UK UK - Nikki Allan, 7, Sunderland, 7 Oct 1992

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by wfgodot, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Could Crimewatch solve seven-year-old Nikki's brutal knife murder after 20 years? Police in talks with BBC show to stage reconstruction. (dailymail.co.uk)
    One person allegedly confessed to police but it was ruled inadmissible as evidence by a judge and he was cleared of charges; the victim's mother later won a civil case against him. That story and more, with pictures, at the link.

    Much more about the case from Guardian, 2006: 'There will be no peace for me'
     
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  3. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  4. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    What a heartbreaking case. I have prayed for the killer to be brought to justice, I don't know what to do. It sounds like they had the man and... acquitted him.

    She was just seven. Why would someone beat and stab her like that? OMG. He doesn't need to be 'behind bars', he needs to die.
     
  5. Amber34

    Amber34 Member

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    We watched this on last night's show. My partner and son could not believe that someone would stoop to such horrendous levels against an innocent child.

    They are obviously not Websleuth members

    I think there is some quite significant information being held back in this case, eg sexual abuse. It was not mentioned at all in either the show nor the newspaper articles, to either admit or deny it.
     
  6. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    I think sometimes the police just leave that out of the reports to the media if the case is this horrific. Just to protect the poor girl's privacy a tiny bit.

    Or maybe the perpetrator tried to rape her and failed, so then he got angry at her (murderers blame the victim) and did all of the other things he did.
     
  7. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    Nikki Allan murder: Crimewatch appeal brings new lead. (BBC News)
    more at the link
     
  8. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    I'm glad they got a new lead. Maybe they can shut this murderer away forever.
     
  9. aneurin

    aneurin New Member

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    Maybe not. You need to read The Psychology of Interrogations and Confessions: A Handbook by Gisli H. Gudjonsson (available online http://cryptome.org/2013/01/aaron-swartz/Interrogations-and-Confessions-Handbook.pdf) It has a section on the Heron Murder Case including extracts from transcripts of the interrogation. It's difficult to read that section without reaching the conclusion that Heron actually had no idea whatsoever how or why Nikki Allan had died.


    Well yes. But bear in mind that the civil case was not defended. Given that some members of Nikki's wider family had made some pretty clear death threats directed at George Heron, it's quite understandable why he might not have wished to appear in public.
     
  10. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    Aneurin, o.k. I guess I don't really know, but how'd he get all bloody? This is where I'm confused. So, who's the second suspect?

    ETA
    That book is 705 pages long. The Heron case is a small section.

    I did read the Heron section. It is skimpy on details, so I don't really know. It talks a lot about officers yelling and tension in the room... well, it would be a tense situation. The excerpts from the tapes show leading a couple of places, but from that excerpt alone I cannot conclude that he didn't know how Nikki was killed.
     
  11. aneurin

    aneurin New Member

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    There is a reference in the Guardian article dating from 2006 that "Blood splatters were found on Heron's shoe and other clothing". I have not found any references in any reports contemporary to the murder that refer to any blood evidence.

    I've not come across any other names being mentioned.

    If you read the extracts that begin on pages 103 you can see how Heron claimed to have variously; throttled her with his hands, hit her with his fist, hit her with a piece of metal, stuck a metal pipe between her legs, and tried to have sex with her. All of which would have been a problem for the police, since none of these things actually happened. It's pretty obvious that he's just guessing, and that the police are happy for him to keep on guessing until he makes the right guess.

    This explains why the author concluded that

    From the transcript it would appear that Heron was prompted and led in connection with almost every conceivable corroborative point. These included the point of entry to the disused building, the victim’s clothing, the weapon or weapons, wounds (number and type), the position of the body and the route used inside the premises.

    and why the judge ruled this sort of nonsense as unadmissable.
     
  12. aneurin

    aneurin New Member

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    From The Times, October 29, 1993, Aidan Marron QC, explains the case for the prosecution;

    "The girl began to scream and that screaming had to be silenced. He picked up a brick and hit her a solid, heavy blow on the head." The jury was told she had fallen to the ground, striking her head on the wall and that Mr Heron hit her again with the brick as she lay on the floor. Mr Marron said: "By that time she had a skull fracture and areas of her brain were damaged. He then produced a knife, lifted her T-shirt and carried out a frenzied attack, inflicting a total of 37 wounds to her chest."

    Why would you hit somebody with a brick if you were in possession of a knife? Why, if someone was screaming at you, and you wanted them to stop, would you waste time looking around for a brick, when you had a knife in your hand?

    These are the kind of questions that have always perplexed me. I have tried to find (without success) any analysis or research that addresses the question of how common it is to find homicides where the victim has been subjected to attack by two different weapons and yet there was only one assailant. After all, in the circumstances where a victim had been both struck by a brick and stabbed, wouldn't that suggest two assailants?
     
  13. aneurin

    aneurin New Member

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    Oh right.

    I don't think there was any evidence of 'sexual abuse'. Again from The Times report refered to above,

    He told the jury that it was not for the prosecution to provide a motive for the killing. ``Whether this was a wicked murder which had been planned before and he seduced her to this location, or whether he believed she showed affection for him and was rebuffed, we shall never know."

    Obviously, if there had been any forensic evidence of sexual abuse or assault, then that would have produced as evidence of motive.
     
  14. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    'why would you hit someone with a brick if you are in possession of a knife'.... because murderers do this kind of thing. They really, truly do. I know from first hand experience. A murderer who'd kill ' seven year old is pretty evil. Maybe this guy had nothing to do with it, I see your point there. But, you can't say a murderer wouldn't use multiple methods because they do it all of the time.

    ETA... I mean I know details of a murder not obtained via media. The way I wrote it made it sound like I had been murdered. (sigh)

    I am surprised that you're having so much trouble finding a murderer using multiple methods. It's pretty common. The media reports are kind of relunctant to say sometimes because the reports are that savage. (Different media in different times and places have different standards.)
     
  15. aneurin

    aneurin New Member

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    I think you misunderstand. I'm not saying that murderer wouldn't use multiple methods. What I'm saying is that the combination of blunt and sharp force trauma does make it possible that there were two assailants. And that it might make more sense if there where two assailants. (No that murder makes sense, of course.) What I haven't come across is research that indicates how likely it that you can draw any inference from a combination of methods.

    (In the same way that, knowing the age of a victim, there are statistics that allow you to 'infer' the age of the assailant.)


    On the assumption that access to the internet is not available in the afterlife, I assumed that you were not dead, and therefore had not been murdered. I was tempted for a moment to think that by "first hand experience" you meant that you'd actually killed someone yourself, but decided that it was far more likely that you meant something else. :)
     
  16. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    There may be two, but with the publicity this got.. it seems harder for them to hide. This is a particularly strange and brutal crime, so it's difficult to figure out using logic.
     
  17. December

    December Verified insider - Kathy Jones case

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    This crime is really one of the most horrifying ones I've read on here. If any crime would make the cops pretty much try to force a confession, this one would do it. I'm not saying it's o.k. to do that, but cops are only human and seeing this crime scene would make them want to lock someone up as quickly as possible. Maybe they really felt like they had their man, whether they did or not I cannot say, but they may have honestly believed they did at the time.
     
  18. scrambledeggs

    scrambledeggs New Member

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  19. Littlegreenlady

    Littlegreenlady Member

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  20. aneurin

    aneurin New Member

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    The man arrested in February 2014 on suspicion of Nikki's murder turned out to be Steven Grieveson. Which would be understandable, given that Grieveson was already in prison for murdering four children. However all four of those children were teenage boys, killed for the obvious reasons, so it was always a bit of stretch to imagine that he was responsible for murdering a seven year old girl. Which likely explains why it now seems that he is no longer regarded as an active suspect.

    Earlier this year, Northumbria Police arrested Sunderland man Steven Grieveson, 47, on suspicion of Nikki’s murder. He was questioned and bailed but detectives later said his bail had been cancelled and he has faced no further current action.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/mum-murdered-sunderland-schoolgirl-prepare

    As the above source states, there appears to be have some hope in November that "pioneering DNA techniques" would provide an answer. No update on any results of said tests that I can find. But then similar reports regarding a possible DNA breakthrough have appeared before in 2012 and 2006 without anything much happening.
     
  21. Hewitt

    Hewitt New Member

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    The fact that it wasn't the right man only demonstrates why cutting the police slack in this way is never acceptable. It's not out of common decency that they make such mistakes either; it's because the police have become utterly performance-driven and will try and charge the first person who comes along rather than have their careers put at risk. As seen in the Rachel Nickell murder, this can have tragic consequences if the real killer is then left free to commit further crimes due to the tunnel vision of investigating officers.
     

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