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Northumberland schoolgirl killer Robert Black has taunted officers interviewing him about missing girl; Murderer caged for killing Northumberland schoolgirl Susan Maxwell is said to have taunted officers from prison cell.

Byline: Sophie Doughty

Child killer Robert Black has smirked in the face of detectives quizzing him about a missing girl.

The murderer, who is behind bars for killing youngsters including Northumberland schoolgirl Susan Maxwell, has also been linked to other cases of missing girls dating back to 1969.

And prosecutors are now deciding whether to charge him with the murder of 13-year-old Genette Tate who vanished while delivering newspapers in her home village of Aylesbeare in Devon in 1978.

Former van driver Black, from Scotland, denies being behind the abduction, which has remained a mystery for 36 years.

But an insider at Wakefield Prison, where he is being held, has told how the 67-year-old has taunted officers as they interviewed him about the case.

The source said: "He sits back, puts his hands behind his head and just smirks."

Black is currently serving multiple life sentences for the murder of four girls, including 11-year-old Susan.

The youngster was abducted on July 30, 1982, after she left her home in Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland, to play a game of tennis in Coldstream.

Black, raped and strangled her before dumping her body by the side of a road near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, some 250 miles away. In 1994 the paedophile, from Stamford Hill in London, was given 10 life sentences at Newcastle Crown Court for the murder of Susan, Sarah Harper, 10, and Caroline Hogg, five.

His killing spree only ended in 1990, when he was caught red-handed by police with a barely-alive six-year-old girl hooded, bound, gagged and stuffed in a sleeping bag in the back of his van in the Scottish village of Stow.

But the family of one of his victims, Jennifer Cardy from Northern Ireland, faced a 30-year wait for justice as it was not until October 2012 that Black was finally jailed for life for her murder.

Genette's disappearance sparked what is now Britain's longest running missing person's inquiry.

Despite an extensive police investigation and huge search operation the teenagers body was never found.

In 2002 DNA belonging to Genette was found on one of her jumpers kept by her mother, which would allow her body to be identified quickly if discovered.

Her dad John Tate is now suffering from cancer.

And as the 72-year-old, from Manchester, faces the prospect of dying without ever knowing what happened to his little girl, he has begged Black to come clean.

He said last year: "I think about her every day. It is a nightmare that never goes away. I would love to find out where she is and finally be able to lay her to rest after nearly 40 years of this living hell."

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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 19, 2015
Words:443
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