Babes in the Wood killer Russell Bishop has died at the age of 55, the Ministry of Justice has said.
The murderer died in hospital from cancer after being rushed there from HMP Frankland in County Durham.
He was found guilty of murdering two nine-year-old girls in a Brighton park in 1986.
He was jailed after being tried for the second time in 2018 for the deaths of Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway using the latest DNA techniques on a sample from the crime scene which yielded a “one-in-a-billion match”.
A Prison Service spokesperson said: “HMP Frankland prisoner Russell Bishop died in hospital on 20 January. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”
Bishop was 20 years old when he sexually assaulted and strangled the two girls in a den in Wild Park, Brighton.
A discarded sweatshirt on his route home linked him to the crime by DNA while fibre, paint and ivy hairs placed it at the murder scene.
Tests revealed a “one-in-a-billion” DNA match to Bishop from a sample taken from Karen’s left forearm.
Their mothers described Bishop as an “evil monster” after 32 years of fighting for justice.
Although Bishop, a former roofer, was initially cleared of the “Babes in the Wood” murders, within three years he was sentenced to life for the kidnap, sexual assault and attempted murder of a seven-year-old girl at Devil’s Dyke on the South Downs.
Giving evidence earlier in the trial, Bishop said he feared he would be blamed when he joined the search to find the girls on 10 October 1986.
He told jurors: “There were a few things that led to that kind of thinking.
“A couple of years before this I was wrongfully arrested for the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton.”
While serving life for attempted murder, he was ordered to face a fresh trial under the double jeopardy law, following the DNA breakthrough.