Can The Chillenden Murders Be Solved?

VennerRoad By VennerRoad, 12th Jun 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>Crime

Next month is the twenty-second anniversary of the notorious Chillenden murders.

Can The Chillenden Murders Be Solved? (1)

If you believe this horrific crime has been solved, you are either extremely duplicitous or simply dumb.

According to the official record, Dr Lin Russell, her youngest daughter and one of the family dogs were battered to death by Michael Stone, pictured right. After all, he was convicted twice and his second appeal was rejected. You can’t get much more convicted than that. Check out the Michael Stone website I set up in December 2002, and the slightly later one set up by John Aidiniantz for full details of this notorious case.

Although I have seen him in the flesh - at the Court Of Appeal - have spoken to him over the phone, and at one time entered into a voluminous correspondence, I have never actually met Michael Stone. He hasn’t written to me for the past couple of years, and has ignored my last few letters, but although we are from different worlds, I believe emphatically in his innocence.

Michael Stone was convicted of the Chillenden murders on the most ridiculous non-evidence ever presented in an English courtroom, and I include the 1612 Pendle witch trials in that reckoning. Stone had been remanded for another crime, had requested he be put into solitary confinement because other prisoners were putting incriminating confessions in his mouth left, right and centre, then, we are supposed to believe, he shouts a confession to the con in the next cell through the prison wall. The police dutifully take down this phantom confession from (now convicted murderer) Damien Daley, the judge allows its admission, the prosecuting barrister presents it to the jury, and the jurors in both trials, the least corrupt people in this entire legal farce, convict.

In spite of this ludicrous conviction, I have said many times before and will say so again, the moment anyone shows me a nanogramme of credible evidence linking Stone to the Chillenden murders, I will drop him like the proverbial hot brick. There are several reasons I believe him to be innocent in spite of the obvious fit-up; I will mention two of them here: the existence of a much better suspect - Levi Bellfield; and some information Stone gave me many years ago.

For those who haven’t heard of him, Levi Bellfield is an incredibly dangerous individual who has committed at least three murders, a number of other attacks, and probably a number of rapes. He bears a striking physical resemblance to an individual who was seen by a credible witness in the area at the time, and was known to be familiar at least generally with that area of Kent. Like Stone, there is no forensic evidence against Bellfield for the Chillenden murders, and like Stone he was not identified by Josie Russell, the sole survivor, however, everything else about him fits.

Over the years I’ve had some feedback from the media and others; best not to mention the bloke who asked me:

“Don’t you believe in mind control?”

Can The Chillenden Murders Be Solved? (2)

Then there was the airhead Cambridge academic who was running a workshop or some such. As soon as I mentioned train fare, her enthusiasm waned. A television programme awhile ago led me to contact a couple of the people who appeared therein. One didn’t reply; the other did, but was of no assistance. The latest media contact came from a woman, a Channel 4 researcher. These are invariably women, and like this one usually not particularly bright. My phone rang at 10.53am; I was still in bed having been awake literally around the clock and not having hit the sack until 4am.

She asked me for my e-mail, and had left a message on Facebook. There were new developments in the Michael Stone case linking Levi Bellfield to the murders:

“We will be running the story at 5:30pm this evening and would like to speak to you for a pre-recorded piece before 3pm.”

I logged onto Google News and although I didn’t feel my heart sink, I realised in general terms what would happen, and sure enough it did. I sent her an e-mail saying I would require payment, in advance, at NUJ rate for any interview. She agreed, and I never heard from her again. When these people want something from you, they are all over you and expect instant cooperation. When they’re done with you, they don’t even bother to say goodbye, much less thank you.

The story was that Levi Bellfield had confessed to the Chillenden murders. The reality that came out later the same day was that another high security prisoner had made up the confession, serial rapist Richard Baker. Bellfield even made a telephone denial that was uploaded to YouTube. I exchanged e-mails with Stone’s lawyer, and we agreed it was absurd to admit Stone’s alleged confession in evidence but to summarily dismiss Bellfield’s.

So what is the other major reason I believe in Stone’s innocence? Stone was not arrested until July 16, 1997, more than a year after the murders. He was questioned at length about his movements at the time of the murders, and says the police tricked him about the chronology. Years later he worked out that he was almost certainly in Rochester at the time they were committed, and made a telephone call from a public call box to his mother’s house. If there is a record of that call - time, destination, duration - it will almost certainly mean he could not have been at the crime scene at the time the murders were committed.

Nine years have passed since I wrote to British Telecom asking them to make that search. The time has come for the CCRC to order a real investigation that might finally clear Britain’s longest serving miscarriage of justice prisoner, but I for one am not holding my breath.

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