- Killer used knives and a power tool to cut up bodies in bath.Police believe murder spree may have been prompted by his PhD on killers.
Guilty: Stephen Griffiths, the 'Crossbow Cannibal', today pleaded guilty to killing three prostitutesA criminology student who dubbed himself the 'Crossbow Cannibal' and bragged to police about eating human flesh was today jailed for life for his 'wicked and monstrous' crimes.
- 'I've killed loads' claim leads detectives to open old files.
- Judge hands 'evil' Griffiths a whole life term for his crimes.
- Mother pleads with killer to reveal where her daughter's body is.
- Killer told police: 'I don't have much time for the human race.'
Stephen Griffiths, 40, who was obsessed with serial killers, murdered Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, who all worked in the red light district near his home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Griffiths, who pleaded guilty to the murders at Leeds Crown Court today, was caught when a caretaker at the flats where he lived saw horrific CCTV footage of Ms Blamires's final moments.
When he was arrested Griffiths told police 'I've killed loads' and claimed he had eaten some of Ms Blamires's flesh, adding: 'That's part of the magic.'He added: 'I'm misanthropic, I don't have much time for the human race.'
Griffiths stood in the dock to enter his pleas surrounded by five security guards. Dressed in a grey tracksuit, he said 'yes' when asked to confirm his name.
He said 'guilty' in a quiet voice when the clerk put each of the three murder charges to him.
Judge Mr Justice Openshaw, told the court the defendant's mental health had been carefully examined and there was 'no question that he was fit to plead'.The court heard gruesome details of the killings including the shocking revelation that 81 different pieces of Ms Blamires were found in or by the River Aire in Shipley.
A broken knife and a crossbow bolt were embedded in her severed head. The prosecutor said the head had had its skin removed.The furniture and the walls in Griffiths' flat were splattered with the victims' blood and he claimed to have eaten raw parts of flesh of Ms Blamires.
The magnitude of Stephen Griffiths's confessed crimes will inevitably open a floodgate of analysis into what drove him to such barbarity and whether he killed anyone else.
Murdered: Susan Rushworth, Suzanne Blamires and Shelley Armitage worked in Bradford's red light districtHorrific weapons: Two crossbows belonging to cannibal killer Stephen Griffiths were recovered by police
Miss Blamires mother Nicky condemned the triple killer's actions, saying: 'Stephen Griffiths is a coward and we are shocked he pleaded guilty as it is not something I thought he would have the courage to do.'
Christine Thompson, Susan Rushworth's mother, issued an emotional appeal to Griffiths to tell them what he has done with her daughter's body so she can finally be laid to rest.
She said: 'As a family, we have not been able to put our daughter to rest because she has not been found, so we want to appeal to this man to tell us what he has done with Susan.'
Gill Armitage, Shelley Armitage's mother, said: 'She took the wrong path at the young age of 16 years old when she became a victim of heroin. Her death will haunt us for the rest of our lives."
Griffiths has a violent past and has a history of poor mental health. He spent time in Rampton high security hospital in Nottinghamshire in the early 1990s.Caught: The moment Griffiths arrived at the police station following his arrest and under interview by detectivesIn the dock: Griffiths, drawn by an artist while appearing in court in May, admitted the killings
As a 17-year-old he was arrested for shoplifting in a supermarket but as he was detained he slashed a security guard's throat with a knife.He was jailed for three years.
In 1989 he was prosecuted for possession of an air pistol but was not jailed. He was ordered to do 100 hours' community service as he had fallen foul of the previous conviction.
JUDGE ALLOWS COURT TWEETSIn 1991 he received a 24-month sentence at Leeds Crown Court for affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
His girlfriends said he was violent and abused them but were too terrified to testify against him and no charges were brought.
Police sources believe his killing spree could have been triggered by his studies. It is claimed Griffiths's PhD research into serial killers caused him to 'flip' and seek out prostitutes.
His method of killing was so gruesome it could have come from a horror movie, using knives and a power tool to cut up the bodies in the bath of his flat.
He made attempts to clean up but blood spots were left in his flat and detectives were able to make a match.
Griffiths also claims to have eaten some of the flesh of his victims. He told police he cooked pieces of flesh and also ate some raw. Police said it is virtually impossible to verify his claims.
Detectives have not ruled out that Griffiths may have killed more women and are looking for any evidence which links him to other unsolved murders or missing persons. So far they have found no evidence of this.
Prosecuting, Robert Smith QC, said a caretaker lived at the flat building where Griffiths lived.
It was his job to review footage taken from CCTV cameras at the flats each morning.
On May 24, he reviewed the footage at 8.30am. The court was told he reviewed footage from camera 14.
The footage showed Ms Blamires running out of Griffiths's flat, followed by the defendant, the court heard.
She was later seen being dragged on the floor by her leg by Griffiths, Mr Smith said.Police carried out a huge search of the area surrounding Griffiths's flat after the discovery of body parts
Griffiths was seen to have something in his hand, the prosecutor added.The court was told the woman was shot with a crossbow before Griffiths 'gestured' by holding a finger up to the CCTV camera.
Mr Smith told the court how Griffiths told arresting officers: 'I'm Osama bin Laden.'
The prosecutor said once in a police station he told officers: 'I've killed a lot more than Suzanne Blamires - I've killed loads.
'Peter Sutcliffe came a cropper in Sheffield. So did I but at least I got out of the city.'
The court heard he told police he put a poisonous substance in a shop and said he called himself 'Ven Pariah'.
Mr Smith said Griffiths told police Suzanne Blamires - who he knew as 'Amber' - was 'gone'.
He said he told officers he had 'eaten some of her' adding: 'That's part of the magic.'
Mr Smith said Griffiths told the interviewing officers he was 'only going to talk about five Bradford cases'.
Face of evil: Griffiths pictured left at fee-paying Queen Elizabeth Grammar school, in Wakefield, and a snap from his MySpace web page thought to be taken when he was in his 20s
Family members sobbed as the prosecutor revealed gruesome details of the murders.
At one point a woman yelled out 'You f****** c***' as the details were revealed.
Mr Smith said Griffiths had admitted to killing Ms Blamires in the flat and dismembering her by hand, while power tools had been used on the other victims.
'It was just a slaughterhouse in the bathtub,' he told officers.
He told police he was studying for a PhD in homicide and he had 'cut himself off from society' and a 'civil war' was going on in his head.
VICTIMS WERE EASY TARGETS FOR 'EVIL' GRIFFITHS
THE CROSSBOW CANNIBAL: A PhD STUDENT IN MURDER