Killing on a Journey

A serial killer can often take one of two roads when it comes to their kill area. Some remain in the one area, disposing of the bodies of their victims in the same kind of location in what feels like an attempt to taunt their authorities.

But then there’s the other type. The serial killer who travels around the country. Often, they are harder to detect as it involves them crossing local borders and the dots between different crimes are often not put together.

One such example is Robert Black.

Childhood Can Set the Tone

Robert Black was born in Falkirk, Scotland even though he was then sent to a foster parent elsewhere in Scotland at the age of 6 months old. His mother couldn’t cope with the stigma of the father being unknown, and she wanted to move to Australia without her son in order to escape from the shame.

It is known that he displayed what we now know as antisocial tendencies from a relatively early age. He was known to be aggressive, and he had few friends. He was also both bully and bullied at school mixed in with a tendency to skip school and commit acts of vandalism.

By the age of 5, he had already developed an interest in female private parts. Also, it is suggested he wished he had been born a female. By 9, both his foster parents had died with him being sent to another family in the same small town. However, his new family were forced to report him to the police after he sexually assaulted a young girl.

In his teenage years, Black was sent back to a home near Falkirk. There, he would either expose himself to girls or sexually assault them. Due to his actions, he was moved to an all-male placement where he was sexually abused by a member of staff.

It should be pointed out that Black had already started assaulting young girls before his abuse. To put blame on this act would be wrong.

His Early Convictions

Black was 15 when he gained his first conviction. Once again, it involved a young girl who he lured into a shelter before strangling her until she was unconscious. Amazingly, it was decided this was a one-off offence, and he was admonished.

However, this wouldn’t be the case.

Throughout the next few years, Black would be accused of molesting several young girls. This led to him being sent to prison, but after his release, he continued.

Upgrading to Murder

In 1976, Black took a job as a driver for a courier company covering the UK with occasional trips into Europe. This line of work as a driver would open the door for Black to spread his net of offending wider than before. This would be useful to him after he elevated his crimes from molesting to murder.

His Murders

Jennifer Cardy vanished in 1981, and she is the first murder attributed to Black. She was the first of four known victims, but it is strongly believed that there are significantly more.

His next confirmed victim was Susan Maxwell who disappeared in 1982. It is known that Black killed her shortly after abducting her from a town on the Scotland/England border. Her decomposed body was found several weeks later.

The third of four victims was Caroline Hogg who vanished in 1983 from Edinburgh. She was seen talking to a man, who was later confirmed as Black, for some time. After vanishing, her body was discovered 10 days later and hundreds of miles from home.

The final confirmed victim was Genette Tate, but Black died in prison before that case could be completed. He is also a strong suspect in a number of other cases with the final total unknown.

But what is clear about Black is that he was already pre-disposed to these kinds of acts as he did so from a very early age. Looking back, it seems obvious that his life would take this particular turn and become a tale of abduction and murder. If only we knew how many girls he killed and who they were to allow their families that peace of mind and knowledge.

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