A beautiful, lively, and richly historical city, London also has a dark side filled with stories of murder and deviant crimes. One such story involves one of London's most prolific and unassuming serial killers, John Reginald Christie, who resided in a home at what has become one of the most notorious addresses in London - 10 Rillington Place.
Christie, who has come to be considered one of the most diabolical serial killers in all of Britain, lived in the home in the 1940s and early 1950s. The remains of all of his victims were found on his property, forever sullying the home and its grounds - so much so that the neighborhood was razed to the ground in 1970 in an attempt to erase the story from the memory of the nation. This true story of a deranged necrophile, who killed at least eight women, one baby, and inadvertently an innocent man, shocked and titillated 20th-century London and ultimately forced Britain to amend its long-held practice of capital punishment.
He Strangled Eight Women To Death
John Christie started killing in 1943, and his reign of terror didn't end until 10 years later. He targeted a variety of women, including his coworkers, prostitutes, and his own wife. He usually lulled the women into a sense of safety before killing them by offering to help them.
His first victim, Ruth Fuerst, was a part-time prostitute he strangled during sex. His second victim was 32-year-old Muriel Eady, a colleague he killed after offering to show her a remedy for her bronchitis with a “special mixture” he had concocted. She inhaled the solution of alcohol mixed with carbon monoxide and instantly passed out. As she drifted in and out of consciousness, he raped and strangled her, eventually burying her beside his first victim outside.
Christie went on to kill Beryl and Geraldine Evans, his own wife, and three women he lured to his house on the promise he could give them a temporary place to stay while they got settled in London.
He Hid Bodies All Over His Property - Including In His Kitchen WallsVideo: YouTube
After he killed people - including Beryl Evans, her daughter Geraldine, and his wife Ethel - he buried them on his property or hid their bodies inside the walls and floorboards. When Ethel was still alive, she would leave the house each morning and Christie would go out looking for female victims. And as she prepared dinner each night, she never guessed their mangled corpses were hidden just a few feet away, behind the facade of her kitchen wall. Half-naked and wrapped in dirty blankets, the remains of several women were stuffed in the walls. Christie also placed his victims - including his wife - underneath the floorboards of his house. He moved a few bodies to the garden outside, which was dug up after his arrest.
The discovery of bodies in the kitchen occurred after Christie moved out in 1953. A new tenant who was trying to install a wall shelf in Christie's old kitchen accidentally broke through the hollow plaster and revealed a hidden alcove where the three bodies were hidden. The full truth of Christie's crimes had emerged, and his later confessions would illuminate the motivations behind the deaths of the three women in the wall.
His Sexual Dysfunction Fed A Deep Hatred Of Women
Christie married his wife Ethel Simpson in 1920, but the relationship would eventually fall apart as a result of his impotence, hypochondria, and affinity for local prostitutes. His lack of sexual ability troubled him deeply. During his teenage years it was rumored that he couldn't perform sexually, and he was given the nickname "Can't-Do-It-Christie." Psychologists later asserted that Christie may have formed a hatred and dread of women because of his dysfunction and was only able to overcome it when he was in full control. During his murder trial, Christie himself said, "All my life I've had this fear of appearing ridiculous as a lover."
Before his killing spree, he was arrested for assaulting a woman and spent six months in jail.
He Kept Mementos From His Victims
Similar to other well-known serial killers, Christie kept trophies from some of his kills. He kept mementos of pubic hair from his victims hidden in tins around his apartment.
Once tested, it appeared three samples of the hair could not be matched to the women found on his property, suggesting he had a much more expansive victimology than police knew.