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Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman: What happened to the girls in Soham – where is the killer Ian Huntley now?

Ian Huntley was convicted of the December 2003 murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman

Ian Huntley is one of Britain’s most notorious killers – he killed 10-year-old schoolgirls and his closest friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in August 2002. His financier, Maxine Carr, knew both children because they attended the school where she was living. It worked, and it gave Huntley a false argument.

Despite their best efforts to avoid justice, both Huntley and Carr are brought to trial and sentenced for their crimes. A two-part documentary about double child killer Ian Huntley aired on Channel 5 earlier this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman of Soham.

The deaths of the two girls shocked the nation and changed the course of British police. This month, Maxine, a Channel 5 drama, will explore Carr’s role in trying to derail a police investigation and help her boyfriend escape justice.

What happened to Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman?

On August 4, 2002, 10-year-old school friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were attending a barbecue at Jessica’s family home in Soham, Cambridgeshire. The two girls left home to buy sweets from a vending machine at a local gym, and upon their return, Ian Huntley, a local resident and principal, lured the couple to his house.

Huntley killed the children – most likely by suffocation – before dumping their bodies into a watering hole near RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. Holly and Jessica’s bodies were discovered two weeks later, on August 17, 2002. Walkers found the remains next to a dirt track near Thetfordorest, about 40 miles from Soham. They were burned and thrown next to each other.

Who is the killer Ian Huntley and where is he now?

Ian Huntley is now 48 years old. (Photo: PA)

Ian Huntley was working at the local high school, Soham Village College, at the time of Holly and Jessica’s disappearance. He had been investigated for rape and underage sex with girls before moving to Cambridgeshire, but there was not enough evidence to convict him.

He was engaged to Maxine Carr, a teaching assistant at Holly and Jessica’s school, who knew and looked after both children. Ian Huntley was convicted of killing the two girls in December 2003 and sentenced to life in prison, which means he will spend at least 40 years in prison.

In November 2019, Huntley was placed in solitary confinement after he attacked a prison officer. He was sworn by a prison officer and brought before the staff for a hearing, which ended with Huntley kicking another guard and placing him in solitary confinement.

What does the documentary focus on?

Soham: The Murder of Holly & Jessica looks at a crime that shocked the entire country and the events that unfolded over 14 days in August 2002 in the town of Cambridgeshire. The show explores the circumstances of the disappearance, the desperate search for the two friends, and how the true horror of the crime was revealed. The two-part documentary aired on Channel 4 in March of this year and is available to watch on My5 now.

What time is Maxine on TV?

The first episode of Maxine will air on Channel 5 on Monday, October 10 at 9pm – there are three hour-long episodes in the series and they will be released at the same time at night. Episodes will also be available to watch on My5 shortly after they first aired.

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