Wilbert Anthony Dyce got away with the murders of a mother and her two children for nearly three decades.

He was 26 when he raped and stabbed Norma Richards, 27, to death after following her home from a nightclub on July 17, 1982.

He then stabbed her nine year-old daughter Samantha to death and drowned seven year-old Syretta in the bath at their flat at 54 Kingsgate Estate, Dalston, east London.

Dyce, whose mother lived just a few hundred yards away, left the scene after daubing the National Front NF symbol on the walls in an attempt to make it look like a racist murder.

The bodies of all three were found two days later on July 19 by their grandmother Myra and step-sister Rhodene. The murder weapon may have been a 19th century bayonet which was kept in the flat as a bayonet.

Nobody suspected Dyce’s involvement, his name was never given to police and he was never interviewed.

It was only during a review in 2009 – sparked by a query from a journalist researching a book about footballer Laurie Cunningham, the brother of Norma’s partner – that his DNA was matched to semen samples found at the scene.

Confronted with the damning evidence, he claimed that he had sex with Norma Richards in the toilets of a nearby club hours before her death.

But he was convicted of all three murders on December 17, 2010, after a trial at the Old Bailey. The court heard he had also sexually attacked two other women in their own homes and stabbed his ex-wife

At the age of 54 Dyce was jailed for life with no chance of parole.

Detective Chief Inspector Steven Lawrence, of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “This was a truly appalling crime, with the lives of a young woman and her two children, aged just nine and seven, tragically taken.

“It has been the prosecution case that Norma Richards was murdered as part of a sexual attack; her attacker then killed her in her own home and went on to murder the children in cold blood to prevent his identification.

“Wilbert Dyce is an evil, violent man who preys on the weak and vulnerable. He has never accepted responsibility for these terrible crimes nor at any stage shown remorse. He lied and denigrated the victim’s reputation by giving evidence that he and Norma had sex in the toilets of a club prior to the murder.

“I would like to pay tribute to those members of the local community who came forward to give information about this case. I would also like to thank those who have shown such courage in giving evidence at the trial. It is a tribute to all concerned that members of the community in east London now have the confidence in police to come forward and assist.

“This case highlights the determination of the Met Police to solve every murder and bring those responsible to justice. A case is never closed.”

The police also issued a statement from surviving daughter Rhodene, 32. It read: “When I was four, I found my mum and my sisters dead in our flat we lived in. I was really scared; my mum was just lying there covered in blood. I ran upstairs and my sisters were in the bath. They were dead too.

“After the funeral, I went to live with my dad’s parents. I had a good upbringing, I enjoyed school, had a lot of friends, but at the back of my mind my mum and sisters were dead. I couldn’t understand who would want to hurt them.

“It was weird going from being the youngest to the eldest, not being able to talk to my sisters about boys, make-up and secrets. I can remember taking their things and running off with them, having fun and laughing with them. What could it have been like growing up with them? I’ll never know, I never got the chance.

“As I got older it got harder. I knew they weren’t coming back. Every year on my birthday I would cry, it would be tears of happiness as I remembered them all but also of great sadness. As for my other family members, no-one would talk about my mum. I guess it was too much for them, they must have been too horrified to even say her name. I don’t think it was deliberate, just too painful to talk about.

“I fell pregnant at 18. I wanted my mum so bad, to hear her say she was there for me, and to hold her granddaughter for the first time. I told myself I can be a good mother, be the mother my mum would have been.

“I will never have my mum back to hug or see her smile, I will never be able to share a laugh or evening out with my sisters, but I will always have them in my heart and that will never change.”

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