It’s hard in our cosy age to think of a bright, pretty little girl being abducted, raped and strangled, her body thrown into a ditch, and her killer never being brought to justice.

That’s what happened to seven-year-old east ender Kim Roberts, last seen alive on Sunday afternoon, March 1st, 1964. She had gone out into Stepney Way, Stepney, where she lived, and vanished. Her body was later found in a wood near the A13 London to Southend road, a favourite spot for courting couples. A pathologist thought she had initially been kept captive.

There was one glimmer of hope: a motorist reported that at the probable time Kim’s body was dumped he saw a grey Austin A50 parked on a roadside verge a few yards from a track leading to the spot where the body was found. The witness said that a man was lifting a large dark parcel out of the car’s boot.

When he asked the man what he was doing he was told, “Clear off.” He described the man as nearly six feet tall, with dark hair and wearing a grey, belted raincoat and light-coloured trousers. He later saw the man wiping his hands on a piece of rag.

Who was he? Police knocked on 5,700 doors, made nationwide appeals, and the Sunday Mirror offered a £2,000 reward. None of this led anywhere. UK Murder Stories from True Crime Library.

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