Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman should have both turned 30 this year – but tragically they were killed by the evil Ian Huntley.
A desperate search for 10-year-old best friends begins, who disappear from a family barbecue on August 4, 2002.
Tonight’s Channel 5 documentary Soham: The Murder of Holly & Jessica, explores how the true horror of the crime was exposed.
Police descended on the tiny Cambridgeshire town of Soham, with more than 400 officers working around the clock to find Holly and Jessica.
Together with hundreds of local volunteers, they scoured the area for any trace of the young girls and the massive media attraction that kept them on the front page of every newspaper and in the media. every newsletter for 13 days.
Their school custodian Ian Huntley has given interviews to TV cameras and joined the hunt for missing girls, but he’s hiding a creepy secret.
PA Archive / PA Image)
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Holly and Jessica had left the barbecue to grab snacks from the vending machine at the local entertainment center, then they passed Huntley’s house on the way back.
He spotted the couple and lured them into his home, saying that his girlfriend Maxine Carr, a teaching assistant and their school, was in the house.
Huntley murdered the girls and then hid their bodies in a watered ditch near the RAF base, about 10 miles from their home.
The whole nation reeled as the tragic news broke that their bodies had been found by a gamer.
It was revealed that Huntley, who was arrested for questioning, returned to the place where he dumped the body to cut up the girls’ special Manchester United shirts and attempt to burn them to destroy any DNA evidence. .
He then dumped the shirts in a bin at the school where he worked, covering them with another trash bag, but police found them in a watershed moment for the case.
On August 20, Huntley was charged with two counts of murder and sentenced to two life sentences, with a minimum term of 40 years behind bars.
While Carr was charged with two counts of assisting an offender and jailed for three and a half years, she was later released under a new identity.
Huntley, who won’t be considered for release until 2042 at the earliest, currently lives at HMP Frankland, in Durham.
The killer was regularly at risk of attack from other inmates and had a series of health problems and attempted suicide behind bars.
In 2005 while at HMP Wakefield, Huntley was doused with boiling water by convicted murderer Mark Hobson.
Transferred to HMP Frankland for two years in 2008, Huntley was slashed in the neck by armed robber Damien Fowkes and was treated in hospital.
In April 2007, Huntley confessed to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl he dragged into an orchard in 1997.
A former prisoner at HMP Frankland told The Mirror in 2016 that Huntley was living a cruel double life behind bars.
The fellow prison birds never knew which side of the killer they would see emerge from his cell each morning – the cocky cocky king or the pitiful suicidal zombie.
The source explained: “He has constant ups and downs. On high, he would walk the corridors, mock other prisoners and act a big man. “
But other times, they will see the lonely man shivering, feeling sorry for himself for not being eligible for pardon until he turns 71 in 2042.
In the words of his former inmate, Huntley enjoyed watching TV and playing video games on consoles he bought with public money.
They added: “Huntley rarely participates in group activities and never plays. He stood around the kitchen, groaning that he wanted more food. He is only about 5ft2in tall but he is over 15 years old. ”
Then, in 2017, The Mirror reported that Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe had a creepy escape with Huntley.
Sutcliffe called Huntley “a fucking murder kid” face-to-face and told him to “shut down” during the melee at their Grade A prison.
The startling clash was revealed by Sutcliffe’s brother Carl, who said: “Peter thinks he’s a better killer than Huntley, but a hitman is a killer in my eyes. ”
Denying rumors that the two killers had become friends, Carl added: “He doesn’t like Huntley at all. Peter has always been good with children and he must have thought that killing two children was worse than 13 women. But it makes no sense to me.”
During his trial, Huntley testified that he had “accidentally killed girls” but in 2018 he was heard apologizing for the murders in leaked audio recordings from his cell.
“I know the people of Soham brought me into their community, they trusted me, gave me a job and a home, and I betrayed them in the worst way possible,” he said in the video. .
“And I’m sorry for what I’ve done, sorry for the pain I’ve caused Holly and Jessica’s family and friends, for the pain I’ve caused my family and friends, and the pain I have caused Soham’s community.
“I am really, really sorry and it breaks my heart to be told that I have no regrets, that I like something. I’m not.”
After saying he couldn’t change what he had done, the killer added: “I knew I was never going to get out. I accepted that from day one.”
In November 2019, Huntley was said to have been locked in solitary confinement after cursing an official and kicking a guard.
The kick was described as ‘pathetic’ by a prison source, who also claimed the killer was crying as he was dragged back to solitary confinement. Sun .
The monster’s special privileges are said to have been stripped after the attack, meaning he lost his £20-a-week painting job and was not allowed to buy fish and potato dinners fries.
The source added: “He is now almost unrecognizable from what the public will remember. He looked like a skinny old man with no fighting strength left in him. “
Tonight’s new Channel 5 documentary, Soham: The Murder of Holly & Jessica, looks back at news footage from the days in the search and includes interviews with those closest to the case. .
Former special agent, Sharon Gilbert, is one of many policemen who have descended on the small town of Cambridgeshire in an attempt to find the girls.
She revealed what happened when Huntley approached her patrol car “very relaxed” and started asking questions.
Sharon explains how there is a “formal” atmosphere in Soham and not many people walking around the streets.
They were told to go to Soham College and Huntley came and stretched out on the hinged part of the door and started asking about DNA evidence.
Speaking during the documentary, Sharon said: “He spoke very freely, he was not nervous in any way or form.
“Very early in the conversation, he said to me, ‘how long does the DNA evidence last?’
“Everything about him makes me feel uncomfortable, he has very strange eyes, like looking at you but looking past you, as if you weren’t there.”
* Soham: The Murder of Holly & Jessica airs tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/ian-huntley-now-prison-throat-26421998 Where is Ian Huntley now - a slit in prison and a cruel double life behind bars