Who Was Rachel Nickell and How Did She Die? – The US sun

RACHEL Nickell was brutally killed in front of her son on Wimbledon Common in 1992.

The murder is one of the most notorious in British history, but what do we know about her and how the case unfolded?

Rachel Nickell was murdered while walking with her son in 1992


Rachel Nickell was murdered while walking with her son in 1992Credit: Rex Features

Who was Rachel Nickell?

Rachel, 23, lived near Wimbledon Common with her boyfriend André Hanscombe, their two-year-old son Alexander and dog Molly.

Rachel was a former model who had adjusted to becoming a full-time mom.

She was brutally murdered by a complete stranger in front of her son in 1992.

What happened to Rachel Nickell?

On July 15, 1992, Rachel was walking Alexander on Wimbledon Common when serial sex offender Robert Napper fell out of a bush and attacked her.

The killer stabbed Rachel 49 times in the frenzy and sexually assaulted her in front of her son before fleeing.

Little Alexander was found begging his mother to get up.

Rachel’s throat had been slashed, cuts on her hands showed she had fought back.

Many of her other injuries were inflicted on her after she was dead.

Little Alex stuck a note like a band-aid on his tragic mum “to make mum better”.

No one around had heard her cry for help.

What happened during the police investigation?

Less than a month after Rachel’s death, police arrested 14 men in connection with her murder, but all were released.

The police continued to ask for information.

On September 21, 1992, police quickly targeted Colin Stagg.

The 29-year-old newspaper delivery boy has been fined £200 after pleading guilty to indecent disclosure on Wimbledon Common.

No forensic evidence linked Stagg to the crime scene, but police asked criminal psychologist Paul Britton to profile the killer and determined he was their prime suspect.

At the time, Stagg’s attorney said the crime was unrelated to Rachel’s murder.

A year later, in August 1993, Stagg was charged with the murder of Rachel in Wimbledon Magistrates Court and remained in custody.

In total, more than 500 suspects were questioned by the police, 32 arrested and then released.

In February 1994, Stagg stood trial at the Old Bailey, charged with murdering Rachel.

Stagg refused to eat for six days during this period.

Months later, in September, the trial collapsed after the judge, Mr Justice Ognall, condemned an undercover police operation in which a female officer exchanged a series of letters with Stagg.

Operation Ezdell – later branded a “honey trap” by Justice Ognall – gave an undercover officer the alias Lizzie James.

Lizzie contacted Stagg and wrote more than 40 letters over five months, each one more explicit than the last.

In the end, Lizzie practically demanded that Stagg confess to Rachel’s murder in exchange for sadomasochistic sex.

She told him she wanted to be “completely in her power, defenseless and humiliated” and sent him a tape in which she fantasized about a man holding a knife to her skin while he was having sex with her.

Referring to Rachel, Lizzie said, “I wouldn’t mind if you murdered her…in a way, I wish you had. It would make things easier for me.”

She later told Stagg, “It would have been great if you did. I wish you had done it… it turns me on to think of the man who did it.”

But even given the opportunity to confess to the murder in exchange for the sex he so craved, Stagg insisted he had nothing to do with Rachel’s death.

He said, “I could have lied to you and told you I did it just to be with you.”

But Judge Ognall said police had shown “excessive zeal” and tried to incriminate a suspect with “deceptive behavior of the crudest kind”, so he ruled out the evidence.

Prosecutors withdrew their case and Stagg was officially acquitted in September 1994.

In April 1995, Stagg was granted legal aid to sue the Met Police for malicious prosecution and wrongful arrest.

Two years later, Scotland Yard said the hunt for Rachel’s murder would be dropped.

It wasn’t until 2008, 16 years after the attack, that Robert Napper, then 41, admitted to stabbing Rachel.

Napper had been a patient at Broadmoor Hospital for more than ten years and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and Asperger’s.

He was convicted of the murders of Samantha Bisset and her four-year-old daughter Jazmine in November 1993 – 16 months after Rachel was murdered.

Advances in DNA profiling meant police were able to link Napper to the 2004 murder.

He was duly convicted of manslaughter on charges of diminished responsibility.

Police had missed a number of opportunities to arrest Napper before his six-year streak of sex and rape attacks came to an end.

Judge Griffiths Williams said he would be held indefinitely at Broadmoor Hospital because he was “a very dangerous man”.

Police then issued a public apology to Colin Stagg.

What happened to Rachel Nickell’s son Alex?

After her death, Alex and his father Andre moved to Barcelona where he now works as a yoga teacher.

He has returned to the scene of the crime and has described it as a “magical experience”.

He has also forgiven his mother’s killer, admitting, “I hold no grudges.”

Alex recalls desperately trying to revive his mother after she was brutally killed and described the memory as a silent movie.

He told The Sun on Sunday in 2018: “I was looking down at my mum who was lying on the floor. She looked so peaceful, like she was asleep and ready to wake up at any moment.

“I yelled, ‘Get up, Mommy!’ with all my strength In less than a second, life seemed to come to a standstill. She was gone. My heart was completely broken.”

Alex says he also has vivid memories of the day of the murder before they went to the park, including a cooked breakfast and a playful fight with his father.

The pair then walked hand in hand to Wimbledon Common.

He said: “There was beautiful sunshine and I remember the sound of people having picnics in the grass and our dog Molly circling around us.

“We saw a stranger running towards us with a black bag slung over his shoulder.

“Then I was grabbed and thrown to the ground, my face dragged across the mud. A few seconds later, my mother collapsed next to me. I got up as fast as I could.

“I was slightly dizzy and disoriented and I saw the stranger walking to the creek. Everything was fast.

“He started washing the blood from his hands. He just disappeared into the distance like a ghost.

“I got up as fast as I could and went to my mother. I noticed a note next to her – it was an ATM receipt, I found out years later.

“I held it up to her and said, ‘Get up mom.’

“I said again, ‘Get up mom,’ and she didn’t answer. Then, for the last time, I said with all my might, ‘Get up, Mom.’

“She didn’t. At that moment, reality collapsed.

“I was very young, but I knew in that moment that she was gone and would never come back.

“I reached down and carefully placed the piece of paper on her forehead so that it was with her wherever she was.”

In December 2022, it was revealed that the family was exploring the possibility of legal action against the Metropolitan Police after admitting in 2010 that the case was a set of mistakes that may have led to Rachel’s death.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/2959161/rachel-nickell-on-c4-deceit/ Who Was Rachel Nickell and How Did She Die? – The US sun


Daily Nation Today is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@dailynationtoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button