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5 high-profile killers from Kent from Kenneth Noye to Peter Tobin

Kent's worst killers

Its nickname of ‘The Garden of England’ may paint quite the quaint picture, but the southeastern county of Kent is one of the UK’s most dangerous. With an annual crime rate of 106 crimes for every 1,000 people, Kent isn’t quite the unending lush Eden that the tourist board might have us believe.

That said, being in the UK, murders are relatively - and thankfully - quite uncommon, but Kent’s most high profile killings are still pretty infamous and resonate not only with local residents, but with much of the country as a whole.

The road rage killing of Stephen Cameron

We begin with the highest profile of all the modern murders carried out within the Kent borders - the shocking stabbing to death of innocent motorist Stephen Cameron.

On 19th May 1996, 21-year-old Cameron was driving on the M25 motorway with his girlfriend Danielle Cable. On a slip road near Swanley he got into an argument with another driver. It was a road rage incident that made headlines and saw Cameron lose his life in the most vicious of ways.

The other driver was no irate white van man, it was violent career criminal and gangster Kenneth Noye. A man involved in the Brink’s Mat Robbery who had been acquitted for the murder of a police officer some 11 years previously. During the altercation, Noye took out a nine-inch kitchen knife and murdered Stephen.

Noye was on licence for his part in fencing bullion from Brink’s Mat when he carried out the callous murder. He fled to Spain immediately after but was caught with the assistance of GCHQ in 1998. He was released on parole in 2019.

Peter Tobin’s Margate murders

Scottish murderer Peter Tobin is currently serving a Whole Life Order at Her Majesty’s Prison Edinburgh. While his conviction for three murders was enough to see him officially classed a serial killer and imprisoned until he dies, police suspect him to be responsible for claiming many other victims.

Two of the murders that the authorities did manage to pin on Tobin were young women killed in Kent. In 1991, Tobin abducted 15-year-old Vicky Hamilton just outside of Falkirk, and took her to his Margate home where he raped, killed and buried her in the back garden.

Later that year, the killer - who has been linked with being the mysterious ‘Bible John’ figure - kidnapped, killed, and buried 18 year-old Dinah McNicol at the same address.

Unlike many other notorious murder houses, 50 Irvine Drive in Margate wasn’t knocked down. In fact, a young family now lives in the property, adamant that they won’t let the building’s history spoil their enjoyment of their home.

The Chillenden murders

Three bodies were discovered in a copse near a country lane in Chillenden on 9th July 1996. 45-year-old Dr. Lin Russell and her two daughters, Megan (6) and Josie (9), had all suffered brutal head injuries caused by a hammer. The trio had been restrained and attacked with a truly shocking level of ferocity.

Lin's husband - and the children's father - Dr. Shaun Russell, was initially told that they had all died in the attack, due to their severe head injuries. However, Josie managed to defy the odds and make a miraculous full recovery. She was promptly taken to King's College Hospital in London, where she was saved. She recovered even more miraculously in the years that followed.

Michael Stone, who is the prime suspect for another killing in Maidstone in 1976, denies killing the women. That’s not unusual, of course, but the level of vehmence with which Stone’s legal team contests the crimes is. Further doubt was levelled at Stone’s guilt when unconfirmed rumours spread that the known rapist and murderer Levi Bellfield had confessed to the murders in early 2022.

The Tunbridge Wells bedsit murders

David Fuller must have thought he’d gotten away with his murders and decades of sexually abusing corpses. His incredibly twisted and vile past caught up with him in 2021, however, when his DNA was eventually matched to the crime scene of ‘The Tunbridge Wells Bedsit Murders’.

On raiding Fuller’s house to collect evidence and arrest the seemingly mild-mannered pensioner, police made a grim discovery indeed. Scores and scores of tapes. Not only was Fuller guilty of murdering 25-year-old Wendy Knell and 20-year-old Caroline Pierce, in two separate attacks in 1987, he was also a prolific necrophile.

The killer worked for years as a hospital electrician and gained access to female corpses. He filmed himself sexually assaulting more than 100 bodies at the Tunbridge Wells Hospital and the former Kent and Sussex Hospital.

'The Devil’s disciple'

Patrick MacKay might be the most prolific British serial killer you've never heard of. Convicted of killing three people in the mid-1970s, it seems highly likely that 'The Devil's Disciple' killed many more. He's previously confessed to a further 10 murders, all of which remain unsolved.

The most high-profile murder carried out by the diagnosed psychopath was that of Father Anthony Crean in 1975. MacKay had inveigled his way into the kindly man's life and home and had previously stolen from him. Even though Father Crean encouraged police not to charge MacKay, an argument between the men ensued and the violent burglar took what he saw as revenge on the priest.

On 21st March, MacKay carried out a frenzied axe attack on Crean near his home in Shorne near Gravesend.