A crime student who specialised in researching serial killers is being linked to the murders of up to six women on the streets once stalked by the Yorkshire Ripper.
Stephen Griffiths, a mature student at Bradford University, is being questioned by police over the killings of Susan Rushworth, 43, Shelley Armitage, 31, and Suzanne Blamires, 36, pictured, three prostitutes who worked in Bradford’s red light district and went missing over the past year.
Police found parts of a woman’s body in a river on Tuesday after calls from members of the public. It is understood that a severed head was discovered in a rucksack. West Yorkshire police were last night checking missing persons files. It was reported that they were investigating three more unsolved murders possibly linked to the case. Mr Griffiths, 40, who is studying criminal justice, specialising in homicide, is a postgraduate student with a degree in psychology.
The bachelor lives in Bradford’s red light district. One neighbour said he would walk around in a long black leather coat and boast he was doing a “PhD in Jack the Ripper”. On a social networking website, there is an entry under his alleged alter-ego of “Ven Pariah” saying he is “the misanthrope who brought hate into heaven”. It is understood that Mr Griffiths was detained after detectives studied CCTV footage from the city centre over the weekend, when Miss Blamires went missing.
Separate searches for all the missing women had been continuing throughout Bradford but until yesterday police refused to link them. Miss Rushworth was the first to go missing, on June 22 last year. She spent the previous evening with her family in Thornton before returning to her bedsit in Manningham.