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'Gay Slayer' serial killer Colin Ireland dies in prison
A SERIAL killer who murdered five homosexual men and became known as the Gay Slayer has died in prison.
Dartford-born Colin Ireland died in the healthcare centre at 9.20am yesterday (Tuesday, February 21) at HMP Wakefield in Yorkshire where he was serving a life sentence.
The 57-year-old made a New Year’s Resolution on January 1, 1993 to become a serial killer and over the next six months killed five men he met at the Colherne pub in Earls Court.
He went back to his victim’s homes, got them to agree to be tied up, tortured and suffocated them.
A reader of true crime and FBI manuals, he cleaned up after himself and stayed with the body overnight to avoid arousing suspicions by leaving late at night.
After his first murder, of theatre director Peter Walker, in March 1993 he called the Samaritans and The Sun to tell them he had killed.
His final victim was Maltese catering assistant Emanuel Spiteri, of Hither Green Lane in Lewisham, in June 1993. At the time, News Shopper described a ‘fear stalking the gay community of London’, while friends described Spiteri as ‘popular and colourful’.
Ireland was charged with the murder of Spiteri and another man in July 1993 and confessed to all five killings.
In 2007m the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Group said the police investigation was hampered by a lack of knowledge of the gay scene in London, particularly S and M and bondage, while a predisposition to interpret one of the killings as a sex act gone wrong delay the linking of the crimes.
The prison service said Ireland is presumed to have died of natural causes and a post-mortem examination will follow.
A spokesman said, as with all deaths in custody, an independent investigation would follow.
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