Case 147

Julie Dart & Stephanie Slater

*** Content Warning: sexual assault ***

On July 10 1991, 18-year-old Julie Dart disappeared after a night out in Leeds. Two days later, her boyfriend Dominic Murray received a letter from Julie that read: “Help me, please. I’ve been kidnapped and I’m being held as personal security… Please go and tell my mum straight away.” The following week, a group of farmers working in a field alongside an abandoned railway line come across Julie’s decomposing body. 

What follows is a series of bizarre extortion attempts that lead police on a wild goose chase. Months later, when 25-year-old real estate agent Stephanie Slater goes missing, police realise they’re dealing with a serial offender. It’s a race against the clock as they desperately try to find Stephanie and save her from a similar fate to Julie.



Casefile Presents



Research & writing – Erin Munro

Creative direction – Milly Raso

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska



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Beyond Fear: My Will to Survive – Stephanie Slater with Pat Lancaster

Murder with Menaces: The Story of Michael Sams, Julie Dart and Stephanie Slater – Rod Chaytor



Crimewatch, September 1991

Crimewatch: A Murderer’s Game

The Kidnapping of Stephanie Slater



One to One interview with Stephanie Slater – BBC, September 10 2013.



Killer plays out game with police – The Guardian, December 27 1991

Letter prompts police to warn prostitutes of ‘new Ripper – The Guardian, August 23 1991

Artist’s impression of kidnapper brings rapid response – The Guardian, February 5 1992

Kidnapper writes to deny murder – The Guardian, February 7 1992

New sketch clue to kidnapper – The Guardian, February 8 1992

Kidnap victim returns home ‘glad it’s all over – The Guardian, February 10 1992

I shed tears for Stephanie says kidnapper – The Observer, February 16 1992

Voices clue to ‘warehouse’ where estate agent was held – The Guardian, February 21 1992

Man, 50, charged with kidnap of estate agent – The Guardian, February 24 1992

Remand in Dart murder case – The Guardian, February 28 1992

Woman ‘killed in bid for perfect crime – The Guardian, June 10 1993

Kidnapper’s diary tells of elaborate plans – The Guardian, June 11 1993

Builder’s chat ‘foiled kidnap’ – The Guardian, June 12 1993

Kidnapped estate agent considered suicide in ‘coffin’ cell – The Guardian, June 18 1993

Panic and fear of ransom courier – The Guardian, June 19 1993

Prostitute ‘beaten to death with hammer to escape sex abuse – The Guardian, June 23 1993

Kidnapper tells court his friend killed Julie Dart – The Guardian, July 2 1993

Sams refuses to name killer – The Guardian, July 3 1993

Rope used to truss prostitute’s body belonged to accused – The Guardian, July 6 1993

Police recall ‘nasty piece of work’ with the constant smile – The Herald, July 9 1993

The Michael Sams Trial: Train spotter’s obsession left chain of clues – Independent, July 9 1993

Murderer of Julie Dart gets four life sentences – The Guardian, July 9 1993

Sams admits killing teenager Julie Dart – The Guardian, July 13 1993

Killers tell all for fame or parole: Michael Sams’s post-trial confession was to show he was ‘not brutal’, but motives of others vary – Independent, July 14 1993

Sams tells of doomed Julie – The Guardian, August 18 1993

Too easy’ regime at jail where Sams attacked probation officer – The Guardian, October 25 1995

Give me back my daughter – The Guardian, November 13 1995

Sams receives further 8 years for cell attack – The Telegraph, February 13 1997

Sams guilty in hostage ‘protest’ – The Guardian, February 14 1997

Jail life better for pensioners – BBC News, April 18 2007

From the Archives: Sams played a deadly game with detectives – Birmingham Live, April 13 2011

From the Archives: What happened to Suzy Lamplugh? – Birmingham Live, April 27 2011

Stephanie Slater, estate agent kidnapped in 1992, dies aged 50 – The Guardian, September 1 2017

Kidnap victim Stephanie Slater dies following cancer battle – ITV News, September 1 2017 

She never escaped – The Sun, September 1 2017

VW Camper Van tribute at funeral of kidnap victim Stephanie Slater – County Press, September 15 2017

Savage woman-hater Michael Sams abducted estate agent Stephanie Slater and murdered Julie Dart but was caught when his first wife recognised his voice on Crimewatch – Mirror, March 13 2018

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