Family of murdered schoolgirl suspected of being killed by South Yorkshire man win fight for new inquest

The family of a murdered teenage girl suspected of being killed by a South Yorkshire man have won their fight for a new inquest into her death.

By Claire Lewis
Tuesday, 16 April, 2019, 11:53
Elsie Frost

Elsie Frost, aged 14, was stabbed to death in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in 1965.

Peter Pickering

An inquest held the following year recorded a verdict that she died of multiple stab wounds, with a man named as Ian Bernard Spencer blamed for her murder.

But since then new evidence has emerged and it is now believed that she was killed by South Yorkshire man Peter Pickering, who was later convicted of murdering Barnsley teenager Shirley Boldy in 1972.

Pickering, who was known as the ‘Beast of Wombwell,’ died last year.

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Elsie’s relatives campaigned for a fresh inquest into her death and won their High Court bid this morning.

Detectives re-opened the murder case in 2016 and were preparing to charge Pickering but he died before charges could be brought.

He was also due to have been sentenced for the rape of an 18-year-old Sheffield woman after spending the last few weeks of his life on trial for the historic offence - committed three or four weeks before he killed Shirley.

Shirley was abducted, raped and stabbed to death by Pickering as she was walking to Wombwell High School and detectives 'strongly suspect' that he was responsible for killing Wakefield teenager Elsie.

He was arrested and interviewed over the death before he died and West Yorkshire Police said he was expected to have been charged.

During the last few weeks of his life, Pickering went on trial and was convicted of the rape of a Sheffield woman in the Stocksbridge area in 1972 - three or four weeks before he killed Shirley.

The woman, now in her 60s, was walking to work when Pickering stopped, asked for directions and then attacked her.

The offence came to light when detectives looking into Elsie's death examined records of Pickering's conversations with psychiatrists and found a storage garage he rented in Owlerton, Sheffield, containing possessions including handcuffs and exercise books filled with his rantings.