When Sussex Police failed to convict Russell Bishop at this first trial for the Babes in the Wood murders, it brought anguish for the families of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows.
It wasn't for another thirty years that he was found guilty.
Now, a new book by a former senior detective has revealed how the force painstakingly built their case against Bishop to ensure he was finally brought to justice.
- Watch our reporter Malcolm Shaw speak to Graham Bartlett at the scene of the girls' murders in Brighton's West Park:
On the 10th December 2018, a paedophile was sentenced after being convicted of the Babes in the Woods murders involving two young girls - 32 years after their deaths.
Russell Bishop was found guilty of the killings of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway, both aged nine, following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Bishop was just 20 when he sexually assaulted and strangled the youngsters in a woodland den in Brighton in 1986.
He was originally acquitted of their murders in 1987, almost 31 years ago.
But the 52-year-old was ordered to face a fresh trial under the double jeopardy law when new DNA evidence came to light, and he was convicted.
The girls' families gasped and wept in court as the jury delivered its verdict following just one hour and 39 minutes of deliberation.
Senior detective Graham Bartlett talks about how he Bishop wanted to take part in the search of the two girls back in 1986:
He continues to explain how new forensic science helped them catch their killer:
Click here to watch our Special Programme from December 2018, looking into the timeline of events that led to the verdict, how more advanced forensic science helped to match Bishop's DNA to key evidence, and looking into the mind of a killer.