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KILLER BOOBY TRAPS HOUSE; EXCLUSIVE THE FINAL EVIL He wired mains to front door in bid to murder cops.

Byline: By JANE HAMILTON

SCHOOLBOY Rory Blackhall's killer booby-trapped his home to murder police officers.

DIY fanatic Simon Harris, 37, wired the electricity mains to the front door handle using a 20ft cable, it was revealed yesterday.

He then hanged himself in the garden shed - using other cable. But police, anxious not to alert neighbours in Livingston, West Lothian, slipped into his three-bedroom house by the back door.

Shocked officers found Harris had connected the wires from the fusebox underneath the stair and looped them around the metal handle of the front door. A senior police source told the Sunday Mail: "He set this trap with the intention of killing police when they came through his door."

Eleven-year-old Rory vanished after being dropped off near to his school by his mum, Michelle.

His body was found in nearby woodland three days later.

Senior police sources said it was "a stroke of luck" police decided to enter the house from the back.

The decision probably saved the lives of two officers.

A police source told the Sunday Mail: "The electricity mains is underneath the stair in the hallway and he had rigged it with a cable at least 20ft long and several inches thick.

"The live wires were attached to the mains and he had it looped round the door handle.

"Anyone unfortunate enough to touch that would have been seriously injured or killed."

The source said the shock, believed to have a peak power of around 270volts, would be enough to kill an average-sized man, blowing him across the garden.

He said: "Harris was a joiner and was interested in anything to do with DIY, so he would have been well aware of the effect his booby trap would have."

Harris's body was found at his home in Camps Rigg last Sunday afternoon after neighbours alerted police that he fitted the description of the man they were looking for.

He had hanged himself with a length of electrical cable in his shed.

The police source said: "Harris was twisted and cunning enough to rig up that trap.

"He knew it was only a matter of time before police connected him to the murder of Rory.

"It is quite obvious that he decided he would kill again, even if it was from beyond the grave" Paedophile Harris was on bail for a string of sex offences involving young girls when he snatched Rory.

after the youngster decided to play truant from school.

The booby trap is chillingly similar to a scene in the latest novel by top American crime writer Jeffrey Deaver, titled The 12 Card.

The book is about a killer stalking a schoolgirl who tries to kill police on his trail by wiring up his door to the mains electricity.

One clue he leaves behind is the 12th Trot card - The Hanged Man.

Last night, a spokesman for Lothian and Borders said: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment while the investigation is ongoing

CAPTION(S):

Deadly door: The; handle that was wired up by Harris; Killer: Simon Harris; Rigged up cables: Harris set booby traps to murder the police; Picture: Daily Record; Dump: A police officer stands guard over the debris as the Harris garden fills up with ripped-out fittings
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 4, 2005
Words:543
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