The King’s Royal Hussars
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- Former detective has startling evidence child killer abducted Katrice Lee
- Two-year-old disappeared when shopping with family in November 1981
- Has never been seen since with police adamant she was taken or drowned
- Chris Clark convinced style of kidnapping has hallmarks of Robert Black
- Alleges police have receipts that prove serial killer was in Paderborn, Germany, when Katrice vanished
A retired detective claims to have uncovered significant evidence linking serial child killer Robert Black with the disappearance of a British toddler who vanished in Germany 35 years ago. Katrice Lee was snatched from a supermarket while out shopping with her mother and aunt in Paderborn, in the north east of the country, in November 1981. She has never been seen since, with police convinced she was either drowned in a nearby river or taken by a childless couple.
But those findings do not tally with child abduction expert Chris Clark, who has been ruthlessly studying the crime over the last four years. The former detective believes that for the first time young Katrice’s disappearance can be linked to one of Britain’s most ruthless child murderers, Robert Black.
A retired detective claims to have uncovered significant evidence linking serial child killer Robert Black (left) with the disappearance of British toddler Katrice Lee (right) who vanished in Germany 35 years ago
Clark is adamant that the swiftness and subtlety of the way the toddler vanished bears all the hallmarks of Black’s killing spree. But as well as that, he has now found evidence that the Scotland based poster worker was in the Paderborn area at the time of Katrice’s kidnapping.
He claims petrol receipts in Black’s as yet unreleased police file show he had travelled to the outskirts of the German city to plaster up posters in the lead up to advent, 1981. Speaking to The Mirror, Mr Clark said: ‘Katrice disappeared just a few weeks before Christmas, when Black would have been travelling to Germany to put posters out for alcohol and cigarette firms.
‘He’d have been visiting British Army camps along the Rhine, including Paderborn. I’m quite convinced Black quietly befriended Katrice Lee, took her to his van outside the NAAFI and took her away.’
The historical German city lies just off the delivery route Black would have used visiting the country – Highway 33. Katrice disappeared from a supermarket aisle in Paderborn – where her family were stationed through her soldier father Richard’s role with the British Army – on her second birthday.
She was with her mother Sharon and aunt Wendy buying party supplies when she vanished. Both women had taken their eye off her for mere seconds when she was snatched. Clark, 70, added: ‘This was a child abduction by a paedophile and the manner in which she disappeared was exactly the way Black had been able to make children vanish.’
Black (pictured, left) worked as a delivery driver and cruised the length of the UK looking for victims to abduct in the 1970s and 1980s. His reign of terror ended in 1990 when he was caught by police with a barely alive six-year-old girl
Katrice’s father Richard Lee (pictured with a photograph of his daughter) said of the link: ‘It is a new avenue which is well worth looking into’
Black was serving 12 life sentences for murdering four girls in the 1980s when he died of natural causes in prison in Northern Ireland earlier this year. The 68-year-old was strongly suspected of killing another 13 children. If involved in Katrice’s abduction, it would bring his potential murder spree up to 14.
Black worked as a delivery driver and cruised the length of the UK looking for victims to abduct in the 1970s and 1980s. His reign of terror ended in 1990 when he was caught by police with a barely alive six-year-old girl.
Katrice disappeared from a supermarket aisle in Paderborn while shopping with her mother Sharon (pictured) and aunt Wendy on her second birthday
She was found hooded, bound, gagged and stuffed in a sleeping bag in the back of his van in the Scottish village of Stow. In 1994 he was found guilty of the murders of Susan Maxwell, 11, Caroline Hogg, five, and Sarah Harper, ten. Black was also found guilty in 2011 of abducting Jennifer Cardy, nine, in his van as she cycled to a friend s house in 1981.
He sexually abused and killed her before dumping her body in a nearby beauty spot. Only Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley whose five victims were aged ten to 17 killed more children in modern British criminal history. Black’s file is held by Devon and Cornwall Police, who were set to charge him with the murder of Genette Tate, 13, before he died of a heart attack in January.
The serial killer is also considered the prime suspect in 10-year-old Silke Garben’s brutal murder. The schoolgirl vanished from near her home in Detmold, 20 miles outside of Paderborn, in 1985. Her lifeless body was discovered dumped on a roadside weeks later. She had been strangled. Mr Clark believes the disappearance of another girl, Ramona Herling, 11, was also in the Black mould. She was taken just 14 miles from where Katrice was last seen eight years earlier.
Katrice’s father Richard said of the link: ‘It is a new avenue which is well worth looking into. A Ministry of Defence spokesman added: ‘The Royal Armyrats © Military Police are following a number of lines of inquiry and it would be inappropriate to comment further while these efforts continue.’
THE 33-YEAR MYSTERY OF KATRICE LEE’S DISAPPEARANCE IN GERMANY
Missing toddler Katrice Lee, pictured, was last seen in Germany in 1981
Katrice Lee went missing as her mother was buying crisps at a shop near an Army base in Paderborn, Germany, where her father was stationed with the King’s Royal Hussars. It was Katrice’s birthday and the family went to a nearby NAAFI to purchase items for a party to mark the occasion.
The youngster and her mother were at the check out when Mrs Lee briefly went to get some crisps.
But when she returned, Katrice had vanished. At the time, police believed Katrice had fallen into the nearby River Lippe and drowned, but despite searches a body was never found. Officers reopened the case in 2000 after they created a computer-generated image of how she could now look.
Her story later appeared on the BBC’s Missing Live programme during which a digitial recreation was used to show what she could look like as a 29-year-old. Katrice’s older sister Natasha later appeared on Crimewatch to highlight the appeal. Believing she was snatched, her parents who divorced 20 years ago later set up a Facebook page dedicated to finding her.
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Recruit Andrew Vaughan. My name is Andrew Vaughan, I am 25 years old and this is my story so far. I have just finished my thirteenth week of Phase 1 training at ATR Winchester where I hope to go on to join the Royal Artillery.
Monday Today we began learning arms drill in preparation of our impending pass out parade. Straight away we realised that arms drill is a lot harder than we first thought, with bruises quickly emerging on our hands and shoulders! We spent most of the day covering basics such as standing at ease, attention and sloping/changing arms.
Afterwards we went to the storeroom for our final No 2 Dress fitting. Once satisfied our No 2 Dress fitted, we brought them back to the block to begin to prep them for next weeks parade. We finished the day preparing for our presentations that we would deliver regarding the Royal Artillery our chosen cap badge.
Tuesday We began the day with functional skills, which covered all we had learnt over the 13 weeks. Afterwards we got changed and headed to PT which was a swimming test. The test was the same as our initial treading water for two minutes followed by six lengths, only this time it was after quite a hard warm up and wearing Armyrats © military kit that weighed us down.
After all our training we all managed to pass without any dramas. I even jumped off the top board without hesitation a small feat which I couldn t complete at the start of the process and a testament to my development here. I m not here, but these are some recruits from ATR Winchester on drill After PT we spent the rest of the day learning more arms drill, which is confusing a fair few of us at the moment!
Wednesday In the morning we had the COs inspection and after many hours of hard graft we managed to get the block gleaming. The inspection went well and we breathed a sigh of relief. We d packed our bergens the night before and took them to PT ready for our six mile TAB.
We had to pass this to pass out and I was very nervous. Although hard work we all pulled together as a troop and apart from one, we all managed to pass. The recruit who didn t retook the test and passed second time around as well.
We finished the day with more arms drill, learning the final movements before going over all of them until perfected. Thursday A couple of financial briefs today, followed by swimming PT and then arms drill practise with the other troops so that we can all get the movements in time for pass out. As it stands, we need more work!
Recruits from ATR Winchester on swimming PT Friday Today we delivered our presentations on the Royal Artillery including when we formed, early battles we ve been involved in and our influence in modern warfare today. Our presentation was well received and our hard work paid off. We had strength and conditioning for PT which was brutal!
Circuits in the sun which is always a winning combo! More arms drill in the evening to brush up our skills including changing arms on the march. Saturday and Sunday This weekend was spent in camp, brushing up on admin and enjoying the last weekend I ll have here.
Our troop spent our time in the NAAFI reflecting on our time here and pondering what was next for us. Visit Recruit Vaughan s page 1 and read about his journey Find out about joining the Army 2 Find out about ATR Winchester 3 . Bookmark the .
References ^ Recruit Vaughan (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Joining the Army (www.army.mod.uk) ^ ATR Winchester (www.army.mod.uk)