True Crime

I had two kids with a serial killer

Johanna Collings shared her bed with a predator
Me when I was younger and (right) Levi Bellfield - he was so cocky. CREDIT: Triangle News and Getty.

Johanna Collings, 47, dated serial killer Levi Bellfield and had his kids. Here she tells her chilling story in her own words…

Making a cup of tea, I glanced up at the lunchtime news and my body froze in terror. Even after all this time, the sight of my ex’s plump, ruddy face sent adrenaline coursing through me.

That’s because he’s a serial killer. And I’ve spent the past 20 years trying to undo the damage he’s done to me.

I got to know Levi Bellfield through mutual friends in the ’90s when we used to go to the same nightclub. All the girls knew Levi. He was so cocky and he worked the doors in the local area.  He loved women – and he loved the power that being a bouncer gave him.

He thinks he’s invincible, I thought.

Over the years, he tried it on with me a few times, but I always told him I wasn’t interested. That was until my dad died and Levi found me crying in the club car park one night in the summer of 1995.

‘Don’t worry darling, my dad died too, I understand,’ Levi said. ‘I’ll look after you. I’ll take you out for a drink and we can chat.’

After that, he bombarded me with requests for dates. Eventually, I got so bored of him pestering me, I gave in and said we could go for one drink. He turned on the charm, bringing flowers and opening doors for me.

Maybe I got him wrong, I thought.

From that night on, he pretty much moved in. But then the abuse began. One time, he made me drive around all night as he punched, kicked and burnt me with his lighter.

When we did go home, he acted like nothing had happened. My life became about learning how to minimise his fury.  I’d do anything to avoid a beating – even if it meant putting up with his other relationships or having to listen to him bragging about his conquests. I wouldn’t dare make a sound as he raped or beat me as it would only make the punishment worse.

I constantly asked myself how a girl like me – one with her head screwed on and from a good home – had managed to end up being an abused and downtrodden mess.

Levi Bellfield worked as a doorman and became aggressive during our relationship. (Credit: Getty.)

But there were moments where he acted like the perfect boyfriend and somehow he made me cling on, especially when we had a baby girl.

On my 25th birthday, I woke to find the entire room covered in flowers. Roses were everywhere. Levi had dressed our five-month-old daughter and ran me a bath. He then took me to ride my horses and for lunch at the golf course opposite. It was a lovely day.

But most days, my life was simply about trying not to die. Rapes became daily. Even when I fell pregnant again, the abuse didn’t stop. Then one day, he beat me so badly on our doorstep, I knew I had to end it.

‘I can’t do this anymore,’ I told Mum.

After three years together, I got a restraining order. I would still see him driving past all the time and he’d give me nonstop silent phone calls.
I learned to live with the fear.

Then, in August 2004, French student Amélie Delagrange, 22, was found murdered nearby. She’d been hit over the head with a blunt object.

There were other violent attacks too… Marsha McDonnell, 19, had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument in February 2003. Kate Sheedy, 18, had miraculously survived after being mowed down  as she crossed the road in May 2004.

I started to wonder whether Levi might have been involved. I knew how violent he could be. So I went to police and told them my suspicions.

In February 2008, Levi Bellfield appeared in court and his trial began. He was convicted of the murders of Amélie and Marsha, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy. He got a life sentence, to never be freed.

French student Amelie Delagrange, 22, and Marsha McDonnell, 19, were victims of my ex Levi Bellfield. (Credit: Getty)

Afterwards, I felt numb. Then in June 2011, he  was convicted of murdering Milly Dowler.

Milly, 13, had disappeared in March 2002 on her way home from school. Six months later, her body had been found in the woods. He was handed another life sentence.

Schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 13, was killed by Levi Bellfield and Kate Sheedy, 18, who miraculously survived his attack on her. (Credit: Getty.)

With three murders to his name, Bellfield was officially a serial killer.

I have had relationships since, but he has ruined me.

‘I’m not Levi,’ exes have said, but I cannot trust men and always leave.

Me today – I can’t trust men. (Credit: Triangle news.)

I hoped one day I’d get married, but now that looks unlikely. I can’t bear the thought of what he did to me happening again.

My two children with him, now 23 and 22, are lovely young people who are so polite and caring. No-one can believe he is their dad. And my children are honestly the only thing I can thank him for.

He’s pure evil.

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