The families of the two Babes in the Wood murder victims have spoken out after double killer Russell Bishop died last night.
Bishop, 55, was serving two life sentences at Frankland Prison when he died of cancer just over three years after he was finally convicted of the 1986 murders.
He strangled best friends Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway in Wild Park, Brighton, a few hundred yards from where the nine-year-olds lived in Moulsecoomb.
Michelle Johnson, Karen’s mother, said: “May you rot in hell for all eternity you evil wicked monster and I hope your family suffer in the same way as you made me and my family suffer for so long when you took the life of my beautiful nine-year-old daughter, Karen, and her friend Nicky.”
The family of Nicky Fellows said: “No tears will be shed by our family but we are pleased the cretin has gone to hell and we got justice for our girls before that happened.
“He had every opportunity to admit his guilt but the coward took it with him.”
In more than one court case, the families have been praised for their dignity, having had to campaign for justice over many years.
Michelle Johnson, 64, added: “He put us through decades of pain and grief due to his evil actions. The suffering we have had to endure has been unimaginable.”
“He has gone. It was a bad day when that bastard was born. I don’t know whether this brings any closure for me but at least he is gone, that’s all I can say.
“He was an evil, evil man – a monster. He killed my daughter and ruined the lives of so many people.”
She said that she was told that Bishop had terminal cancer last year and the two families reached out to give him a chance to explain why he had murdered the two girls in 1987.
“We reached out,” she said. “It might have given him peace of mind to tell us but he didn’t say a thing – not a thing.
“I still can’t believe that his family stood by him all those years – a child murderer – and I have absolutely no sympathy for them whatsoever. His mother, his brothers – the whole lot of them.
“How could they do that? His brothers and relatives were allowed to bring up their children and live their lives while we had to mourn our Karen.”
She said that she felt “numb” when she received the call to tell her that the double killer had died, adding: “I got a call earlier today (Friday 21 January) from Victim Support who told me he had died in hospital and I thought to myself: ‘Good. At least he can’t bring suffering to anyone else now.’
“He is past tense now. He is finally out of our lives and I don’t think anyone I know will shed a tear for him.”
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