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    the crossbow cannibal - strange serial killer case from uk


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    Post by Guest on Sat May 29, 2010 10:57 am

    'I am the crossbow cannibal': Murder suspect charged with killing three prostitutes in extraordinary court appearance

    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 1:05 PM on 29th May 2010

    Criminology student Stephen Griffiths, who has dubbed himself the 'crossbow cannibal', was remanded in custody today charged with the murder of three prostitutes.
    The former public schoolboy made a brief appearance at Bradford Crown Court this afternoon accused of killing Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, who all went missing in the city.

    It was his second court appearance of the day after his case was fast-tracked to the crown court.
    This morning Griffiths, 40, appeared at Bradford Magistrates' Court where, when asked to confirm his name, he said: 'The crossbow cannibal'.

    Asked for his address, Griffiths, who was wearing a black shirt and navy blue jeans, replied: 'Erm ... here I guess'.
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    'Crossbow cannibal': Triple murder suspect Stephen Griffiths as he appeared on his internet page (left) and a sketch showing his appearance in Bradford Magistrates Court today (DRAWING BY PRISCILLA COLEMAN)

    Police are understood to be investigating CCTV footage of a woman believed to be one of the victims.
    Griffiths was dressed in a black military-style shirt with a white T-shirt underneath. He was also wearing navy blue jeans and sporting stubble and short, black hair and sat down for part of the proceedings, bowing his head and looking at the floor.
    There were about 40 people in court, including eight members of the families of Griffiths's alleged victims.


    Some wiped away tears at the start of proceedings. Others stared intently at Griffiths, who stood to give his 'name'.
    Court clerk Miss Amarjit Soor read out the charges to Griffiths during the three-minute long hearing.

    She said he was charged with murdering Ms Blamires between May 20 and May 25; murdering Ms Rushworth between June 22, 2009, and May 25 this year, and murdering Ms Armitage between April 25 and May 25 this year.

    Judge James Goss told Griffiths his next appearance would be via video link to prison.
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    An angry member of the public is restrained by police as he shouts abuse at a security van containing Stephen Griffiths as it leaves Bradford Crown Court this afternoon

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    Stephen Griffiths is driven into Bradford Magistrates' Court in a security van yesterday morning

    The defendant sat for most of the five-minute hearing behind the glass front of the dock with his hands clasped together and his head bowed. He nodded when he was told he would next be appearing by the video link.

    He showed no emotion as about 18 members of his alleged victims' families strained to see him through a glass barrier along the public gallery.
    The judge adjourned the case until June 7. There was no application for bail.

    Griffiths spoke only once as he sat in the dock flanked by three security officers. Asked by the clerk: 'Are you Stephen Shaun Griffiths?', he replied: 'I am'.
    It emerged yesterday that Griffiths benefited from a high quality education at a £9,000-a-year day school and went on to a top university.
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    Grim task: Police officers dig up a street outside Griffiths' flat in Bradford yesterday searching for murder victims

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    A member of the public arrives with flowers near the home of Stephen Griffiths

    Despite a fine start in life, the criminology student soon became obsessed with the history of serial killers and descended into a seedy, internet-addicted existence in a housing association flat.
    In addition, his parents split when he was young.
    Today, salesman’s son Griffiths, 40, will appear before magistrates accused of the murders of former nurse Suzanne Blamires, 36, Susan Rushworth, 43, and Shelley Armitage, 31.
    Police sources confirmed they are investigating at least three other unsolved murders of prostitutes in West Yorkshire.
    But last night, in a dramatic widening of the inquiry, it emerged that two decades of files on women who have either vanished or been attacked in red light districts in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester are being checked for possible links to the case.
    Even as the charges were being announced, an exhaustive investigation was already under way into Griffiths’s life and dealings with prostitutes.
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    Missing: (from left) Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth all worked as prostitutes in Bradford and have vanished over the last year
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    A still from CCTV footage of sex worker Shelley Armitage on Rebecca Street in Bradford City Centre in April, just before she went missing

    A source linked to the inquiry said: ‘We are concerned there is more to this investigation than meets the eye. It may not be just about Bradford.’
    Griffiths was arrested on Monday after police were handed graphic CCTV footage showing a prostitute being killed.

    Body parts of missing prostitute Suzanne Blamires, 36, were later found dumped in bags in a river and yesterday a major police operation was continuing to find the remains of the other women Susan Rushworth, 43, and Shelley Armitage, 31.

    Last night there were claims that aleast one other set of remains has been located, near to those of Miss Blamires.
    Crime analysts and specialist search advisors are helping murder squad officers build up a profile of Griffiths’s lifestyle, movements and regular travel patterns.

    Details of the charges were announced yesterday afternoon after Griffiths was interviewed by police for three days.

    Although West Yorkshire Police have yet to find all of the bodies Peter Mann, a senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, said there was ‘sufficient evidence’ to charge Griffiths with three counts of murder.
    Extraordinary details have emerged of how the death of a woman, understood to be Miss Blamires, was captured on CCTV inside a block of flats.

    The footage showed the woman being attacked and apparently knocked unconscious. Enlarge the crossbow cannibal - strange serial killer case from uk Article-1281514-09C7BEE2000005DC-130_634x320

    Extensive: Forensic teams scour the area around Griffiths's flat, which is close to the red light district
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    Meticulous: A female officer carries a bag of potential evidence away to be analysed (left) while forensic officers continue to work on site (right)

    The shocking incident took place over the weekend and police were called in when the footage was seen by the building’s caretaker.
    Armed police raided Griffiths’ flat on Monday and he was handcuffed and arrested in front of shocked neighbours.

    The human remains were spotted by a member of the public five miles away in the River Aire in Shipley the next day.
    Although Griffiths was widely regarded as a ‘weirdo’ and loner, he benefited from a public school education and has spent the best part of a decade at university.
    The son of a frozen food company rep and a telephonist, Griffiths spent three years at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

    It is not known if his parents, who are not wealthy, paid the full fees or if he benefited from a subsidised place or a scholarship.
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    Fingertip search: Police were still scouring Griffiths's flat at Holmfield Court flats in Bradford after his arrest on Monday
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    Yesterday former neighbours described Griffiths’ family when Stephen was a child as ‘very weird.’

    He shared a council semi in Wakefield with his two siblings and mother Moira. The children never played outside and were considered ‘nerds’.

    Griffiths went on to take a degree in psychology and developed an obsessive interest in serial killers.
    For the past six years he has been a mature student at Bradford University taking a PhD in criminal justice studies and specialising in homicide. The university authorities refused to confirm details of his course.
    The three ‘murder victims’ were all prostitutes struggling with a drink and drugs habit. They were also friends and lived closed to each other.
    Miss Rushworth, a grandmother, vanished last June, then a month ago Miss Armitage disappeared. Miss Blamires, who lives just three streets from her, went missing last Friday.
    Griffiths is due to appear before Bradford Magistrates this morning and will be remanded in custody to appear before a judge at the city’s Crown Court in the afternoon.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1282131/PhD-student-Stephen-Griffiths-tells-court-crossbow-cannibal.html#ixzz0pKYcpekr

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