We all know the gory details of Britain's most famous serial killers, but there's one question many people forget to ask which is - where are they now*? Are they alive or dead, in prison or on release, sane or insane, how long are they locked up for and where are they incarcerated? What follows is a list of famous British serial killers who people are often unsure whether they are even ALIVE or DEAD. *This article is accurate as of December 2016, when it was written, and is only amended when I have the chance, so if you have any issues? Blame time.
Myra Hindley died on 15th November 2002 aged 60 of bronchial pneumonia. So vehement was the anger at Hindley that even 35 years after the murders, twenty undertakers refused to handle her corpse for cremation. In February 2003, Patricia Cairns – Hindley’s ex-partner – scattered her ashes in Stalybridge County Park, less than ten miles from Saddleworth Moor. Want to know more? Do serial killers make great pet lovers? Click the red link to find out.
On 15th November 2017, Brady died of lung cancer at Ashworth Prison aged 60. He never apologised for his crimes, instead he stated that he “expresses his remorse through actions”, but after 20 years of transcribing classical texts into braille, his translating machine was confiscated for fear that he may ”use it as a weapon”. Want to know more? Ever wondered what a serial killers favourite drink is? Click the red link to find out.
Although he was diagnosed as a schizoid psychopath in 1991 and received a two-year sentence for assault on a young girl with a knife, Griffiths was free to roam Bradford and even started a PHD at the University of Bradford in Homicide Studies. He is currently serving a whole life tariff at Wakefield Prison. Although, there are many festive customs acorss the world which are weirder.
Nilsen was declared sane and never lodged an appeal against his conviction as he fully accepts his punishment. Now aged 71, Nilsen spends his days reading, painting and composing music. In December 1983, Nilsen was briefly transferred to Parkhurst Prison having been attacked with a razor to the face & chest by fellow prisoner Albert Moffatt, requiring 89 stitches. To learn more about London’s most dangerous pubs, and the place where Nilsen’s murderous rampage began, click the link. Or book onto Murder Mile Walks to hear the full story of Dennis Nilsen.
Sentenced to a whole life sentence in HMP Wakefield (West Yorkshire), Ireland died on 21st February 2012 (57 years old) from pulmonary fibrosis, caused by a fractured hip. Ever wondered which London pubs most serial killers frequent?
In February 1995, Lupo died at HMP Frankland of an AIDS related illness. Lupo confessed that his urge to kill was out of loathing and revenge for sexually promiscuous homosexuals who had infected him with (what in the 1980’s was) a walking death sentence.
Dubbed “Hannibal the Cannibal” by useless tabloid hacks, Maudsley supposedly ate Robert’s brain using the knife as a scoop and is serving a whole life sentence in solitary confinement at Wakefield Prison in a 5.5m by 4.5m glass cage, just like fictional serial killer Hannibal Lector. Which is true… unlike the cannibalism which was entirely made-up by the press, but when did that ever stop them?
In 1976, Neilson was sentenced to a whole life tariff (five life sentences with an extra 61 years for kidnapping and blackmail) at HMP Norwich (oddly a category b/c prison), but was transferred to Norwich University Hospital on 17th December 2911 owing to breathing difficulties and died the following morning. Want something different? What about London's deadliest disasters?
His current location has not been announced, but as he has not been declared insane (which would require him to be committed to s secure psychiatric facility such as Broadmoor or Ashworth), murderers will often serve their sentence in a Category A prison, of which the England & Wales currently has nine (HMP Bellmarsh, Frankland, Full Sutton, Long Lartin, Manchester aka Strangeways, Wakefield, Whitemoor and Woodhill, with Bronzefield being the only category a female & young offenders prison). Read more about prison categorisation.
Sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he never be released, Shipman hung himself on the 13th January 2004 (aged 57) in his cell at HMP Wakefield, using bedsheets hanging from the bars on his window as a makeshift noose. It is said that Shipman’s “desire” to bring a peaceful end to many elderly women began when as a young boy he witnessed his mother die after a painful and protracted battle with cancer. Ever wondered what serial killers looked like as children and babies? Horrible, right? You'd be surprised.
But in 1971, having been declared mentally fit, Young was released, and began work at Hadland Laboratories (Bovington, Herts) where he would poison a further 70 people – spiking their tea with antimony – two of whom died. Graham Young died in 1990 at HMP Parkhurst having suffered a heart attack. * subsequently, Young was later diagnosed as a schizophrenic on the autism spectrum.
* Although England & Wales have nine Category A prisons (HMP Bellmarsh, Frankland, Full Sutton, Long Lartin, Manchester, Wakefield, Whitemoor, Woodhill and Bronzefield), Scotland & Northern Ireland have their own prisons and classifications. Read more about prison categorisation.
If you "enjoyed" this blog post, why not take a peek at; Serial Killers & Murderers Who Were Never Caught, London's Deadliest & Often Forgotten Disasters, Are More Serial KIllers Born During a Full Moon, Killer's Birthdays / Star Signs, Serial Killers Who Were On TV, Celebrities Who Have Killed, London's Railway of Death, Serial Killers as Kids and the World's Weirdest Death Rituals
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime historian, writer and tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious and unusual things to do in London".