The families of the “Babes in the Wood” have urged murderer Russell Bishop to come clean before he dies of cancer.
They urged Bishop, 55, to own up even though they believe that he is too much of a coward to tell the truth in a death-bed confession.
He has always denied killing best friends Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, both nine, and leaving their bodies in woods in Wild Park, Moulsecoomb.
But now Bishop, who grew up in Coldean and lived in Hollingdean at the time of the murders in October 1986, is dying of cancer in Frankland Prison, in Co Durham.
The families said: “Russell Bishop has a chance to come clean before he dies unless he is a bigger coward than he has always seemed.
“And if he doesn’t have the guts to confess his crimes and admit his guilt, he will be the loser, so our message to him is simple.
“We don’t need your admission of what you did to our beautiful girls. Your refusal doesn’t matter to us.
“We are satisfied with the correct verdicts of the Old Bailey jury in December 2018.
“You are guilty on both counts of their murders and you are the creation of your own guilt-ridden demise.
“But your admission would show you have finally had the courage to take responsibility for your despicable crimes.”
The statement was released by Nicola’s parents Barrie Fellows and Susan Eismann and Karen’s mother Michelle Hadaway with the help of Nicola’s cousin Lorna Heffron.
It took more than 32 years to bring Bishop to justice for the 1986 murders after he was astonishingly cleared at his first trial.
Scientific advances and a change in the law – after a long campaign by the families – led to Bishop going on trial again three years ago.
And the jury that convicted him – as well as relatives of Nicola and Karen – heard Bishop confess, for the first time, that he carried out a similar terrible attack.
He admitted that he kidnapped, molested and tried to murder a seven-year-old girl from Brighton, leaving her for dead at the Devil’s Dyke.
But the little girl he snatched from the street in Whitehawk had miraculously survived – and her evidence put Bishop behind bars for life.
Now the killer is riddled with cancer and may have just months or weeks to live.
The families of Nicola and Karen hope that this will spur him finally to admit what was proved in court, that he killed the Babes in the Wood.
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