Robert Black: where will he be buried?

Child killer Robert Black
Child killer Robert Black

The final resting place of child killer Robert Black may never be revealed.

The 68-year-old, who had been sentenced to life in prison for the abduction and murder of four young girls, died this week in Maghaberry Prison, Northern Ireland.

It is understood he died of natural causes.

Today a Northern Ireland politician said he should not be buried in that country.

However, there are concerns that the notorious killer may have left instructions in a will to be buried near his Grangemouth birthplace.

Edwin Poots, a Democratic Unionist Party member of the Northern Ireland legislative, said a permanent grave for Black would have “too many painful memories”.

Although van driver Black murdered Jennifer Cardy (9) near her home in Lisburn in 1981, he was only convicted of her killing in 2011.

By that time he was already serving life sentences for the murders of Susan Maxwell (11) in 1982, Caroline Hogg (5) in 1983 and Sarah Harper (10) in 1986.

He had finally been caught in 1990 as he tried to snatch a six-year-old near Galashiels.

All had been abducted as Black drove throughout the UK as a delivery driver.

This week it emerged detectives had been close to charging him with the abduction and murder of Genette Tate (13) in Devon. The papergirl went missing in 1978 and her body has never been found.

Black was born to a single mother, Jesse Hunter Black, in Grangemouth in 1947. He later went to a foster family in the Highlands, but when the couple died, returned to the Falkirk area and placed in Redding Children’s Home.

Following news of his death on Tuesday, concerns have been raised he could be buried in Grandsable cemetery, near Polmont.

One concerned resident said: “It would be wrong if the authorities allowed him to be buried there. People wouldn’t want that.”

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Prison Service no information was available on funeral arrangements but added if no next of kin came forward, it would be responsible for making them.

The authorities may decide to cremate Black privately as was done with Dunblane school killer Thomas Hamilton or chose never to reveal where he is buried.