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BBC Wales's Ashleigh Crowter
"The programme follows Josie on an emotional journey back to South Africa where she was born"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 1 November, 2000, 14:05 GMT
Josie's South African journey
Josie Russell on horseback
Josie Russell's love of animals has helped her recovery
A programme on BBC Wales on Wednesday follows Josie Russell and her father Shaun as they rebuild their lives in the years after the horrific murder of her mother and sister.

"Josie's Journey" tells how the teenager, who survived the horrific attack, went back with her father to South Africa, where she was born.

The film is the latest stage in the recovery of the 13-year-old who now lives in the Nantlle Valley in north Wales.

In 1996 Josie was left for dead following an attack in a country lane in Chillenden, Kent, as she walked home from school.

Her mother Lin Russell, 45, and her six-year-old sister Megan were killed.

Former home

Michael Stone - found guilty of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder - was given three life sentences in 1998.

At the time of Stone's trial, Josie and her father had already returned to their former home of north Wales, settling in a small village just outside Caernarfon.

Josie miraculously survived in spite of a fractured skull and serious brain injuries.

Josie Russell in her land of birth, Africa
Josie Russell in her land of birth, Africa
Her spirit and courage led her to become a national figure.

"Josie's Journey" looks at how Josie and her father have learned to live under the media spotlight which followed.

In interviews, Dr Russell has said he wants this programme to draw a line under the events of the past to enable them to get on with their life in Wales.


"Josie's Journey" takes them to South Africa where Josie was born and lived for the first two years of her life.

During their journey Josie and Shaun encounter dolphins and snakes, they visit the Shamwari Game Reserve and The Mountain Zebra National Park where Josie goes pony trekking and sees her favourite animals.

They visit the place of her birth, the house called Innisfree where the family lived

"Josie's Journey" is about a double murder that shocked the nation, yet in spite of the horrific events of that terrible day, their story has uplifting and inspiring elements, epitomised by Josie's miraculous recovery.

"Josie's Journey" is broadcast at 2305 GMT on BBC1 Wales on Wednesday.

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See also:

06 Sep 99 | UK
School joy for Josie
06 Nov 98 | UK
Stone lodges appeal
24 Oct 98 | Russell trial
Josie's long journey
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