Mixed-race Maniac enjoyed strangling and sodomising White pensioners
UK, London - 1986
Victims: Eileen Emms, Janet Cockett, Frederick Prentice, Valentine Gleim, Zbigniew Strabawa, William Carmen, William Downes & Florence Tisdall

Mixed-race Maniac enjoyed strangling and sodomising White pensioners

Serial-killer pervert Kenneth Erskine suspected of killing 11 in London 1986

In London, 1986, a series of deeply disturbing murders took place where a mixed-race lunatic strangled to death elderly White pensioners during home invasions. In many cases he sodomised them during or just after the ghastly deaths. One survivor woke up to experience the smiling killer sadistically strangling him as he chanted “kill… kill… kill”.

The Stockwell Strangler Murders

On the 4th February 1986, John Jordan, 57 was found strangled to death beside his bed in Josephine Avenue flat in Brixton. This was the first of a string of connected London murders that took place in 1986.

In April 1986, retired schoolteacher Nancy Eileen Emms, 78, of West Hill Road, Wandsworth, who suffered Dementia and lived in a basement flat was discovered dead, lying in bed with the sheets pulled up to her chin. As she was found this way, initially it was thought she had passed away from natural causes on 9th April. However, when her home help discovered her portable TV set was missing the Police were called and the scene re-examined. She often slept with the window ajar due to the humid conditions of the flat, which would have allowed access to a burgular. A post mortem examination revealed that she had strangled with bruising to the chest and neck, and cracked ribs suggesting she had been knelt on and strangled at the same time. Semen traces were discovered and it also revealed she had been raped, whilst unconscious – possibly as she was dying. A single Afro-Caribbean head hair was found on the bed sheet.

In May there were two more London strangulations with Charles Quarell, 73, found suffocated in his home on King James Street, Southwark. Wilfred Parkes, 70 was also found strangled in his bed in Stockwell, 28th May 1986.

Janet Cockett, 67, had an active life as chairwoman of her local tenants association and had 4 children. She died in her flat on the Overton Estate, Stockwell, on 9 June 1986. As with previously, initially it was thought she had died from natural causes. Her nightdress had was torn but neatly folded and she was tucked up in bed with the sheet drawn up to her chin. Strangely her photos had been moved around with some turned to face the wall. A post mortem revealed two fractured ribs from being knelt on and bruises indicating strangulation. A dreadlock was discovered in her bedroom and finger prints were found on a window.

On Cedars Road, Clapham, in the morning of 27th June, old people’s home resident Frederick Prentice, 73, was woken at 3.00am by the sound of a someone outside his room. Sitting up he saw the outline of a dark figure outside the frosted glass panel of his door. The door opened and a figure dressed in black entered the room. Startled, he fumbled to switch the bedside light on and saw a man in his 20s, with dark skin, who placed his fingers to his lips indicating he must stay quiet. He started telling the intruder to get out but the man quickly launched himself onto Prentice and gripped his throat squeezing hard before relaxing the grip. He did this four times holding his neck in a powerful grip then allowing him to breath. He was smiling in a deranged grin as he hissed the words “Kill… kill… kill…” repeatedly. Aware he was having the life squeezed out of him the victim tried to shout for help and in desperation, managed to free a hand and press the alarm on the side of his bed to alert the warden. The attacker then violently threw him against the wall before fleeing. Police later discovered a window left open, due to the heat wave that summer, had been used to gain access.

The following evening, of the 28th June, there were two more murders at Somerville Hastings House in Stockwell Park Crescent. At 4:00am staff heard the sound of an electric razor going and investigating found an intruder in a corridor fleeing. Valentine Gleim, 84, was a Polish retired British Army officer and WWII veteran, and Zbigniew Strabawa, 94, had left Poland before WWII. Both had been strangled to death and sexually violated. Again a window left ajar in the heatwave had been the entry point. It seemed the killer had brazenly had a wash and used an electric shaver after killing the men.

On the 8th July a murder took place at Sybil Thorndike House on Islington’s Marquess estate in North London. William Carmen, 82, had been sexually violated and strangled so violently his neck fracturing during the attack. He had then been neatly laid in his bed as with the other victims. Money Mr Carmen had stashed in the home had been stolen and all the photos in the flat had been turned to the wall. His body was discovered by his daughter.

For days later, 12th July, 75 year old widower, Trevor Thomas was found in Lambeth, South London, strangled and sexually assaulted in his bath. He had been dead for sometime and the effects of the bathwater made the gathering of forensic evidence impossible.

On the 20th July 74-year-old reclusive pensioner, William Downes was murdered in his studio flat in Hollies House, on the same Overton Estate where Janet Cockett had been found. His son found him the following morning, naked and tucked up neatly in bed as with the previous murders. The killer had stuffed a cloth down the back of his throat and strangling him to death whilst knelling on his chest. He too had been violated and the killer’s semen stains discovered on the sheets. A hand print was discovered on the garden wall and entry had been through an open window.

Florence Tisdall, was a disabled 83-year-old widow living on her own at Ranelagh Gardens Mansions in Fulham, near Putney Bridge Underground where she had lived for 60 years. She was deaf and virtually blind and had to use a walking frame to move around. For company she had 3 cats which she loved, as well as strays from the area that she fed. She left the window ajar to allow the cats to come and go. On the 23rd July The Duke and Duchess of York were married and to celebrate the Royal wedding, patriotic Florence, made a rare excursion for a hair cut, and had some Sherry in front of the televised event. It was to be her last drink. She was found dead by the caretaker Terry Bristow, who often checked on her, the next morning. The bed clothes had been drawn up as before to cover the evidence of her murder. She had been knelt on, breaking her ribs, strangled and raped in an identical manner to the other killings. A witness later came forward who had seen a strange man at the scene of the murder.

The Stockwell Strangler – Kenneth Erskine

On 28 July 1986 MET Police arrested the killer at Kenneth Erskine, 23, whilst collecting welfare payments at a social security office. They were able to match his finger prints on record from previous Burglaries with those found at several murder locations. 74-year-old Fred Prentice who Erskine had tried to strangle to death in his bed identified him immediately in a Police line-up.

Born in Hammersmith, 1963, to an English mother and Antiguan father, as a child Erskine had began to display violent and murderous tenancies. At school he preyed on smaller, weaker children attempting to drown classmates during a school swimming pool outing holding their heads under water. He stabbed a teacher in the hand with some scissors and held a psychiatric nurse, who tried to examine him, hostage, as he held a pair of scissors to her throat. He also showed sexually perverted tendencies at a young age shocking female school staff by rubbing himself against them, or exposing his genitals.

In his teens Erskine twice tried to hang his younger brother. At 16, he became a drug user and was kicked out his family home by his mother when he gave his brother Cannabis. From then he lived mainly in squats in Brixton and Stockwell. At 18 he attempted to kill a youth he was having a homosexual affair with. He bust into the boy’s bedroom, stabbing and slashing him as the youth lay on the bed.

He also started a life of petty crime carrying out many burglaries, mainly targeting elderly people, for which he was arrested on numerous occasions and spent periods in jail.

On the 29th January 1988, he was convicted of 7 counts of murder, with a recommended term of 40 years, and 12 years for the attempted murder. During the police interviews Erskine displayed strange and mentally abnormal behaviour, touching and masturbated himself throughout. He admitted guilt for burglaries he never took responsibility for the killings. He described how he heard voices and seeing shadows telling him to kill and threatening to kill him.

In July 2009, the convictions were downgraded to manslaughter on basis of diminished responsibility due to Erskine’s mental instability and a diagnosis of severe schizophrenia and psychopathic disorder. His prison term was converted to a hospital order however, he will remain a patient at Broadmoor mental hospital for the rest of his life.

Article Sources

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