A blue and white bicycle lying in the middle of a deserted lane at Metton in Norfolk is the only clue in the mysterious case of April Fabb, who disappeared while cycling to the home of her married sister on Tuesday, April 8th, 1969. Police remain baffled by the lack of witnesses and the absence of clues, apart from that abandoned bicycle.

There is a theory, though. April’s disappearance is strikingly similar to the case of Genette Tate, who was snatched away from her bicycle in a Devonshire lane in August, 1978. Like April, Genette has never been seen since.

A suspect in the case of Genette is Robert Black, who is known to have killed three schoolchildren and abducted another. In prison after he was jailed for those offences he confessed to indecently assaulting “at least” 40 girls.

Black was 22 when April vanished and even then he had a history of sex offences. The list of his “minor” convictions shows that in 1963, six years before April was snatched, he was charged with indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl, for which he was merely “admonished.”

What this doesn’t reveal is that he took his victim into an air-raid shelter, half-strangled her when she cried out, and masturbated over her body, leaving her for dead.

A psychiatric report suggested that this was an aberration on Black’s part, unlikely to be repeated. Could it in fact have been repeated in 1969, with fatal consequences for April Fabb?