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Graham Young is best known as the Teacup Poisoner, responsible for the killing of at least three people in England.
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He continued to read widely about poisoning, although he began to keep his obsession increasingly well hidden, when authorities made it clear that appearing less obsessed would speed up his release.
By the late 1960's Young's doctors seemed oblivious to his continued fatal fascination and recommended, in June 1970,
that he be released as he had been 'cured'. Young celebrated by informing a psychiatric nurse that he intended to kill one person for every year he had been in Broadmoor; the comment was recorded on his file but, amazingly, never influenced the decision to release him.
When Young was released on February 4, 1971, now aged 23, he went to stay in a hostel but had contact with his sister, Winifred, who had moved to Hemel Hempstead following her marriage. Despite having been poisoned by him, she was more forgiving than her father, who initially wanted nothing to do with his son. She was concerned about his fixation with his crimes: he took great delight in visiting the scenes of his past crimes, thriving on the reaction of his old neighbors in Neasden when they recognized who he was.
He made trips to London, where he stocked up on the antimony, thallium, and other poisons required for his experiments, and a fellow hostel resident, 34-year old Trevor Sparkes, was soon exhibiting the familiar cramps and sickness associated with any proximity to Young. Another man he befriended experienced such agony that he took his own life, although no connection to Young was established at the time.
Young found work as a store man at John Hadland Laboratories, a photographic supply firm in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, where his new employers were aware of his Broadmoor stay, but not his history as a poisoner. They might have had some reservations, given the easy availability of poisons such as thallium, routinely used in photographic processes, but he had, in any case, already secured his poison supplies from unsuspecting London pharmacists. His willingness to make tea and coffee for his co-workers raised no concerns, therefore, and when Young's boss, 59-year-old Bob Egle, began to experience severe cramps and dizziness, it was attributed to a virus known locally as the bovingdon bug, which had afflicted a number of local schoolchildren. Other Hadland workers complained of similar cramps, but none were ever as severe as Egle's who, curiously, seemed to recover when off work ill, but instantly became sicker than ever on his return to work. He was eventually admitted to hospital where he died, in agony, on July 7, 1971. His cause of death was recorded as pneumonia.
In September 1971, 60-year-old Fred Biggs began to suffer similar symptoms to Egle, and general absenteeism at Hadland increased dramatically, with employees suffering a variety of unusual and debilitating ailments, including the usual cramps, hair loss and sexual dysfunction. Various sources were considered, including water contamination, radioactive fallout and leakage of the chemicals used at the firm itself, but no real progress was made towards the cause.
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