HE has already served 35 years behind bars for the horrific slaughter of five members of his own family, but Jeremy Bamber has always protested his innocence .
Now Bamber's childhood friend has sensationally claimed the convicted killer may have hired a hitman to do his dirty work and shoot his parents, Nevill and June, both 61, sister Sheila Caffell, 24 and her six-year-old twins Daniel and Nicholas.
But pal Brett Collins, who initially believed Bamber to be innocent and later changed his mind, still believes he was incapable of pulling the trigger himself.
Speaking on Sky Crime's new documentary The Bambers: Murder At The Farm, which airs tonight, he says: "After a long period of not feeling sure, I think he did it. But I don’t feel that he could have pulled the trigger on all those people.
"I feel that he would have paid someone to do it, hiring mercenaries to do jobs, that type of job, and not be involved at all."
He says Jeremy, who stood to inherit a fortune of £435,000 – around £1.3million today – would have had no trouble finding a hitman in nearby Colchester.
"In Colchester, there’s a big contingency of army people retired and booted out of the army and people that go and do special jobs and for cash business," he says.
"He used to get marijuana or cocaine off some of them. They all looked quite alike, quite a lot of tattoos and mean-looking… I feel that he would have paid an ex-army mercenary to do it as a business deal, because that’s the kind of guy he is. If he’s got the cash, he’d pay the money."
The killings were initially blamed on model Sheila, who was suspected of shooting her 61-year-old parents and her sleeping children before shooting herself.
Most read in News
But Malcolm Fletcher, the prosecution’s own firearms expert, appears to support Brett’s theory, telling the documentary whoever shot the gun had “experience and coolness”.
"On the night, there were 25 shots fired altogether," he says.
"In terms of being able to get 25 hits out of 25, it’s quite difficult.
I feel that he would have paid someone to do it, hiring mercenaries… and not be involved at all
“In Daniel’s case, there were five shots into the back of the head, left side, in a very neat line, fairly close together, as though they’d been fired one after the other, fairly coolly and calmly.
"I suppose it would suggest there was a certain amount of experience and coolness to have performed like that."
Bodies found in remote farmhouse
In the early hours of August 6, 1985, Bamber called police and told them he had received a panic-stricken call from dad Nevill, who told him Sheila "had gone berserk" with the guns.
The aspiring model suffered from schizophrenia and had spent time in a mental health institution before the incident.
Bamber – who had been adopted by the family as a baby – met officers at the home, saying his sister was a “nutter” who knew how to use guns.
Police found the body of Nevill, in his pyjamas, next to an upturned chair in the kitchen. He’d been shot eight times in the head and face.
June was lying dead, in her nightdress, on her bedroom floor and Sheila was beside her, with two shots fired from under her chin and the rifle beside her.
In another bedroom the twins were found dead, both with close proximity gun shot wounds to the head.
Plotted murder for 18 months
Former friend Brett says Bamber was obsessed with money and was a "flash Joe" who lived beyond his means.
"He did talk about getting rid of the car his parents got him. It was a brand new car but he hated it, he wanted a Porsche," he says.
"Certain people that liked that kind of thing would magnetise to him but if they saw the other side of him, oh my God. He had this streak of destruction in him where he could just ruin his whole name, persona, everything and people would say 'he's a maniac. Get rid of him.'"
Initially believing the murder-suicide theory, police missed vital evidence including a blood-spattered gun silencer, later found by cousin David Boutflour in a cupboard under the stairs.
Although DNA evidence was not available at the time, the splatters were found to be blood group A, matching Sheila but none of the other victims.
But the find – which suggested the silencer was placed in the cupboard after the murders – meant suspicion began to fall on Bamber.
Questions were also raised by his odd behaviour at the family funeral, where he seemed inconsolable while news cameras were rolling but cracked jokes with mourners afterwards.
Colin Caffell, Sheila's ex-husband and father of the murdered twins, said: "Jeremy started cracking jokes and laughing… [about how] he couldn't wait to get back to the house with Julie [Mugford, his then girlfriend] and have some fun.”
He also flew to Amsterdam with pals after the funeral, where he took large quantities of drugs, and quickly began to sell off the family’s possessions, including his dad’s car.
Bamber even approached The Sun, offering topless pictures of his dead sister for £20,000 – which were refused.
A month later, after splitting with Bamber, Julie went to police and revealed he had been plotting to kill his family for 18 months, eager to get his hands on his inheritance.
Julie told the police he’d rung her on the night of the murders to say “it’s tonight or never” and that he called back at 3am and told her: "Something is wrong at the farm. I haven't had any sleep all night."
Innocence claim ‘fantasy’ and ‘nonsense’
Bamber was found guilty of the five killings and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison.
The Judge, Justice Drake, described him as "evil, almost beyond belief".
Bamber has always insisted he is innocent and, in 2001, the appeal court examined new evidence, using advanced DNA technology to test the blood in the silencer, and allegations that Essex police had tampered with and destroyed evidence to frame him.
Although Sheila's DNA was not found on the silencer, the appeal judges heard that Nevill Bamber, a powerful man of 6ft 4in, had a broken jaw and numerous abrasions when he died, suggesting a violent struggle.
Sheila had no injuries other than two gunshot wounds to the throat, suggesting she could not have attacked her father.
The court upheld the conviction, with judges saying they were even more convinced that the original verdict was correct.
But Bamber's many supporters – including former policeman Mark Williams-Thomas and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell – tell the documentary they believe his conviction could be the among the UK's "biggest miscarriages of justice".
"There is no direct evidence that places Jeremy at the house committing these crimes," says Mark.
"In order for Jeremy to have killed Sheila Caffell and all the rest, he would have to have got her to lie on the floor, put the rifle on her chest, under her chin, and shoot her twice. Mad, absolutely mad.
"In 2001, the silencer was examined for DNA and they found no DNA trace of Sheila Caffell.
“So there's no evidence to support that silencer was ever on the gun."
But senior investigating officer Mike Ainsley, who led the murder enquiry, says allegations of police corruption, made by Bamber and his supporters, are "fantasy” and “spurious nonsense”.
"I was interviewed at Hendon for two or three days and I submitted responses to every one of the allegations, which were all lies," he says.
And he dismissed any possibility of another suspect being involved in the killings.
"His supporters come up with the most fantasised nonsense and rubbish that I’ve ever heard in my life, but even they’re not saying that a third party was involved,” he said.
"His side are saying it was Sheila. It wasn’t Sheila. We proved it wasn’t Sheila. It was Jeremy Bamber."
The Bambers: Murder At The Farm is on Sky Crime tonight at 10pm and also streaming on Now TV .
- Haunted face of a killer: Moment police confront Jeremy Bamber on his doorstep over White House Farm mass murder of his family is recreated in controversial ITV drama
- Inside the Kennedy "Curse": Why This Family Has Been Touched by So Much Tragedy
- Soap killers who got away with murder from Max Branning to Tracy Barlow
- Tech Platforms Obliterated ISIS Online. They Could Use The Same Tools On White Nationalism.
- Drugs, murder and redemption: the gangs of Caracas
- Baby-faced jihadi, 17, who hired van driven into Barcelona crowds WAS among five terrorists shot dead by the beach say police as manhunt continues for remaining ISIS cell member
- Suicide or murder in the city of spies? DAVID JONES’S gripping dispatch from Istanbul raises tantalising new questions about the death of ex-army humanitarian James Le Mesurier
- Hero policewoman kills FOUR jihadists wearing fake suicide vests made from Coke cans
- HBO Max Programming: The TV & Film Titles That Will Stream On WarnerMedia’s Service
- 'How any woman does it is beyond comprehension': Giggling Harry reveals his delight at birth of 'amazing' 7lb 3oz son as he praises 'incredible' Meghan and says they're STILL thinking about a name
- Julio Torres, Rising Weirdo
- Shedunnit – how Agatha Christie became cinema hot property
- The Americans who declared war on their country
- Stately icon holds flood of memories
- Halloween 2017: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How
Jeremy Bamber plotted sick White House Farm murders but ‘hired a hitman to pull the trigger on own family’, pal claims have 1760 words, post on www.thesun.co.uk at October 15, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.