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Myra Hindley - DEAD – Infamous as one of the Moor’s Murderers who, with her partner Ian Brady, lured five children to their deaths, burying four on Saddleworth Moor. Following her conviction and sentenced to 25 years (later increased to 30 years), Hindley successfully appealed to have her Category A status changed to B, which enabled Holloway’s prison governor Dorothy Wing to take her on walks around Hampstead Heath.
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.
Ian Brady – DEAD – Along with fellow Moor’s Murderer Myra Hindley, he lured five children to their deaths and even today heartlessly refuses to tell his victim’s grieving families where their children are buried. Brady served the first 19 years of his life sentence in various Category A prisons – Wakefield, Full Sutton, Frankland and Strangeway (it’s almost like nobody wanted him) – before he was diagnosed as a psychopath in November 1985 and transferred to the high-security Ashworth Psychiatric Hospital in Sefton, stating he never wanted to be released.
On 15th May 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.
Peter Sutcliffe - ALIVE – Dubbed the "Yorkshire Ripper"; Sutcliffe murdered 13 women and attacked 7 others between 1975-80. Although his defence pleaded diminished responsibility owing to a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, this was rejected by the jury, and although he has served much of his whole life tariff (twenty concurrent sentences with no chance of parole) in Broadmoor’s psychiatric prison, Sutcliffe was moved to HMP Frankland in Durham on 24th August 2016, having been deemed mentally fit to return to prison. Ever wondered what most serial killer's musical tastes are? Click to find out.
Fred West - DEAD – Along with his wife Rose West, Fred raped, tortured, murdered, dismembered and buried at least twelve young women (including Fred’s own step-daughter) in the cellar or garden of their Cromwell Street house in Gloucester. On 1st January 1995 in his cell in Winson Green Prison, Fred West committed suicide by asphyxiation by fashioning a makeshift rope using bedsheets which he attached to the bars on his window and sunk to his knees. He killed himself just a few weeks before his trial. Want to know more? Are serial killers more likely to have a specific star sign? Click to find out.
Rose West - ALIVE – On 22nd November 1995, Rosemary West was found guilty by a unanimous jury of 10 murders and was sentenced to life imprisonment at HMP Low Newton (a closed prison for females, part of HMP Frankland) with a recommendation that she never be released. In July 1997, Home Secretary Jack Straw had this increased to a whole life tariff meaning she will never be released. Rose West has never appealed this, whilst also maintaining her innocence of all crimes. Want to know more? Are more serial killers born under a full moon?
Beverley Allitt – ALIVE – Dubbed “The Angel of Death”, Allitt murdered four children with lethal doses of insulin and "air-bubbles in their blood" between February & April 1991, as she worked as a state registered nurse at the Grantham & Kesteven Hospital (Lincolnshire). She's serving thirteen life sentences at Rampton Secure Hospital (Nottinghamshire), with the judge - Mr Justice Latham – commenting that it is unlikely she will ever be considered safe enough to be released. Want to know if serial killer's share common first names?
Levi Bellfield - ALIVE – Dubbed the Bus Stop Stalker, but more infamously known for the 2002 murder of Amanda “Milly” Dowler, Levi Bellfield has since been charged with the fatal hammer attacks of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy, as well as being investigated for a string of abductions, rapes and murders across West London in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Bellfield is currently serving a life sentence with the recommendation that he is never released at HMP Frankland (Durham) and has since converted to Islam. Of course, it's not just strangers who kill, there's been many celebrities who have murdered too.
Peter Bryan - ALIVE – In 1993 Peter Bryan fatally attacked a stranger with a hammer for which he was institutionalised, until February 2004 when he walked out of a psychiatric unit in Newham and paid a little visit to his friend Brian Cherry. Alerted to screams by the neighbours, when the Police broke down the door, he was cooking Cherry’s brain in a frying pan. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, Peter Bryan was committed to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital for treatment, where he battered and strangled a fellow inmate (Richard Loudwell) to death. Bryan – a self-confessed cannibal – has since said, had he not been interrupted, he would have devoured Loudwell’s flesh. Ever wondered what a serial killer's favourite food is?
Kenneth Erskine – ALIVE – Dubbed “The Stockwell Strangler”; burglar, drug-addict and homeless drifter Kenneth Erskine was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum recommendation of forty years for the murder of seven pensioners (and suspected murder of four others) in Stockwell, South London, many of whom had been strangled, beaten and sodomised. Erskine – who was witnessed masturbating during his trial – has since been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and committed to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital, with his convictions for murder reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Interested in serial killer's birthdays?
Steven Grievesen - ALIVE – Dubbed “The Sunderland Strangler”, Steven Grievesen strangled four teenage boys in Sunderland (Tyne & Wear) between 1990 and 1994. He was sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 35 years at HMP Full Sutton (Yorkshire) before his release is considered by the Home Secretary. Want to know more? Ever wondered who Britain's deadliest family is?
Stephen Griffiths - ALIVE – Dubbed “The Crossbow Cannibal” by himself, as at his own trial, when asked by the judge for his name, this was what he gave (although there’s no evidence he ever ate any parts of his victims). Between June 2009 and April 2010, Stephen Griffiths murdered three local prostitutes – Susan Rushworth, Shelley Armitage and Suzanne Blamires - in Bradford, with the body parts of the final two victims found floating in the River Aire. No remains of Susan Rushworth have never been found.
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.
Dennis Nilsen – ALIVE – Dubbed “The Kindly Killer” and the "Mullwell Hill Killer", Dennis Nilsen was a north London serial killer who between 1978-83 strangled, drowned, sodomised and dismembered 15 young men and attempted to kill 7-9 others. Convicted of 6 counts of murder and 2 counts of attempted murder, Nilsen was sentence to life imprisonment – a 25 year term, which was later extended to a whole life sentence - at HMP Full Sutton (East Riding, Yorkshire).
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.
Anthony Hardy - ALIVE – On 30th December 2002, a hungry homeless man discovered the dismembered corpses of two women - Bridgette MacClennan and Elizabeth Valad – stuffed into bin-bags outside Anthony Hardy’s flat. When Police investigated, they found the battered body of Camden prostitute – Sally White – in his bed, which Hardy claimed he had no memory of, owing to his severe drink problem and tendency to blackout. Dubbed “The Camden Ripper”, Anthony Hardy is serving a whole life sentence at Broadmoor Psychiatric Prison.
Ever wondered what most serial killers do as a day-job?
Colin Ireland - DEAD – Dubbed "The Gay Slayer" by tabloid hacks, (supposedly) heterosexual married man Colin Ireland preyed on gay men in the early 1990’s at the infamous Coleherne pub in Earls Court. Here you could pick up men with very specific sexual desires, such as sexually passive men who were into sadomasochism by the distinctive colour of handkerchief they wore, which made finding the perfect victim easier. Ireland – who always carried a murder kit and a full change of clothes with him – would often spend the night in his victim’s flat to avoid suspicion having scrubbed it of any forensic evidence.
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?
Michael Lupo – DEAD – Real name Michele de Marco Lupo, dubbed “The Wolfman” (as his surname means “wolf” in Italian) Lupo – who boasted of having had 4000 lovers – was a serial killer who worked out of Yves Saint Laurent on Brompton Road in Kensington and was sentenced to four life terms plus 14 years at HMP Frankland (Durham) for four seemingly unrelated deaths and two attempted murders.
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.
Robert Maudsley - ALIVE – In 1978, whilst already serving a life sentence for the brutal (but possibly warranted) murder of a sadistic paedophile and child-rapist in Edmonton, Robert Maudsley went on to kill fellow prisoners – Salney Darwood and Bill Roberts – the latter he stabbed in the head, impaling his brain.
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?
Donald Neilson – DEAD – Dubbed “The Black Panther”; burglar Donald Neilson murdered three people whilst robbing sub-post-offices between 1971 and 74 as well as kidnapping an heiress in 1975. Always believing he was smarter than the Police, Neilson briefly alluded them by adapting key aspects of each robbery, firstly by deliberately stealing a radio from each scene (almost like he had a compulsion)… and then he would suddenly stop.
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?
Stephen Port - ALIVE – Between 2014 and 2015, bus-garage chef Stephen Port lured four gay men to their deaths in Barking (East London) having met them online via dating app’s and lured them home with the promise of sex. Port drugged his victims with a lethal mix of GHB, amyl nitrate, Viagra, mephedrone (aka “meow meow”) and methamphetamine (“crystal meth”), raped and strangled the men whilst they were unconscious and dumped their bodies in a local cemetery, a faked suicide note nearby. Port was sentenced to a whole life order (with no chance of parole) on 25th November 2016.
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.
Harold Shipman - DEAD – Dubbed “Dr Death”, Harold Shipman – a friendly family GP in the sleepy towns of Hyde and Todmorden - was convicted of the murders of 15 pensioners (mostly elderly female patients who he “euthanized”), although a later inquiry concluded he killed at least 215, and possibly as many as 457 over a 25 year period, making him one of the most prolific serial killers in history.
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.
Steven Wright – ALIVE – Dubbed "The Suffolk Strangler" and the “Ipswich Ripper”; Wright murdered six local prostitutes over six weeks in 2006 and dumped their bodies in ditches, but was arrested owing to keen-eyed sex-workers who had nicknamed him “Mondeo Man” and the “Silver-backed Gorilla” owing to his silvery hair, stocky build and the make of car he drove. His identity was pinpointed further because of his prediliction for wearing women’s clothes and a curly black wig. Wright was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the recommendation that he never be released, from HMP Bellmarsh (Thamesmead).
Graham Young - DEAD – Dubbed “The Teacup Poisoner”, chemistry-obsessive Graham Young poisoned three members of his family at their family home in Neasden in 1962, using antimony (a poison which in small doses causes vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps, but with higher and prolonged exposure causes death), killing his step-mother Molly, for which he was transferred to Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital with a “personality disorder”*.
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.
Peter Tobin - ALIVE – Scottish serial killer and sadist who is serving a whole life sentence at HMP Edinburgh* for the murder of three women between 1991 and 2006. Tobin was diagnosed as a psychopath by Professor David Wilson who also believes that Peter Tobin is the infamous “Bible John” – a Glasgow-based serial killer from the 1960’s who was never caught – hence Tobin’s body count may be a lot higher, although the true number, we shall never know. Learn more about "Bible John" and other serial killers who were never caught.
* 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.
Robert Black - DEAD – Scottish serial killer Robert Black attacked four young girls aged 5 to 11 between 1981 and 1986 as he worked as a lorry-driver. Sentenced to life imprisonment at HMP Maghaberry (Northern Ireland) with a minimum of 35 years, Black has been linked to 13 other child murders and abductions across the UK, Ireland and Europe, but died of a heart attack on 12th January 2016, as he was about to be charged with the murder of a fifth young girl. The true scale of his heinous crimes may never be known.
John Cooper - ALIVE – Dubbed "The Bullseye Killer", burglar John Cooper got his nickname having chillingly appeared on ITV gameshow Bullseye, the same year he would tie-up, rob and brutally murderer holidaymakers – Peter & Gwenda Dixon – just one of two double murders he committed in the Pembrokeshire area. Cooper is currently serving a whole life tariff in HMP Wakefield, having also raped and sexually assaulted a 15 and a 16 year old girl. See The Bullseye's Killers TV appearance.
Patrick MacKay – ALIVE – Violent alcoholic, drug-abuser and psychotic, Patrick MacKay was charged in 1975 for the murder of 5 people (including priest Father Crean who he hacked to death with an axe and a homeless tramp he drowned in the Thames), convicted of 3 owing to a lack of evidence but later confessed to the murder of 11 people between 1974 & 75. MacKay was sentenced to a whole life tariff at the psychiatric prison HMP Wayland in Norfolk, where he has been for the last 40 years, and it is unlikely he will ever be released.
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 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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