Extremely dangerous nature
John Taylor, 45, was arrested on 16 October 2001 and taken to a police station in Leeds for questioning. Police immediately sealed off his house in Cockshott Drive, putting up seven-foot high wooden screens and began their search. Investigators dug up the garden and discovered the bodies of 28 ferrets and the skeletons of four dogs, one with a crushed skull. Detective Superintendent Gregg commented, “Taylor appears to have been an ordinary man but he is not. He has a dangerous, extremely dangerous nature. This is displayed in the way in which he treated animals throughout his life.”
Further investigation provided more evidence in their case against Taylor. The tan leather dog collar found on Tiernan’s body, had been made by a company in Nottingham. This company sold the collars to wholesalers, including a mail order company in Liverpool, one of whose customers was Taylor.
The twine that had been used to tie the green bin-liners around Tiernan’s body was of an unusual composition. It was traced to a manufacturer in Devon and, having originally been made for the Ministry of Defence, had more recently been sold for rabbit netting. Later, in a search of Taylor’s house, police found an exact march of the twine, as well as a piece of green plastic, identical to the bin-liners used to wrap Tiernan’s dead body.
The yellow cable ties, used to bind and gag Tiernan, had been manufactured by an Italian company who sold 99% of them to the Royal Mail. Taylor worked for Parcelforce, a division of Royal Mail.
Red nylon fibres were discovered on Tiernan’s jumper and found to have distinctive dye patterns. These fibres were matched to those found clinging to nails in the floor of Taylor’s house. He had previously ripped out a red carpet and burned it, in order to destroy evidence of Tiernan’s presence in his home.
Police investigators questioned Taylor’s ex-girlfriends, who revealed similar stories of Taylor’s love of tying up women, unusual fantasies and enjoying sado-masochistic sex. One woman claimed Taylor had told her of his desire to have sex with her 15-year-old daughter.
The West Yorkshire police were certain that Tiernan had not been Taylor’s first victim. Gregg’s team were further investigating other major crimes committed over the previous 20 years, to see if Taylor may have been involved in them. They focussed on four in particular. The first was the 1992 murder of Yvonne Fitt, a prostitute from Bradford, whose body as found in a shallow grave in the same woodland where Tiernan was buried. The other three were Lindsey Jo Rimer, who disappeared in 1994; Deborah Wood, whose body was found in 1996; and Rebecca Hall, found in an alley in Bradford in 2001.