The Deadliest Pubs in London
Pubs - the perfect pastime for London's ever expanding populous, whether you're popular, poor, parched or are just a perpetual piss-head.
With over 7000 pubs in our capital alone, you're never short of a hospitable hostelry to wet your whistle in, whether your refreshment needs be a little libation, a "wee swally", a few cheekies or a full on sesh'.
But... have you ever been perched on a stool next to a serial killer? Ever got chatting to a "really nice chap" who - unbeknownst to you - keeps corpses in his cellar? What, not even swigged back a Martini with a murderer, a pint with a poisoner, or cadged a fag outside off a callous killer? No.
Are you sure? Because the chances are... you have. What follows is a hand little list of pubs which the more infamous of London's serial killers and murders hung out in, either for a "swifty", a "nibble", or as a pick-up joint to prey on their next - slightly intoxicated - victims.
Colin Ireland, a sadomasochist who was supposedly "heterosexual", lured five gay men to their deaths (Peter Walker, Christopher Dunn, Peter Bradley III, Andrew Collier and Emanuel Spiteri) in 1993, having made a New Year's resolution to become a serial killer. His victims were chosen, courtesy of the Coleherne customer's colour-coded handkerchiefs (indicating which were sexually passive and into sadomasochism).
Michael Lupo, an Italian who travelled extensively, murdered four young men who - like Nilsen and Ireland - preyed upon on his colour-coded victims at The Coleherne. Later sentenced to four life sentences, plus 14 years for two attempted murders, Lupo is believed to have committed murders wherever he travelled including America, Italy and Germany.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are certainly other pubs, and other killers, which you are more than welcome to add in the comments section below. And, obviously, I can't include all the serial killers who are currently out there, right now, sitting next to you in a bar, asking you for the time, borrowing your paper, or (supposedly) whistling a merry little tune as they mind their own business - or so you think? Anyway, stay safe.
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.
Looks like we both had a lucky escape then, Barry. Frightening.
I am 42 now and was a rent boy from the age of 14. I too used to drink in the Golden Lion, as well as other pubs such as The Dog And Duck and White Horse. I shudder to think what might have happened if Nilsen had been active a few years later.
I met Nilsen in the Golden Lion in early 1982, I distinctly remember him as I discovered he was Fraserburgh and knew a family I also knew from there, also the links with the Army and the Met Police were mentioned. He seemed normal enough but was probably checking me out (I had unwittingly walked into a gay bar). The next time I saw him up close was in the chamber of horrors 20 years later. Still gives me chills now.
I’m 1901 My family were the landlord and lady there and one of the barman became my great great grandfather!!
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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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