Babes in the Wood

Graham Bartlett

Peter James

11 January 2024
384 pages


'A triumph . . . Babes in the Wood should be required reading for all budding detectives' – Malcolm Bacon, former DI and investigating officer on the case

Updated with the latest twists in this notorious true-crime saga, Babes in the Wood by Graham Bartlett with Peter James is both a gripping police procedural and an insight into the motivations of a truly evil man - Russell Bishop. It is the definitive account of a thirty-two year quest for justice.

On 9 October 1986, nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway went out to play on their Brighton estate. They would never return home; their bodies discovered the next day concealed in a local park. This devastating crime rocked the country.

With unique access to the officers charged with catching the killer, former senior detective Graham Bartlett and bestselling author Peter James tell the compelling inside story of the investigation as the net tightens around local man Russell Bishop. The trial that follows is one of the most infamous in the history of Brighton policing – a shock result sees Bishop walk free.

Three years later, Graham is working in Brighton CID when a seven-year-old girl is abducted and left to die. She survives . . . and Bishop’s name comes up as a suspect. Is history repeating itself? Can the police put him away this time, and will he ever be made to answer for his past horrendous crimes?

'An extremely well-written and detailed account' – Adam Hibbert, former head of Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team

This book is an extremely well-written and detailed account of the thirty-year journey from the tragedy of the murder of two loved young girls, through a failed prosecution and a family’s tireless pursuit to see justice done, culminating in the complex and challenging Sussex Police investigation that led to the rightful conviction of Russell Bishop. It is a testament to what a family’s determination and police investigative skills can achieve in bringing justice
Babes in the Wood tells this harrowing and tragic story with great accuracy and sensitivity, revealing for the first time the inside story of how the police eventually brought justice for the two little girls. It is a story that needs to be told
Make no mistake, a criminal trial is not about finding the truth, it is only ever about the question of proof. Babes in the Wood highlights the painstaking and frustrating, slow and, on occasion, ponderous route to achieving the goals of both proof and truth. It is an excellent observation of professionalism and downright persistence . . . A triumph, this book is not just a testament to the police officers, but also to the parents and families of the victims. The authenticity of this book, the honesty, professionalism and persistent investigation displayed, the array of characters, frustrations and procedures – all these are a shining example of both the truth and accuracy of an investigation, leading to one of the most dramatic re-trials seen within the United Kingdom to date. Babes in the Wood should be required reading for all budding detectives