The pedophile and serial killer Robert Black has been convicted of murdering Jennifer Cardy, a nine-year-old Northern Irish girl, 30 years ago.
Black is already serving life for the murder of another three young girls but as new evidence came to light in relation to Cardy’s death, he was put back in the frame.
In August 1981 Cardy disappeared in Ballinderry, on the Derry Tyrone border. The nine-year-old had been out riding her bike with a friend. Her body was later discovered in a dam.
Cardy’s parents spoke to Channel 4 after Black was finally convicted of her murder.
Her mother Pat said, “Jennifer had a lovely thoughtfulness beyond her nine years - I'll never forget her, she'll always be remembered and always missed."
Her father, Andrew, said reliving that desperate time during the court case was especially hard. He said, “All of a sudden we're confronted with awfulness of those hours and what she had to suffer and that has been truly awful."
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Black put the young girl in the back of his van. He drove the van all over the UK – delivering posters for a living. Years later fuel receipts proved that he had filled the tank of the van he usually used in Northern Ireland in Coventry.
Although Black admitted he had been there and said that he fantasized about little girls the police at the time had no forensic evidence.
It took the police ten years to build a case against Black.
DCI Raymond Murray said, “It wasn't DNA, it wasn't fingerprints at the end of the day - it was about telling a very very compelling story and convincing a jury that this was how it was.”
Cardy’s murder had all the signs that it had been Black’s handy work. In 1982 he grabbed Susan Maxwell (11) near her home in Scotland. In 1983 he took Caroline Hogg (5) in Edinburgh.
In 1986 he raped and murdered Sarah Harper (10). She had been sent out to buy a loaf of bread.
Eventually in 1990 the police found Black with a six-year-old girl in his van. She had been gagged and stuffed into a sleeping bag. She was barely alive.
Detective who worked on his case say they are “sure” he has more terrible secrets.