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Which poor unfortunates were born with the same name as a serial killer? Often I’ve made a little joke that Steve Wright the Suffolk Strangler and Ipswich Ripper can easily be confused with the highly respected BBC Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright in the afternoooooon” by name alone, but there are loads of other Steve Wright’s for him to be confused with. So…
#1 – Steve Wright, the Suffolk Strangler, convicted of five counts of murder in 2006, he also has a namesake who is a former NFL offensive tackler for American football team the Green Bay Packers. Steve Wright is also a professional baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, a bassist for The Greg Kihn Band; a former English football player manager and trainer for Bolton Wanderers, Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion, and a former professional footballer for Colchester United, Braintree Town, Wrexham, Torquay United, Crewe Alexandra, Rhyl, Chelmsford City, Wivenhoe Town and Harwich & Parkeston – oh yes, all the big teams. There are also Steve Wright’s who work as a Course Leader in Fashion Design at the University of South Wales, Operations Manager at Golf Buggies GB in Wakefield, Head of Medical Services & Physiotherapy for Southampton Football Club, and (my favourite) CEO at Christys' London – no not that Christie) in charge of hats.
#2 – Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, murderer of 13 woman between 1975–1980. His namesakes are a former English footballer for Manchester United, Stockport County, Port Vale, Chester, Bangor City and Scarborough. There’s also a famous racing driver, a Supply Chain Manager at Tasti Products Ltd in Auckland, New Zealand; Editor of a Special Educational Needs magazine in Lancashire, an Area Officer for The Salvation Army in central Queensland and a Pastor (no, not like tagliatelli, but the type who get drunk on Charing Cross Road and abuse paramedics by shouting “I’ve got immunity from The Vatican”), there’s a Pastor in Queensland called Peter Sutcliffe.
#3 – Stephen Port, the Grindr Killer, convicted of four murders so far, and although he worked as a chef in Debtford Bus Garage, his namesakes are also a Karate Black Belt in Minneapolis, an Audit Manager at a company I read as Acast, so I assumed his job was to organise the cocaine), there are two Stephen Port’s who are chefs in the Swindon area, and according to those in the know, there are currently 26 Stephen Port’s on gay-dating app’ Grindr. Oh aren’t people witty?
#4 - Dennis Nilsen, ah Dennis, serial killer, civil servant and mulled wine maker, but his many namesakes include; a former wannabe Republican senator who participated in rescue effort of the United Airlines Flight 232 which crashed in Sioux City, Iowa; there’s a Dennis Nilsen with a PhD in Politics in Washington, an Adjunct Lecturer at Molloy College in New York, the Director of Sealand Region in Denmark and (more frighteningly) a Debt Collector in Guildford called Dennis Nilsen.
#5 - Ted Bundy; the crazy lady’s favourite, his namesakes also include Vice President of Marketing at Samsung Electronics in New Zealand, a Senior Lawyer in Wichita, Kansas; a Supervisor at Ollie's Bargain Outlet in North Fort Myers, Florida; a Home Building Inspector in Tampa, Florida, and a Reflexologist in London.
#6 – Ian Brady, the Moor’s Murderer; his namesakes include a Talent Director at Verizon, a Bitcoin Trader in Wichita, a Customer Service Manager in The Wirral, Merseyside (ah de-dodoh-don’t-de-do), a Horse Stud Manager in Toowoomba, Australia (gday mate, let’s get those horses shagging, but first… a beer), Ian Brady is also a bus driver for Greyhound in Ontario, Canada, and – most bafflingly of all – a man with the same name as Ian Brady, the infamous child murderer is also a professional nanny and baby-sitter in Gloucester. Honestly mate, change your name.
#7 - Rose West; serial-killer who (with her husband Fred) participated in the murder of her own 8 year old step-daughter, Charmaine; has namesakes including a Risk Consultant in Detroit, a Surgical Scheduler in a New York Hospital, a Special Education Teacher at a school in Ilford, and a Personal Health Coach in… yes, that place has popped up again, Tampa Florida.
#8 – Rose West, husband to Fred, who was a plasterer and handyman, his namesakes include a Strategic Planner for the Jesus Film Project in California, an Education Consultant in North Carolina and (you couldn’t make it up) a Self Employed Landlord/Handyman in Cambridgeshire.
#9 – Jeffrey Dahmer; rapist, murderer and cannibal of 17 young men and boys; there is a Jeffrey Dahmer who’s an engineer at IBM in California, a cashier at SAMS CLUB in Cedar Park, Texas; a UPS driver in Kitchener (Canada) – (knocks “open up, it’s Jeffrey Dahmer, I’ve got something for you?” and oddly, there is a Jeffrey Dahmer from Georgetown Texas, who works in “human resources”. Yes, I’ll repeat that, there’s man with the same name as the Milwakawe Cannibal, who works in “human resources”.
And finally, #10 – John Reginald Christie, (as Reg) “lothario, tea-makers and star of Murder Mile”; now there is only one John Reginald Halliday Christie, and very few John Reginald Christie’s, but there are quite a few John Christie’s, such as John Christie, CEO of Tesco International in Thailand “I wondered if you’d like a nice Thai Green Curry?”, the Assistant Attorney General for the District of Columbia, the Legislative Director at U.S. House of Representatives, CEO of Christie's International Real Estate (check the back garden first), Secretary at Gloucester Speakers Club and John Christie is also a Doctor at St Martins Village Medical Centre in Sydney, Australia. “I wondered if you’d like a nice mug of beer, mate? It’s a cure-all”.
John Christie was also a Scottish footballer, a goalkeeper for Southampton FC, an artist, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama, an architect for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Principal of Jesus College in Oxford, minister of the Church of Scotland, Mayor of Johannesburg in 1920-1921, recipient of the Victoria Cross, and an American engineer and inventor of the Christie suspension system as used in tanks during World War II.
And although, all of these people, are without question good and decent people who just happened to have the same name as a serial killer, sometimes parents need a good slap.
In 2018, a British couple - Adam Thomas (22) and his partner, Claudia Patatas (38), were tried and convicted of stirring up racial hatred, after (amongst many other things including being members of an illegal group, being in possession of terrorist documents and distributing articles of racial hatred) they chose to give their child, the middle name of Adolf, after the Nazi despot and one-balled fascist Adolf Hitler. This came to light after the couple were seen posing for a photo, in their home, clutching their baby, whilst proudly displaying a flag with the Swastika on it. Thomas was jailed for six years and six months and Patatas for five years. And to be honest, I think the child’s middle name is going to be the least of its problems.
If you enjoyed that, we’ll return next week with some more innocent people who unfortunately share the same name as a serial killer and murder. Oh, and if you’re wondering; although BoJo the Clown is currently our Prime Minster; there are also a Boris Johnson who is a Local Authority Specifyer at York Council, a cleaner at McDonald’s in Brighton, an astronaut for NASA and – as he was born, not in the UK, but in the US of A, there’s a chance he could also be the next US President. Mwah-ha-ha-ha. Oh you poor buggers.
If you found this interesting? Check out the Mini Mile episodes of the Murder Mile UK True-Crime Podcast, or click on the link below to listen to an episode.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster 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 curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London”, nominated "one of the best true-crime podcasts at the British Podcast Awards 2018", and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 50 deaths, over just a one mile walk
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster of Murder Mile UK True Crime and creator of true-crime TV series.
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