Bonnie Barrett’s murderer thought because she was a vulnerable sex worker struggling with drug addiction she was easy prey – and wouldn’t be missed. He was handed two thirty year sentences for the murders of Bonnie, whose bereaved family still live on the Aylesbury Estate, and his other victim, Xiao-Mei Guo – also a young mother.
But as they were to be served concurrently, even though he was middle aged when put behind bars in 2008, there is a chance, however, slim, that he could walk free one day – possibly earlier on parole.
Bonnie’s killer was obsessed with becoming notorious and was inspired by serial killers of the past like Jack the Ripper.
He has never admitted guilt, nor revealed what he did with their bodies, in a twisted attempt to hold power over his victims and their families.
Keeping the location of their victims’ bodies secret strips away their dignity and stops them from resting in peace.
The new law that legally enshrines the right to refuse parole to murderers who are still holding the whereabouts of their victims’ remains is a small measure of comfort to the families who have dedicated their lives to campaigning for justice.
The new legislation may be known as ‘Helen’s Law’, but really it belongs to every victim and every bereaved family. It is thanks to families like Jackie’s – and their unwavering bravery in fighting for justice in the face of such unspeakable horror.
This law may mean Bonnie’s killer stays behind bars until the day he dies.
He wanted fame for his truly wicked crimes but, as he will now know – the only name loved, and truly remembered in our borough is that of Bonnie Barrett, a mother, daughter, sister, auntie and friend.
Nearly twelve years after she disappeared, Bonnie stays with us.