Soham murders 20 years on: How every parent’s nightmare became a reality for two families

THURSDAY 6AM: 20th anniversary of the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman Reuters|PA

The murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman captivated and horrified Britain (Pictures: Reuters/PA)

Each day hundreds of pupils file past an empty plot of land bordering Soham Village College.

There’s no trace of the building which once stood there, nor a memorial to the two young girls murdered inside.

None were alive when Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman died on this day 20 years ago, but for the town’s older residents it’s a tragedy they’ll never forget.

The case captivated and horrified Britain, evoking an outpouring of national grief which hasn’t been witnessed since.

Ian Huntley’s name was added to those of Peter Sutcliffe, Ian Brady and Fred West on the list of the UK’s most evil killers.

Soham would become a place remembered chiefly for the evil crimes committed there, with 5 College Close later demolished in a bid to help the grieving community heal.

Back in 2002, it was an ordinary town, and the families of the two young girls were typical inhabitants.

On Sunday, August 4, the Wells were hosting a barbecue for friends. That morning, Holly’s pal Jessica, whom she had known since nursery, came over to give her a necklace she had bought on a recent holiday.

The girls were called down for their tea just before 5pm and the now famous photo showing them smiling in their matching Manchester United shirts was taken minutes later.

Holly’s mum Nicola told police: ‘That was the last we saw of them.’

The now famous photo of Holly (left) and Jessica (right) in their Manchester United shirts shortly before they disappeared (Picture: PA)

Their favourite footballer, David Beckham, observes a minute’s silence during the Premiership match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on August 23, 2002 (Picture: Getty)

By the following morning, Monday August 5, one of the biggest manhunts …read more

Source:: Metro News

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