Catching the Cannibal
Three days after the disappearance of Suzanne Blamires, the caretaker of Holmfield Court reviews the CCTV tapes from the weekend. (He routinely checks them for any evidence of petty crimes in the flats). He’s fast forwarding through the silent footage of the third-floor corridor when he comes across a resident, Stephen Griffiths, leading a woman into his flat.Within minutes, the woman runs out looking like she’s running for her life. Griffiths follows with a crossbow, fires, misses, fires again, and fells her with a bolt to her head. He turns to a nearby CCTV camera and raises his crossbow to it like a winning footballer raises a trophy cup. He drags her lifeless body back by her leg and into his flat. He then returns to the camera with a drinks can which he raises as he ‘toasts’ his triumph while giving the finger.
Later, he goes back and forth in front of its silent gaze dragging bin bags and a rucksack.The camera has captured the last moments of Suzanne Blamires.On Monday at 1pm, the distraught caretaker phones the police.Armed police race to arrest 40 year old Stephen Griffiths. He’s arrested and handcuffed and tells police, ‘I’m Osama bin Laden.’ He will have to wait for the tabloids to come up with his nickname.They search his flat and find two crossbows and bolts along with shelves stacked with books on serial killers. The flat looks like Griffiths had tried to recently eradicate evidence by ripping up carpets and tiles.The next afternoon, a member of the public discovers a woman’s head and other body parts in a rucksack on the banks of the River Aire, five miles north of Griffiths’ flat. The crossbow bolt and knife are still embedded in the head. The head has been skinned.Nearby is a ‘killer’s kitbag’. It contains hacksaws and knives used in the dismemberment of bodies.