"He studied to be a serial killer"

'When you have somebody who wasn’t insane, that’s much more worrying because we could all do that.' Mike Berry, Forensic Psychologist and Police Profiler of Colin Ireland.

British author Anna Gekoski, who specialises in British sexual predators, contacted Ireland directly and in correspondence, put forward numerous questions, which Ireland answered, apparently truthfully. What Ireland really wanted was recognition. Now classed as a serial killer, he was ready for his story to be known. His communication with Anna was fascinating for a number of reasons. Unlike serial killers like Myra Hindley, Ireland wasn’t after any understanding in the hope of reducing his sentence. And because he so self consciously became a serial killer, he was able to calculatedly employ counter measures to avoid detection.


As Ireland had studied serial killers and specifically read ex-FBI Agent Robert Ressler’s book ‘Whoever Fights Monsters’, some suggested such books should be removed. Ressler argued that if a person was going to commit murder, his book could not be blamed. Ireland himself said that the TV crime series, ‘The Bill’ had given him so many of his ideas and police evasion methods that it should be banned.

One of the very few positives to emerge from the Colin Ireland case was a fundamental change in the approach of the police to investigating the gay community.

'The fact that we now have LGBT liaison officers, the fact that anti-gay hate crime is actually treated seriously by the police... We see ourselves more as citizens and we expect to be treated as citizens by the police in a way that we didn’t before.' Paul Burston, Author.


It is common for serial killers to withhold all of their murders from the police. It is believed the lack of disclosure allows them some semblance of control even when physically imprisoned.

And the police did look at one particular case they believed might have been Ireland’s work but which was never claimed by him.

In January 1993, a gay man living alone in South London had been found dead in his home. He had been partially eaten by his dogs.

But it is likely this will never be properly attributed to the ‘gay slayer.’

For Colin Ireland, the man who had tortured five other human beings in their last moments, and had suffocated them all to death, died of natural causes in February 2012. He was 57 years old.