Britain's 'crossbow cannibal' pleads guilty to three murders

21st December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A British student who dubbed himself the "crossbow cannibal" was jailed for life on Tuesday for the "wicked and monstrous" murders of three prostitutes.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, admitted killing Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, who all went missing in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in northern England.

He pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to all three murders, which evoked memories of the infamous "Yorkshire Ripper", Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Griffiths killed Blamires, 36, by firing a crossbow bolt into her head when she tried to flee from him. He also admitted murdering Armitage, 31, and Rushworth, 43.

The psychology graduate, who was carrying out research into criminology, claimed he had cooked and eaten parts of his first two victims, boiling one in a pot, and ate the third one raw.

He was arrested in May at his home on the edge of Bradford's red-light district.

Griffiths told police "I've killed loads" and claimed he had consumed some of Blamires's flesh, adding: "That's part of the magic".

The prosecution said that at a police station he boasted: "I've killed a lot more than Suzanne Blamires -- I've killed loads."

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Openshaw told the court that tests had been carried out on the state of Griffith's mental health and there was "no question that he was fit to plead".

The judge said: "The circumstances of these murders are so wicked and monstrous they leave me in no doubt the defendant should be kept in prison for the rest of his life."

He added: "His pleas of guilty have been entered without any remorse at all.

"He has never said he regretted his actions or said in even the most perfunctory way he was sorry."

Griffiths stood in the dock to enter his pleas surrounded by five security guards. Dressed in a grey tracksuit, he said "yes" when asked to confirm his name.

He said "guilty" in a quiet voice when the clerk put each of the three murder charges to him.

Police are investigating whether Griffiths might be responsible for three unsolved murders after he hinted in an interview that he had killed six women in total.

Reports in June said that he had tried to commit suicide. He had been found in his prison cell with a bag over his head and sock around his neck.

© 2010 AFP

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