Levi Bellfield was lying about historic murder, police say

Serial killer serving life for killing three girls, including Milly Dowler, did not kill Elizabeth Chau, detectives conclude

Police have ruled out Levi Bellfield's confession to the murder of Elizabeth Chau
Police have ruled out Levi Bellfield's confession to the murder of Elizabeth Chau Credit: PA

Levi Bellfield, the serial killer, was lying when he made repeated sworn confessions to the murder of a computer studies student 24 years ago, detectives have said.

The 55-year-old triple murderer claimed earlier this year that he killed, kidnapped and buried Elizabeth Chau, who went missing in 1999.

However, the conclusion that he was lying means Metropolitan Police officers will not dig up the west London site where the killer said he buried her.

Ms Chau’s family told The Guardian newspaper they were disappointed with the decision and still wanted the dig to go ahead.

The Met first interviewed Bellfield in jail in May but that interview was thought not to be thorough enough, the newspaper said.

The force carried out a second interview over two days at high-security HMP Frankland, in Durham, earlier this month, it was reported.

A Met Police spokesman said: “Specialist detectives have taken these disclosures very seriously and examined all information made available to them.

“It’s right that a considerable amount of time and police resources have been dedicated to this investigation as we hoped to find Elizabeth and provide much-needed answers for her family.

All relevant lines of inquiry have now been exhausted and the decision has been taken to close this investigation.

“As a result of these inquiries, a number of inconsistencies and discrepancies have been uncovered which lead us to believe the confession is false and this individual is not connected to Elizabeth’s disappearance.

“We have remained in close contact with Elizabeth’s family throughout this investigation and recently met with them, explaining how we have come to this outcome.

“This has understandably been a very difficult time for them and we would ask that the privacy of the family is respected. Our thoughts remain with Elizabeth’s loved ones.”

Bellfield is serving two whole life terms for three murders and one attempted murder.

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In 2008, he was jailed for life for the murders of Marsha McDonnell, 19, in 2003; and Amelie Delagrange, 22; as well as attempting to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004. All three victims were attacked in Twickenham or the surrounding area in south-west London.

He was already serving his sentence when he went on trial for killing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was snatched from the street walking home from school in Walton-on-Thames, in Surrey, in March 2002.

Closed inquiry

In 2016, Scotland Yard closed a 10-month inquiry following comments Bellfield had made during prison interviews in 2015 where he confessed to unsolved cases, finding the claims were without foundation or evidence.

Colin Sutton, the retired officer who caught him in 2008, told The Mirror at the time: “You can’t believe a word he says. He likes this kind of attention and to inflict pain on other people.”

Earlier this year, The Sun reported that Bellfield had boasted about making a false confession to the murders of Lin and Megan Russell for “cash and fun”.

The paper said he wrote to Kent Police admitting he had lied about the murders of the mother and daughter in order to get a £5,000 payment to a relative.

Michael Stone was jailed in 2001 for life for the murders. Mr Sutton said: “My view is that Bellfield knows he is in prison forever, that he has somehow joined up with Stone and offered to lie on his behalf for payment.”

Bellfield was found guilty of abducting and killing the 13 year-old following a trial at the Old Bailey in 2011.

If he had killed Ms Chau she would have been his first known victim.