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EDITIONS
Thursday, 4 October, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Josie's horrific ordeal
The Russell search
Police scoured the lanes around Chillenden
It had been a fairly ordinary afternoon.

Josie Russell and her little sister Megan had been to a swimming gala and had been met from school by their mother, Lin, an academic.

They chatted happily as they walked home from school to their home in the idyllic Kent village of Chillenden.

The sun glinted through the trees as the happy trio made their way along the lane.

Suddenly a hush fell on their conversation as they noticed a strange man sitting in his car, which was parked across the lane.

They had never seen him before and his menacing manner immediately rang alarm bells.

In May 1997 - almost a year later - Josie would recall how the man emerged from his car, grabbed a hammer and demanded money.


Then (he) tie up and me ran in here and hammer bang. Then okay, okay, okay.

Josie Russell
She said: "The man said: 'Give me your money'.

"My mother said: 'I've got no money. Shall I go back in my house and get some?' The man said 'no'."

Josie said her mother told her to run home and try to get help.

But she had barely made it around the corner before the man caught her up and hit her from behind with the hammer.

She said: "No, no. Then tie up and me ran in here (pointing around the corner) and hammer bang. Then okay, okay, okay."

Josie described how her mother told her to try to escape, and added: "Lin said: 'No, no, come on and run.'"

Tied up

The schoolgirl said the stranger bound her with a pair of her tights - but loosened them after she complained.

"I said: 'What are you doing?' He said: 'Not tight so to take it off.'"

Josie reconstructed the events surrounding the murders using model figures.

Models were made of the murder scene and she giggled as the police showed her little models of herself, her mother and sister and their pet dog Lucy, who was also killed in the attack.

At some point during the attack Josie passed out and when police came upon the scene almost seven hours later they thought she was dead.



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