When Katrice Lee vanished in 1981 there was no blanket media coverage, no poster campaign, hardly even a mention on the …
True Detective April 2008
When Katrice Lee vanished in 1981 there was no blanket media coverage, no poster campaign, hardly even a mention on the news. Today, more than 26 years later, her family still have no idea what happened to her. Indeed, every year about 140,000 children go missing in the UK. The majority are reunited with their families within 72 hours. A tiny number are still missing weeks, months, even years later. Some of the families of those missing children have talked to Nick Fielding about their struggles to come to terms with their loss and their heroic efforts to keep searching.
During his near-six-year reign of terror, Peter Sutcliffe, the notorious Yorkshire Ripper, killed at least 13 women and attempted to kill another seven. After being caught he admitted his crimes and the media learned that as psychiatrists had found him insane and the prosecution and defence had agreed a plea-bargain, the Crown would accept Sutcliffe’s admissions to manslaughter and there would be no trial proper. When one did take place it proved to be one of the most high-profile trials of the century and forms part of our Notable British Trials series.
As the sad story of Annie Ratcliffe and John Simpson began to fade from public memory, the families did their best to get on with their lives. Justice had been done and the story was over. It was extraordinary therefore that less than six years later another Annie was murdered in Preston on her wedding day in a tragedy that bore uncanny similarities to the earlier case.
The team at True Detective were very sad to hear about the death of Jeremy Beadle at the end of January this year. Although we only knew him briefly, he touched us with his enthusiasm and humour while we worked together on the January issue, which he guest-edited. We regret that our relationship with Jeremy was so short-lived; he was a breath of fresh air and it was a joy to spend time with him. His knowledge of true crime was vast and his interest in the subject infectious. He will be greatly missed by family and friends alike.