A group of boys playing hide-and-seek in the undergrowth at Garston Wood, Watford, on AUGUST 10th, 1971, had a shock when one of them saw the body of a girl under a bush. She was 10-year-old Janice Ersser, who lived only 200 yards away. She had been strangled, stabbed with her own toy umbrella, and raped.

Police noticed that during the manhunt a local youth, 17-year-old car mechanic Peter Bunnage, kept offering advice and help. He claimed he had seen a man “acting suspiciously” with a little girl in the woods. When he went with police to the murder spot he suddenly blurted out, “I killed her. It was like a nightmare.”

By the time he appeared at Hertford Assizes in December, Bunnage had retracted his confession, claiming the police had bullied him. Despite that, he was convicted of murder and, because he was under 18, sentenced to be detained indefinitely.