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Justice for Colette

Length: 252 pages4 hours


When Jacqui Kirby’s 16 year-old daughter Colette went missing just minutes after leaving home, her mother knew instinctively that something was very wrong. Colette had left to walk to her boyfriend’s home but never arrived. The following morning her body was found by her elder brother Mark. Colette’s body had been arranged in a provocative pose and left by a hedgerow. What Mark saw that cold October morning would haunt him for the rest of his life. The police launched one of the biggest manhunts ever seen and the inquiry was to last over a quarter of a century. Colette’s killer, Paul Hutchinson, not only managed to evade capture but also led a double-life, slipping back into a respectable position in the community as a charity and children’s worker. After Jacqui appeared on Crimewatch to appeal for information the police were provided with many leads but still no killer. While the investigation continued Jacqui was tormented by ghoul hunters and pranksters who taunted her family with crank calls. Paul Hutchinson even sent police “ripper” style letters in which he wrote "you’ll never catch me." But the police did catch him, using a relatively new technique of DNA profiling. The chance arrest of Paul’s son, for a minor motoring offense, years after Colette’s murder led cold-case detectives directly to Paul’s door. After 26 years he was now cornered. Colette’s murder not only robber Jacqui of her daughter, but also her marriage and, at times, her sanity, but she never gave up hope. This is her remarkable story of how she never gave up on getting justice for Colette.

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