The Beast of Jersey Was One Of The Most Horrifying Serial Rapists And Murderers Ever

In the 1960s, the island of Jersey located in the English Channel was a terrifying place for women and children. A real-life boogeyman was hunting them: he was prowling neighborhood streets and waiting for them to be alone and vulnerable. This mystery monster was assailing people in brutal and violent ways. Dubbed "The Beast of Jersey," his ghastly offenses haunted an entire community. 

It wasn't until July 1971 that anyone would uncover the identity of the masked culprit responsible for terrorizing Channel Island. Even after Edward Paisnel was unmasked and apprehended, the extent of his actions would remain unknown until after his passing. The shocking details of this notorious perp's offenses against women and children have been compared to some of the most terrifying serial killers in history.  

  • He Wore A Disfigured Mask And Nail-Studded Costume

    He Wore A Disfigured Mask And Nail-Studded Costume
    Photo: R. Powell / Stringer / Hulton Archive

    Edward Paisnel became referred to as "The Beast of Jersey" because he hid behind a ghastly rubber mask so none of his victims could identify him. He also wore a woman’s wig, a nail-studded coat, and matching wristbands.

    He slipped on his demented boogeyman attire and prowled the streets as his alter ego, the beast.

  • He Preyed On Women And Children

    He Preyed On Women And Children
    Photo: Unknown / Maxpixel / Public Domain

    For 11 years Edward Paisnel got away with breaking into homes and physically assailing women and children on the island of Jersey in the English Channel. He would go after his victims when he knew they were home alone. He'd sneak into the house and take his victims from their beds.

    He'd then fasten a noose around their necks and subject them to his twisted sexual fantasies.

  • He Prowled Multiple Children’s Homes At Night And Impregnated One Of His Victims

    He Prowled Multiple Children’s Homes At Night And Impregnated One Of His Victims
    Photo: Andrew Gustar / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    Victims came forward and described the physical harm they endured at the hands of Paisnel while living in children's homes. One of those victims was even impregnated by Paisnel. There were many reports of "someone" moving around in the crawl spaces at night in the La Preference children's home during the 1960s. There were even reports of the children waking up to find someone staring at them from behind a crude rubber mask.

    It wasn't until the 2008 investigation of Haut de la Garenne that a victim recalled Paisnel climbing through the windows at night wearing his mask and gloves to assail the children. One witness confirmed he used chloroform on sleeping children and removed them from their beds to perform his sadistic acts elsewhere.

  • He Worshipped Satan

    He Worshipped Satan
    Photo: Moro Fenrir / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Paisnel constructed a shrine in which he used to worship Satan as well as to performed various blood rituals prior to seizing his victims. Reportedly, police found his Satanic shrine out in a barn.

    It was full of occult symbols, books, and an altar hidden by heavy red curtains that he used for animal sacrifices.

  • Paisnel Idolized Gilles de Rais, The Inspiration Behind Bluebeard

    Paisnel Idolized Gilles de Rais, The Inspiration Behind Bluebeard
    Photo: Jean-Antoine-Valentin Foulquier / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In addition to all his Satanic objects, Paisnel had an unhealthy obsession with Gilles de Rais. Paisnel apparently modeled himself after de Rais, a 15th Century French occultist and lunatic who would lure children into his castle and offer them as sacrifices to Satan. It's believed this madman inspired Bluebeard, a dark character of French folklore.

    Bluebeard was known for dispatching all of his many wives and keeping their corpses hanging from hooks in a locked room in his home.

  • He’s Connected To Additional Unsolved Cases

    He’s Connected To Additional Unsolved Cases
    Photo: Man vyi / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    After Paisnel's passing, more evidence began to pop up against him. As it turns out, there are direct connections to him and a number of missing children cases. He may have been responsible for ending lives in addition to his other offenses. In 2008, a child's skull was found during the excavation of Haut De La Garenne.

    This orphanage was one of the places "Uncle Ted" was known to frequent. After the initial discovery, a more thorough search was conducted and more bones were found behind the home. Investigators also found shackles in the basement.