Friday, 3 Feb 2023

Major breakthrough in hunt for Vishal Mehotra's killers revealed in new Channel 4 doc after boy, 8, brutally murdered | The Sun

A MAJOR breakthrough in the hunt for the killers of an eight-year-old boy will be revealed in a new Channel 4 documentary tonight.

Criminologist Dr David Wilson stars alongside Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox in true crime docuseries In the Footsteps of Killers.



The second episode of the bombshell show focuses on the case of eight-year-old Vishal Mehotra.

Vishal was abducted while walking alone in London on July 29, 1981 – the day of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding.

A year after his death, two pigeon shooters stumbled across a human skull in Rogate, Sussex and later found a rib cage in a deep bog nearby.

The remains were later identified as Vishal.

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Around the same time, cops were investigating serial killer Sidney Cooke and his horrifying paedo ring known as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ which traded in the abuse of young boys.

Cops probed the link between Cooke and Vishal a total of three times, but he was never charged in connection with the boy's death.

Cooke – dubbed "Britain's most notorious paedophile" – was later convicted of manslaughter for his involvement in the horrifying sex-fuelled killing of schoolboy Jason Swift in 1989.

Episode two of In the Footsteps of Killers – set to air on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight – probes the link between Cooke and Vishal.

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And former prison governor David claims the episode will prove that Cooke WAS responsible for the boy's murder – as he urges cops to re-open the case.

Now a leading criminology professor, David told The Sun: "Sidney cook at this time, was living with and in a relationship with a man called Dennis Moran.

"Dennis Moran has subsequently died. Dennis kept a diary in effectively just a notebook."

David claims that in this notebook, Moran revealed he and Cooke went to Goodwood races on the day of Vishal's disappearance.

At the time, there was a fair attached to the races – and Cooke was then working as a fairground worker.

The route Cooke would have taken would have put him at East Putney tube station – where Vishal was walking alone the day he was snatched.

The family had been out to watch the Royal Wedding procession through the streets of London.

After they returned to East Putney, Vishal told his family he was tired and wanted to return to his dad – who had stayed at home.

Vishal walked towards their home alone, and he was never seen again.

His body was later found in the Sussex countryside –  13 miles away from Goodwood.

David added: "We know that Sidney Cooke is a type of offender who is a predatory paedophile who abducts.

"He does not get access to children otherwise.

"We know that if he was going down to Goodwood races, all the indications suggest he was he would have taken the route that took him past exactly where the road that Vishal Mehotra would be walking by himself on his way home after he leaves the nanny and his sister and says he's going home to be with his father."


Vishal's body was found close to where Goodwood fair workers camp – meaning Cooke would have a direct route from the point of abduction through to the burial site.

David added: "It's always been known at this time that Cook had access to a van and he cannot account for his movements on that day.

"So connect all those dots up – the type of offender we're dealing with a predatory pedophiles who abduct.

"The fact that we can place him geographically in the area and he has access to a van that was going down to Goodwood races, because Goodwood races had a fair and Vishal's body was eventually discovered close to where fairground workers would camp for the week of the fair whilst the races were going on.

"Add all those things up. And that is for me. Not just circumstantial. That is pretty convincing."

Cooke was found guilty of manslaughter over the horrifying sex-fuelled killing of schoolboy Jason Swift in 1989.

The 14-year-old vanished from his east London home and it was later revealed gang members had paid £5 to gang rape the teen.

His naked body was then found buried on a farm in Essex in November 1985.

Cooke was sentenced to 19 years but was released in 1998 – sparking national outcry.

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However, just one year later he was rearrested for abusing two boys on 10 occasions in the 1970s and thrown back in jail – where he has remained ever since.

Watch In the Footsteps of Killers on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight.

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