Serial killer Colin Ireland said he murdered five gay men because he wanted to be ‘famous’

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Notorious serial killer Colin Ireland murdered five gay men in London during the 1990s.

A newly released documentary reveals the possible motives behind his killings in never before seen police interviews.

Ireland, who died in Wakefield prison in 2012, said he thought of being a serial killer as a “career” that would make him “famous”.

A computerised police image of Ireland

Ireland was 37 when he murdered Peter Walker, 49, Christopher Dunn, 37, Perry Bradley, 35, Andrew Collier, 33, and Emmanuel Spiteri, 41.

The CBS documentary, Voice of a Serial Killer, explores the motivations behind Ireland’s infamous killings.

Through recordings of police interviews of the killer never before released to the public, Ireland details his horrific crimes and the explains why he targeted gay men.

Ireland was active from 8 March until 12 June 1993, killing five men in just 15 days, all of whom were gay.

He frequented the Coleherne’s Arms, a gay pub in London, in order to find victims, often choosing ones who preferred sadomasochism so he was able to restrain the men whilst they believed his actions were part of a sexual game.

After tying the men up, Ireland would proceed to torture and strangle the men to death using a noose.

At the time of the killings, Ireland was unemployed, and interviews with the police reveal he was looking for a new career and made a conscious decision to become a serial killer, as a way of bringing him fame.

Ireland described himself as heterosexual and killied mainly gay men.

He told police that his reasons for killing gay men were so they “keep their mouths shut and don’t tell the police things”.

However some experts have different opinions on the role his sexuality played in the killings, having been propositioned by men on several occasions as a teenager, and having had all his relationships with women fail.

In the documentary, criminologist Professor David Wilson explains his theory on the killer’s motives: “I believe the confessions of Ireland clearly show a man at war with his own sexuality.

His confessions show no remorse for what he has done, but they clearly show how he tried to justify and obfuscate his behaviour.”

Wilson continues: “He decided one New Year to make a resolution – I am going to be be a serial killer, that’s my new career, and set about it.

“It’s fairly complex as to whether Ireland was gay himself, which he protests he isn’t, and this was some kind of smokescreen and this was his way of engaging gay men then clearing his conscience that no he was heterosexual, ‘I kill that person.”

Colin Ireland

Colin Ireland

Others believe his crimes were motivated by homophobia, due the fact that he only attempted to kill men who approached him, and in one instance, after finding out one of his victims was HIV-positive, he admitting to taking revenge on him after he was dead by killing his cat.

While initially reluctant to talk to the police after he was arrested, Ireland eventually admitted to all the murders and to his even told police he slept over with his victims’ bodies after he had killed them in order to not rouse suspicion.

Some accused the police involved in the Colin Ireland case as being homophobic due to their slow response and failure to link the murders for days during his killing spree.