A former public schoolboy studying for a PhD in criminology was charged yesterday with murdering three prostitutes. Stephen Griffiths, 40, faces charges over the death of three sex workers who disappeared over an 11-month period in the red-light area of Bradford and was arrested on Monday.
Mr Griffiths, who was brought up in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was educated from 1983 to 1986 at the town’s fee-paying Queen Elizabeth Grammar School. He later gained a degree in psychology at the University of Leeds. For the past six years he has been studying at the University of Bradford, he was comparing modern policing methods with investigations by detectives in the 19th century.
Stephen Griffiths, described as a model student by those who knew him at Bradford University, was charged yesterday with the murders of Ms Blamires and two more women, Shelley Armitage, 31, and Susan Rushworth, 43. He was arrested on Monday after police obtained CCTV footage of one of the alleged murders as it unfolded in the block of flats where he lived on Thornton Road, in the heart of the red-light district.
The film is understood to show Suzanne Blamires, 36, being murdered by a man who attacked and knocked her to the ground before using a crossbow to fire a bolt into her head. He then dragged her from view. A man was later seen carrying bin bags and a rucksack from the block of flats. Parts of Ms Blamires’ dismembered body were found on Tuesday, floating in a river three miles away. Further body parts were recovered in the last few days.
“An examination of human remains recovered from the River Aire have confirmed a positive match to Suzanne Blamires,” a police spokesman said. “Inquiries into the incident remain ongoing and a 40-year-old man remains under arrest in custody. He is being questioned on suspicion of the murder of Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth.” Detectives questioning Mr Griffiths are initially focusing on those three cases but intend to include further unsolved murders of sex workers in the area dating back several years. These include the cases of Rebecca Hall, 19, the mother of a four-month-old son, whose badly-beaten body was found in an alleyway near Holmfield Court in April 2001, and Yvonne Fitt, 33, who was last seen alive in Bradford before she was found stabbed to death in 1992.
Neighbors described Griffiths as a loner. He is thought to have regularly posted on web forums under the name “Ven Pariah” and to have posted pictures of himself on social networking sites. On one social networking site, which has been taken down since his arrest, he described himself as “the misanthrope who brought hate into Heaven”. In a separate posting, he wrote: “Humanity is not merely a biological condition. It is also a state of mind. On that basis I am a pseudo-human at best.” The web page, on which he gave his age as 99 and listed his mood as “evil”, also included a quotation from the book of Ezekiel – “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides” – and listed his academic interests as “aggregate homicide, multiple homicide, capital punishment and targeted political homicide”.
Stephen Griffiths has been under arrest for 24 hours and is due to appear before Bradford magistrates this morning and at the city’s Crown Court later.
For more details about this case, visit a DailyMail article I am the crossbow cannibal’: ‘Ripper’ suspect charged with murder of three prostitutes in extraordinary court appearance.
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