Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Anthony John Hardy: The Camden Ripper

Trials and Confessions

Central Criminal Court, The Old Bailey
Central Criminal Court, The Old Bailey

Hardys murder trial began at The Old Bailey Courthouse in November 2003. During the onset of the trial, he made a startling confession. He not only pled guilty to the murders of Elizabeth and Brigitte but also that of Sally White, who was thought to have died of natural causes. He had previously denied murdering the women. A November 2003 article by Hugh Dougherty and Finian Davern in The Evening Standard, suggested that the confession discounted the conclusions of previous pathological reports into Sallys death and threw into question the credibility of the medical examiners that worked on her case.

Anthony John Hardy
Anthony John Hardy

During the trial it was revealed how each woman succumbed to their gruesome demise. Hardy was said to have lured all of the women to his apartment with the offer of money. He then engaged in extreme sex with the women before strangling them.

Davenport and Dougherty suggested that Hardy was a pornography-obsessed necrophiliac who achieved sexual gratification by posing the nude bodies of his victims after death and taking explicit photos of their naked corpses. In fact, it was suggested in a November 2003 BBC News article that his primary motivation for committing the murders was so that he could photograph them. It was also suggested that at the time police found Sally White, Hardy was likely in the process of preparing her body for photographs. She too would have likely ended up in the trash bin had the police not interrupted his gruesome activities.

According to Edwards and Mackay, Hardy had taken about 44 pornographic pictures of Elizabeth and Brigitte, which he allegedly sent to a friend. The pictures were later turned into the police. They claimed that one of the macabre photographs depicted Elizabeth lying posed on the bed with her facial features obscured by a devil mask and a baseball hat, both of which were later found at Hardys flat during the search.

After Hardy had finished with his victims, he used a hacksaw to dismember their bodies in his bathtub. Evidence of his victims blood was found in his bathroom. Oldham reported that when the police interviewed neighbors after the discovery of the bodies, they claimed to have heard drilling sounds at all hours of the day.

BBC News reported that the judge overhearing the case, Justice Keith, said to Hardy at the conclusion of the trial, Only you know for sure how your victims met their deaths but the unspeakable indignities to which you subjected the bodies of your last two victims in order to satisfy your depraved and perverted needs are in no doubt.

On November 25, 2003 Hardy was given three life sentences for the murders. An article in The Guardian Unlimited said that the judge would later decide whether he could ever be released on license.

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