Friday August 24 2012
NOTORIOUS serial killer John Shaw, who killed two women, is seriously ill.
Shaw (70) brutally murdered Elizabeth Plunkett in Co Wicklow and Mary Duffy in Co Mayo in 1976.
The former coal miner, who supplied the 'brawn' in a murderous partnership with Geoffrey Evans, was taken to the Mater Hospital in Dublin from Castlerea prison with cardiac problems.
He is now out of hospital but is receiving ongoing treatment while being held in Arbour Hill, which is close to the Mater.
On the orders of Evans, Shaw carried out the murders after the young women had been raped and tortured.
Evans, regarded as 'the brains' of the brutal operation, died in St Mary's nursing home on May 20 this year at the age of 69. He had spent 36 years in jail.
Shaw received treatment at the Mater Hospital but has been transferred to Arbour Hill prison nearby while attending as an outpatient under escort.
The Shaw/Evans partnership told detectives of a sick plan to rape and kill one woman a week, following their release from jail for burglary offences stretching from Wicklow to Cork.
They were eventually captured by gardai in Salthill, Co Galway.
The gruesome details of the torture inflicted on their victims was never fully revealed as both pleaded guilty.
Since then, it has cost the taxpayer around €4m to keep them behind bars, when security and medical bills are taken into account.
Evans had been in a coma since 2008 and was "tagged" with an electronic bracelet to prevent escape while in hospital.
The men fled from their native England in 1975 where they were under suspicion for a number of rapes and robberies.
Their crime spree here came to a temporary halt when they were detained in Co Cork and jailed for 18 months for a series of robberies.
Their sadistic rape and murder plan, hatched in jail, first claimed the life of Elizabeth Plunkett, a 23-year-old clerk from Ringsend, Dublin, who they kidnapped, raped and strangled in August 1976.
Hitch-hiker Elizabeth was abducted in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, taken to Castletymon woods and strangled with a nylon shirt sleeve.
Her body was thrown in the sea but was washed ashore a month afterwards in Ballyteigue Bay in Co Wexford.
Mary Duffy, a 23-year-old cook from Castlebar in Co Mayo, was their next victim.
They punched her, abducted and raped her before Shaw suffocated her with a cushion.
They dumped her body into Lough Inagh and went drinking at a local pub in Salthill, where gardai spotted them and took them into custody.