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RONALD JEBSON

 


Name:

Ronald Jebson

AKA:

Ronald Harper

Babes in the Wood

D.O.B.

1939

Kill Total:

3

Kill date:

1970 & 1974

Kill Place:

Epping Forrest

Status:

Separated

Occupation:

 

Victim:

Susan Blatchford

Gary Haslon

Rosemary Papper

D.O.B.

Susan  1959

Gary  -  1960

Rosemary -1966

 


 

Court:

St. Albans Crown Court

Judge:

Mr Justice Kenneth Jones

Prosecution:

 

Defence:

 


  Second Trial

 

Court:

Old Bailey

Judge:

David Stokes

Prosecution:

 

Defence:

 

 


 

 

FACTFILE

 

Born in 1939 Jebson was discharged from the army in 1958 on medical grounds, he was separated from his wife and had a daughter. He was an illegitimate child who had been brought up by foster parents.


31st March 1970, .Susan Blatchford aged 11, and her 12 year-old friend Gary Hanlon vanished from their homes in north London after going out to play, they were last seen about 4:30pm. When they didn't return home anxious parents called the police.

At least 600 police officers interviewed more than 15,000 people, and searched nearly 4,500 homes. One of the local residents interviewed was convicted paedophile, Ronald Jebson. He spoke to police on two occasions but he had an alibi for the evening, the police never followed it up.

 

April 1970, Jebson enticed an 11 year old boy into his car, he took him to a secluded area and sexually assaults him. He was caught and sentenced to 5 years, but was released in 1973

 

17th June 1970, The bodies of the two missing children  were found by a dog walker  in a copse in Lippitts Hill close to Epping forest, and 6 miles from their homes. The newspapers at the time nicknamed the case "Babes in the wood".

 

Post mortem examinations were inconclusive, the bodies being so badly decomposed. The coroner was unable to ascertain a cause of death.


At the inquest an open verdict was recorded, no suspect was identified despite the high profile of the case. Police and the families still maintained that the children were murdered.
 

1974 Jebson, a known paedophile with 11 previous convictions, including three for sexual offences against children, had been staying with Rosemary' Papper's  parents but when they told him he was no longer welcome, he swore revenge. Neighbours recall the phrase: "I will do something you will regret."

 

9th June 1974 he strangled Rosemary as he raped her.


1974, At St Albans Crown Court  Mr Justice Kenneth Jones recommended he serve at least 20 years for the murder of Rosemary Papper.
 

1996 the "Babes in the wood" case wae re-opened, attention focused on Jebson, after he gave police a list of suspects for the murders.

 

1998 Jebson confessed to the murders.
 

1999 the body of Susan Blatchford was exhumed, although forensic tests could not take place, police were interested in other tests.


Tuesday 8th May 2000 Jebson was given two further life sentences at the Old Bailey, after pleading guilty to the murders of Susan and Gary 30 years previously.

 

April 2015, Jebson dies of kidney failure in prison.

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