On Wimbledon Common in July 1992, Rachel Nickell was sexually attacked and killed while walking with her two-year-old son. Alex Hanscombe, the victim’s son, witnessed the savage attack and killing, which went unsolved for almost a decade because of the police’s “deceptive behaviour of the grossest sort.” During the inquiry, a man called Colin Stagg was unjustly prosecuted after a very contentious undercover operation. In 2008, serial murderer Robert Napper was finally convicted because to updated forensic methods and more evidence. Cold Case Forensics: The Murder of Rachel Nickell, a new programme on ITV, revisits the case that has gripped the nation for so long.
Where is Rachel Nickell Son?
After Nickell passed away, Alex and his son André packed up and left London, first heading south to France and then settling in rural Spain. They moved in together in 2021, sharing an apartment in Barcelona. Andre told The Guardian, “Everyone’s watching Alex, thinking he’ll never recover; you see the headlines, you hear the murmurs.” A child could never survive in an environment like that, I thought. It was always a given that Rachel and I would leave the nation; doing so would have been a direct violation of her ideals.
Andre said, “I still see a lot of Rachel in our son.” She has a wicked sense of humour, is incredibly perceptive, and moves with grace and ease. Rachel was a dancer, therefore she was tall and graceful. Alex exudes the same kind of refined grace in his demeanour.
Alex claims that they had many fights when he was younger, mostly due to “all the demands on my father, having to make so many decisions, being alone,” but that they grew close once he moved to London to pursue music. When Napper was apprehended for his misdeeds, the patriarch and his offspring took a trip across the world to celebrate. “By that time, the dynamic had shifted entirely; we were both adults with no ties to one another,” André explained. We sold or gave away whatever we couldn’t sell and hit the road for four years, seeing places like India, Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Alex began penning his novel Letting Go: A True Story of Murder, Loss, and Survival while on this journey; he currently resides in Barcelona, where he has worked as a yoga instructor. He is fluent in four tongues.
In 2021, he told Lorraine, “You know what remains with me the most, you know the sensation that we’ve all had in our life of being so close to someone and loving them so deeply and if you’ve ever gone through that to lose that, you know that emotion.”
Alex told The Mirror that he has forgiven the man responsible for his mother’s murder, but he and his father still hold the police responsible for the many mistakes that allowed Napper, who was already in prison when he was found guilty for Nickell’s murder, to avoid conviction for the murders and sexual assaults he committed before.
There was a “series of wrong judgements and errors” made by the investigative team in this case, according to a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in 2010, however no officers were disciplined since a crucial senior detective had died and the others had retired.
Can the police prevent all criminals from committing crimes and causing harm to innocent bystanders? No. In an interview with the Daily Mail, he clarified that he was referring to incidents when complaints had been filed, evidence had been gathered, and the police as an institution could have taken disciplinary action. That is still not fixed. There has been zero accountability on the part of law enforcement.
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