Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Colin Ireland

The Story

Colin Ireland (Photo News Service)
Colin Ireland
(Photo News Service)

The case of Colin Ireland was never reported in the press with the kind of near hysteria that greeted those of Peter Sutcliffe or Fred and Rose West. Partly, this is because Ireland pleaded guilty to the murders of five homosexual men in 1993, and thus there was no trial to report, and few details about him emerged; partly, too, one suspects that the murders of a handful of gay men were unlikely to cause the sort of public outrage and fascination as the murders of young women or children. Whatever the reasons, no book has been written about him, nor any substantial articles. I have been fortunate, therefore, to have been able to contact Colin Ireland directly and to have received extensive replies to my questions from him.

The following account is based largely on my correspondence with Ireland. He assures me that in his answers to my questions he has been entirely truthful, as "I see no point in being otherwise," and I will take his word for that. But, of course, in such circumstances, one cannot testify unreservedly to the accuracy of the information, which can sometimes be distorted due to memory failure, suppression of information, or special pleading. Yet, there have been few cases in which serial killers in England have revealed themselves so forthrightly, and the gains of hearing first-hand why and how the mind of a serial killer has been formed, and operated, more than compensate for any possible inaccuracy in the material. The following account, then, is unique: it is, largely, Colin Ireland's own story.


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