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Serial killer Roy Fontaine, originally Archibald Hall, killed a former lover, his employers, an accomplice and another man in England in the 1970s.
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Born in Scotland in 1924, serial killer Archibald Hall (who, inspired by an Alfred Hitchcock film, renamed himself Roy Fontaine) worked as a butler for several wealthy families in England in the 1970s. During the time of his employ, he killed a former lover, two of his employers, an accomplice and another man. He died in prison in 2002.
Roy Fontaine was born Archibald Hall in Glasgow in 1924. He started stealing when he was just 15 and received his first prison sentence at 17. At the same time a much older, divorced neighbor initiated him into sex and introduced him to a more sophisticated world and a taste for the high life.
Using the profits of his burglaries Hall moved to London. Hollywood and its stars fascinated him and, inspired by Joan Fontaine in Alfred Hitchcock's film Rebecca, Hall changed his name to Roy Fontaine.
Fontaine had a short-lived marriage, but was openly bisexual and embarked on a string of affairs with men. London's celebrity gay scene welcomed the handsome and charming Glaswegian with open arms and Fontaine claimed to have had sexual relationships with both Lord Boothby and playwright Terence Rattigan. In his memoirs he said that the great love of his life was a fellow con from Hull Prison named David Barnard who died in a car crash in 1974.
In between socializing with London's elite, Fontaine's con tricks and burglaries caught up with him and he spent more time in prison. During one lengthy sentence for theft he set about refining everything about his character so that he could pass without suspicion among the English aristocracy. He eradicated all trace of his Glaswegian accent, studied social etiquette and became a self-taught authority on antiques.
When he was released from prison in 1977 he found employment as a butler to Lady Margaret Hudson at Kirtleton House in Dumfriesshire and had an on-off relationship with a prostitute named Mary Coggle, also known as "Belfast Mary."
Claiming he wanted to go straight, Fontaine was in for a shock when an ex-cellmate from Hull Prison and former lover, David Wright, showed up at his work. Lady Hudson employed 30-year-old Wright as a gamekeeper and gardener around the stately home, but he stole some of her silver and threatened to tell her about Fontaine's past.
On a rabbit hunting expedition in July, Fontaine shot Wright in the back of the head and buried the body under boulders in a stream on the estate. With a newfound taste for blood Fontaine gave up the idea of living an honest life, and in November 1977 moved back to London. He acquired the position of butler to a wealthy antiques collector, and ex-Labor MP Walter Scott-Elliot and his wife Dorothy. Planning to extort them, he asked small time crook Michael Kitto for help.
While showing Kitto around the couple's home, Mrs. Scott-Elliot returned unexpectedly with her husband. The two men put their hand over her mouth and suffocated her with a pillow before she could raise the alarm.
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