suspect Bellfield did it. It has served the purpose of getting publicity.

It is sadly typical of the police to fixate on one suspect and ignore evidence which points to another.
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Old 1st December 2017, 03:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
He's hardly a "new suspect". He's been considered a likely perpetrator of this crime for ages.

The interesting thing here is that the main evidence against him seems to be a confession to a cellmate that he now denies having made, which is exactly the same evidence that was used to convict Stone in the first place. So Stone's legal team are saying the evidence that shouldn't have been enough to convict their client, should be enough to convict someone else's client.

I'm not sure how long "ages" is. When I originally read that article by Wolchover in about 2011 I don't remember anything about Bellfield. At that time one of the points against Stone was that since he had been locked up there had been no similar crimes committed. It was speculated that, if Stone was innocent, the real murderer might have gone abroad - or indeed be locked up for something else, which of course covers Bellfield.

Do you know when Bellfield first came into the picture?

I don't think that anybody sensible is suggestiong convicting Bellfield on the basis of an alleged confession to a jailhouse snitch alone. What is being suggested is that he be seriously investigated for the murders. One impediment to that is that Michael Stone is sitting in jail with a conviction for the crime. It's solved. Why would they re-open it?
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Old 1st December 2017, 04:57 AM   #12
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My contribution here:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...3#post12094823
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Old 1st December 2017, 05:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I am quite sceptical, as I saw Stone's defence lawyers putting forward their case on a minority channel with a little watched documentary. They use they typical defence lawyer spin:

- They claim Stone was convicted on merely circumstantial evidence.

- They put forward arguments as to why they did not think it was his car that was seen by witnesses (pure opinion)

- They put forward a alternative perpetrator.

- The alternative perpetrator is someone with a string of murder convictions under his belt (so, the argument seems to suggest, why not stick another one on him?)

- The claim Bellfield has 'made a full confession' should be taken with a pinch of salt. They brought this up in the tv documentary, and it turns out to be another 'a prison inmate claims Bellfield confessed to him in prison he did it' (shades of Shawkshank Redemption).

The police did respond and there is incriminating forensic evidence which points to Stone. They didn't give any credence to the Bellfield theory.

the public seem to love a 'wrongfully convicted' story.

The fact this tired defence has today made headline news indicates how gullible the media is to these claims of 'new evidence', which turns out to be old hat which was already discredited at the time, from what I can discern.

Do tell us about the "incriminating forensic evidence that points to Stone".

I don't really care which of them did it, but I do care about the truth.

Mind you, there seems to be a lot to be said for keeping Stone safely behind bars regardless, and while that's hardly justice I can see the pragmatic logic of it.
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Old 1st December 2017, 07:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Do tell us about the "incriminating forensic evidence that points to Stone".

I don't really care which of them did it, but I do care about the truth.

Mind you, there seems to be a lot to be said for keeping Stone safely behind bars regardless, and while that's hardly justice I can see the pragmatic logic of it.
It was to do with the bootlaces, came up in The Chillenden Murders tv documentary.

I find it amusing people lay more store in tabloid sensationalist newspapers than on a proper trial in a court of law.

Megan, the young girl who survived the murders of her mother and sister is insistent it was Stone.

Compare and contrast with James Hanratty - the so-called 'A6 murderer' - who also had a huge media 'innocence' campaign. His victim, who survived but is permanently disabled and in a wheelchair (raped and her lover murdered) was similarly adamant it was Hanratty. People preferred the romantic notion of 'a man wrongly hanged'.

His body was exumed some years later, and guess what? His DNA matched the murder scene.

So he was guilty all along, despite some landlady in a Bed and Breakfast claiming to be an eyewitness he was at her lodgings at the time of the murders.
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Old 1st December 2017, 07:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It was to do with the bootlaces, came up in The Chillenden Murders tv documentary.

I find it amusing people lay more store in tabloid sensationalist newspapers than on a proper trial in a court of law.

...snip...
You can source your evidence once you've said what it is!

What is the forensic evidence?
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Old 1st December 2017, 08:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It was to do with the bootlaces, came up in The Chillenden Murders tv documentary.

I find it amusing people lay more store in tabloid sensationalist newspapers than on a proper trial in a court of law.

Megan, the young girl who survived the murders of her mother and sister is insistent it was Stone.

Compare and contrast with James Hanratty - the so-called 'A6 murderer' - who also had a huge media 'innocence' campaign. His victim, who survived but is permanently disabled and in a wheelchair (raped and her lover murdered) was similarly adamant it was Hanratty. People preferred the romantic notion of 'a man wrongly hanged'.

His body was exumed some years later, and guess what? His DNA matched the murder scene.

So he was guilty all along, despite some landlady in a Bed and Breakfast claiming to be an eyewitness he was at her lodgings at the time of the murders.

The girl who survived is called Josie. I would have thought anyone at all familiar with the case would know that. She has never insisted that it was Stone. She didn't pick him out of a lineup.

The bootlace thing is very fully covered in the Wolchover article and there is no incriminating evidence against Stone from that. His DNA was not found. So where is this "incriminating forensic evidence" to be found?

Everybody knows that the posthumous DNA testing proved Hanratty was guilty. That doesn't mean everybody is guilty. You're just handwaving now.

Disclaimer: I thought Stone was guilty until I read the Wolchover article. It was a bit of a surprise to me that there was any doubt. I can see why the police pursued him as a very likely suspect.
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Old 1st December 2017, 08:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The girl who survived is called Josie. I would have thought anyone at all familiar with the case would know that. She has never insisted that it was Stone. She didn't pick him out of a lineup.

The bootlace thing is very fully covered in the Wolchover article and there is no incriminating evidence against Stone from that. His DNA was not found. So where is this "incriminating forensic evidence" to be found?

Everybody knows that the posthumous DNA testing proved Hanratty was guilty. That doesn't mean everybody is guilty. You're just handwaving now.

Disclaimer: I thought Stone was guilty until I read the Wolchover article. It was a bit of a surprise to me that there was any doubt. I can see why the police pursued him as a very likely suspect.

If there is a case for innocence, then I am sure the criminal review committee will look at the so-called 'new' evidence objectively, dispassionately and fairly.

The ridiculous idea put forward by some that 'it will be brushed under the carpet because they cannot bear to admit they made a mistake' is complete rubbish.

It is important to bear in mind both the recent tv documentary and the recent mass media campaign is led by Stone's own defence team.

I watched the tv programme and was disappointed it was merely the usual defence exercise of 'casting doubt' on the prosecution evidence and presenting 'an alternative perpetrator'. This is nothing that could not have been - and should have been - brought up at the original trial.

I would bear in mnd the caveat of who is spearheading the crusade to 'free Michael Stone'.

Paddington Bear is innocent.
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Old 1st December 2017, 08:53 AM   #18
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I don't think David Wolchover has ever been part of Stone's defence team and he has been pointing out the flaws in the conviction for ten years and more. He also makes a good case for possible police misconduct in "losing" the main part of the bootlace, the item that could clear all this up if it were tested for DNA using modern methods. Like it or not, the police are extremely reluctant to face up to the fact that they got a wrong answer. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if something that might reveal that that had happened was mysteriously vanished from the evidence store.

I don't believe it was unreasonable for the police to have suspected Stone, and I'm not aware of any police misconduct in the investigation that led to his conviction. Sometimes inquiries get the wrong person through no particular fault of anyone's but simply because one possible suspect has been apprehended and another possible suspect remains at large, unrecognised as such. But the police really, really don't like having their convictions overturned, especially in a high profile case like this.

I would expect Stone's defence team to be prominent in any campaign to prove his innocence - I can't see why they wouldn't be. This is of no consequence. The evidence is what's important, not who is pointing it out.
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Old 1st December 2017, 09:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The girl who survived is called Josie. I would have thought anyone at all familiar with the case would know that. She has never insisted that it was Stone. She didn't pick him out of a lineup.

The bootlace thing is very fully covered in the Wolchover article and there is no incriminating evidence against Stone from that. His DNA was not found. So where is this "incriminating forensic evidence" to be found?

Everybody knows that the posthumous DNA testing proved Hanratty was guilty. That doesn't mean everybody is guilty. You're just handwaving now.

Disclaimer: I thought Stone was guilty until I read the Wolchover article. It was a bit of a surprise to me that there was any doubt. I can see why the police pursued him as a very likely suspect.
From the DAILY MAIL

Quote:
There is no doubt in Josie’s mind that the right man, Michael Stone, is behind bars for the murder of her mother and sister, and she is angry about the way in which the family’s wounds were reopened earlier this year when the BBC screened a controversial documentary called The Chillenden Murders.
So, Josie Russell does believe it was Stone.

As a recap of the prosecution evidence:


Quote:
Mr Sweeney said Stone had an intimate knowledge of the Chillenden area as he had lived in the vicinity as a child in children's homes.

He also said Stone was broadly consistent with the e-fit compiled by the witness who saw the attacker driving away.

He added that Stone also kept tools, including hammers, in the back of his car and that after the murders he had gone to a friend's house with his T-shirt splattered with blood. He also burnt his clothing after the attack.
<snip>

Quote:
"With all three bodies lying close to each other in the little copse, obviously believing he had accomplished his objective of killing all three humans and the dog, the attacker must have undone the six bloodied strips and put them into Josie's swimming bag and took them away.

"Why go to all that trouble?

"One explanation would be that he was aware of the risk of being traced by leaving a trail of himself at the scene."

Mr Sweeney added that the bodies' movement was consistent with their hands being untied after their death.

The court heard that Stone could be traced going into the Cash Converters shop in Chatham High Street around four hours before the killings but no trace was found of him after that point.

<snip>

Quote:
After the attack the man left the copse and drove his car back along the way he had come.

The court heard that a woman spotted the car and was driving behind it for several minutes, noticing that the man inside was extremely agitated.

Mr Sweeney: "He kept looking at her through his mirror and she got a sufficiently good look at him to make an e-fit of the man she had seen."

Around half an hour after the murders had taken place, a man was spotted around a mile away from the murder scene in an agitated state.

Mr Sweeney said: "He perhaps realised he had dropped his shoelace at the scene and weighing up the pros and cons of going back. He then dropped the string bag containing the bloodied towel strips in a hedgerow and drove off making good his escape."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...d-murders.html

Latest update: Bellfield, in the same prison as Stone, claims he was bribed to take the blame so Stone could claim compensation for his number of years in jail.

Quote:
In a statement, Miss Cooper said: “Mr Bellfield denies the murders of the Russell family and denies ever making such a confession.

“Mr Stone has offered payment to our client, which he anticipates receiving as compensation for time served in custody.

“Our client has three notes from Mr Stone in this regard which has been given to the prison service, together with a number of complaints regarding Mr Stone about his persistent attempts to get our client to accept responsibility for his (Mr Stone’s) crimes.

“Mr Bellfield instructs that he has invited Mr Stone to undertake a polygraph test, which has been declined.
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Old 1st December 2017, 09:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I don't think David Wolchover has ever been part of Stone's defence team and he has been pointing out the flaws in the conviction for ten years and more. He also makes a good case for possible police misconduct in "losing" the main part of the bootlace, the item that could clear all this up if it were tested for DNA using modern methods. Like it or not, the police are extremely reluctant to face up to the fact that they got a wrong answer. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if something that might reveal that that had happened was mysteriously vanished from the evidence store.

I don't believe it was unreasonable for the police to have suspected Stone, and I'm not aware of any police misconduct in the investigation that led to his conviction. Sometimes inquiries get the wrong person through no particular fault of anyone's but simply because one possible suspect has been apprehended and another possible suspect remains at large, unrecognised as such. But the police really, really don't like having their convictions overturned, especially in a high profile case like this.

I would expect Stone's defence team to be prominent in any campaign to prove his innocence - I can't see why they wouldn't be. This is of no consequence. The evidence is what's important, not who is pointing it out.


It has absolutely nothing at all to do with the police. Once a case goes to trial - based on a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service quite independently of the police - it is out of police hands.
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Old 1st December 2017, 09:37 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You can source your evidence once you've said what it is!

What is the forensic evidence?
Well, here's a pro-Michael Stone site, which sets some of it out, so you can't claim I am biased.


http://www.michaelstone.co.uk/
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Old 1st December 2017, 11:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It has absolutely nothing at all to do with the police. Once a case goes to trial - based on a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service quite independently of the police - it is out of police hands.

Read again. The police still have custody of the evidence. A vital piece of evidence, testing of which could potentially exonerate Stone, has vanished.
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Old 1st December 2017, 11:20 AM   #23
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Oh yes, the Daily Mail. That well-known bastion of accuracy and truthfulness.

Josie Russell may well believe strongly that Stone is guilty. It's extremely common for the victims of crime and their relatives to become invested in the prosecution case and believe it wholeheartedly. She has however never explicitly identified Stone as the man she saw attacking her that day. She didn't manage to pick him out of a police line-up.
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Old 1st December 2017, 11:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Well, here's a pro-Michael Stone site, which sets some of it out, so you can't claim I am biased.

http://www.michaelstone.co.uk/

I've read the page. I'm not seeing any forensic evidence against Stone. Would you mind pointing it out?
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Old 1st December 2017, 02:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It has absolutely nothing at all to do with the police. Once a case goes to trial - based on a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service quite independently of the police - it is out of police hands.
Where the police have enormous influence is over what they decide to investigate and what evidence they disclose to the CPS. If they decide not to investigate a certain witness and miss out exculpatory evidence, they create the impression of guilt and the CPS believes it has a much stronger case that it actually has.

An example of that in this case, is the witness who saw a male in a car and later recognised him as Bellfield.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-41652456

"Stone's legal team also say they have an eye witness who is convinced she saw Bellfield speeding away from the murder scene."

My understanding is she reported what she saw the day the murder was reported and it took weeks before she was seen. She then reports having seen Bellfield that it was him in the car.
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Old 1st December 2017, 02:29 PM   #26
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What's the chances there were two dangerous psychopaths in the vicinity when the Russells were murdered, but only one of them committed the crime? Weird things happen. Then the police latch on to one of the psychopaths, get a conviction to a large extent because he is a psychopath, and then don't want to look at the possibility the other psychopath might have been the real killer.

And the Russells moved to Kent to find a safe place to bring their children up in the countryside. Two murderous psychopaths in one afternoon.
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Old 1st December 2017, 02:54 PM   #27
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If you look back at the timeline of UK serial killers, for example;

Dennis Nilsen 1978-1983
Harold Shipman 1975-1998
The Wests 1967-1987
Peter Sutcliffe 1975-1980
Robert Black 1981-1986

it is reasonable to say there are a few operating at any one time.
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Old 1st December 2017, 06:06 PM   #28
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True, but in the same wee corner of England?

I don't think Stone actually killed anyone else so if he didn't kill the Russells he's not a serial killer. Bellfield is, of course. But Stone had the psychiatric profile and was/is probably a danger to the public.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 11:42 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
True, but in the same wee corner of England?

I don't think Stone actually killed anyone else so if he didn't kill the Russells he's not a serial killer. Bellfield is, of course. But Stone had the psychiatric profile and was/is probably a danger to the public.
At his trial, the jury would not have been told of any of his 'previous'.

Basing an opinion that 'it must have been Bellfield as he has a record of serial killing' is logically incorrect, and rightly, a court of law doesn't work on specious probability.

It was Stone on trial and the court was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt he did it.

If there is 'new' evidence, it has to be genuinely new, not known of as of the time of the trial.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 12:03 PM   #30
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Well a new confession by someone else comfortably passes the threshold for new evidence. Whether such evidence stands up to scrutiny is another thing.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 12:51 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
At his trial, the jury would not have been told of any of his 'previous'.

Basing an opinion that 'it must have been Bellfield as he has a record of serial killing' is logically incorrect, and rightly, a court of law doesn't work on specious probability.

It was Stone on trial and the court was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt he did it.

If there is 'new' evidence, it has to be genuinely new, not known of as of the time of the trial.

However, after Stone was convicted any previous offences would have been disclosed at the time of sentencing. I don't remember that he'd actually done anything, just that he was a drug addict and he'd told a psychiatric nurse that he'd been having intrusive thoughts about killing someone. Allegedly. I don't think that evidence was accepted.

I have certainly never proposed that it must have been Bellfield because he's a known serial killer. I was pointing out the improbability of there being two potential murderers in the vicinity that afternoon, and yet that seems to have been the case. Stone was there or thereabouts and so was Bellfield. We seem to have the same evidence against both of them - they were in the area, they're psychotic potential murderers, and they're both said to have confessed to jailhouse snitches. Interesting conundrum, which could probably be solved by testing the boot lace except the boot lace has mysteriously vanished.

You know, courts have expressed themselves satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that many people committed many crimes, only for these people to be acquitted on appeal at a later date. Barry George, Sion Jenkins, Paul Esslemont, Sally Clark, Angela Cannings, Donna Anthony, Stefan Kiszko, Eddie Gilfoyle, all those wrongly convicted of the IRA bombings - hell, Wikipedia has a pretty long list and it's obviously not complete. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...United_Kingdom

So "the court was satisfied he did it" really isn't an argument that's worth typing, in a discussion about whether the court made a mistake. Courts make these mistakes all the time.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 01:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
True, but in the same wee corner of England?

I don't think Stone actually killed anyone else so if he didn't kill the Russells he's not a serial killer. Bellfield is, of course. But Stone had the psychiatric profile and was/is probably a danger to the public.
Stone's profile is somewhat different to Bellfield's. He had previous history of threats and violence towards men he had grudges against, and people who frustrated his attempts at theft. He was apparently fantasising about killing family members of his probabation officer, but again that was related to blaming that person for the loss of his own relationship. Bellfield has a history involving attacks on women and children who are total strangers to him and the specific method of hitting them on the head. Bellfield also shows more callous unemotional traits and ability to appear charming and manipulate people, whereas Stone shows impulsive behaviour and complete lack of ability to make a good impression, which is why he didn't testify at his trial.

There doesn't seem to be enough evidence to say Bellfield is responsible, but there seem to be as much evidence against him as there is against Stone. There is DNA evidence from an unknown male from the scene that has been ruled out as coming from Stone, but Bellfield has not ruled out as yet. There is the same confession evidence to another prisoner in both cases. Stone's alleged confession doesn't contain anything that was not published in sources Daley could have seen. If the alleged confession of Bellfield did contain information not in the public domain, then it could be stronger evidence than Stone's confession. Josie's description of the murderer being taller than 6" and round-faced fits Bellfield better than Stone. Bellfield's former partner has apparently stated that at the time of the murders he was borrowing her car, which matched the description of the one driven by the killer, and that he never returned it and said it had been stolen. I don't know how credible her statement is, and it seem strange that if true, it isn't receiving more attention. Nobody has been able to show that Stone had access to a similar car at the time.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 01:52 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
At his trial, the jury would not have been told of any of his 'previous'.

Basing an opinion that 'it must have been Bellfield as he has a record of serial killing' is logically incorrect, and rightly, a court of law doesn't work on specious probability.

It was Stone on trial and the court was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt he did it.

If there is 'new' evidence, it has to be genuinely new, not known of as of the time of the trial.
Known by whom? Bear in mind the police may have known, but not passed that on to the CPS. Or at the time the significance of what was known was not clear.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 02:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
However, after Stone was convicted any previous offences would have been disclosed at the time of sentencing. I don't remember that he'd actually done anything, just that he was a drug addict and he'd told a psychiatric nurse that he'd been having intrusive thoughts about killing someone. Allegedly. I don't think that evidence was accepted.

I have certainly never proposed that it must have been Bellfield because he's a known serial killer. I was pointing out the improbability of there being two potential murderers in the vicinity that afternoon, and yet that seems to have been the case. Stone was there or thereabouts and so was Bellfield. We seem to have the same evidence against both of them - they were in the area, they're psychotic potential murderers, and they're both said to have confessed to jailhouse snitches. Interesting conundrum, which could probably be solved by testing the boot lace except the boot lace has mysteriously vanished.

You know, courts have expressed themselves satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that many people committed many crimes, only for these people to be acquitted on appeal at a later date. Barry George, Sion Jenkins, Paul Esslemont, Sally Clark, Angela Cannings, Donna Anthony, Stefan Kiszko, Eddie Gilfoyle, all those wrongly convicted of the IRA bombings - hell, Wikipedia has a pretty long list and it's obviously not complete. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...United_Kingdom

So "the court was satisfied he did it" really isn't an argument that's worth typing, in a discussion about whether the court made a mistake. Courts make these mistakes all the time.

They were not released 'because the court made a mistake', they were released because the conviction was considered 'unsafe'. Many police officers remain certain of the guilt of several you have mentioned, above.

Remember, they see the crime scene first hand and witness the suspects.

The defence only needs to introduce an element of doubt, and that is what Stone's lawyers are banking on.

From what I can see, they are attempting a 'Kathleen Zellner': trying to get an established killer to 'confess' (Zellner visited Death Row deathbeds) which means the other person convicted gets their conviction 'vacated' and then put in a claim for US$m's compensation, of which Zellner takes her chunk.

Bellfield's lawyers deny Bellfield has confessed and claim to have in heir possession three notes from Stone trying to bribe Bellfield into conspiring to get Stone freed so that he can get compensation for 20 years jail.

So where is the evidence that Bellfield confessed?

It is all in the mind of Stone's lawyers and the guillible tabloid press looking for a good headline to sell papers.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 02:44 PM   #35
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Many police officers and prosecution lawyers remain absolutely certain of the guilt of people who have been conclusively exonerated. It's such a consistent phenomenon there's even a recent book about it.

https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520287952

And just this week I saw Dick Marquise going on yet again about how the utterly incredible identification of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi by Tony Gauci can never be questioned because "the judges were able to see him testify and judge his credibility." That despite the fact that multiple people who were also in court and also saw him testify reported that he was stammering and hesitant and the transcript shows that even in the witness box he never said straight out that he recognised Megrahi as the customer. If nothing can ever be questioned on the grounds that judges (or policemen or lawyers) can see into a witness's soul and divinely intuit truthfulness, no appeal is ever going to get off the ground.

It's all about the conviction being unsafe. If Stone's conviction is unsafe it should be vacated. Just like these other ones were. (And in fact you have to turn logic and rationality on their heads to believe any of the people I listed were actually guilty, but then that's what people on the prosecution team do, as Godsey explains.)

And constantly going on about "gullible public" and "selling papers" is just deflection. Doubts have been being cast on the safety of this conviction for many years, before Bellfield's name even entered the picture and before any newspaper got involved. I also don't see any upwelling of public sympathy for Stone, who seems to be a most unpleasant character. But if the evidence isn't strong enough to convict him, he should not be convicted.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 03:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Many police officers and prosecution lawyers remain absolutely certain of the guilt of people who have been conclusively exonerated. It's such a consistent phenomenon there's even a recent book about it.

https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520287952

And just this week I saw Dick Marquise going on yet again about how the utterly incredible identification of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi by Tony Gauci can never be questioned because "the judges were able to see him testify and judge his credibility." That despite the fact that multiple people who were also in court and also saw him testify reported that he was stammering and hesitant and the transcript shows that even in the witness box he never said straight out that he recognised Megrahi as the customer. If nothing can ever be questioned on the grounds that judges (or policemen or lawyers) can see into a witness's soul and divinely intuit truthfulness, no appeal is ever going to get off the ground.
Unfortunately experienced police investigators tend to be grossly overconfident in their ability to detect deception, and it's likely that many people would just wrongly assume that having experience at judging credibility would make people more accurate. As we know, research doesn't support this, and has shown that experienced investigators tend to be no more accurate and often less accurate in judging deception than untrained laypeople.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 04:23 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Elaedith View Post
Unfortunately experienced police investigators tend to be grossly overconfident in their ability to detect deception, and it's likely that many people would just wrongly assume that having experience at judging credibility would make people more accurate. As we know, research doesn't support this, and has shown that experienced investigators tend to be no more accurate and often less accurate in judging deception than untrained laypeople.
What other/better method do we have than a fair and proper trial in a court of law?

If you commit a crime and plead not guilty, you have a high chance of walking free, thanks to sympathetic jurors (cf the recent case of the guy charged with tampering with his wife's parachute), thus, the tiny number who are found 'guilty' after an often long and exhaustively fair trial - perhaps a third - have achieved the high bar threshold of 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt'.

I was juror in a case where the defendant openly admitted he committed the assault, yet my fellow jurors came back with 'not guilty'.

In a murder trial, the bar is even higher. There is no benefit from convicting the wrong person.

In the case of the Chillenden murders, posters here are baying, 'Where is the forensic evidence' yet wilfully ignoring the fact the perpetrator took great pains to remove evidence from the scene. The bootlaces used to tie the victims were removed from the scene. One was accidentally left behind and an eye witness saw a highly agitated man such that she was able to stare at his face in the car mirror and provide an e-fit. The e-fit clearly shows someone with sticking out ears. Bellfield's ears are close to his head. So the claim, 'Oh, the e-fit could fit Bellfield' is an attempt to shoe-horn post-hoc backwards suspect-centric logic to 'the alternative theory'.

An eye witness said Stone visited their house with a blood splattered t-shirt within the time frame of the crime.

But we are to ignore all this, because the public love a romantic 'wrong man spends 20-years in jail' sob story and conveniently overlook the fact there was a fact-finding merits trial, with twelve just men/women bending over to give a fair and true verdict to the best of their ability, only after hearing all of the evidence put before the court (note: not just selected bits).

Stone knew things that were not in the public domain. He described the towels the woman and child were strangled with as 'wet', for example.


If there is merit in this 'new evidence' it is utter paranoid conspiracy theory to assert the criminal review committee will reject it automatically 'because they cannot bear to admit they were wrong'.

If Stone is attempting a fraudulent stunt to immorally gain compensation, then he should be charged further and his lawyers reported to the Bar Standards as to their conduct.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 05:28 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
'Where is the forensic evidence' yet wilfully ignoring the fact the perpetrator took great pains to remove evidence from the scene.
People are saying 'where is the forensic evidence' because you claimed there was forensic evidence linking Stone to the crime scene. We are still waiting to hear what it is.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 05:48 PM   #39
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We may be waiting rather a long time. We seem to be back to "the court never makes a mistake" and "it's all those newspapers and the ignorant, sensation-seeking public". Which I imagine we're assumed to be part of.

I've had my doubts about this conviction for about six years, long before this present round of publicity. I think I've even said so in other threads. I thought it was unlikely it would ever be reviewed, but if there is credible evidence pointing to someone else, that may happen.
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Old 3rd December 2017, 03:12 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
..... I was pointing out the improbability of there being two potential murderers in the vicinity that afternoon, and yet that seems to have been the case. .....
This is the only murder Stone has been accused/convicted of. So what we have is one serial killer and an aggressive violent man in the same area at the same time, which is far more probable.
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