Episode 2: Stephen Griffiths - The Crossbow Cannibal

Killers Behind Bars

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Professor David Wilson looks into the case of another of Britain's modern serial killers, as this chilling series continues. This week, he investigates the gruesome crimes and twisted mind of the former criminology student Stephen Griffiths, the self-dubbed Crossbow Cannibal.

Meeting some of the country's leading crime experts along the way and putting his own cutting-edge theories to the test, he asks when Griffiths's killing cycle began and whether he was responsible for more deaths than those that we already know about.

Griffiths shocked the nation when he admitting to killing, dismembering and eating parts of three women between 2009 and 2010. There had been indications, however, that Griffiths had an interest in serial killing from a very young age. His criminal history includes a three-year sentence when he was 17 for an unprovoked knife attack on a supermarket manager. While he was in custody psychiatrists warned that he had confessed to fantasies about becoming a serial killer.

In 1991, he was diagnosed a schizoid psychopath and the following year received a two-year prison sentence for holding a knife to a girl's throat. In 2009, Griffiths enrolled into the University of
Bradford to study for a PhD in homicide studies.

In May 2010, evidence came to light that he was doing more than just studying murder. A caretaker in the block of flats in Bradford where Griffiths lived discovered shocking CCTV footage of Suzanne Blamires being beaten by a man, who then fired a crossbow arrow into her skull.

When arrested, Griffiths admitted to killing another two sex workers – Susan Rushworth and Shelley Armitage. He told detectives that he ate the flesh of all three victims, adding: "That's part of the magic." Holding up five fingers, he also bragged: "I have killed a lot more."

Professor Wilson uses this as a starting point to investigate whether Griffiths has committed other hideous crimes. With the help of his criminology students, he immediately homes in on two unsolved murders of prostitutes that bear Griffiths's chilling hallmarks.


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    David Wilson investigates whether Elizabeth Valad and Brigitte MacClennan were his only victims.


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