Serial child killer Robert Black deployed his signature method in dumping the body of a Co Antrim schoolgirl he was convicted of kidnapping and murdering, the Court of Appeal heard.
Judges were told of striking similarities between the killing of Jennifer Cardy and three young girls whose lives he took.
Black (65), a former delivery driver from Scotland, is trying to overturn a verdict that he murdered the nine-year-old who was taken as she cycled to a friend's house in Ballinderry in 1981. Her body was discovered nearly a week later at a dam near Hillsborough, Co Antrim.
In 2011 he was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Jennifer and ordered to serve at least 25 years in prison.
It emerged during the trial at Armagh Crown Court that he had already been convicted of killing three girls, abducting a fourth, and trying to snatch another.
His legal team have based their appeal on a claim that his |criminal past was wrongly revealed to a jury.
But Toby Hedworth QC, for the prosecution, claimed there were striking similarities between the Jennifer Cardy case and those of the other three child killings.
“The body is left behind a lay-by under water,” he said.
“Here really was a signature because you have an extremely unusual crime, but it is perpetrated in such a way that one of the most distinctive features is the deposition of the body.”
The appeal continues.