Twisted one-legged murderer Michael Sams kidnapped first victim as a 'dress rehearsal' for another.
After a four-week high-profile trial, Sams was jailed with four life sentences to his name and has now become one of Britain's oldest prisoners.
Throughout the case, the toolmaker insisted he was innocent of the kidnapping and murder of Julie Dart. The teenager who vanished from the streets of Leeds.
He did however confess to the abduction of Stephanie Slatery, and the estate agent who he then held ransom for £175,000.
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The jury didn’t believe his word, and Sams was given four life sentences for his crimes. But only days later the lead detective on the case received word Sams wanted to speak to him.
Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Taylor met Sams in the dining hall at Full Sutton Prison in East Yorkshire, where the murderer confessed to bludgeoning and strangling 18-Year-old Julie.
Sams, now 80, claimed that Julie was working as a prostitute, and had taken her only as a ‘dummy run’ for the kidnap of the estate agent six months later.
According to the Daily Mail, Sams told Mr Taylor: “When I went out to kidnap Julie Dart, there was only one intention, and that was to kill her. There was no intention whatsoever to keep her alive.”
Det. Taylor had hidden a recording device in his briefcase, and unknowing to Sams had recorded the entire confession.
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That recording has been kept under lock and key for nearly 30 years, but this July Sams’s confession will be heard by the public for the first time.
A now retired Mr Taylor continued: “The cockiness he had shown in the past wasn’t there. He walked in – a criminal who had been Britain’s most wanted man… dragging his leg.”
The recording forms part of a new documentary about the case, Michael Sams: Kidnapper Killer, which will stream on Discovery+ from July 31.
Sams, who had lost his right leg to cancer while serving a previous jail sentence, explains he drove to the red-light district of Chapeltown, Leeds on July 9, 1991, where he found Julie.
When she got into the passenger seat of his car, and as she leant forward to remove her shoes he grabbed the back of her head and threw a ready-prepared noose around her neck.
He said: “She were bending down and obviously she couldn’t move and I was saying, ‘You can’t scream’. I mean, she did do little screams. I had the rope already round her neck and I pulled it and she couldn’t move.”
A post-mortem examination of Julie’s body revealed that Sams had strangled her, crushing her windpipe with his bare hands.
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He kept her body for a week in a green wheelie bin before transporting her decomposing remains to his chosen dumping ground. Her body was found in a sheet and ropes under an oak tree in Easton, Lincolnshire, ten days after her disappearance.
Six months later, Sams would adapt his methods for his next crime, abducting Stephanie Slater at knifepoint while posing as a house buyer in Birmingham and imprisoning her in a wheelie bin in the same workshop.
Sams avoided capture, making off with the £175,000 ransom but was later caught after his ex-wife saw an appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch.
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