One of Britain’s worst serial killers — who preyed only on gay men, killing five in the 1990s before being caught — died in a West Yorkshire prison yesterday, apparently of natural causes.
In 1993, Colin Ireland reportedly made a gruesome New Year’s resolution: to become a serial killer. A 38-year-old drifter at the time, Ireland began frequenting the historic London gay pub the Coleherne, where he methodically picked up his victims. He then accompanied them to their homes, where he tortured and brutally murdered them.
Among the victims was an American, Perry Bradley III, the son of a top Democratic Party fundraiser in Texas.
With police slow to connect the murders, London’s LGBT community quickly became terrorized by the so-called “Gay Slayer”.
Ireland later claimed to have pretended to be gay solely to ensnare his victims, but said that he harbored no particular animosity toward gay people. His reasoning, he told authorities, was simply that gay men made easier targets, and that they “keep their mouths shut and don’t tell the police things.”
Ireland was finally caught in December 1993, and sentenced to life in prison.
In 2008, a British TV series profiled Ireland in “Real Crime: Serial Killer On Camera”. Watch here, but be warned that it’s very disturbing viewing.