Within days of Robert
Black's birth Jessie Hunter Black decided to have her
son put into foster care He was taken by foster parents in their 50's, Jack
and Margaret Tulip.
To his classmates at primary school Robert - or 'Smelly
Robbie Tulip' as he was known - is remembered as having
been an aggressive and slightly wayward boy. Getting
involved in petty crime from a young age.
As well as the petty violence, Black was also developing
a strange sexual self-awareness, as confessed by Black
years later to a prison psychologist,
"I used to push things up my anus".
After his arrest in
1990 police found photographs that Black had taken of
himself: one showed him with a wine-bottle up his anus,
another with a telephone-handset, yet another with a table
leg. Black also remembers fantasising about excreting on
his hands and then rubbing the faeces in. He also always
had an uneasy feeling that he would have preferred to have
been a girl. But he was not homosexual in his desires.
His foster mother, Margaret Tulip died in 1958.
when Black was only 11, and was once again deprived of a
It was decided that Black would go to a Children's Home
near Falkirk, close to where he was born. It was during
Black's time there that his fascination with sex, and
particularly with the vagina, finally drove him across the
line from childish experimentation to criminal behaviour.
In 1969 at the age of 12, Black made his first attempt at rape. He
was moved several times, finally being moved to a school
in London. Once in London he tried out as a footballer,
failing due to bad eyesight. He eventually became a
lifeguard, he was a keen swimmer and this was great for
his paedophile fantasies. He loved swimming and had the
choice of two local pools, over 20 years later a little
girl called Caroline Hogg was to be abducted from
Portobello, and later murdered. Caroline’s house was on
the route between two swimming-pools.
In the summer of 1962 when Black was fifteen, his time at
the children's home was up. Black got a job as a delivery
boy and found a room to rent in a boys’ home in Greenock,
outside Glasgow. He later admitted that while he was doing
his delivery rounds he molested 30 or 40 girls. Black's
first conviction came shortly afterwards. . The charge was
for 'lewd and libidinous' behaviour with a young girl.
Black, who was now seventeen, had approached a
seven-year-old girl in the park, asking her if she would
like to go with him to see some kittens. The girl
trustingly followed him as he led her to a deserted
building. She was later found wandering the streets:
bleeding, crying and confused.
Black left Greenock and return to Grangemouth to make a
new start. Here he got a job with a builders' company and
rented a room. He also met his first real girlfriend,
Pamela Hodgson, and he fell in love, developed a sexual
relationship and decided to get engaged, but, she broke
off the engagement not long after, and told him it was
1978 - 13 year old
Genette Tate went missing ??
12th August 1981, 9
year old Jenifer Cardy disappears on way to friends
30th July 1982, 11-year-old
8th July 1983, five-year-old Caroline Hogg
The bodies were found within 24 miles of each other - 300
miles from the abductions.
26 March 1986, ten-year-old Sarah Harper
14 July 1990 attempted abduction of Mandy Wilson.,
Black is caught red handed after a routine stop. The
victim is found tied up and gagged in a sleeping bag in
the back of his van, she had been sexually assaulted
moments before. Medial experts claimed she was not far
from death when police found her.,
Wednesday 13 April 1994
Trial - Moot Hall in Newcastle. Black stands trial
for the three murders known to police at the time. Susan
Maxwell, Caroline Hogg and Sarah Harperr.
Thursday 19th May 1994 jury find him guilty of three
Black is not eligible for parole until at least aged 82, in
Black is most famously
known for his connection, or not, to the disappearance of
13 year old Genette Tate, and several others.
July 1994, a meeting was held in Newcastle to consider
the possibility of Black’s involvement in similar murders.
As well as possible murders in France, Amsterdam, Ireland
and Germany, there were up to ten unsolved abductions and
murders in England which have Black’s MO:
April Fabb Norfolk, 1969
9-year-old Christine Markham Scunthorpe 1973
13-year-old Genette Tate Devon 1978
14-year-old Suzanne Lawrence Essex 1979
16-year-old Colette Aram 1983 since attributed to
14-year-old Patsy Morris 1990
Marion Crofts 1990
Lisa Hession 1990
No conclusion, or charges were reached at the time.
In 1992 after Black had been served with ten summonses,
including three for the murder of three little girls, in
an attempt to shift the moral responsibility he told
officers: "Tell Pamela she's not responsible for all
10th April 2008,
police are to question Black about the murder of Jennifer Cardy, aged nine when she was abducted and murdered in
Police originally spoke to
Black about this case in 2005, but are now looking at
taking Black to trial in Northern Ireland.
Friday 22nd September
2011, Trial starts at Armagh Crown Court. Black
denies the abduction and murder of Jenifer Cardy.
Friday 7th October 2011,
In an unusual move the stunned jury is told about
Black's previous convictions. Kidnap and rape, plus the
murder of three young girls in the 1980's.
The prosecution said
Black’s past crimes did not in themselves make him
guilty of Jennifer’s murder but he claimed striking
similarities between the cases would prove it. The
prosecution also claimed that work records prove Black
was in Northern Ireland on the day Jennifer was killed.
The prosecution further claimed petrol receipts would
prove that Black was in the area that day and would have
driven by the spot known as McKee's Dam where Jenifer's
body was found.
Thursday 27th October
2011, Black denied murder, and any connection to
Black was found guilty of the
kidnap and murder of 9 year old Jenifer Cardy. on the 12th
August 1981. Judge Weatherup told Black:
"You have been convicted by a jury of murder. There is
only one sentence that will be imposed by law. "That's
the sentence of life imprisonment. Accordingly, I
sentence you to life imprisonment."
He then turned to the guards and said: "Take him down
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