Saturday 24 June 2017

How female detective cracked Black case

Notorious paedophile revealed fantasies about abducting girls

Deborah McAleese

A FEMALE detective was the one who made serial child killer Robert Black crack during the PSNI's investigation in to the murder of schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy.

Detective Constable Pamela Simpson outsmarted the notorious paedophile during three days of intensive interviews in 2005 after he refused to engage with her male colleagues.

Black admitted that he fantasised about abducting and sexually abusing young girls -- which police believed was a veiled confession to the murder.

These interviews played a crucial element in the successful prosecution of Black, and his conviction on Thursday.

Ms Simpson, who has since retired from the force, was brought in to lead the interviews after Black refused to engage with her male colleague, Det Sgt Pat McAnespie.

Det Supt Raymond Murray last night said: "Detective Sergeant Pat McAnespie began the interviews, but Black refused to engage with him so a decision was taken for him to step back and let Pamela Simpson take over."

Mr Murray reactivated the investigation into Jennifer's murder in 2002. There was no forensic evidence available to link Black to the murder so a team of officers began to trawl through 560,000 old fuel receipts, delivery records and pay slips, to see if they could place the van driver in the area at the time of Jennifer's abduction on August 12, 1981.

In 2004, their diligence paid off. The evidence showed that Black had been in the vicinity.

Ms Simpson's interview techniques got Black to open up and he freely described his sick "fantasies".

"I'd be driving along and see a young girl. I'd get out and try to persuade her to getting into the van and take her somewhere quiet," he told her.

Detective Inspector Stephen Clarke, who has also been at the fore of the investigation, said Black would have always been thinking about how far he could go during interview.

On the last day of interviews, Ms Simpson sat back and Mr McAnespie, who had been listening, stepped in and bombarded Black with details of all the things he had revealed.

"During that last interview Black realised he had said too much," said Mr Clarke. "And we realised that we had our confession."

Irish Independent

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