Wednesday 11 September 1996
Police had feared that Josephine Russell would never be able to recall the events surrounding the murder because of her severe head injuries but she has now begun to speak to them. Officers are using a special interview method to coax information from her.
Josephine, her mother, Lin, 45, and sister Megan, six, were set upon in a lane near Chillenden, Kent. All three were battered by a weapon thought to be a hammer. The family dog was also killed. The police are conducting forensic tests on a hammer which was found in field on Monday found near the scene of the crime.
Two police officers using a technique developed by speech therapists and child psychologists which involves short questions and sign language have been interviewing Josephine at her home since Sunday.
There were fears that brain damage would prevent her talking again but she is gradually regaining her voice. She has given the police new leads.Her father, Shaun Russell, said she was beginning to show anxiety as her memories returned. "When she was in hospital and couldn't remember anything she was more or less constantly happy," he said.
"But as she has remembered more and more her happiness has decreased and periods of anxiety have increased." However, she was eager to help the police, Dr Russell said. Detective Chief Inspector Dave Stevens said: "We have devised a method of communicating with Josephine. Long sentences are not possible but over a period of weeks we have been going back over her life and personal details.
"It is obvious that Josephine has a clear memory about the attack and she has already provided us with information that backs up the description of a man seen near the murder scene and other details.
"This could be a turning- point. There is only one eye-witness to these murders. Josephine's memories and evidence could be crucial." The videotaped interviews have been taking place in the living- room of the Russells' cottage.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...