The Cul-De-Sac Killer
Stephen Akinmurele had a homicidal hatred of old people. He killed at least five of them for no apparent reason. Although not a particularly startling case of serial killings, there are a few tenuous, but interesting links to the Dennis Nilsen and Harold Shipman stories.
Very little is known about Stephen Akinmurele’s past, a lot of the information available cannot be verified from reputable sources.
I have done the best I can to extract the most likely scenarios and have put in quotes “facts” that cannot be fully substantiated. So please keep that in mind when reading the following.
Stephen Akinmurele was born in Nigeria in 1978. His father was Nigerian and his mother came from the Isle of Man (a “Manx”). When he was ten years old, Stephen’s parents’ marriage broke up.
Stephen was sent to live alone with his grandmother in Castletown, on the Isle of Man, famous for its annual TT motorcycle race, The Manx TT.
I should also note here that rejection (real or perceived) by a child’s parents often crops up in the personal histories of serial killers. One example that springs to mind is Moses Sithole.
Stephen apparently had some “mental health problems” and he is said to have started committing “crimes against the elderly at age 11“.
Nobody seems to know what happened to make Akinmurele hate elderly people so much. One must wonder about his relationship with his grandmother, apparently, he got on well with her, but little solid information appears to be available on this subject.
A school friend of his was quoted in a local newspaper as saying “he was often in trouble at school but came across as a nice friendly lad.”
Stephen moved to Blackpool, north-west England, in 1996, and got a job working in a Benefits office [similar to Dennis Nilsen] and also worked as a night barman in a gay bar called “Rumours”. Allegedly, Stephen Akinmurele then came out as a “promiscuous bisexual“.
It has also been claimed that Akinmurele “enjoyed the company of down and outs and drug addicts” of which there are many in Blackpool.
Sometime during October of 1997, Stephen was sacked from Rumours. According to his girlfriend at the time, Amanda Fitch, he was so distraught at the loss of his job that he carried out a botched suicide attempt.
October 1998, the bodies of Joan Boardman, aged 74, and her husband Eric, 76, were found by their daughter Marilyn (or Marelyn) at their home in Seafield Road, North Shore, Blackpool.
The couple had been married for 27 years and used to run pleasure boat cruises off of Blackpool beach. Joan was suffering from throat cancer.
It was later revealed that Akinmurele had entered No.2 Seafield Road in the morning when Joan was alone. Akinmurele strangled her there and then and left her laying on the living room floor at the back of the house, Washing from a basket had been emptied over her.
Akinmurele then waited for her husband Eric to return home. Whilst he was waiting, Akinmurele made a makeshift cosh by taping six torch batteries together.
When Eric returned he was met by Akinmurele and coshed to death.
However, according to police, Eric put up a tremendous fight. Eric Boardman could not of know the fate of Joan at that time, maybe he was fighting back in the hope of saving her?.
Eric’s brave fight may have caused Akinmurele to flee soon after killing him, as Akinmurele’s usual M.O was to set the victim’s house on fire to destroy any evidence.
In his panic to get away, Akinmurele left the bloody cosh behind, it had his fingerprints all over it and led to his arrest.
Eric Boardman’s body was found lying in the hallway under a toppled wardrobe. He had, head, neck, and facial injuries. Eric was later honoured with a posthumous award for bravery.
When he was questioned on November 1st, 1988, Stephen Akinmurele’s mood was liable to swing at any time. He could be quiet and polite and then he would have terrifying rages. DS Bob Denmark who interviewed him describes him as: “One of the most dangerous men I have ever met.”
During questioning, Akinmurele at first denied everything, but accidentally gave police clues during interviews that his ex-landlady, Jemimah Cargill, aged 75, had suspiciously died in a fire.
police re-investigated the incident and eventually got Akinmurele to admit to killing Ms Cargill. Investigators then started looking at other deaths of elderly people in house fires.
They soon uncovered the death of a Mrs Dorothy Harris, a partially blind and deaf 68-year-old, who was found dead after a fire at her home in Ballasalla, Isle Of Man, in February 1996.
Soon after, police linked the death of a Mrs Marjorie Ashton,72, who also lived in Ballasalla, and had died in a house fire in 1995. Stephen Akinmurele lived in the area at the time of both fires.
Akinmurele eventually confessed to both of these murders.
When asked what his motivation for the killings were, Akinmurele said, that he just got a “kick” out of killing old people.
Police charged Stephen Akinmurele with five murders and the court remanded him in custody to await trial.
The press soon dubbed him the “cul-de-sac killer” because he chose victims that lived in quiet suburban streets,
It was also revealed that Akinmurele would make gifts to his various sexual partners with trophies from his robberies and murders.
While in custody, Akinmurele seriously assaulted a police surgeon. He also confessed to other crimes including the murder of a rambler in the Isle of Man. Some aspects of this confession were corroborated by evidence. Investigators did find a concealed firearm. But no body was found and it was concluded that the confession was false and intended to mislead.
On Saturday 28th August 1999, while awaiting trial, Stephen Akinmurele hanged himself in his cell at Manchester Prison, using clothing tied to bars on his cell window [similar to Harold Shipman, also note the old people link with Shipman].
In the note found in his pocket after his death, addressed to his mother, Akinmurele said:
"I know it's not right always thinking like this but it's always on my mind. I can't help the way I feel, what I did was wrong - I know that and I feel for them - but it doesn't mean I won't do it again."
Stephen Akinmurele’s Inquest.
An inquest held into Stephen’s death heard that his girlfriend had warned prison authorities that he could be a danger to himself.
After his arrest he had been placed in a segregation unit, he tried to kill himself by overdosing on his medication. He was then put on self-harm watch.
Prison staff found he had a sharpened toothbrush, and he admitted to thinking about trying to capture and kill a female member of the staff.
It will most likely never be known how many people Stephen Akinmurele actually killed.
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