Spree killer could be behind murders

A CLINICAL psychologist today warned that a “spree” killer could be behind the murders of three prostitutes in Ipswich and said if this was the case he would not stop until he was caught.

A CLINICAL psychologist today warned that a “spree” killer could be behind the murders of three prostitutes in Ipswich and said if this was the case he would not stop until he was caught.

Clive Sims, a clinical psychologist based at St Clements Hospital in Ipswich, said there was a difference between serial killers and spree killers and that the latter would need to keep killing to stay on a high.

He said: “I can't say at the moment whether this person is a spree killer but there is a lot of research to suggest that once they (spree killers) start, they can't stop.

“Serial killers feel a sense of satisfaction so their need to kill dips, then gradually it rises again and so it has to be satisfied.

“Spree killers want the high all the time until they get caught but they slip up quicker because they are more chaotic.”

Mr Sims said the psychology behind both types of killer was similar and they were likely to have been abused as a child.

Most Read

He added: “Most usually have a dysfunctional background. We usually find they have been abused in some way as children, either physically, sexually or psychologically or all three.

“They may well have a thing called the McDonald triad of warning signs that can be picked up in childhood: fire setting is one of them, not for any gain or anything just because they find it fun to set fire to something; cruelty to animals is almost always there and it can be quite nasty to cats and dogs and there is also bed wetting.”

He said the person behind the third murder could be a copycat killer because the corpse had been dumped in a different way.

However, he said if the method of killing was the same it was possible they were linked as the cause of death has not been released by police.

Mr Sims added: “There is no sexual assault here and unless police are being incredibly unobservant there are no knifings of shootings so presumably we are looking at asphyxia of some form or other, or considering they are both drug addicts, they could have been injected with something.”

He said he was only speculating, but he thought the killer could be someone the women knew and trusted, perhaps a drug dealer.

He said, however, there were too few details to draw a real profile of the killer, although there was nearly always a reason for targeting prostitutes.

Mr Sims also implied the killer could be clever having dumped two of the bodies in water. He said this would mean they could be too highly contaminated to uncover any DNA links to their killer.

Detective chief superintendent Stewart Gull said police are looking at psychological profiling and would investigate all possibilities, including the theory a spree killer could be behind the murders.

Mike Berry, a clinical psychologist based at Manchester Metropolitan University, said the killer was likely to be an older man who was a client of the women.

He said the discovery of the latest body, by the side of the road in Nacton, could indicate the killer was goading police or that he was in a rush.

He said the fact that he was so organised - shown through the stripping of the bodies - meant the killer was likely to be older.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter