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British serial killer John Christie murdered at least six women, including his wife, before being arrested and hanged in 1953.
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His learning difficulties made it hard for him to hold a steady job, and when, a year later, Beryl found herself pregnant again, she feared that they would not be able to support another child.
Christie claimed that he had some knowledge of abortion, illegal in the U.K. at that time, and offered to assist the couple. Beryl became Christie's third victim, incapacitated, strangled and violated as per his modus operandi, on she died on November 8,
1948 as a result of his intervention. He persuaded Evans that her death had resulted from septic poisoning, from the various other abortion remedies that she had tried up until that point, and convinced him not to go to the police. Instead, he was dispatched alone to stay with his mother's sister in Wales, with Christie claiming that he had found a young couple willing to look after baby Geraldine. She was never seen alive again.
Evans' mother, puzzled by the mysterious disappearance of Beryl and the baby, confronted Evans and, on November 30, unable to maintain the charade any longer, he went to the police in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. Wishing to protect Christie, he confessed to accidentally killing Beryl himself, by giving her abortion pills, and then disposing of her body in a sewer drain. Police in Notting Hill duly investigated, and found nothing, and Evans was questioned more intensely a second time, at which time he changed his story and implicated Christie in Beryl's death.
A thorough search of Rillington Place, on December 2,1949, revealed the bodies of Beryl and baby Geraldine hidden in the washhouse in the back garden. Geraldine still had a man's tie around her neck, which had been used to strangle her.
Further questioning caused Evans to change his story a number of times, which included a confession to having strangled Beryl over mounting debts, but this may have been due to the limitations of his mental abilities and the strenuous police interrogation. Christie was also questioned, but managed to convince police that he had no involvement. With careful coaching from Christie, wife Ethel also corroborated his version.
Evans went on trial at on January 11,1950, and his ineffective defense team failed to follow up on a number of inconsistencies in the testimony offered by Christie and his wife. Indeed, Christie was a key witness for the prosecution, and his positive impression on the jury was instrumental in Evans being found guilty. Evans continued to maintain his innocence, and attempted one appeal, but he was hanged on March 9,1950.
Following the trial, Christie's hypochondria grew steadily worse, and he became depressed and lost a considerable amount of weight. He lost his job at the post office, and found it difficult to maintain a job over the next few years. Around December 12,1952, Ethel Christie disappeared mysteriously, and Christie told neighbors that she had gone back to Sheffield, while relatives were told that she had become too ill to communicate with them, although he continued to send gifts marked as coming from both of them.
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Many of the most horrifying acts of violence are committed by serial killers. Always looking for next victim, these murderers kill again and again, never fully satisfied by their bloody deeds. Their twisted motivations—and even more twisted techniques—land the people in this group among the most frightening criminals in history.
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