EXCLUSIVE Holly & Jessica: Last secrets
By Neil McLeod & David Brown
THE shocking hidden truth about the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman is revealed by the News of the World in a sensational taped dossier.
For the first time since the horror that shocked the nation four years ago, twisted Ian Huntley has confessed that he THROTTLED screaming Jessica as she tried to phone her mum.
The details, though distressing, will give some comfort to their parents who have always been desperate to know the truth about the girls' last moments.
The killer's dramatic admissions after his stubborn refusal to co-operate with police are also likely to lead to a new investigation into the role played by lover Maxine Carr.
She served just 21 months for perverting the course of justice after claiming she had only a minor part in the murder cover-up. But Huntley claims she orchestrated it.
The 32-year-old killer poured out his guilt to mother Lynda Nixon, 51, the only person he now trusts, in three separate meetings at Wakefield jail, Yorks. Huntley told how he:
# STRANGLED Jessica to stop her screaming after Holly had died in the bathroom.
# SNATCHED her mobile phone to stop her calling her for help then realised: "I knew I could not let her leave the house."
# WATCHED in dread as police hunting the missing girls walked past her mobile on his draining board.
# TOLD Maxine of the killings on the night they died.
# OBEYED her when she plotted the cover-up and told him: "Burn the bodies or I will have to do it".
# FEARED he would be caught when police dogs sniffed his car as the 10-year-olds' bodies lay in bin bags in the boot overnight.
# DUMPED evidence in a rubbish bin at a nearby Tesco.
# PLANNED suicide on the fourth anniversary last week but was stopped.
# RAPED a girl in a nightclub in his home town.
But at the same time evil Huntley repeats his delusional claim—despite all the evidence—that Holly died by accident when she fell in the bath after a nosebleed.
A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said last night: "We are always interested in reviewing new information and will take it seriously to get to the truth of what happened that day. We have never believed the version of events Ian Huntley gave in court."
His younger brother Wayne, 30, who taped a series of conversations with their mother after her visits said: "This is the fullest account of what happened at Soham that Ian has ever given.
"He is in jail where he belongs but I am convinced he wants to kill himself and give some explanation of what happened before he does.
"I believe I had to make this public because everybody from the girls' families to the average person in the street deserves to know."
Mother Lynda gently coaxed the details from Huntley in a series of jail meetings lasting SIX HOURS.
He has always claimed he smothered Jessica accidentally as he tried to stop her crying after Holly died. But he told his mother:
"If she hadn't kept shouting, she'd have got out of the house alive.
"I was telling her to stop shouting so I could think. She kept saying: ‘You pushed her. You pushed her.'
"It was only when I put my hand on her shoulder as she went for the door, that I realised I couldn't let her leave the house."
Deluded Huntley insisted Holly suffered a nosebleed in his caretaker's house at Soham College four years and two days ago. He lied that she went to his bathroom, slipped and died—which was when Jessica began screaming.
He told Lynda: "I did not push her, Mum, I did not touch her. Jessica stood at the doorway screaming. Holly was in the bath. Mum, I had to get to her otherwise all the neighbours would have been round if I hadn't shut her up."
He chased her downstairs and took her mobile as she tried to make a call, thought to be to her mother. Huntley added: "As soon as I put my hand on her shoulder, then, you know...there are two bodies in the house."
Wayne explained: "He said he sat her on the settee and tried to calm her down. But she kept screaming."
Wayne asked his mum: "Did he say he strangled her? Linda replied: "Yes, he did as she got near the door. It was that stage when he knew she couldn't let her leave."
It is the first time Huntley has admitted killing Jessica in such a savage manner and proves the cold-blooded nature the murders.
Lynda also said Huntley told her the time of Jessica's death was 6.55pm. Experts previously thought it had been around 6.46pm when her phone was switched off. Lynda said: "Ian told me the time because I wanted to light candles for the girls."
Huntley refused to implicate Maxine throughout the investigation and 31-day Old Bailey trial, which ended with his conviction in December 2003.
But he is now firmly pointing the finger at his former girlfriend, who served half a 42-month sentence for perverting the course of justice by giving him a false alibi.
She lives in secret after the High Court issued an order guaranteeing her anonymity forever. It costs the taxpayer over £1million a year to protect her.
Huntley confessed to Lynda he told Maxine about the girls' deaths on the Sunday, the VERY NIGHT of the murders, possibly minutes after they died.
He sat on the landing of his house and rang Carr to confess what he'd done. Wayne asked Lynda: "Did Ian actually tell you Maxine knew on the night that the girls were dead? She replied: "Yes, yes. Ian said she knew everything that night."
Lynda also revealed that Huntley had wanted to give himself up TWICE but Maxine stopped him. His mother added: "She kept saying to Ian, ‘You have got to get rid of all the evidence'. Maxine told him to put the washing in, to talk to the media."
Huntley added that Maxine even washed the sheets on their bed after he told her one of the girls had sat on the edge of it. It was part of her plan to get rid of any trace of their DNA.
And he told his mother how Maxine later reacted with fury at what he'd done—but out of concern for herself, not his little victims. "I'm not losing my home or job for anybody," she snapped.
Huntley revealed for the first time how he put the girls' bodies in black bin liners, backed his car up to his house and put them in the boot. He kept them there overnight before driving to dump them at a beauty spot near Lakenheath air base in Suffolk the next morning.
In court, prosecution lawyers said experts believed the bodies had been placed there on the night of the murder. Huntley told his mother he was almost caught that night when two police dogs moved past the boot of the red Ford Fiesta but did not pick up the girls' scent.
Huntley also confessed exactly where he had dumped Jessica's mobile phone and thrown a can in which he carried petrol to burn their bodies.
Wayne said: "Ian told mum how he was washing his fingerprints off Jessica's mobile in his kitchen.
"Two officers came around two days after the girls disappeared and said they needed to have a look through the premises.
"He didn't make any attempt to hide the phone. He said he just left it, still wet, on the draining board.
"He told her, ‘I thought that was it, Mum. I thought I was going to be caught there and then.'"
"But the officers didn't notice it and walked out. He couldn't believe they had missed it."
Huntley put the phone in two bags then drove to Tesco in Ely, Cambs, and dumped it in a bin. It has never been found.
He told his mother that when he brought Maxine back from her mum's after the murders she began scrubbing the house clean of any evidence and told him to act as normally as possible. Huntley said: "She cleaned the place that hard the paint was coming off the kitchen wall."
Lynda recalled: "Ian said one day she was in such a state she hit him. She was saying that they should act normal."
Maxine also told Huntley to destroy the evidence, warning: "Your DNA will be on the girls." Wayne said: "Ian interpreted that to mean that he should burn the bodies. The thought going through his head at the time was, ‘Oh my God. I didn't want to do that.' He said he hadn't intended on going back to where he had placed the bodies."
He asked Maxine to go with him but she replied: "You do it, I'm going to bed." She ordered him to call in at his grandmother's house and make sure he was seen so he had an alibi.
"While there he rang Maxine and told her he couldn't bring himself to go through with it. But, according to Huntley, she coldly told him: "If you don't do it, then I will have to."
Huntley DID carry out Carr's instructions. He told his mother he threw one of two petrol cans he used in an overgrown pheasant coop. It was never found.
Wayne said: "I know what Ian did was dreadful and unforgiveable. But people should know Maxine she was far more involved than she has been punished for."
Huntley, who was investigated several times for sex offences before the murder, also confessed to raping a girl he met in a Grimsby club. He told Lynda: "Mum, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I didn't know her name or anything."
The News of the World can also reveal that he was plotting to make a SECOND attempt to kill himself, apparently to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the girls' deaths last Friday.
Last Saturday warders raided his room and found a stash of pills.
They acted after a tip-off from a fellow inmate who had been trading the tablets with Huntley.
He first tried to kill himself in June 2003 when he was on remand at Woodhill Prison, Bucks. He took 29 anti-depressants and ended up in a coma.
Wayne said: "He just cannot live with himself.
"And he is the type of person who will see it through one day."
Maxine's lawyer has said: "She denies what Huntley has said in the strongest possible terms."