February 22, 2012

'Gay killer' Colin Ireland who tortured homosexual men to death dies in jail

A former soldier who was told he would never be released from jail after being convicted of torturing gay men to death almost 20 years ago has died in jail.

Colin Ireland, 57, is presumed to have died from natural causes in the healthcare centre of Wakefield Prison in West Yorkshire this morning, a Prison Service spokeswoman said.

One of Britain's worst serial killers, Ireland admitted attacking and killing five gay men he met in London pubs in 1993.

Known as the 'gay slayer', he reportedly posed as a homosexual to be taken to each of his victims' homes, where he tortured and murdered them after making a New Year's resolution in 1993 to become a serial killer.

But Ireland, who terrorised London's gay community, was caught later the same year when CCTV footage showed him with his last victim.

He was given a whole-life tariff in 1993.

In May 2007, a report by the independent Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group found that the Metropolitan Police inquiry was 'hampered by a lack of knowledge of the gay scene in London and the special culture of S&M bondage'.

According to a Real Crime documentary on the serial killer, the unemployed drifter killed five people in just over three months, including four in just 15 days.

He would meet men at The Coleherne pub in Fulham, pose as a homosexual to be invited back to their homes, and then torture and kill them following sex games.

Speaking to police about his first victim, 45-year-old West End theatre director Peter Walker on March 8, Ireland said: 'I think it was something triggered in me some time before. I felt that if I was approached there was a likelihood I would kill.

We went in a cab to his flat in Battersea. I put on a pair of gloves on the way. My intentions were different to his.'

An avid reader of true crime books and FBI manuals, he would reportedly clean up the murder scene and stay with the body until the morning, to avoid attracting attention by leaving in the middle of the night.

He also demanded money and left with the victim's credit cards, a pattern he repeated in successive murders.

When he thought his first murder had gone unnoticed, Ireland, then of Southend, rang both the Samaritans and The Sun newspaper to tell them what he had done as he sought to achieve his resolution to become famous for being a serial killer.

He went on to kill 37-year-old librarian Christopher Dunn on May 28; Perry Bradley III, the 35-year-old son of a US Congressman on June 4; and Andrew Collier, 33, on June 7, along with his pet cat.

Ireland told police: 'I couldn't stop myself.

'It was building up. I was on an almost sort of rollercoaster kind of thing.'

He added: 'I was probably 60 per cent, 70 per cent quite a reasonable human being most of the time, but there is that side of my character that is negative, it's quite cold and calculating.'

Before killing his fifth victim, 41-year-old Emanual Spiteri on June 12, Ireland called police four times to ask why they had not linked the four murders, telling them he had killed them all.

'I set out to see, because I read a lot of books on serial killers and indeed, you know, I wondered if it could possibly be done and actually got away with it,' he said.

Asked why he targeted homosexuals, he told officers they 'keep their mouths shut and don't tell the police things'.

He was caught when, having visited police to explain away his sighting on CCTV with Mr Spiteri, his fingerprint was subsequently matched to one found at the man's flat. He admitted all five murders.

Ireland was born on March 16 1954 in a former work house in Kent to a 17-year-old mother, who was abandoned by his father, according to the documentary.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: 'Colin Ireland died in HMP Wakefield's healthcare centre today at 9.20am. He is presumed to have died from natural causes; a post-mortem will follow.

'As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.'

Daily Mail