99 - Loose Threads: The murder of Deborah Robinson

Oct 17, 06:10 PM

In 1980, 19 year old Deborah Robinson took a bus from her home in Belfast down to Dublin for the day. She never returned. Her body was found in ditch in rural Co. Kildare, and launched a huge murder investigation. It looked like the case might go cold after a year went by with no breaks in the case. 

But some loose threads lead investigators to a new suspect.

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Theme Music:
Quinn’s Song: The Dance Begins Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Additional Music:   Allemande (Sting) by Wahneta Meixsell. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Sources:

“Hunt for killer of Belfast girl” in The Belfast Telegraph(10 September 1980) p. 1, 4.
“Check on bus passengers in murder hunt” in The Irish Times(11 September 1980) p. 1
“Deborah 'met someone in Dundalk'” in The Belfast Telegraph(11 September 1980) p. 1, 4.
Michael MacConnell, “Belfast girl may have known killer” in The Irish Times (12 September 1980) p. 1
“Murder hunt: student held” in The Belfast Telegraph(12 September 1980) p. 1
“Man quizzed in murder hunt” in The Newcastle Evening Chronicle (13 September 1980) p. 1
“Deborah murder: man is still held” in The Belfast Telegraph(13 September 1980) p. 1.
Dymphna Curley, “RUC interview couple who spoke to Deborah” in The Belfast Telegraph (15 September 1980) p. 1.
Michael Devine, “Deborah: police review clues” in The Belfast Telegraph (16 September 1980) p. 4.
“Gardai step up murder inquiries” in The Irish Times(16 September 1980) p. 1.
“Deborah's mother talks to Swords man” in The Belfast Telegraph(17 September 1980) p. 11.
“Gardai renew murder appeal” in The Belfast Telegraph(25 September 1980) p. 1.
“Gardai in murder hunt search canal” in The Belfast Telegraph(26 September 1980) p. 13.
Michael Devine, “Family of missing Eire girl fear 'Deborah' fate” in The Belfast Telegraph (2 October 1980) p. 1.
“Garda seek sex killer after girl found strangled” in The Belfast Telegraph (7 November 1980) p. 5.
“Fibres clue in hunt for Belfast girl's killer” in The Belfast Telegraph(12 December 1980) p. 3.
“Gardai get new clues on murder” in The Irish Times(12 December 1980) p. 1.
“Murder inquiry 'opened up again'” in The Irish Times(19 December 1980) p. 6.
“Dead girl's parents hit out at authorities” in The Belfast Telegraph(23 July 1981) p. 4.
Michael Devine, “One year on and the trail to Deborah's killer has gone cold” in The Belfast Telegraph(9 September 1981) p. 4
Michael Devine, “Belfast man in court on Deborah murder charge” in The Belfast Telegraph(3 December 1981) p. 1.
“Man in day trip death case remanded” in The Belfast Telegraph(10 December 1981) p. 12.
Michael Devine, “Murder probe 'one of gardai's biggest'” in The Belfast Telegraph(4 January 1982) p. 4.
“Suicide threat of murder accused” in The Belfast Telegraph(16 January 1982) p. 5.
“Deborah charge: bail not sought” in The Belfast Telegraph(30 January 1982) p. 3.
“Court told how date trip girl was found dead in Kildare ditch” in The Belfast Telegraph(22 March 1982) p. 1, 4.
“Man pleads not guilty to Belfast girl's murder” in The Irish Times(23 March 1982) p. 11.
“Deborah died from strangulation – doctor” in The Belfast Telegraph(24 March 1982) p. 4.
“Murdered girl's death due to strangulation, pathologist tells court” in The Irish Times(24 March 1982) p. 13.
“Court told murdered girl died facing her attacker” in The Irish Times(25 March 1982) p. 15.
“Man admitted Deborah killing, court told” in The Belfast Telegraph(26 March 1982) p. 1, 4.
“Murder trial told of visit to priest” in The Irish Times(27 March 1982) p. 8.
“Deborah: verdict must be murder, court told” in The Belfast Telegraph(29 March 1982) p. 1, 5.
“Deborah's parents plan Ripper-style case against killer” in The Belfast Telegraph(30 March 1982) p. 17
“The long journey which ended in violent death” in The Belfast Telegraph(30 March 1982) p. 17.
“Man gets life for murder of girl” in The Irish Times(30 March 1982) p. 1.
“Robinson a teenager happy with her life” in The Irish Times(30 March 1982) p. 7.
Chris Kelly, “Deborah trial leads to move in child case” in The Belfast Telegraph(31 March 1982) p. 1.
“English girl's death review” in The Irish Times(31 March 1982) p. 6.
“Killer fails in bid for freedom” in The Evening Herald(20 September 1996) p. 6.
Ray Managh and Annemaria McEneaney, “Murderer of blind date girl loses plea after 15 years' jail” in The Irish Independent(21 September 1996) p. 9.
Catherine Halloran, “Kerry head of Murder Squad in RTE documentary” in The Kerryman(5 February 1999) p. 3.
Pol O Conghaile, “Silent Witness” in The Irish Independent(20 May 2000) p.p. 44-48.
“Killer fails to get his life term reduced” in The Irish Times(21 September 1996) p. 4.
Roisin Ingle, “Plastic bags and tweezers” in The Irish Times(2 March 1999) p. 13.
“Clear your conscience” in The Newcastle Journal(14 September 1974) p. 3.
“'Murder' shout at girl inquest” in The Newcastle Journal(18 January 1975) p. 3.
Martin Breen, “Sex beast back on Belfast streets” in Sunday Life https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/sex-beast-back-on-belfast-streets-28482096.html(7 June 2009)
“Killer rapist now married to Presbyterian deaconess wife” in The Belfast Telegraph https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/killer-rapist-now-married-to-presbyterian-deaconess-wife-28780830.html(14 August 2012)
Rapist and murderer accused of harrassing long los daughter” in The Impartial Reporter https://www.impartialreporter.com/news/13896703.rapist-and-murderer-accused-of-harrassing-long-lost-daughter/(23 October 2015)
Damon Wilkinson, “The man who killed my 9 year old sister walked free. He went on to rape and murder a teenage girl” in  The Manchester Evening News https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/the-man-who-killed-nine-14233328(4 February 2018)