Banners remembering victims of unsolved murder appear near campus

The crimes have been dubbed the ‘Babes in the Woods Murders’


This week, many students will have seen the banners urging people to ‘honk for justice’, but may have been unaware of what justice were they asking for.

As the number 25 bus made its way past the banners, many students had no idea that they referenced one of the UK’s biggest unsolved murders occurred in Brighton in 1986.

These awful crimes come  with a sinister edge : the bodies of a nine year old and a ten year old girl were dumped in Wild Park, only minutes away from the Sussex university  and Falmer-based Brighton university campus.

The sign just outside campus

The sign just outside campus

Nicola Fellows, 10, and Karen Hadaway, 9, had been playing together outside their homes in Moulsecoomb on October 9th 1986 the last time they were seen alive. Upon realising that the girls had disappeared, relatives sparked a manhunt, joined by more than 150 police officers.

Sadly, the officers made the grim discovery of the two girls laying strangled in Wild Park, huddled together, with Karen resting her head in Nicola’s lap.

Although the murder remains unsolved because the prime suspect, Russell Bishop (19 at the time of the murders), was acquitted of the crime a year later. He went on to abduct, molest and attempt to murder a seven year old girl from the Whitehawk area of Brighton, only four years later.

The families of the two girls gather every year at Wild Park, so that the memory of Nicola and Karen can live on. This year marks the 29th anniversary of the atrocity.