UK Helen Bailey, 8, "Little Girl Blue", Birmingham, 10 August 1975

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Legally Bland, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

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    A fresh inquest into the suspected murder of an eight-year-old girl is to take place - more than 43 years after she died.

    Helen Bailey, known as "Little Girl Blue", disappeared wearing blue clothing and was found dead in woodland near her Birmingham home in August 1975.

    A jury at an inquest in March the following year returned an open verdict after hearing evidence she may have died as a result of an "accident or practical joke gone wrong".

    But the original verdict was quashed and a fresh inquest ordered by High Court judges on Wednesday after a request by West Midlands Police, following a cold case review.

    Head of West Midlands Police Force CID, Chief Superintendent Mark Payne, said: “West Midlands Police has been running a cold case review into the death of Helen Bailey.

    "New evidence generated through our investigation was put to the High Court and a judge has now quashed the original inquest verdict of accidental death and ordered a fresh inquest.

    New 'Little Girl Blue' 1975 murder mystery inquest launched


    The judge told the court Helen was last seen leaving her home, in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham, to play outside at about 3.30pm on Sunday August 10 1975.

    When she did not return, her mother alerted police and her body was found the following morning in an area of dense woodland in the Booth Farm area.

    She had a cut to her throat, which a post-mortem examination at the time identified as the cause of her death.


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    The front page of the Birmingham Evening Mail on August 11 1975 (Image: BPM MEDIA)

    But the pathologist who carried it out found that there were no signs of a struggle and the circumstances of Helen's death "lacked the essential hallmarks of a homicidal attack".

    He concluded her death may have been the result of an "accident or practical joke gone wrong".

    However, the investigation into her death was reopened in 2014 and a pathologist who reviewed the case concluded Helen had been strangled before her throat was cut in a "clear case of homicide".

    The judge said police investigated a "confession" made by one suspect in 1979, which was "consistent" with the findings of the pathologist in 2014, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to prosecute him.

    'Little Girl Blue' case reopened 43 years after child, 8, found dead in woodland
     
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  2. MicheleT

    MicheleT Well-Known Member

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    We've learned so much about forensics since 1975, but I don't see how this could be the conclusion when her throat was cut.
     
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  3. Littlegreenlady

    Littlegreenlady Active Member

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    I see his point that there was no signs of a struggle, but as you say, how could it be a "prank gone wrong" if there is a cut to her throat....
     
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  4. Elainera

    Elainera Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the cut didn't look like it was made by a knife? Add to that that the coroner apparently missed signs of strangulation and saw no signs of a struggle (also missed?) so the conclusion was accidental death.

    I wonder why the CPS decided to do nothing with the confession they got four years later. Seems a lot went wrong in the initial investigation.

    And why did it take four years for the inquest to start after reopening the case in 2014? Is the person who confessed to the murder even still alive?
     
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  5. jessie

    jessie Well-Known Member

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    This is from a 2017 article, it gives more information some of which I've copied below :
    Who killed 'Little Girl Blue' found dead by the M6?


    Still, detectives toiled through tens of statements and made numerous appeals in an effort to catch the killer who, it was feared, may strike again.
    Officers believed the three “lost” hours when Helen first went out to play before returning home to change would provide them with the breakthrough they so desperately needed.
    Over the next few days, police established Helen had been seen walking alone through an underpass beneath the M6 by Beeches Road School at 7.10pm.
    Children who had seen her also told detectives that they’d seen a ginger-haired man walk through the underpass at about the same time.
    The same man had been seen in the area that morning – and also a week earlier – according to other witnesses.
    Police soon issued an appeal to trace the man and another potential suspect who had been reported as riding a go-kart on wasteland in the area on the evening of the murder.
    The ginger-haired suspect, described at the time as aged between 35 and 40 with bushy ginger hair, and wearing brown trousers and a lime-coloured shirt, was also being linked to an attack on another eight-year-old girl a day before Helen was killed.
    It is not known if either suspect was ever traced or if the weapon was ever found.
     
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