Where is the most dangerous place to live in Great Britain? Obviously, that's a hard question to answer as it depends what we're basing it on; most murders per capita (#1 being Boston in Lincolnshire), places with the highest burglary rate (#1 is Ilford, East London) or the most crimes in general per square mile (#1 being Oxford Street in London... obviously).
For this blog post I've decided to focus on a little known fact that I've accidentally stumbled across whilst researching the lives of 25 of the UK's most notorious serial killers. And that is the fact that at least 8 of them were either born, raised or committed murders in West Riding (Yorkshire).
Although it is a term rarely used, West Riding was a historic council boundary which comprises cities such as Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Halifax, Sheffield and the surrounding villages and districts. It currently has a population of 3.2 million people, a relatively small number compared to London's 8.67 million people, out of the UK's 64.1 million. But this area has a disproportionately high number of the UK's most notorious and infamous serial killers - a place they called home.
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.
And of course there is also Trevor Hardy, dubbed "The Beast of Manchester".
Of course, I'm only working from a small list of Britain's most notorious serial killers, I haven't even begun to include regular murderers, but )as big names go) that's a pretty impressive list.
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 writer, crime historian and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten quirky & unusual things to do in London” and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totalling 75 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Have you ever sat on the bus, tube or train, and thought to yourself; "I wonder if I've ever walked passed a serial killer", or "talked to a mass murder", or even "sat next to a cannibal"? Maybe I am now. Who knows? It's hard to tell. But there is one way to determine how you're more likely to come into contact with a serial killer.
By using a sample of 54 of Britain's most prolific and high-profile serial killers over the last 150 years, I have sorted them into the following groups "where they were born" and "where the bulk of their killings occurred" and have come to an alarming observation. So, if you're travelling home now and live in any of the following TOP #5 counties listed, I'd consider moving.
Serial killers (by county of birth):
#1: LONDON (7)
Seven of the fifty-four serial killers were born in London, they are Levi “Bus Stop Stalker” Belfield (born in Isleworth), Peter Bryan (East London), Kenneth “Stockwell Strangler” Erskine (Hammersmith), Robert “Green Chain Rapist” Napper (Erith), George “Brides in the Bath” Joseph Smith (Bethnal Green), Margaret “Baby Farmer” Waters (Brixton), and Graham “The Teacup Poisoner” Young (who born in Neasden).
#2 - YORKSHIRE (6)
Six of the fifty-four serial killers were born in Yorkshire, including John Reginald Christie (Northowram), Stephen “The Crossbow Cannibal” Griffiths (Dewsbury), Trevor “The Beast of Manchester” Hardy (Rotherham), Gordon Frederick "The Blackout Ripper" Cummins (York), Donald “Black Panther” Neilson (Bradford) and Peter “Yorkshire Ripper” Sutcliffe (Bingley).
#3 - LANARKSHIRE (4)
Four of the fifty-four were born in Lanarkshire, including Ian “Moors Murderer” Brady (Glasgow), Thomas “The Lambeth Poisoner” Neil Cream (Glasgow), Colin Norris (Glasgow), and Archibald “Monster Butler” Hall (Glasgow).
#4 - LANCASHIRE (3)
Three of the fifty-four were from Lancashire, including Myra “Moors Murderer” Hindley (Crumpsall), Mary Ann Britland (Bolton) and Dale Cregan (Tameside).
#5 - LINCOLNSHIRE (2)
And two of the fifty-four were from Lincolnshire, including Beverley “Angel of Death” Allitt in Grantham and John “Acid Bath Murderer” Haigh in Stamford.
Others include; County Durham (2), Mary Ann Cotton in Low Moorsley and Steven “The Sunderland Strangler” Grieveson. Staffordshire (2); Anthony “Camden Ripper” Hardy in Burton-upon-Trent and Raymond “A34 Killer” Morris in Walsall. Kent (2(; Colin “The Gay Slayer” Ireland and Patrick Mackay both in Dartford. Leicestershire, (1); Frederick Bailey Deeming in Ashby-de-la-zouch. Cambridgeshire; Joanna “The Ditch Murderer” Dennehy in Peterborough. Gloucestershire; Amelia Dyer in Pyle Marsh. Shropshire; Robin Ligus in Shrewsbury). Merseyside; Robert “Hannibal the Cannibal” Maudeley in Toxdeth. Aberdeenshire; Dennis Nilsen in Fraserburgh, Nottinghamshire; Harold “Dr Death” Shipman in Bestwood, Hampshire; John Straffen at Borden Camp. Herefordshire; Fred West in Much Markle. Devon; Rosemary West in Northam. Norfolk; Steve “The Suffolk Strangler” Strangler in Erpingham. Sterlingshire; Robert Black at Grangemouth. Renfrewshire; Peter Tobin in Johnston, and Pembrokeshire; John “The Wildman” Cooper in Milford Haven. Hmm, the rule of thumb seems to be to avoid any counties beginning with "L".
Serial killers (by county they killed in):
#1 - LONDON (17)
Levi “Bus Stop Stalker” Belfield (West Drayton), Peter Bryan (East London), John Reginald Christie (Notting Hill), Thomas “The Lambeth Poisoner” Neil Cream (Lambeth), John Duffy & David Mulcahy – “The Railway Killers”, Amelia Dyer (Willsden), Kenneth “Stockwell Strangler” Erskine (Wandsworth), John “Acid Bath Murderer” Haigh (Kensington), Anthony “Camden Ripper” Hardy (Camden), Colin “The Gay Slayer” Ireland (Soho, Earls Court), Michael “Wolf Man” Lupo (West London), Robert “Hannibal the Cannibal” Maudeley (Hamsptead), Robert “Green Chain Rapist” Napper (Wimbledom & Plumstead), Dennis Nilsen (Muswell Hill & Willsden), George “Brides in the Bath” Joseph Smith (Highgate), Margaret “Baby Farmer” Waters (Brixton) and Gordon Frederick "The Blackout Ripper" Cummins (Soho/Paddington).
#2 - LANCASHIRE (9)
Stephen “cul-de-sac killer” Akinmurele (Manchester), Ian “Moors Murderer” Brady (Gorton), Myra “Moors Murderer” Hindley (Gorton), Mary Ann Britland (Ashton-under-lyme), Robert George Clements (Preston), Dale Cregan (Clayton), Trevor “The Beast of Manchester” Hardy (Manchester), Donald “Black Panther” Neilson (Baxenden), George “Brides in the Bath” Joseph Smith (Blackpool).
#3 - YORKSHIRE (6)
Stephen “The Crossbow Cannibal” Griffiths (Bradford), Donald “Black Panther” Neilson (Harrogate), Colin Norris (Leeds), Harold “Dr Death” Shipman (Todmorden), Peter “Yorkshire Ripper” Sutcliffe (Leeds & Bradford) and Robert Black (Hillsborough).
#4 - MERSEYSIDE (4)
Robert George Clements (Southport), Frederick Bailey Deeming (Rainhill), Catherine “The Black Widow” Flannigan (Liverpool) and Margaret “The Black Widow” Higgins (Liverpool).
#5 - EDINBURGH CITY (4)
Robert Black (Leith), William “Body Snatcher” Burke (Edinburgh), William “Body Snatcher” Hare (Edinburgh) and Angus “World’s End Murderer” Sinclair (Edinburgh).
Others include: Lanarkshire (3); Archibald “Monster Butler” Hall (Glasgow), Peter Manuel (East Kilbride, Burnside, Mouth Vernon and Uddingston) and Peter Tobin (Glasgow). Herfordshire (3); John Duffy & David Mulcahy “The Railway Killers” and Graham “The Teacup Poisoner” Young (Bovington). Gloucestershire (3); Amelia Dyer (Cheltenham), Fred West (Gloucester) and Rosemary West (Gloucester). Kent (3); Patrick Mackay (Gravesend), George “Brides in the Bath” Joseph Smith (Gravesend) and Peter Tobin (Margate). County Durham (2); Mary Ann Cotton (Sunderland) and Steven “The Sunderland Strangler” Grieveson. Sussex (2); George Chapman and John “Acid Bath Murderer” Haigh (Crawley). Shropshire (2); Robin Ligus and Donald “Black Panther” Neilson (Highley). Cambridgeshire; Joanna “The Ditch Murderer” (Peterborough). Lincolnshire; Beverley “Angel of Death” Allitt (Grantham). Berkshire; Amelia Dyer (Reading). Birmingham; Donald “Black Panther” Neilson (Langley Green). Staffordshire; Raymond “A34 Killer” Morris (Cannock). Cheshire; Harold “Dr Death” Shipman (Hyde). Dorset; George “Brides in the Bath” Joseph Smith (Weymouth). Somerset; John Straffen (Bath). Norfolk; Steve “The Suffolk Strangler” Wright (Ipswich). Northumberland; Robert Black (Cornhill-on-Tweed). Dumfriesshire; Archibald “Monster Butler” Hall (Middiebie). Invernesshire; Archibald “Monster Butler” Hall (Tomich). Pershire; Archibald “Monster Butler” Hall (Braco) and Hampshire; Peter Tobin (Havant & Reigate).
If you'd love to know more about London's most notorious serial killers and murderers, come on a Murder Mile Walks, by simply clicking "Buy Tickets" on the tab above.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten quirky & unusual things to do in London” and featuring 18 murderers, 3 serial killers, across 21 locations, totalling 75 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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