On July 9, 1996, Dr. Lin Russell, her two daughters, Josie and Megan, and their dog, Lucy, are all brutally attacked by a man wielding a hammer on their way home to Nonington Village, Kent, England, after a family outing. Forcing them to sit down in the woods, the attacker blindfolded and tied up his victims, and then bludgeoned them one by one. Nine-year-old Josie was the sole survivor of the vicious assault.
One year later, on July 17, 1997, Michael Stone, who had a record of burglary and robbery, as well as a history of drug abuse and mental illness, was arrested. He had been recognized after the broadcast of a BBC television special that included his picture and description. During his trial, several prison inmates claimed that Stone had confessed to the murders, and a couple, Sheree Batt and Lawrence Calder, alleged that Stone had come to their house the morning after the murders wearing blood-splattered clothing. On October 23, 1998, Stone was convicted and given a triple life sentence, despite his repeated claims of innocence. Immediately thereafter, one of the prison informants contacted a daily newspaper to retract his testimony and based on the admission that he had lied, a Court of Appeals threw out Stone's conviction. At a second trial, which ended in early October 2001, Stone was again convicted and sentenced to three life terms.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: