The Russell family murders

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Lin and Megan Russell

Post  Bampots on Sat 21 May 2016, 7:53 am

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/michael-stones-sister-levi-bellfield-8016200

I don't have time to bring article over perhaps someone will oblige

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:36 am



Sister of man jailed for 1996 murders of Lin and Megan Russell says DNA could clear his name and prove Milly Dowler's killer Levi Bellfield was the real culprit
Doctor and daughter were brutally murdered in Kent countryside in 1998
Michael Stone has been found guilty of murders at two separate trials
But he has always denied the killings, which have been linked to Bellfield
Stone's sister hopes that advances in DNA evidence could clear him
By RICHARD SPILLETT FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 15:55, 20 May 2016 | UPDATED: 19:43, 20 May 2016

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The sister of a man jailed for the infamous murders of Lin and Megan Russell 19 years ago claims new DNA evidence could clear him.
Michael Stone was jailed for life in 1998 after being convicted of murdering the mother and daughter in Chillenden, Kent.
But his sister, Barbara Stone, says advances in DNA evidence could implicate triple killer Levi Bellfield and clear her brother.
Michael Stone is currently serving life in prison for the murders of Lin Russell and her daughter Megan
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Lin Russell and her daughter Megan were brutally killed in Kent in 1998
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Michael Stone is currently serving life in prison for the murders of Lin Russell and her daughter Megan (right)
Dr Russell, 45, and her six-year-old daughter Megan were killed in the attack in 1996. Dr Russell's other daughter, Josie, survived terrible head injuries and went on to make a miraculous recovery.
Bellfield has been linked to the murders after he finally admitted to killing 13-year-old Milly Dowler earlier this year. He also murdered 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell, and 22-year-old Amelie Delagrange.
Stone denied being responsible for the appalling crimes but was found guilty and despite being behind bars for the past 19 years, he still protests his innocence.
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He was found guilty after drug addict and convicted murderer Damian Daley gave evidence for the prosecution, telling the court how Stone, from Gillingham, Kent, had confessed to him in prison that he had carried out the dreadful attacks.
Another prisoner, Barry Thompson, admitted lying about an alleged confession by Stone a day after he was jailed, but despite the convictions being quashed in 2001, Stone was found guilty again following a retrial on the basis of Daley's evidence.
His sister, of Chatham, Kent, said she rarely sees her brother, now 55, as he is locked up in Frankland Prison in Durham - but still believes he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.
Stone's sister, Barbara Stone, now hopes her brother could be cleared of the crime
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Mrs Stone says new evidence could implicate serial killer Levi Bellfield
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Stone's sister, Barbara Stone, now hopes her brother could be cleared of the crime, which has been linked to serial killer Levi Bellfield
Police questioned Levi in 2008: 'You didn't say it's not me'
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She said: 'We are pinning our hopes on advances in DNA technology. I'm not saying Bellfield is the killer, but we need to test his DNA against the that found at the scene.
'Advances in technology could lead to something. There was no DNA evidence at the scene to put my brother there - and even the e-fit issued at the time looks like Bellfield.
'I think the time is right to speculate on this now. A car matching the description of one Bellfield had access to was seen in the area, so I do think the DNA from the crime scene should be tested against him and the thousands of others on the national database. This should be the least that's being done.'
Mrs Stone also spoke about drug addict and life-time criminal Damien Daley who has now been convicted of murdering a man in Folkestone.
She said: 'He was and is a heroin addict and now a murderer and has openly admitted he's lied through his life to get by.
'How can his testimony still be relied upon, especially since his murder conviction? We now have access to his prison record at the time of the so-called cell confession.'
This is the site of the murders in Chillenden, Kent. Dr Russell's other daughter, Josie, was left for dead
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This is the site of the murders in Chillenden, Kent. Dr Russell's other daughter, Josie, was left for dead
Kent Police said it was not looking for anyone else in connection with the case in which Stone was convicted.
A spokesperson said: 'The Metropolitan Police Service is coordinating all activity in regard to Levi Bellfield.
'A Criminal Case Review Commission had access to all forensic evidence, documentation and exhibits from the original investigation, the review by another force, details of two Crown Court trials and appeals to the High Court.
'Furthermore, 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.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3601082/Sister-man-jailed-Lin-Megan-Russell-says-Levi-Bellfield-real-culprit.html#ixzz49H1VqdYJ
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:37 am

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:40 am

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:50 am

I've always had doubts that the right person was convicted of this crime.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  dandaar on Sat 21 May 2016, 9:45 am

Freedom wrote:I've always had doubts that the right person was convicted of this crime.

When they have to use the evidence of a fellow prisoner who hears a"confession" then it usually ends in trouble as more often than not the fellow prisoner has cut a deal,as appears the case here.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Bampots on Sat 21 May 2016, 10:03 am

What it shows to me is how easy the system embraces errors which they then compound and defend resulting in tragedy like this. They do do get it so very wrong and with devastating results!

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 4:14 pm

Admittedly, I don't know a great deal about this particular case as yet.

Here's a letter written by Michael Stone in 2004:

I have never murdered anyone, so have no guilt for any murder(s) for which to show remorse. However, you are correct about my not feeling any remorse over any past wrongdoings (which I see now as mistakes) for which I am responsible.

At the first Chillenden Murder trial, a serving prisoner testified that he saw blood on my clothes the day after the murders, but he has since admitted he was lying, and that there was no blood on my clothes on the day in question. His girlfriend never said there was blood on my clothes the day after the murders, although during their interrogations the police implied that she had, in order to induce me to confess.

I have always maintained my total innocence to the police and to the world at large, because I never committed these murders. Nobody has ever said they saw me either at Chillenden or with blood on my clothes on the day of the murders.

At the first trial, one of the prosecution witnesses alleged that during the police interrogation I confessed to burning the clothes I wore on the day after the murders. After later scientific audio tests, it was conceded that I never said that at all. Further, nobody has ever said they saw me burning my clothes.

The petrol lawn mower stolen from Chillenden earlier on the day of the murders was of a different type from the electric mower I sold on July 11, 1996.

I do know the Canterbury area fairly well, and nearby Dover and Folkestone too. I understand that Chillenden is out in the sticks somewhere between the two, but I am not familiar with the place. I attended the Chillenden vicinity with the court during the second trial, and never recognised the area, but I am familiar with several roads not many miles away. More importantly, I was certainly not at Chillenden at the time of the murders on July 9, 1996.

I did have a heroin addiction during 1996, and I do have previous convictions for robbery, but that does not make me a murderer. I never took any part in the Chillenden Murders. I was in no way involved. I am totally innocent of these terrible crimes.

I have a conviction for grievous bodily harm, in 1980, but there is absolutely no other similarity between this crime and the Chillenden Murders. Foolishly I went to the house of a homosexual paedophile and threatened to stop his activities of molesting young boys. He took umbrage and grabbed me. I over-reacted by picking up his own hammer and striking him with it. The judge gave me a two year sentence for this attack; the paedophile received a five year sentence for the above mentioned sexual offences.

The man I was convicted of stabbing was not asleep, and he would have injured me had I not stabbed him.

Much forensic evidence was found at the crime scene including hairs, saliva, fibres and bloodstained partial fingerprints. Forensic scientists have eliminated me as being the source of any and all such samples.

The prosecution accepted - at both trials - that all the details of the alleged cell block confession (which I never made) were either in the public domain or were capable of being deduced from what was in the public domain.

I will never accept being in prison for life for murders I never committed, so I will take the appeal process all the way until the day I prove my innocence. I have spent seven and a half years in prison for murders I never committed: that is an injustice inflicted on me, and a further injustice inflicted upon the victims of the real maniac hammer murderer who has gotten clean away with this crime.

How many more murders will he go on to commit before you open your eyes?

Michael John Stone

Full Sutton Prison
November 12, 2004


From this link:

http://www.ismichaelstoneguilty.info/m_s_stone_replies.html
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Sat 21 May 2016, 4:37 pm

I've always had the uneasy feeling that, having found someone undesirable and unlikely to be missed, the crime was fitted up around Stone.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 4:52 pm

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Sat 21 May 2016, 5:00 pm

Must admit that I'm not overly impressed with most of the blogs from this source - loads of wild accusations with no proof. 

Ironically he names Levi Bellfield (who might have killed the Russells) as being innocent of the murder of Milly Dowler. 

I don't feel there's any doubt about that conviction, nor those for the Suffolk Strangler and the Soham girls - one of whose names he doesn't even get right.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 5:08 pm

Coleman can be a bit over imaginative to say the very least.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 5:13 pm

http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/legan/legan039.htm

Snipped:

All of which brings us finally to Michael Stone.

For the benefit of non-UK readers, here, very briefly, are the facts. In July 1996, Dr Lin Russell and her two young daughters were the victims of a frenzied attack in a country lane in Chillenden near Canterbury, Kent. Mother and younger daughter were killed, but miraculously 9-year-old Josie survived. The story of her recovery from the trauma, injuries and brain damage has been well documented, but she was unable to give the police any meaningful description of the attacker(s).

A year after the attack, Michael Stone is arrested. Stone is an unappealing character; a drug addict who for many years had funded his addiction by crime, he also has a record for serious violence, including a hammer attack, which on the face of it is similar to the Chillenden killings, but was committed a decade and a half before, on a man, and in entirely different circumstances.

Questioned repeatedly by the police, Stone denies any involvement emphatically, although he is unable to account for his movements on the day of the murders, which is hardly surprising in view of both the passage of time and his mental state, not to mention his chosen profession.34

Forensic evidence linking Stone to the crime scene is non-existent, but the case against him looks promising: he is the type of man who would commit such a crime, he was seen wearing bloody clothing at or near the time of the murders, and furthermore he boasts about the killings to several inmates while on remand.

At his trial at Maidstone Crown Court in October 1998, the case against him doesn't look half so impressive, and one by one the prosecution witnesses crumble. All the same, on October 23 he is convicted by a majority verdict and given three life sentences. Stone's legal team had advised him not to give evidence, a decision he says he was then entirely happy with.

Following Stone's conviction, one of the witnesses against him, Barry Thompson, has second thoughts; on October 24, Thompson contacts the national press and admits to perjuring himself. The first week in November, Stone's lawyers lodge an appeal, although it does not come before the Court of Appeal until January 2001, when he is granted leave; the following month his convictions are quashed and a retrial is ordered, although in view of the deluge of post-conviction media coverage, most of it extremely prejudicial, the venue for the retrial is moved well away from Kent.35

Now, conceding that it has not only no forensic or other meaningful evidence, the Crown seeks to rely on Stone's alleged confession which was shouted through the wall to the inmate in the next cell. The jury and the judge even visit the cell where Damien Daley was held, to confirm that he could have heard Stone's alleged incriminating statements. At least one newspaper described the scene as surreal as the nine men and three women good and true and Mr Justice Poole in turn were locked in the cell and got down on their knees to listen to a recitation from one of the best-selling Harry Potter novels.36 The irony will not be lost to anyone who is in the slightest familiar with the theme of the J.K. Rowling books.

A greater irony is that if this alleged confession had been made off-tape to a police officer when Stone was being held for questioning, the judge would almost certainly have ruled it inadmissible. As Peter Mirfield points out in a standard legal work, it was established at Court of Appeal level that the exclusionary rule applies to confessions only if made to "persons in authority", which clearly does not include hardened criminals like Damien Daley.37

According to Stone, he was questioned about the Chillenden murders by the police a staggering 39 times; every single time he denied any involvement with them. He was so concerned about protesting his innocence that while on remand in Canterbury Prison he asked to be placed on Rule 43 (segregation) because earlier when he was on remand in Belmarsh Prison, other inmates were making up confessions to the murders. Then, we are asked to believe, after all this, he confesses freely to another inmate. By shouting through the wall. The prosecution proceed with this nonsense - the judge allows it in evidence, and the jury convicts. Stone's repeated - and confirmed - denials count for nothing. An uncorroborated confession made to one man of disreputable character on one occasion is taken as the gospel truth. Did anyone ever hear of such lunacy?

There is a well known saying, which in full reads thus: "...all presumptive evidence of felony should be admitted cautiously: for the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer."38

That would certainly be true if the accused were a police officer accused of being "bent for the job", but not for habitual criminals and drug addicts like Michael Stone who are best kept off the streets. The reasoning is that if Stone didn't commit the Chillenden murders he has committed other, if less serious crimes that he should be punished for, that if he hasn't he is the sort of person who would have murdered someone given time and opportunity, and if neither, well, he's only a scumbag anyway, a burden on society and a junkie at that.

This is obviously a state of affairs with which Stone himself is none too happy, but the wider issue is that his conviction is not simply an injustice, it is ludicrous. If Michael Stone can be convicted of crimes as heinous as the Chillenden murders on nonsense such as this, then not one of us is safe, although different standards apply to police officers.

In the spring of 2001, a murder trial was held at the Central Criminal Court in which the prosecution evidence was qualitatively superior by several orders of magnitude from that presented against Michael Stone. A police officer named Christopher Sherwood shot a man to death in a bungled raid at St Leonards, Sussex, in January 1998. James Ashley was stark naked; he had been in bed with his girlfriend, and, surprised at the raid, jumped up and was gunned down. There could be no question of his being armed. On May 2, 2001, without so much as a whimper from the prosecution, the judge halted the trial and directed the jury to return verdicts of not guilty to murder and manslaughter. The name of the judge was Mrs Justice Rafferty - Anne Rafferty QC, the prosecutrix in Michael Stone's first trial.39 According to her entry in Who's Who, Anne Rafferty has been a High Court judge since 2000.

Regardless of the fact that police officers can shoot dead members of the public with near total impunity, it cannot be right that in a murder trial - indeed in any trial - an alleged confession made to a convicted criminal and admitted perjurer under such circumstances as that allegedly made by Michael Stone can be ruled admissible when a confession allegedly made in the back of a police car cannot.

PACE was brought in to safeguard suspects' rights, and it works. Since PACE, police verbals have all but disappeared, and there is no meaningful evidence that conviction rates have suffered as a result. Indeed, the advent of PACE has not only protected suspects, but honest police officers. Although there is still some scope for abuse, it is difficult to dispute the contents of a tape-recorded interrogation. This must lead inevitably to less court time and police time being wasted by the investigation of complaints - both genuine and frivolous - and to lengthy voire dire arguments over the admissibility of disputed confessions.

Michael Stone's conviction for the Chillenden murders must be quashed. It is true that Stone could be guilty, although if he is, he is certainly doing a great impression of an innocent man wrongly accused, and framed. If Stone really did commit the Chillenden murders whether or not he made the cell confession claimed of him, then turning him loose on the public is doing none of us any favours. But terrible though that scenario may be, if he is innocent, as appears, then the alternative is far, far worse. Even more terrible is the fact that if Michael Stone is innocent, the real Chillenden murderer is still at large.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 7:57 pm

The story of Levi Bellfield possibly being the killer has been around a while it seems...

Here is an article from 2011:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8597209/Could-Levi-Bellfield-have-killed-Lin-and-Megan-Russell.html
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:04 pm

Snipped from this:

http://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/crime-files/lin-and-megan-russell-murder/trial

The three confessions were crucial. Mark Jennings had been jailed for life for the murder of a barman. Stone asked Jennings what he thought of the Russell murders and went on to suggest that Jennings should have killed the witnesses in the pub murder. He (Stone) would kill anyone, including women and children, if it would keep him out of jail. However, this conversation was totally denied by Stone and it later came out in court that Jennings' sister had been paid £5000 by The Sun newspaper, with a promise of a further £10000 after the trial if Stone was found guilty.

... If true, then that is outrageous of the Sun (although no real surprise there I suppose).
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Andrew on Sat 21 May 2016, 8:11 pm

Snipped from the same place..

Even with the lack of forensic evidence or credible witness testimony, the jury returned a guilty sentence, after fifteen hours of deliberation, by a 10-2 majority, on 23 October 1998. They had been swayed by the supposed confessions by Stone to his fellow prisoners, and the judge gave him three life sentences. However, a week after the verdict and sentence were handed down, in an interview with The Mirror newspaper, Thompson denied that his conversation with Stone took place, “None of what I said was true and I want to give a statement to his solicitor admitting I lied. Stone never said the words I attributed to him. I told the jury a pack of lies”.

From what I've read so far it certainly comes across that this Stone chap has been well and truly stitched up.
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The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Sun 28 May 2017, 5:34 pm

I don't think that we have a topic on this one.

I'm not convinced that the right man has been convicted.


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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  bluebell on Sun 28 May 2017, 5:55 pm

I'm with you on that Freedom.  A really odd case with Stone having two court cases.    I haven't followed what came out of Levi Bellfield questioning but this (old, sorry)  article gives some information for those that are not familiar with the case :

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/levi-bellfield-quizzed-lin-megan-7278527

Levi Bellfield to be quizzed on Lin and Megan Russell murders by lawyer of Michael Stone

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Sun 28 May 2017, 6:15 pm

I'm not sure if I'd heard of the suggested connection with Levi Bellfield before; it certainly does sound like one of his crimes.

There doesn't appear to be anything more recent than that Mirror story so I presume that nothing else has happened.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  dannii on Sun 28 May 2017, 6:21 pm

There is a 2 part documentary about this that starts this week.

The Chillenden murders BBC2 tuesday 30th may 9PM.

Take it part 2 will be 6th june.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  bluebell on Sun 28 May 2017, 6:39 pm

Thanks for that - will put tv to record.

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  wjk on Sun 28 May 2017, 6:45 pm

There's also this on tonight, The Jury Room covering this case. I think it's on at 10pm

http://www.cbsreality.tv/uk/shows.php?title=the+jury+room&episode=602985

ETA I just noticed Colin Sutton on the clip on that link

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  bluebell on Sun 28 May 2017, 6:52 pm

Oooh  thanks for that, a must watch (or record).   I miss so much that is on TV       Crying or Very sad

@ Freedom   That may be because all has been concentrated on Milly Dowler recently.  More investigations with Megan Russell must have taken second place I suppose?    Hopefully other cases will continue to be investigated with this b****rd.

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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Tue 30 May 2017, 10:18 pm

Here's the first part of the programme.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08sxrnj/the-chillenden-murders-series-1-episode-1

I'll watch it tomorrow.
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Re: The Russell family murders

Post  Freedom on Wed 31 May 2017, 11:32 am

I've now seen it. The evidence against Stone is certainly underwhelming - no forensic links and three supposed confessions to fellow convicts, two of which were later discredited.

A revelation from his psychiatrist as to his state of mind just before the killings seems incriminating but would he take out his rage on complete strangers, including children? He had a dreadful history of violence but not against women and children.

He has always denied the crimes and answered all the police questions put to him - rather than the usual no comment to everything - so I remain unconvinced.

It will be interesting to see if any mention is made of Levi Bellfield in next week's programme.
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