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He insisted on walking her home because he warned that ‘bad men might rape or hurt her’. He talked of such potential attacks again and again. But many women were naïve about criminal psychology in the 1950s and they simply believed that Patrick was a gentleman who was looking out for them. In truth, he was projecting his own sexually sadistic fantasies onto other men and imagining they were as deviant as he. Prison Byrne now began to show his true colours, assaulting a policeman in January 1958.

A small, slender teenager, he looked younger than his actual years and probably resembled the 14-year-olds that Victor most desired. (It’s likely that Victor himself was sadistically assaulted when he was this age – after all, he had a nervous breakdown at 15. ) Miller stopped the teenager and asked for directions, then drove around in a circle so that he was waiting for the youth when he cycled downhill. He grabbed Richard’s handlebars, pulled him off the bike and put a knife to his throat. He then dragged the youth to his car where he chloroformed him.

Unknown to Ireland, they were caught on the security camera there. Back at Emanuel Spiteri’s flat, Colin Ireland bound him and tortured him, but he refused to reveal his PIN number. Ireland eventually strangled him with a nylon rope. He set fire to the bedroom before he left, but the flames quickly went out. Seeking publicity The killer kept watching the news for details of his handiwork, but Emanuel Spiteri’s body hadn’t been found, so four days after the murder he phoned the police again and gave them the details.

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