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True crime anniversaries in July

July true crime anniversaries

Every month we’re looking back at some of the most notorious crimes in history. Here are July’s most significant true crime anniversaries.

1st July: The abduction and murder of Sarah Payne (2000)

The abduction and murder of Sarah Payne was a high-profile case that took place in West Sussex in July 2000. Sarah’s disappearance and the investigation that followed was front-page news for its duration and led to significant campaigns for changes to the child protection legislation.

The murder was also recognised for its use of forensic evidence and the role it played in securing a conviction. Sarah went missing on 1st July but her body was not found until 17th July, 15 miles from where she had disappeared. Roy Whiting, a known sex offender, was imprisoned for the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne.

2nd July: The murder of Alesha MacPhail (2018)

The horrific murder of Alesha MacPhail was made all the worse by the discovery it was carried out by a 16-year-old. Alesha was just six when she was taken from her bed and murdered by Aaron Campbell on the Isle of Bute.

Alesha was visiting her grandparents when Campbell snatched her from her bed in the middle of the night, raped and strangled her. Campbell tried to avoid imprisonment, but DNA and CCTV footage tied him to the crime. He was convicted of Alesha’s murder and handed a life sentence in March 2019.

7th July: The London Bombings (2005)

The 2005 London Bombings were one of the most significant terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom. The attack, also known as 7/7, combined four coordinated suicide bombings on public transport across London. The attack was carried out during rush hour to cause maximum damage and destruction. 52 people were killed and over 700 were injured in the attacks.

12th July: The first Moors Murder (1963)

On 12th July 1963, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley carried out the first of their many murders. The Moors Murders began with the killing of Pauline Reade, with five other teenagers and children killed in the following years.

It began with Brady telling Hindley he wanted to commit the 'perfect murder'. Hindley then picked up 16-year-old Pauline in a van from the side of the road and took her to Saddleworth Moor where they were met by Brady. The murderers' accounts were conflicted when it came to what Pauline was subjected to, and sadly her murder was just the first in a line of depraved attacks carried out by the couple.

30th July: The murder of Sophie Hook (1995)

The murder of Sophie Hook was highly publicised and involved another instance of a perpetrator who had been involved in many previous attacks.

Sophie Hook was a seven-year-old girl murdered in Llandudno in Wales on 30th July 1995. She was visiting her uncle and camping in his garden when she was abducted. Her body was later found washed up on a nearby beach. The murderer, Howard Hughes, was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996. He had been arrested previously for attacks on children, but no prosecution ever took place.