January 2016

Robert Black – Notorious serial child killer DEAD

The child killer Robert Black, who was convicted of the murders of four children from across the UK in the 1980s, has died in prison.

Black had a history of abducting, abusing and murdering young girls.

His victims were nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy from Northern Ireland; Sarah Harper, 10, from England, and 11-year-old Susan Maxwell and five-year-old Caroline Hogg both from Scotland.

Black died of natural causes in Maghaberry prison.

In a statement, the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirmed that a 68-year-old prisoner had died at the high-security jail.

“While this is not being treated as suspicious, the Prison Service has informed the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Coroner, and Prisoner Ombudsman,” the statement added.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

June 2013

Serial child killer Robert Black has failed in a bid to overturn his conviction for kidnapping and murdering a Co Antrim schoolgirl

The Court of Appeal rejected claims that the Scotsman’s criminal past should not have been revealed to a jury who found Black guilty of abducting Jennifer Cardy 32 years ago.

Arguments that his trial should have been halted due to a lack of opportunity and identification evidence against him were also dismissed on Thursday.

Jennifer was snatched as she cycled to a friend’s house in Ballinderry in August 1981. The nine-year-old’s body, suspected of being sexually abused, was discovered nearly a week later at a dam near Hillsborough, Co Antrim.

Black, a 66-year-old former delivery driver from Grangemouth in Scotland, was said to have been in Northern Ireland at the time on a work trip for a London-based poster dispatch firm.

In 2011 the paedophile was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Jennifer and ordered to serve at least 25 years in prison


Black pictured last year

During the six-week trial at Armagh Crown Court, it emerged he had already been convicted of killing three other girls, abducting a fourth, and attempting to snatch another.

Jurors were told how Black was jailed at Newcastle Upon Tyne Crown Court in 1994 for three unsolved murders from the 1980s – those of 11-year-old Susan Maxwell, from the Scottish Borders, five-year-old Caroline Hogg, from Edinburgh, and Sarah Harper, 10, from Morley, near Leeds.

Black’s criminal history was introduced in an attempt to show striking similarities with Jennifer’s killing and prove his guilt.

His barrister argued that the trial judge erred in admitting the bad character evidence. Black’s sexual fantasies about abducting young girls, recorded in 2005 during his interviews with detectives investigating Jennifer’s case, were played to the jury.

It was claimed these were not a reflection of what he had done to Jennifer, as the prosecution suggested. But judges were also told Black’s fantasies led him to hunt for young victims on whom he could live them out.

Prosecutors argued that the jury had a right to know about “distasteful” material found during the investigation. Searches of the convicted killer’s van and home uncovered tape, child pornography and sexual objects.

He told police that he would have worn the children’s clothing, including a swimsuit for a girl aged eight to ten, for his own sexual gratification. It was further contended that Black used his signature method in dumping Jennifer’s body.

There were striking similarities between her killing and the three other young girls whose lives he took, according to the prosecution. Black appeared by a video-link with Maghaberry Prison for the verdict.

Jennifer’s parents, Andrew and Patricia Cardy, were in court to hear Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan throw out all grounds of appeal. The judge said the approach taken at trial was, if anything, more beneficial to the killer.

Dealing with the issue of opportunity, Sir Declan detailed “a formidable case supporting the conclusion that the appellant was in Northern Ireland on the day of the abduction”. He held that the trial judge carefully review evidence of the so-called signature method deployed by Black.

“It is, however, important to remember that the prosecution case did not depend on the scientific evidence alone as there was also evidence of alleged admissions by way of the fantasy evidence,” he added. Sir Declan confirmed: “We do not consider that any of the grounds of appeal have been made out.”

December 2011

Robert Black jailed for life

A SERIAL child killer was handed a fresh life sentence today for the murder of the fourth child he callously slaughtered.

Evil paedophile Robert Black was already serving multiple life sentences when he was convicted in October over the death of nine-year-old schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy.

His lawyer did not plea for mercy and the prosecution said it wanted him to serve a whole life term given his previous crimes.

But Mr Justice Ronald Weatherup stopped short of that and gave Black — already serving TEN life sentences — another life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years. That means he will be 89 before he can be considered for release.

Jennifer’s parents were in court to see Black, 64, sentenced for snatching her as she cycled to a friend’s house in County Antrim in 1981.

Victim ... Jennifer Cardy

Victim … Jennifer Cardy

 The former delivery driver abducted her while on a work trip to Northern Ireland and dumped her body in water before catching a ferry home.

In 1994, the HMP Wakefield inmate was convicted of murdering three other children Susan Maxwell, 11, from the Scottish Borders, Caroline Hogg, five, from Edinburgh, and ten-year-old Sarah Harper, from Morley, near Leeds — in the 1980s.

Detectives are now reviewing the evidence against Black in connection with a FIFTH schoolgirl’s disappearance.

He has long been the prime suspect in the case of missing 13-year-old Genette Tate, who was last seen in a rural lane in Aylesbeare, Devon, in 1978.

Jennifer’s parents Andy and Pat Cardy heard Mr Justice Weatherup tell Black he had “subjected a vulnerable child to unpardonable terror and took away her life”.

Black, flanked by prison officers at Belfast Crown Court, was handcuffed before he was led away.

The judge said of Jennifer’s murder: “This was an act of sexual predation.”

He added: “Victim impact statements have been provided by Jennifer’s father and her brother Phillip.

“Her father speaks poignantly about Jennifer, of the family’s awareness of Jennifer’s absence from all family occasions, and of the harrowing revelations in the course of the trial.”

Black’s reign of terror finally ended in 1990 when he was caught red handed with a six-year-girl hooded, bound, gagged and stuffed in a sleeping bag in the back of his van in the Scottish village of Stow.

He had sexually assaulted her moments earlier.

Robert Black (serial killer of children)

Robert Black (born 21 April 1947 in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, Scotland) is a Scottish paedophile serial killer convicted of the kidnap and murder of four girls between the ages of 5 and 11 between 1981 and 1986 in the United Kingdom. He was convicted of sexually assaulting one of the girls and of raping the other three. Black was also convicted of the kidnap of a fifth girl and the attempted kidnap of a sixth.

Black is also suspected of a number of unsolved child murders in the UK dating back to 1969 and others in the 1970s throughout Europe.

Black’s natural mother, Jessie Hunter Black, refused to put his father’s name on his birth certificate and had him fostered. Black was brought up by a foster couple who were in their 50s, Jack and Margaret Tulip. Black did not fit in at school and was given the nickname ‘Smelly Robby Tulip’ by his classmates, who noticed that Black preferred to hang around with children a year or two younger than he was, rather than people his own age. He developed an early reputation for aggressive and wayward behaviour. Locals recalled that Black often had bruises, although Black himself later said he could not recollect where these injuries came from. Margaret Tulip died in 1958, when Black was just 11, and he was initially sent to a children’s home in Falkirk. His increasingly difficult behaviour meant he was moved several times over the following years.

While living with the Tulips, Robert Black developed sexual self-awareness at a young age. He later said that from the age of eight he would often push objects up his anus. This was a practice that he would continue into adulthood. As a young child, he also had an interest in the genitals of other children. At the age of five, he and a girl both took off their clothes and compared each others’ genitals.

Black first attempted rape at the age of 12 along with two other boys. They attacked a girl in a field, but found themselves unable to complete the act of penetration. The authorities were notified and Black was moved to the Red House in Musselburgh. While there, a male staff member sexually abused him. It was while Black was at Red House that he also entered Musselburgh Grammar School where he developed an interest in football and swimming.

At 15, Black left Red House and found a job working as a delivery boy in Greenock near Glasgow. He later admitted that, while on his rounds, he molested 30 to 40 girls with various degrees of success. None of these incidents seem to have been officially reported until his first conviction at the age of 17 when he lured a seven-year-old girl to a deserted building, strangled her until she lost consciousness and then masturbated over her unconscious body. He was arrested and convicted of ‘lewd and libidinous’ behaviour for this offence, but received only an admonishment.

After this, Black moved back to Grangemouth and got a job with a builders’ supply company. He also found a girlfriend, Pamela Hodgson, fell in love and asked her to marry him. Black was devastated when she ended the relationship several months later. In 1966, Black’s inappropriate manifestation of his sexual desires resurfaced when he molested his landlord and landlady’s nine-year old granddaughter. The girl eventually told her parents. They took no legal action but Black was ordered to leave the house.

At this time, Black moved back to Kinlochleven where he was raised. He took a room with a couple who had a seven-year-old daughter. As before, Black molested the girl. This time, when the sexual abuse was discovered, police were notified. Black was sentenced to a year of borstal training at Polmont.

On his release, Black left Scotland and moved to London. His abuse of young girls subsided for a time when he discovered child pornography — when police searched his home after his arrests for murder, they discovered more than 100 magazines and 50 videos. In London, Black found work as a swimming pool attendant and would sometimes go underneath the pool, remove the lights and watch young girls as they swam. Soon, a young girl complained that Black had touched her and while no official charges were brought, Black lost his job.

While Black lived in London he spent a lot of time in pubs playing darts. He became a reasonably good player, and a well-known face on the amateur darts circuit. Darts world champion Eric Bristow knew Black vaguely during this time, remembering him as a “loner” who never seemed to have a girlfriend. In 1976, Black began working as a van driver. It was while working as a driver that he developed a thorough knowledge of some of the UK’s roads, particularly its minor roads.

Murder of Jennifer Cardy

On 12 August 1981, nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy cycled from her house in Ballinderry, County Antrim in Northern Ireland to meet a friend. Her bicycle was recovered close to her home. Her body was found at McKee’s Dam near Hillsborough, County Down six days later. She had been sexually assaulted. Black, who at the time was working in the area for a poster-delivery company, was convicted of her kidnap, sexual assault and murder at Armagh Crown Court on 27 October 2011. On 8 December 2011 he was sentenced to 25 years for her murder and told by the judge he would be at least 89 before he was considered for release

Murder of Susan Maxwell

On 30 July 1982, 11-year-old Susan Maxwell from the village of Cornhill on Tweed, on the English side of the English/Scottish border left her home to play a game of tennis across the border in Coldstream. Several local witnesses remembered seeing her until she crossed the bridge over the River Tweed, after which there were no sightings of Susan. Nobody saw it happen, but at some point between the river and Coldstream, Susan was abducted by Black. He raped and strangled her and dumped her body about 250 miles away by the side of the A518 at Loxley near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England.

Murder of Caroline Hogg

On the evening of 8 July 1983, five-year-old Caroline Hogg from Portobello, an eastern suburb of Edinburgh, went out to play near her home for a few minutes. She never returned. Many witnesses reported seeing a scruffy-looking man watching a young girl, believed to be Caroline, in the playground near her home, then holding hands with her in a nearby amusement arcade. The man was Black. Caroline’s body was found 10 days later in a ditch in Leicestershire, around 300 miles from her home. The cause of death could not be determined due to decomposition (as had been the case with Susan Maxwell), but the absence of clothes suggested a sexual motive.

Murder of Sarah Harper

Three years later, on 26 March 1986, 10-year-old Sarah Harper went missing from Morley in Leeds after leaving her home to go to the corner shop to buy a loaf of bread. The shopkeeper remembered Sarah coming in to the shop, but she never returned home. The last sighting of Sarah was of her walking towards the snicket that she used as a shortcut. Black kidnapped, raped and murdered her. Her body was found dumped in the River Trent near Nottingham a month later.

Police investigation

The bodies of Maxwell, Hogg and Harper were found within 26 miles of each other, and police already believed that these three murders were linked. Detectives also thought that, because all three victims had been left long distances from where they had been taken, that the killer travelled as part of his occupation – possibly a lorry driver. The police faced great pressure to solve the crimes, as some newspapers compared them to the Moors Murders. It was one of the first inquiries to use the HOLMES computer system widely, following recommendations in the aftermath of the Yorkshire Ripper investigation.

Black has been considered as a suspect by police in the unsolved murder or disappearance of a number of other girls, including the disappearance of April Fabb in April 1969, and the disappearance of Genette Tate in August 1978. He has been questioned about these cases, but prosecutors have said that there is insufficient evidence to charge Black

Capture and first trial

Black was arrested on 14 July 1990, near Stow, Scotland. He was seen snatching a six-year-old girl off the street and bundling her into his van. An alert member of the public called the police who chased after the van and subsequently apprehended Black when the van was recognised as he doubled back. The girl’s father discovered the child in the back of the van, tied up, gagged with tape and stuffed head-first into a sleeping bag. She had been sexually assaulted. A search of Black’s home revealed a large collection of child pornography.

The following month, Black was convicted of abduction and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Murder trials

Police suspected Black of the murders of Susan Maxwell, Caroline Hogg and Sarah Harper. They checked his petrol receipts and eventually charged Black with all three murders, in addition to the attempted kidnapping of a 15-year-old girl who had escaped from a man who had tried to drag her into a van in 1988.

Black stood trial at Newcastle upon Tyne Moot Hall on Wednesday 13 April 1994 and denied the charges. Having sifted through many thousands of petrol-station receipts, the prosecution was able to place him at all the scenes and show the similarities between the three killings and the kidnap of the six-year-old girl who had been rescued. Juries are not usually allowed to know of a defendant’s current or past convictions, but in this case the judge allowed it.

On 19 May, the jury found Black guilty on all counts, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment and told that he should serve at least 35 years. This would keep him behind bars until at least 2029, when he would be 82.

On 16 December 2009, Black was charged with the murder of Jennifer Cardy. He was found guilty on 27 October 2011 and was given a further life sentence.

More possible Victims of Black !

Genette TateAylesbeare Devon

Genette Louise Tate (5 May 1965 – disappeared 19 August 1978) was an English girl whose disappearance became a famous missing person case when she went missing at age 13 while delivering newspapers in AylesbeareDevonEngland, on 19 August 1978. Her bicycle and scattered newspapers were found lying in the middle of a quiet country lane only minutes after she had been speaking to two friends. Her disappearance remains unexplained

Christine MarkhamScunthorpe

Christine disappeared from her home in Robinson Road, Scunthorpe, on May 21, 1973 and has not been seen since. She left home to attend school but failed to arrive. Police searched some 5,000 homes but she was never found. Jo kappen also prime suspect, but he died of cancer in 1990.

April FabbNorfolk

April Fabb (22 April 1955 – disappeared 8 April 1969) is a 13-year-old English schoolgirl who disappeared on 8 April 1969 between the villages of Metton and Roughton, Norfolk