In 1996, the Russell family suffered a devastating loss after mom Lin and her daughters, Josie, 9, and Megan, 6, were attacked. The family, located in Kent, England, was tied up and brutally attacked with a claw hammer.
The damage was so severe that at first, all three victims were reported deceased — but Josie was still alive. She suffered severe brain injuries, and it took years for her to learn to speak again.
Even the family dog was killed.
The extreme murder left the public reeling, desperate to find the murderer.
A man named Michael Stone was originally pinned for the murder: He had no alibi and admitted to being under the influence and unable to remember what happened that day, according to Yahoo News.
He was convicted in 1998, but released after an appeal a year later. He was retried in 2001, and an alleged jailhouse confession ensured he was convicted again and incarcerated for good.
But this January another incarcerated man, 53-year-old Levi Bellfield, made a stunning admission by detailing the events of the murder that he’s now claiming authorship of.
Part of his confession has been obtained and shared by The Sun.
“I was wearing bright yellow marigold washing up gloves and holding a hammer in my right hand,” Bellfield allegedly wrote. “In my car I had a screwdriver, a lock knife, a hammer, yellow marigold gloves and a very long black bootlace.
“My first intention was to just attack Lin, but I quickly changed my mind due to the screams and was worried she would fight back given the children were with her.
“I approached Lin and held her right arm tight. She asked me not to harm her children. She was calm. Had she screamed, I would have attacked her and left not harming the children.
“The situation just got out of control, and the more she complied it just gave me more confidence.”
He went on to describe in gory detail how he left them all for dead and then turned on the family’s dog before cleaning everything up and disposing of the murder weapon.
“I grabbed the dog by the collar, and it bit my wrist,” the confession continued. “I hit the dog and killed it. There was blood everywhere and all up my legs, arms and shorts.”
Bellfield is currently incarcerated for life for the murders of three other young women: 13-year-old Milly Dowler, 19-year-old Marsha McDonnell and 22-year-old Amelie Delagrange.
He has also been convicted of the attempted murder of 18-year-old Kate Sheedy and confessed to killing another woman, Judith Gold, in 1990.
The news has led many to wonder if the confession is genuine and, if so, what it means for Stone. Bellfield even apologized to Stone in the statement.
“Something like this has never happened to me, in the sense I’ve committed a crime and another person has been arrested for it,” the statement reads. “I apologize to Stone and the Russell family for my heinous acts.”
When the murders were first discovered, a bootlace was found at the scene — but police lost it. Last year it was found again and has since been sent for testing, something Bellfield allegedly told friends he was worried about, as he believes the bootlace contains his DNA.
Still, it will be a while before the truth of the confession is determined, and until then, Stone is still considered guilty.
“Following two trials at which Stone was found guilty by a jury on both occasions, and an appeal to the high court, Michael Stone remains convicted of the murders of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie Russell in 1996,” Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham of Kent police told British reported, according to Wales Online.
“Mr. Stone’s current application to the CCRC is being reviewed, and we remain in regular contact with his legal representatives,” another spokesman told British media, Yahoo reported.
“We are aware they are planning to send in further information, and when received, we will thoroughly analyze it and make any appropriate inquiries. We will not be commenting further at this stage.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.