Unseen footage shows Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield turned his back on police officers as a detective reveals for the first time how he provoked the serial murderer with images of his victims to get him to react
- Serial Killer Levi Bellfield killed several women between 2002 and 2004
- He was imprisoned in 2004 and convicted totwo life sentences in 2008
- In 2011, he was found guilty of abducting and killing Milly Dowler, 13
- Channel 5’s 5 Mistakes that Caught the Killer dive back into the case
- Detective Gary Cunningham talked for the first time about interviewing Bellfield
- Said the killer turned his chair away from officers and only reply ‘no comment’
A new documentary shines light on what led to the captures and incarceration of serial killer Levi Bellfield, who killed 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002.
5 Mistakes that Caught the Killer, which airs at 9pm tonight on Channel 5, revisits the case of Bellfield, who was initially branded the Bus Stop Killer, after killing several women in 2002, 2003 and 2004, using different means.
In the span of a few months, operating around West London, the serial killer took the life of Marsha McDonnell, 19, Amélie Delagrange, a 22-year-old French student, and tried but failed to kill Kate Sheedy, 18, by running her over with his car.
Bellfield, now 52, was arrested in 2004 and convicted to three consecutive life sentences in 2008, before being given another life term in 2011 for the 2002 murder of Milly Dowler, making him the first person to receive two whole-life terms.
Speaking for the first time about the case, detective Sargent Gary Cunningham, who interviewed Bellfield during the investigation by the Metropolitan Police Murder Squad, told the documentary how the serial killer turned his back and refused to answer questions.
And he revealed that after the killer refused to co-operate, he made double-sided copies of images of the victims’ faces so that Bellfield couldn’t turn them over to avoid looking at them.
Marsha McDonnell, 19, was killed by Bellfield near her home of Hampton, London in February 2003
Cunningham said that Bellfield’s demeanour during his interview confirmed their suspicion he was responsible for the two murders and attempted murders of 2004.
The detective explained Bellfield tried to pin the murders on an ‘associate’ who used his car without his knowledge, but the officers did not buy it.
‘His tactic was just to blame someone else. It’s the way Bellfield operates,’ he said.
‘Bellfield couldn’t talk enough and he was just talking his head off. And he was apportioning exactly what’d he done to the other party and blaming them.’
Bellfield ran over Kate Sheedy, then 18, in May 2004. She survived and testified at his trial in 2008
Cunningham explained Bellfield tried to make the officers believe he was ‘shocked’ and ‘outraged’ by what this associate of his had done.
But when the line of questioning moved on to Marsha, Amelie and Kate, Bellfield’s demeanour changed.
In an extract of this interview mentioned by Cunningham on the show, one could hear the detective ask Bellfield: ‘What chance did she have? no chance at all, running over her twice, leaving her for dead.’
To each sentence, Bellfield could only reply ‘no comment.’
Amelie Delagrange, a 22-year-old French student visiting the UK, was killed by Bellfield in Twickenham Green. She died in hospital a few hours after her attack
Bellfield was convicted for the abduction and murder of 13-year-old Milly Bowler in 2011 and sreceived a third life in prison sentence
‘He just refused to engage in any way and in fact at one point, he turned his back on the interview room. He turned his seat 180 degrees and put his back to me,’ Cunningham said.
‘I could see Bellfield analysing what I was putting to him. I could see the cogs going round in his head thinking “How am I gonna get out of that one”,’ he added.
The detective explained what tactics he employed to get a reaction from the suspected killer.
‘I had the three pictures that I’d put in front of him on the interview table of Amelie, Kate and Marsha.
‘He just looked at me and turn the pictures over like that. Put them face down,’ he added.
The ‘bus stop killer’: A timeline of Levi Bellfield’s attacks
French student Amelie Delagrange
March 21 2002: Milly, 13, is walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, when she disappears. Her remains are found six months later 25 miles away.
February 2003: Marsha McDonnell, 19, gets off a bus near her home in Hampton after a night out with friends, and is struck three times on the back of the head with a blunt object by Bellfield.
May 2004: Kate Sheedy, 18, is left for dead after Bellfield runs her down in his car after she gets off a bus in Isleworth after spending the evening with friends.
August 2004: Amelie Delagrange, 22, is battered to death by Bellfield after she gets off at the wrong bus stop and is attacked walking across Twickenham Green. She dies of head injuries.
Marsha McDonnell was attacked after getting off the bus
February 2008: Bellfield is convicted of the murders of Marsha and Amelie, and the attempted murder of Kate.
March 2010: Bellfield is charged with killing Milly.
May 2011: Bellfield goes on trial at the Old Bailey after he denies abducting and murdering Milly.
June 2011: Bellfield yawns as he is found guilty of Milly’s murder. The following day he refuses to attend court where he is jailed for life. Bellfield becomes the first person to receive two whole-life terms.
February 2012: Bellfield loses a Court of Appeal bid to challenge his conviction for Milly’s kidnap and murder.
January 2016: Bellfield admits abducting, raping and killing schoolgirl Milly Dowler for the first time, Surrey Police say.
‘So I went back that night to the police station and I double-sided copied them. I just did the same thing the next day in the interview room and he just looked at me.
‘He smirked the way he does, turned them over again. Saw, was taken aback when the three girls were still staring at him.’
This refusal to cooperate in any way alarmed Cunningham to the fact Bellfield was definitely guilty of the murders and attempted murder.
‘For goodness sake, if you haven’t done this, tell me”,’ Cunningham told the camera as if talking to Bellfield.
Levi Bellfield killed Marsha McDonnell near her home of Hampton, London, by hitting her with the head with a blunt object. She died in hospital two days after being admitted in February 2003.
Serial killer Levi Bellfield is currently serving three life sentences with two recommendations that he never be released
The next year, on May 28 2004, he ran over Kate Sheedy several times with his car. She survived but sustained severe injuries and spent several months in hospital. She testified against him in court in 2008.
Where is Levi Bellfield now?
Levi Bellfield, now 52, is serving three life sentences with the recommendation he should never be released, from two judges.
This effectively means he will die in prison.
He was first convicted in 2008 for the murders of Amélie Delagrange and Marha McDonnell, and the attempted murder on Kate Sheedy, who testified against him in court.
In 2011, following new evidence linking him to the murder of Milly Dowler, he was once again convicted to a third life sentence.
Three months later, in August 2004, Amélie Delagrange was found in Twickenham Green with serious head injuries and died in hospital the same night. The investigation found that her murder was linked to Marsha McDonnell.
Bellfield was arrested on 22 November 2004 on suspicion of the murder of Amélie Delagrange. On 25 November, he was charged with three counts of rape in Surrey and West London.
Further charges in December 2004, included assaulting a woman in Twickenham between 1995 and 1997 and remanded in custody.
Bellfield was rearrested and charged with Amélie Delagrange’s murder on 2 March 2006, along with the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy and the attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm to another victim named Irma Dragoshi.
He was charged with the murder of Marsha McDonnell in May 2006.
After he was trialed and convicted with two life sentences in 2008, Surrey police introduced new evidence that he was linked to the 2002 murder of Milly Dowler.
The 13-year-old had gone missing in March 2002 and was found dead six months later. Bellfield was charged with kidnapping and Milly’s murder and was found guilty in 2011.
Bellfield refused to give evidence at his trial and claimed his innocence in the Dowler case.
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