One-legged kidnap killer Michael Sams reveals twisted reason he murdered teen in chilling never-before-heard tapes | The Sun

FOR the first time, the chilling confessions of notorious murderer Michael Sams will be heard by the British public.

The one-legged fiend kidnapped two terrified women, Julie Dart and Stephanie Slater, in the early 1990s and evaded cops after picking up £175,000 in ransom cash before his ex-wife helped snare him.


Sams was given four life terms in 1993 for murdering 18-year-old Julie, from Leeds, and kidnapping estate agent Stephanie. Afterwards a conversation he had with police was secretly recorded.

Now the tapes, which reveal the twisted motivation behind Sams' crimes, will be broadcast in a Discovery+ documentary – Michael Sams: Kidnapper Killer – on July 30.

Three times married Sams from Keighley, West Yorkshire, now in his 80s and still behind bars, snatched Julie from the streets of Leeds’ Chapeltown red light district on July 9, 1991.

He then callously demanded £140,000 from Julie’s mum, and gave the police the run-around when they agreed to hand over the huge sum, hanging up the phone before the final drop-off point could be revealed.

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In truth, Julie was already dead by this point – Sams had never intended to let her go.

During his taped confession from Full Sutton Prison in East Yorkshire, he said: “When I went out to kidnap Julie Dart, there was only one intention, and that was to kill her. 

“There was no intention whatsoever to keep her alive.”

The heating engineer had driven to Chapeltown looking for a random victim in what he claimed was a practice run for another kidnap.

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Julie had the misfortune to be the first girl that he pulled up alongside and was willing to get in his car.

She told him it was “her first night” out working the streets and he took full advantage of her lack of experience.

As Julie leaned down to take off her shoes, he put a rope around her neck.

He told Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Taylor, who had placed a tape recorder in his briefcase before going to meet Sams: “She were bending down and obviously she couldn't move and I was saying, ‘You can't scream.’ 

“I mean, she did do little screams. I had the rope already round her neck and I pulled it and she couldn't move.”

Sams continued: “She was frightened of me. She was terrified. She's the first person in my life that's ever been frightened of me.”

Cold-blooded murder

He took the petrified teenager to his workshop in Newark, Nottinghamshire. A post-mortem revealed Sams strangled her, crushing her windpipe

Sams said: “She wanted a wash, so I let her have a wash. I said, ‘Right, I want to tie your hands behind your back.’ 

She were bending down and obviously she couldn't move and I was saying, ‘You can't scream’… I had the rope already round her neck and I pulled it and she couldn't move

“She was laid on the mattress and I had the hammer at the side of me. I didn't know how to hit someone to make them unconscious, that's all.”

The remains of Julie’s body, which had been bundled up a sheet, were discovered on a farm near Grantham in Lincolnshire 10 days after she’d gone missing.

Sams said: “I went out and dropped her off. I have no idea where I dropped it. It was just a coincidence it was by a railway line.”

Repeat offender


Six months later, on January 22, 1992 Sams struck again.

This time he kidnapped estate agent Stephanie during a viewing at an empty property in Great Barr, Birmingham.

Sams tied her up and drove her again to his workshop where he placed her in a wooden 'coffin' inside a wheelie bin.

This time he made a £175,000 ransom demand from her employer, Shipways Estate Agency in Great Barr.

Sams said: “I always intended it to be estate agents.”

She was laid on the mattress and I had the hammer at the side of me. I didn't know how to hit someone to make them unconscious

But during one call he forgot to disguise his real voice, meaning the police, who were recording it, now had a key piece of evidence.

Around one thousand police officers were ready to apprehend Sams when estate agent boss Kevin Watts headed out to drop off the ransom cash.

But Sams managed to outwit them by sending Watts down a deserted, rural single track road in the dark, where any officer following in a car would easily be spotted.

Sams had a twisted hatred for the police, born out of resentment for losing one of his legs to cancer while in jail for stealing a car in 1976.

Nailed by ex-wife


While she was raped during the horror ordeal, Sams decided to spare her life when Stephanie told him she was adopted.

Eight days after snatching her he dropped the blindfolded victim off near her home.

But that proved to be his downfall.

A passer-by who had seen the red Metro car Sams was driving provided a strong description of him – as did Stephanie, meaning an artist produced an uncannily strong likeness.

The combination of the car, the voice and the artist's drawing were enough to bring him to justice.

When BBC show Crimewatch revealed all three key details, Sams' first wife Susan Oake called in to say it was definitely him.

While he admitted to the kidnap at his trial, Sams denied Julie’s murder, but was found guilty by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court.

Confession

So, why did he decide to confess all to the police just days later?

In the tapes, Sams said he wanted Julie’s mum to know the truth.

He concluded: “I've been going over it and thinking it's only fair that she knows I did it. I mean, obviously, I did do it. What can I tell her? I do feel sorry for her, yes.”

Two years ago the parole board decided that Sams, who attacked a female probation officer with a metal spike while in prison in 2005, was too dangerous to set free.

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Tragically Stephanie died from cancer aged 50 in 2017 after devoting much of her life to helping kidnap victims.

Michael Sams: Kidnapper Killer is on Discovery+ on Saturday July 30.

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