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John Duffy was a British serial killer who, in partnership with childhood friend David Mulcahy, murdered multiple women the 1980s.
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The police had no evidence to link the crimes and were unsure as to whether they were committed by the same man, or two different individuals.
Then, in July 1985, three women were raped on the same night, all in the Hendon and Hampstead area. Duffy and Mulcahy were pulled in for interrogation, but were eventually released. However, in August 1985, after a bout of domestic violence at his home, where he attacked his wife,
Duffy was arrested.
He was interviewed and eventually added to the Hart computer system as one of many thousands of men being investigated. Unfortunately Duffy was far down the list of suspects. Mulcahy, who was Duffy's accomplice in the rape attacks, was also questioned and eventually released.
A new concept in crime investigations, called psychological offender profiling, was evolving at the time.
Professor David Canter from Surrey University was called in to aid the police investigation and it was his profiling system which helped crack the case.
Canter drew up a list of 17 personality and characteristic traits, including environmental clues that the offender may display. When Duffy was finally caught, Canter was proved correct on at least 12 of these traits.
In September 1985, a woman was attacked in Barnet. The description of the attacker fit Duffy and the police pulled him in for questioning and placed him in an identity parade. However, the victim, still traumatized from the assault, failed to pick him out.
Mulcahy was also questioned but eventually released. It was a grave mistake, costing the lives of several women.
On December 29, 1985, Alison Day, 19, was dragged off a train by Duffy and Mulcahy, and raped repeatedly. She was then strangled with a piece of string.
This was the first time the victim had been killed. Police stepped up their search for the attacker. The death of Day changed the attacker's moniker from the Railway Rapist to the Railway Killer. There was still no evidence at this time to suggest that two men were carrying out the attacks.
In the spring of 1986 the two men attacked another helpless young victim. Fifteen-year-old Maartje Tambozer was abducted from Horsley station in East Surrey on April 17, 1986. After being raped and strangled, the teenager's body was set on fire, most likely a grisly attempt to destroy any evidence.
Less than a month later, on May 12, 1986, Duffy was arrested after he was found carrying a knife. However, there was not enough evidence to charge him and he was released—only to kill again six days later.
On May 18, the victim was local TV presenter Anne Locke, 29, who was abducted as she disembarked from her train in Hertfordshire.
In October 1986, a 14-year-old schoolgirl miraculously managed to get away with her life after she was raped by both men.
After this attack, on October 21, Duffy's luck began to run out. While stalking a woman in a park on November 7, he was discovered and arrested. The next day, Duffy was charged with three murders, and seven counts of rape.
Mulcahy was also arrested, but later released due to lack of evidence.
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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.
Infamous Serial Killers 35 people in this group
Famous People Named John 228 people in this group
Famous People Born in 1959 71 people in this group