Levi Bellfield finally admits rape and murder of Milly Dowler
Serial killer was convicted in 2011 of the schoolgirl's murder but has never before admitted responsibility
Levi Bellfield, the serial killer convicted in 2011 of the murder of schoolgirl Milly Dowler, has finally confessed to the crime. Surrey Police said the 47-year-old former bouncer had "admitted responsibility for the abduction, rape and murder".
The confession, some 14 years after Milly's death, came as police investigated claims Bellfield had an accomplice in the teenager's killing.
A 40-year-old man was arrested for rape and assisting an offender – though not murder – but has since been released without charge, with police saying there was no evidence to support the allegations.
Bellfield was re-interviewed and admitted killing the 13-year-old, who disappeared in 2002, on the way home from school in Surrey. Her body was found six months later in Hampshire woodland.
The investigation into her death was controversial: police originally considered her father as a suspect and admitted later that opportunities to catch Bellfield could have been missed because of this, reports The Guardian.
The case attracted more attention when it was involved in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal when it was revealed that journalists had hired a private detective to break into the murdered teenager's voicemail.
Bellfield was already serving life for killing Amelie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, and for the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, then 18, when he was tried for Milly's murder.
The judge was critical of his refusal to co-operate or admit guilt, calling him a "cruel and pitiless killer" who had "not had the courage" to come to court to be sentenced.
Bellfield, who has converted to Islam while in prison and changed his name to Yusuf Rahim, is said to be "singing like a canary" about a series of other crimes he may have committed, says The Times. The newspaper says he will be investigated over the death of his friend Patsy Morris, 14, who was strangled when Bellfield was 12.