Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

(1) the Man Who Did Kill Rachel Nickell (2) Police Missed Chances to Catch Him; (1) Serial Attacker: Robert Napper in a 1992 Picture, the Year He Killed Rachel Nickell (2) Victim: Rachel, 23, Was Stabbed 49 Times on Wimbledon Common

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

(1) the Man Who Did Kill Rachel Nickell (2) Police Missed Chances to Catch Him; (1) Serial Attacker: Robert Napper in a 1992 Picture, the Year He Killed Rachel Nickell (2) Victim: Rachel, 23, Was Stabbed 49 Times on Wimbledon Common

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CHESTON, JUSTIN DAVENPORT

A SERIAL killer today admitted he stabbed Rachel Nickell 49 times in front of her young son on Wimbledon Common 16 years ago.

Robert Napper, 43, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey as a string of police blunders surrounding the case were revealed.

Napper was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in Broadmoor high security hospital as Mr Justice Griffiths Williams told him: "You are on any view a very dangerous man." Scotland Yard later made an unprecedented public apology to Colin Stagg, the man wrongly charged with the murder of the 23-year-old model after a disastrous "honeytrap" operation.

Stagg was held in 1994 for the murder of Nickell, who was raped and killed in front of her two-year-old son Alex in July 1992, after police failed to make a crucial connection which would have led them to Napper, who was already a violent sex attacker.

The year after Napper attacked Nickell, he killed Samantha Bisset, a single mother, and her daughter Jazmine, four, disembowelling Samantha in the attack.

Today it can be revealed that Napper could have been stopped before all three killings as well as a string of rapes.

In 1989 his mother Pauline told police her son had confessed to a rape on Plumstead Common but officers took no action as they could find no trace of a rape, ignoring an attack on a young mother in her nearby home.

Within days police had a full DNA profile of the attacker which years later proved his guilt. This was one of a catalogue of errors and missed opportunities.

Napper went on to commit up to 106 attacks known as the Green Chain rapes after the area in south-east London. Napper switched his hunting ground to Wimbledon and

Police missed chances to catch him stabbed Rachel in front of Alex in broad daylight.

Two months later in September 1992 he was questioned about the Green Chain attacks but failed twice to turn up for voluntary blood tests which would have proved his guilt. …

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