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A killer's confession.

I EXPECTED the voice of Robert Black to be chilling, scary even, but it was just an ordinary voice.

Black kidnapped and killed four girls including 11-year-old Susan Maxwell in 1982.

His voice was played during the Channel 5 documentary Killers Behind Bars in which criminologist David Wilson suggested he was responsible for more murders.

The programme included tapes of Black's interviews in prison confessing in gruesome detail to his crimes including how he put sticky plaster over his victim's mouths.

It was a normal voice, the sort you hear every day, which hid the enormity of what he had done.

I could detect no anger, no emotion, in the short extracts played.

Killers Behind Bars raised the moral dilemma of allowing his voice to be heard by the families of his victims.

Susan was abducted after she left her home in Cornhill, North Northumberland, to play a game of tennis in nearby Coldstream.

Viewers were promised "astonishing new revelations" by David Wilson who suggested Black was responsible for the murders of Genette Tate in Devon and April Fabb in Norfolk.

Did he deliver? Black has been linked to both crimes for many years so there was nothing astonishing, new, or revelatory about the suggestion.

You can even read about it on Wikipedia and other internet sites although there might have been some detail in the programme that was new.

But you had to admire the way he pulled everything together and pointed out how the unsolved murders, especially that of Genette Tate, fitted Black's profile and modus operandi.

The locations were near the routes he used as a delivery driver and, in Genette's case, involved his trademark quick abduction of a young girl wearing white ankle socks on a lonely road.

A friendly cop gave Mr Wilson a list of other possible victims which would have made the bearded paedophile the most prolific child killer in British history.

The presenter stopped short of saying that Black was responsible for either killing. He called for the inquiry into the disappearance of Genette Tate to be reopened.

There was nothing new in the documentary. It has to be left to the loved ones left behind to determine if Mr Wilson's documentary had enough value to justify reminding them of those they had lost.


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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2012
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