|11 Aug 1941
|Nottingham Crown Court
|Mr Justice Igor
|Richard Wakerley QC
Sams was married three times. He had two sons by his first wife, but the marriage broke down shortly before he was sent to prison.
9th July 1991, Sams kidnapped 18-year-old Julie Dart when he drove to Chapeltown, in Leeds, to find a random victim, in practice for another kidnap he had planned.
Julie was unlucky enough to be his guinea pig, and told Sams it was her 'first night' working the streets.
Sams grabbed Juile dart off the street, bundled her into his van, blindfolded her and took her to his' warehouse. Once there,While Julie was leaning down to take her shoes off, Sams slipped a rope around her neck. Julie was then put in a coffin-like box and chained to the floor. According to Sams' later confession, Dart freed herself from the box in an attempt to escape, but was unable to leave the room. Sams, who had wired an alarm to the box, returned to chain her to a roof beam.
The following day, Sams forced Julie to write a letter to her boyfriend demanding a ransom of £140,000, or "the hostage would never be seen again". He also made her write other notes. Sams then murdered teenager Julie Dart with a hammer.
Nine days later he dumped her body in a field in Easton, Lincolnshire. Julie's remains were discovered on a farm near Grantham in Lincolnshire 10-days after she first went missing.
22nd January 1992, Sams kidnapped estate agent Stephanie Slater during a property viewing in Birmingham. Sams tied her up and drove her to the same workshop where Julie had been killed, where he placed her in a wooden 'coffin' inside a bin.
He then demanded £175,000 ransom from her employer, Shipways Estate Agency.
In the call Sams did not disguise his voice, his first major error.
Around 1,000 police officers were on hand to arrest Sams when estate agent boss Kevin Watts headed out to drop off the cash. However, Sams was able to outwit them by sending Watts down a path where any officer following behind could be spotted easily.
Unlike Julie, Stephanie's life was spared and eight days after her kidnap, she was dropped off, blindfolded, near her home - and in doing so, Sams brought about his own downfall.
A witness who had spotted Sams' car was able to give a very detailed description, and Stephanie Slater, who had been kidnapped by Sams, was also able to describe the murderer in detail. The combination of the car, the voice and an artist's drawing created from the witness' and Stephanie's descriptions were enough to bring him to justice - with the help of Sams' first wife Susan Oake, who spotted the giveaway details on the BBC show Crimewatch and phoned in to identify the killer.
Sams continued sending ransom demands, attempting blackmail, as well as sending messages to the police that they would never catch him.
Sams also demanded £200,000 from British Rail, or an express train would be derailed. To show he meant business, he suspended a block of sandstone from a bridge in Staffordshire in an effort to damage a train.
16th June 1993, at Nottingham crown court, Sams admitted to kidnap at his trial but initially denied Julie’s murder.
Thursday 8th July 1993, after being retired for just over three hours, the jury retuned a guilty verdict to murder, and to kidnapping, as welll as four charges of blackmail. Sams is given 4-life sentences.
three days after trial, Sams admitted to murdering Julie dart.
1997 a further eight years were added to his sentence after he took a female probation officer hostage in his cell with a metal spike.
September 2017, Stephanie Slater died of cancer aged-50.
13th June 2020, Micheal Sams, aged-78, denied parole as parole board deem him to dangerous to be released. He is currently detained at HMP Whitemoor.