Stephen Griffiths: The Crossbow Cannibal
24th May 2010

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Stephen Griffiths: The Crossbow Cannibal

Stephen Griffiths: The Crossbow Cannibal

Until May 2010, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Stephen Griffiths was a mere oddball, had you known him. Certainly those among who he lived felt there was something strange about the man who lived in the flat down the hall, taking his pet lizard for walks on a leash and wearing sunglasses all year round.

In fact, behind his apparently harmless exterior, he was brooding on murderous intentions that finally erupted into grim reality and would leave 3 of Bradford's prostitute community dead.

The caretaker at Holmfield Court - the converted mill where Griffiths lived - was first to see behind the mask. As he watched CCTV footage from the corridors as part of his routine activities, he was stunned to see a woman bursting from Griffiths' flat and fleeing down the corridor. More stunned still was he when Griffiths knocked her unconscious and laid her body out. And when Griffiths left her, only to return with a crossbow, his blood turned to ice as he saw the man coolly level it at her head and kill her where she lay.

On his subsequent arrest, police uncovered an unravelling personality who despite his good looks, outward friendliness and academic achievements had been inexorably edging towards murder for years.

For 6 years he had been studying for a part time PhD course at the University of Bradford where his course included comparing 19th century techniques with those of the modern day, but even before that as a young boy his mother had scraped together the fees necessary to send the young Griffiths to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in nearby Wakefield - the school were once the young George 'Acid Bath Murderer' Haigh had been taught.

While it is fanciful to suggest that this could have been an influence, undoubtedly tales of Haigh's deeds would have been passed down in tones of hushed, eerie reverence by generations of schoolboys. Certainly, an impressionable and enquiring mind, encountering the concept of murder in such way could easily have found themselves contemplating horrors normally not seen in the mind of 11 year old boys.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 25th July 2017 | © Weird Island 2010-2020
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News report of Griffiths' conviction