Murdered Sheila Caffell’s widower reveals he welcomed killer Jeremy Bamber into his home and gave him ‘brotherly love’ – unaware that he had slaughtered his entire family
- Six-year-old twins Nicholas and Daniel were murdered in rural Essex in 1985
- Their uncle Jeremy Bamber, 24, also slaughtered their mother and grandmother
- Bamber insists he is innocent but has lost three appeals against his conviction
- Colin Caffell told how he treated Bamber with ‘brotherly love’ before the arrest
Sheila Caffell’s widow has revealed he welcomed murderer Jeremy Bamber into his home and gave him ‘brotherly love’ unaware that he had slaughtered his entire family.
Colin Caffell, whose six-year-old twin boys and ex-wife Sheila were murdered at the hands of Bamber, spoke of his heartbreak when police officers knocked on his door in 1985 to tell him that his wife and children were dead.
Vulnerable ex model Sheila was initially implicated in the heinous crime – dubbed the White House Farm murders – before Bamber’s web of lies eventually unravelled and he was jailed for life.
Bambs (real name Sheila Bamber) who became Mrs Sheila Caffel, was found shot dead by police after they were called to her farmhouse along with her parents Neville and June Bamber and her twin sons
Colin Caffell, one of the victims of the Essex farmhouse massacre, arriving at Crown Court in Chelmsford to give evidence in the trial of Jeremy Bamber in 1985
‘It was a terrible knock at the door, we had been planning a holiday and then I opened the door to two policemen who broke the news.
‘I went through all the stages of grieving pretending it didn’t happen and denial,’ Mr Caffell told This Morning.
In the wake of the killing, Colin spoke about welcoming the killer into him home believing him to be a victim of the slaughter too.
‘I welcomed Jeremy into my flat and gave him all the brotherly love as a victim. But he was behaving normally – running up the stairs with wet hair copying a famous photo in the mirror.
Grieving: Bamber and his girlfriend Julia Mugford at his family’s funeral
Pictured is an August 1985 family photo showing the twins with their mother, Sheila Caffell
‘Once the funeral happened he was in the car and started larking around with Julie Mugford [his then girlfriend] about what he wanted to with her later in the afternoon – then the next thing I knew he’d be arrested for the first time.’
The mass murder sent shockwaves through the country, not least because Bamber tried to frame his dead sister Sheila, a fragile former model known as Bambi, for the crime.
So chillingly effective were the lies Bamber told that not only did he convince the police but even fooled Colin into believing his former wife had killed their twin sons in cold blood before beating and shooting her adoptive parents and taking her own life.
When the truth finally emerged, Bamber was jailed for life. But justice has not brought Colin peace.
Colin Caffell with his twin sons Nicholas and Daniel who were murdered along with their mother Shelia Caffell and her parents at White House Farm by her adoptive brother Jeremy Bamber in 1985
Defending his sister, who suffered from mental health issues and targeted in the media, he said: People couldn’t wait to say things bout her on TV, she was mentally ill (sheila) but she was heavily medicated.
‘But because the story had all the elements of a glossy soap opera people in the village who didn’t know her couldn’t wait to get in front of cameras or papers.
‘I was reading it all saying that is not the woman I know. She went through hell getting those twins she went through three miscarriages it became as obsession to have those twins so I was in shock, I didn’t believe it was that woman.’
Bamber’s relentless campaign of lies is one reason that even now, many decades on, Colin, 66, admits he has struggled to rid himself of his rage at his loss coupled with the guilt that he believed Bamber’s lies.
‘I was set up to support Jeremy’s story. I feel disgusted now. That’s been the hardest thing to deal with – the sense of betrayal,’ he told the Mail on Sunday. ‘And the rage that came up inside me because of it which certainly didn’t fit my own self-image.’
Colin appeared on the morning show to discuss White House Farm, an ITV drama starring Cressida Bonas, Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend, as Sheila and Freddie Fox as Jeremy Bamber.
He has also updated and reissued the book he wrote about his experiences, called In Search Of The Rainbow’s End.