Who was Billie-Jo Jenkins and what happened to her?
How did Billie-Jo Jenkins die and why was her foster father convicted of her murder?
How did Billie-Jo Jenkins die and why was her foster father convicted of her murder?
Siôn Jenkins spent six years in prison before being acquitted
The brutal murder of teenager Billie-Jo Jenkins shocked the nation in 1997 and still remains unsolved today.
Billie-Jo was just 13 years old when she was found bludgeoned to death in her foster parents’ back garden.
Although her foster father, Siôn Jenkins, was originally convicted for the murder, after spending six years in prison, he was formally acquitted.
So how did Billie-Jo Jenkins die and why was her foster father convicted?
Here’s everything we know about the disturbing case of Billie-Jo’s death as Channel 5 repeats its harrowing documentary tonight (June 21).
Billie-Jo Jenkins smiling
Billie-Jo Jenkins was found dead in her foster family’s back garden
How did Billie-Jo Jenkins die?
On 15 February 1997, Billie-Jo Jenkins was found bludgeoned to death with a metal tent peg in her back garden.
The 13-year-old girl had been painting the patio doors at the back of the house while the rest of her foster family – including foster siblings Annie, Lottie, Esther and Maya – were out.
However, when her foster father returned from a shopping trip with Annie and Lottie, he found Billie-Jo in a pool of blood on the patio.
So what happened?
That day, Mrs Jenkins had taken the youngest two girls out, while Siôn was at home with Annie and Billie-Jo.
While Annie was helping Siôn wash his car at the front of the house, Billie-Jo was painting in the back.
Mr Jenkins then went out to collect Lottie from her clarinet lesson.
He returned to the house briefly, before setting off in the car again with Annie and Lottie to buy white spirit from a DIY store.
They then returned empty-handed after he forgot his wallet and discovered Billie-Jo’s lifeless body in their back garden.
She was left with extensive head injuries after she was struck at least five times with a tent peg.
Why was her foster father convicted?
The death of Billie-Jo Jenkins still remains one of the biggest mysteries in the UK.
Little over a week after her death, Siôn Jenkins was arrested on suspicion of murder and officially charged with Billie-Jo’s murder on March 14.
The prosecution later claimed that Mr Jenkins killed Billie-Jo and that the aborted shopping trip was made to create an alibi.
At his trial in 1998, tiny spots of Billie-Jo’s blood were found on Siôn’s clothing.
However, Mr Jenkins argued that it came as a result of him trying to help Billie-Jo.
Nonetheless, he was convicted of the crime and spent six years in prison.
A first appeal by Mr Jenkins against his conviction failed in 1999.
However, after a second appeal in 2004, a re-trial was ordered and Siôn Jenkins was released on bail.
After two-retrials, where the jury was unable to reach a verdict, he was formally acquitted.
Why was Billie-Jo Jenkins’ fostered?
Billie-Jo Jenkins was in foster care during the time of her death.
The 13-year-old lived in Hampshire with her foster parents, Siôn and Lois Jenkins, and their four daughters.
Siôn Jenkins was a deputy head teacher, while his now ex-wife Lois was a senior social worker.
Billie-Jo’s biological mum was forced to give her up as a child after the girl’s dad was sent to prison and she struggled to cope on her own.
However, Billie-Jo was still allowed to visit her biological parents, Deborah
Barnett and Bayard Jenkins, regularly.
Where are her foster parents now?
The lives of the Jenkins family has changed drastically since Billie-Jo’s devastating death and Siôn’s initial conviction.
After spending six years in prison for the murder of Billie-Jo, Siôn Jenkins now goes by the name Charles Jenkins.
My life following the murder of Billie-Jo was nearly destroyed.
He is also remarried to millionaire divorcee and former Miss Southsea beauty queen Christina Ferneyhough, after she wrote to him in prison.
Siôn later went on to publish a book about Billie-Jo’s death called The Murder of Billie-Jo.
In the book, he explains how his life following the murder was “nearly destroyed”.
He said: “My life following the murder of Billie-Jo was nearly destroyed, but I have one advantage over my daughters, in that I’m an adult.
“They will need time. But I will have to face the fact that I will not get those lost years back.”
During Mr Jenkins’ trial, Lois Jenkins also alleged that Siôn had been violent to her and their daughters.
She went on to divorce him while he was in prison and moved to Australia, taking their four daughters with her.
Lois Jenkins now lives in Tasmania with her new partner Vince Ives, a martial arts expert, and their son.
Billie-Jo Jenkins’ foster sisters Annie, Lottie, Esther and Maya
Billie-Jo Jenkins had four foster sisters – Annie, Lottie, Esther and Maya
Does Billie-Jo Jenkins have any siblings?
Siôn and Lois Jenkins already had four daughters of their own before they fostered Billie-Jo.
Her four foster sisters were Annie, Lottie, Esther and Maya Jenkins.
Billie-Jo also had a biological sister named Margaret who was nine at the time of Billie-Jo’s death.
In an interview with the Mirror, Margaret said she wished she had taken Billie-Jo’s place, in hope that she’d still be here.
She said: “I wish it had been me, I truly do. She was the best big sister in the entire world and would have made the best mother one day.”
Where did Billie-Jo Jenkins live?
Billie-Jo Jenkins lived with her foster family in Hastings.
The family lived in a three-story Victorian House on Lower Park Road in Hastings, East Sussex.
Where is Billie-Jo Jenkins buried?
Her final resting place is in the City of London Cemetery & Crematorium, in East London.
BILLIE-JO JENKINS was brutally bludgeoned to death in one of the UK’s most high-profile unsolved murders in 1997.
But who was she, and what happened?
Who was Billie-Jo Jenkins?
Billie-Jo Margaret Jenkins was a schoolgirl who was beaten to death at her home in Hastings, East Sussex, in February 1997.
She was born on March 29, 1983, in East London.
When she was nine years old, her biological father was imprisoned, and she was placed in foster care with Siôn and Lois Jenkins coincidentally had the same last name and four daughters of their own.
Billie-Jo spent five years with the family in their home in Hastings, on the East Sussex coast, and was described as “fun-loving”, with dreams of becoming an actor.
On February 15, 1997, 13-year-old Billie-Jo was found in the back garden of the family home, bludgeoned to death with an iron tent peg.
What happened to her?
On that fateful afternoon on February 15 1997, 13-year-old foster child Billie-Jo was painting the patio doors at the back of the house when she was struck at least five times on the head in a shocking attack.
She was reportedly alone at the time, with the rest of her family out of the property.
When foster dad Siôn returned to the house following a trip to a DIY store with his two oldest daughters, he found Billie-Jo dying, in a pool of blood.
Police initially asked Siôn to make a public appeal for any information, but shortly after he became the main suspect.
He was arrested nine days later on suspicion of murder, and was charged with murder on March 14, 1997.
Siôn – father to Annie, 12 at the time of the murder, Lottie, 10, Esther, nine and Maya, seven – has always maintained his innocence and claims a prowler could have been responsible for the murder.
During the investigation, police discovered 148 tiny spots of Billie-Jo’s blood on Siôn’s trousers and fleece jacket.
The prosecution argued that their size and distribution were consistent with “impact spatter”, sprayed during the frenzied attack on Billie-Jo.
But the defence argued that a fine spray of blood was breathed out by Billie-Jo on her foster dad when he went to her aid as she lay dying.
Siôn spent six years in jail following his sentence.
In the two retrials following, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, and Siôn was formally acquitted in 2006.
Sussex Police have since maintained that there are no plans to re-open the murder investigation.
In January 2022, the BBC reported that Sussex Police were doing a forensic review of material linked to the case.
In a statement, the force said each unsolved murder is “assessed two-yearly to examine any new information that may have become available”.
It said: “Currently, no new information has been provided in this case and it is not being re-investigated.”
It added: “We are currently carrying out a forensic review of material held on the case in order to establish whether or not scientific advances can provide new evidence or lines of enquiry.”
It was reported that the police were continuing to appeal for information that could help the enquiry.
When is Who Killed Billie-Jo?
A documentary about the murder, called Who Killed Billie-Jo? originally aired on February 10, 2022.
Retired detective Jeremy Paine, who worked on the original investigation into her death appears in the Channel 5 program me.
He told the Mirror in February 2022: “This was a tragic and brutal act of violence.
“Billie-Jo had her whole life in front of her.”
Paine said he still hopes that developments in forensic technologies will one day solve the mystery.