serial killers by name [s] amazon
  STRAFFEN John Thomas 1930 ... UK ... ... ... 3
1951 1952 Bath, Farley Hill
The summer months of 1951 brought creeping terror to the town of Bath, near Bristol, England, as an unseen killer stalked the local children, claiming three within a month. Christine Butcher, age 7, was the first victim , abducted and murdered in early July. Six-year-old Brenda Goddard was reported missing on July 15, her strangled corpse recovered three hours later. On August 8, 9-year-old Cecily Batstone went off to the movies and never returned; her body was found next morning, after an all-night search. Police initially resisted drawing any common link between the murders, checking out the allegations of attacks on other local girls to no avail. They had no clues, no suspect, but on August 9 they did have 21-year-old John Straffen under lock and key on unrelated charges. Idling in his cell, the unmarried laborer called for detectives and confessed to the Batstone murder. "I sat behind her," he explained. "It only took a couple of minutes and she was dead. She was taken by surprise." Additional charges were filed in the case of Brenda Goddard, on August 30, 1951, but Straffen never went to trial. On October 17, he was found insane and unfit to plead, the magistrate declaring that, "You might as well try a baby in arms." In lieu of a trial, Straffen was ordered detained "until his Majesty's pleasure be known" -- in effect, a life term of confinement in a British mental institution.
Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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