The Crossbow Cannibal Serial Killer
"Hatred Bound Tightly in Flesh"
(Stephen Griffiths’s MySpace2 entry describing himself)
Stephen Shaun Griffiths is born on Christmas Eve in 1969, in West Yorkshire, England. He’s the eldest of the three kids of telephonist, Moira Dewhirst, and frozen food salesman, Stephen Griffiths. Their marriage shortly breaks up and the kids stay with Moira in her council house. (She’ll later be sentenced of benefit fraud and many have inferred her behaviour may partly explain Stephen’s hatred of women). But Stephen’s father works heavily to send his 13-year-old son to a fee-paying school.
As a teenager, Stephen regularly shoplifts. When a supermarket manager attempts to stop him, Stephen attacks with a knife. Aged just 17, he’s convicted to three years’ youth custody. He tells probation officers he fantasises about serial killing. During this time, he loses contact with his family.
In 1989, he’s sentenced of retaining an offensive weapon: an air pistol. He utilizes it to shoot birds which he then dissects.
The next year, he earns a two-year prison sentence for affray after holding a knife to the throat of a young girl. But because he’s told not to retain indications of psychotic illness or treatable mental disease, he can’t be sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Stephen formulates a fear of penetration into his ears and every night places cotton wool in his ears so that insects can’t enter. He never works, withstanding on advantages and grants. But he does go on to attain a degree gaining a First in psychology. And he’ll start a PhD. His doctorate thesis is on the history of homicide.
"There may be an ingredient, although this is tough to prove, that he is in a sense...educating himself better about the manifestation that he was going to engage in practically...Was he studying some of these books to comprehend how to avoid capture, how to eliminate of bodies, how police would perform an investigation?"
David Wilson – Professor of Criminology
The Killings... 2009 - 2010
Griffiths’ macabre crimes were disclosed after a security guard ( in his building) reviewed the silent CCTV footage from the third-floor corridor in the flat where he resided during a regular check for any indication of minor crimes.
It indicated Griffiths walking into his one-bedroom flat with Miss Blamires, who worked locally as a prostitute. Within minutes she ran out and he gave chase, armed with a crossbow, before knocking over her and firing a bolt into her head.
Griffiths then turned to the camera and held the crossbow aloft in both hands in victory before pulling the body out of view.
He re-emerged with the drink can which he exhibited in a celebratory way to the camera while putting one finger in the air ( the middle one) and is later seen holding up bin bags and a rucksack in and out.
It’s said he removed the remains in a river near his flat. Griffiths Also videoed another of the murders on his mobile phone. He had lost the phone on a train, someone had picked it up and it had twice been sold on before it was tracked by police. After seizing it police checked it completely.
Still on the phone was video footage which one senior investigator described as the most annoying he has ever seen.
It showed a lifeless woman supposed to be Miss Armitage, naked in a bath and also “hog-tied” on cushions with her hands tied behind her. She had been drizzled with black paint with the words “My Sex Slave” on her back.
Griffiths gave a running commentary saying: “I am Ven Pariah, I am the Bloodbath Artist. Here’s a model who is helping me.”
It enabled police to ascertain that Miss Armitage must have perished before 1 issue on April 28. A small piece of her spine was discovered in the same span of the river as Miss Blamires’ remains were discovered.
When his flat was surveyed, two crossbows and bolts were extricated from the flat, along with books on serial killers, and tries made to clean-up with carpets lifted and tiled removed around the bath. The only indication relating to Miss Rushworth, who is believed to have been murdered with a hammer, is an evidence of blood discovered in Griffiths’ bathroom.
The next day a member of the public found female body parts, comprising a head in a rucksack, in the River Aire five miles away in Shipley. They were recognized as those of Miss Blamires, the third prostitute to be reported missing in the region within 11 months. Also found nearby was a “killer’s kitbag”, a case including hacksaws and knives which could have been used to dismember the bodies.
The Arrest....May 2010
Griffiths was caught by armed police shortly after they were enticed to the CCTV recording showing Miss Blamires’ casualty at the block of housing association flats in Holmfield Court, Bradford.
Griffiths was later to admit in a police interview: “I or part of me is accountable for murdering Susan Rushworth, Shelley Armitage and Suzanne Blamires, who I know as Amber.”
Crime scene officers were able, nonetheless, to find out blood traces from all three of his preys in the flat. Which is how he was accused of three Murders.
Stephen Griffiths pleaded guilty to three counts of killing at Leeds Crown Court. He stood in the dock to enter his pleas encircled by five security guards. Outfitted in a grey tracksuit, he said "yes" when asked to confirm his name. He then said "guilty" in a calm voice when the clerk put each of the three charges to him. Griffiths then sat with his head on his chest.
He pleads guilty to killing Suzanne Blamires, 36, by firing a crossbow bolt into her head when she attempted to run away from him. He also confessed killing Shelley Armitage, 31, and Susan Rushworth, 43, but police understand he might also be responsible for three unsolved killings after he indicated in an interview that he had murdered six women in total. Though, They weren’t able to charge him in any of those three. He contended he had cooked and eaten parts of his first two preys, boiling one in a pot, and ate the third one raw.
Detectives have discovered no indication to corroborate his claims of cannibalism, which they speculate were made in a try to increase his attention. Although many people do acknowledge he did eat parts of his victims.
Griffiths was sharp to seize on a tabloid headline when he made his first arrival in court charged of a triple murder, startling everyone presents by giving his name as “Crossbow Cannibal”. He also pertained to himself as the “SF” killer, which has not been explained.
Conviction and sentence...
On 21 December 2010, Griffiths was sentenced of all three killings after pleading guilty. At Leeds Crown Court the same day, Mr Justice Openshaw convicted Griffiths to life imprisonment with a whole life order, meaning he will not become able for parole and is likely to spend the rest of his life in jail.
While in prison, Griffiths has tried suicide on various occasions. He has also been on a 2-month hunger strike, during which time he averted contact with other people.