Anthony John Hardy
The Camden Ripper
English Serial Killer
Crime Spree: 2002
Death: Died While Imprisoned 11-26-2020
Anthony John Hardy was an English serial killer who became known as the Camden Ripper for dismembering his victims. In November 2003, he was sentenced to three life terms for three murders, but officials believe he may have been responsible for up to five more.
Anthony John Harding
On December 17, 2000, a man walking along the River Thames in West London noticed something unusual floating in the water. As he drew near, he realized that the object was the upper body of a woman. The rest of her body had been severed at the waist.
Police were immediately called and the woman’s remains were drawn from the river. Medical examiners speculated that she had been in the water for a few weeks and appeared to have been dismembered by an instrument such as a sword. The torso had two distinct characteristics; a tattoo and a twisted lateral incisor tooth that the police hoped would help identify her.
It didn’t take long for the relatives of the victim to come forth after seeing pictures of the tattoo in the local newspapers. The young woman was identified as Zoe Louise Parker, 24, who worked as a prostitute in the Feltham and Hounslow area.
In late February of the following year, three boys, fishing in the Regent’s Canal at Camden, retrieved a bag from the murky waters. When the curious children opened the bag they were horrified to find body parts. Police were contacted and a search of the area began at once. before days end, authorities had retrieved six more bags, each containing various body parts wrapped in bin liners. Bricks had been used to weigh down the bags. However, not all of the woman’s body parts could be accounted for.
The woman was later identified as Paula Fields, 31, of Liverpool, who had lived in the Highbury Grove area for a couple years before her death. She was a mother of two who worked as a prostitute to support her 150 a day crack cocaine habit. Paula was last seen getting into a red car on December 13. The authorities speculated that a hacksaw was likely used to dismember her body.
In December 2002, a series of equally horrific crimes occurred in the Camden area. Even though police initially denied any link between the new victims and Zoe and Paula’s murders, it was later speculated that the same person might have been involved.
The similarities between the cases were just too much to ignore. By January 2003, the police had a new suspect in custody, Anthony Hardy, 51, an unemployed mechanical engineer. His gruesome activities later earned him the nickname “the Camden Ripper.”
Who Was Anthony Hardy
Anthony John Hardy was born on May 31, 1951 in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He was the son of a coal miner. From an early age Hardy yearned to escape the lower middle-class lifestyle in which he was raised. He worked hard in school and excelled academically. Ultimately, he was accepted at London’s Imperial College to study engineering and eventually became the manager of a large company.
During the mid-1970’s, Anthony met and married Judith Dwight. The couple moved to Tasmania, Australia, where they raised their two boys and two girls. However, from as early as 1982, Hardy began displaying symptoms of mental illness. It was in that year that Anthony tried to kill Judith by bludgeoning her over the head before trying to drown her in the bathtub.
No charges were filed against him but he checked himself into a psychiatric clinic where he remained there for several weeks before returning back to Britain.
None the less, Judith filed for divorce in 1986. She and the children, like Anthony John Hardy, moved back to Britain to begin a new life. Hardy began stalking Judith, which eventually led her to file a restraining order against him. That did not stop him however and after breaking that order found himself behind bars.
Following his release, Anthony John Hardy sought psychiatric help at outpatient clinics. where he was diagnosed with, “peripheral neuropathy,” a disorder which is known to cause depression. He was also diagnosed with manic depression and prescribed medication to reduce his symptoms.
Anthony John Hardy
In the 1990’s, Anthony Hardy was homeless. He spent much of his time living in hostels (inexpensive, dorm like rooms shared by young travelers) throughout the city. During that time, Hardy began abusing drugs and alcohol, which exacerbated his psychological problems. He got into trouble with the law on more than one occasion for aggressive behavior and theft.
In 1998 Anthony was arrested for “indecent assault” after a prostitute claimed he had raped her. The charges however were dropped and he was released. In January of 2003 Hardy was investigated for three other rapes, but, due to insufficient evidence, no charges were brought against him.” He was however ordered to seek psychiatric counseling, which he took advantage of at a local hospital. He was eventually discharged and referred to out patient care.
In 2000, Hardy moved into a one-bedroom public housing flat on Royal College Street in Camden. Oldham suggested that his new residence was located a short distance from King’s Cross, an area where prostitutes frequented consistently. Anthony chose the area for just that very reason and the neighborhood would quickly become his hunting ground.
In January 2002, Anthony John Hardy caught the attention of the authorities again. He was caught pouring battery acid into a neighbor’s mailbox. A concerned neighbor also told police they believed something strange was taking place at Hardy’s flat. Authorities arrived at Hardy’s residence on that tip and inspected the house. They found the bedroom door locked. When they broke the door open they found the corpse of a young woman lying naked on his bed.
The dead woman had suffered from cuts to her head, bite marks and bruising. She had obviously been murdered. However, pathologists claimed that she died of a heart attack and not foul play. The woman was eventually identified as Sally Rose White, 38, a prostitute from the Kings Cross area, who was known to have an addiction to crack cocaine. The ‘natural causes’ death report of this victim would soon be rethought when the remains of other women were discovered in Hardy’s flat.
The Garbage Bin Murders
On December 30, 2002, a homeless man rooting through garbage bins for food, came across a bag that held more human remains. He took the bag, that held severed legs, to a nearby hospital and immediately the police were contacted.
Upon their arrival at the crime scene, investigators immediately cordoned off the area around the bins, which was located behind a pub on Royal College Street. Officers searched the garbage bins and found eight more bags containing various body parts.
The body parts were taken to St. Pancras mortuary to be examined by pathologists. The cause of death was difficult to establish because the heads and hands of the victims were missing. Yet, pathologists were able to determine that the remains were that of two different women, who were likely murdered sometime over the Christmas holidays. DNA tests were conducted in the hopes that it would help investigators uncover the identity of the women.
The investigation led the police, again, to the flat of Anthony John Hardy, located a short distance from where the bodies were discovered. They obtained a warrant and searched his ground floor apartment, where they found a plethora of incriminating evidence. What they didn’t find however, was Anthony. He was nowhere to be found.
Yet Another Torso
The flat on the other hand gave up plenty of evidence and the authorities were quick to understand that they were dealing with a serial killer. Hardy’s flat revealed a hacksaw with human skin still attached to the blade. Moreover, an electric jigsaw power tool was found, pornographic magazines were scattered about, a woman’s black stiletto shoe rested on the windowsill, blood was found in the bathroom and a devil’s mask lay alongside a note on a table reading “Sally White RIP.” However, one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence found at his apartment was a woman’s torso wrapped in garbage bags.
Following the gruesome discovery, a man hunt was launched to find Anthony John Hardy. He had gone missing and thought to have fled town. However, a CCTV video surveillance camera caught him on tape on January 1 trying to fill a prescription for his diabetic medication at a London hospital. He had, for some reason, shaved off his beard.
During their short investigation, authorities learned that Hardy had been seen with a young woman named Kelly Anne Nicol, 24, shortly after the Christmas holidays. Family members and police were concerned for her safety, fearing that she might be Hardy’s next victim. However, their fears were alleviated when she contacted her parents to let them know she was okay. Even though she had contact with Hardy, who repeatedly tried to persuade her back to his apartment, she did not allow herself to be influenced by him. It was a move that surely saved her life.
On January 2, a local citizen contacted police after spotting Hardy at Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in central London. Police quickly converged on the scene and Anthony was promptly arrested.
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The One That Got Away
The One That Got Away is the story of Caroline Roberts, a young lady who came to find herself entangled in the madness of Fred and Rosemary West. When Caroline Roberts accepted a job at 25 Cromwell Street, the infamous address of Fred and Rosemary West, she was only 16 years old. However, it did not take her long to realize that there was something very dark and evil about the couple. She resigned her position and left the premise. Unfortunately, it would not be her last encounter with the pair. A month later Caroline was abducted by the Wests and suffered violent sexual abuse at their hands before being told that she would be killed and buried. Through a combination of sheer luck and quick thinking, despite the trauma of what had happened, Caroline managed to escape to freedom. (Amazon)
The Bodies In The Flat
Not long after Anthony John Hardy was apprehended, investigators were able to identify of two of the victims whose remains were discovered at Hardy’s home and in the trash bin. They were identified as Elizabeth Selina Valad, 29. It was Elizabeth’s torso that was discovered in Hardy’s flat and hers were the legs that the vagrant had found in the garbage dumpster. Her head and hands had been severed from her body and have never bee found.
The second was Brigitte MacClennan, 34, of Camden. Brigitte’s identity was revealed on January 6, during a brief hearing at a Hendon court where Hardy was charged with the murders. Brigitte, whose torso and other body parts were found in garbage bins, was identified through her DNA. Like Elizabeth, her head and hands were never found.
The murders of Elizabeth and Brigitte led to a reinvestigation into Sally White’s death of alleged “natural causes.” It was believed that Hardy might have actually murdered her and simply got away with it when the pathologist incorrectly diagnosed her cause of death as a heart attack. In the very near future, Anthony John Hardy would reveal the facts of Sally’s death, all by himself.
Anthony Hardy’s murder trial began at The Old Bailey Courthouse in November of 2003. During the onset of the trial, he made a startling confession. He not only pled guilty to the murders of Elizabeth and Brigitte but also that of Sally White, who was thought to have died of natural causes.
During the trial it was revealed how each woman succumbed to their gruesome demise. Hardy lured all of the women to his apartment with the offer of money. He then engaged in extreme sex with the women before strangling them. It was suggested that Hardy was a pornography-obsessed negrophilic who achieved sexual gratification by posing the nude bodies of his victims after death and taking explicit photos of their naked corpses before having sex with them.
In light of these revelations, it was determined that the police had found the dead body of Sally White in the stage of preparing her for photographs. And likewise determined that Sally too would have eventually been dismembered and discarded exactly as the other women had been.
According to authorities, Anthony John Hardy had taken about 44 pornographic pictures of Elizabeth and Brigitte, which he allegedly sent to a friend. The pictures were later turned into the police. They claimed that one of the macabre photographs depicted Elizabeth lying posed on the bed with her facial features obscured by a devil mask and a baseball hat, both of which were later found at Hardy’s flat during the search.
After Hardy had finished with his victims, he used a hacksaw to dismember their bodies in his bathtub. Evidence of his victims’ blood was found throughout his bathroom.
The judge overhearing the case concluded the trial by remarking that only Hardy himself knew for sure how each of his victims had met their deaths but the unspeakable indignities to which he subjected the bodies of those victims in order to satisfy his depraved and perverted needs were not in doubt.
On November 25, 2003 Anthony John Hardy was given three life sentences for the murders. In May 2010, a High Court judge decided that Hardy should never be released from prison, placing him on the list of Whole life tariff prisoners.
Anthony John Hardy died in prison on November 26,2020 after contracting sepsis. He was 69 years old.
source: wikipedia | murderpedia | thesun.co.uk | entertainmentdaily.co.uk
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