Anthony John Hardy: The Camden Ripper
The Bin Murders
On December 30, 2002, a homeless man foraging in garbage bins for food came across a horrible discovery. Within one of the bags he found human remains, including severed sections of two legs. The homeless man took the remains with him to a nearby hospital where 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 container and found approximately eight more bags containing various body parts. According to a December 2002 BBC News article, the torso of a young woman was also found in a wheelie bin about 100 yards from the original discovery.
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 still 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 Daily Mail suggested that a trail of blood led the police to Hardys flat located a short distance from where the bodies were discovered. They promptly obtained a warrant and searched his ground floor apartment, where they found a great deal of incriminating evidence. At the time of the search Hardy was nowhere to be found.
A November 2003 article by Jeff Edwards and Don Mackay in The Mirror, reported that investigators discovered in Hardys flat a hacksaw with human skin still attached to the blade. Moreover, an electric jigsaw power tool was found, pornographic magazines were scattered about, a womans black stiletto shoe rested on the windowsill, blood was found in the bathroom and a devils 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 womans torso wrapped in bin liners.
Following the gruesome discovery, a massive search was launched to find Hardy who had gone missing for several days. It was suspected that he 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. A January 2003 BBC News article claimed that Hardy shaved off his beard in an attempt to alter his appearance.
During an interview with hospital staff, officers learned that Hardy spent four hours awaiting his medication. It was speculated that he had been drinking because he smelled of alcohol. According to Oldham, Hardy became panicky and left the hospital without receiving any medication after staff tried to convince him to go to a hostel.
The BBC News article reported that a member of the public had seen Hardy 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 Hardys 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 converged on the scene a short while later and found Hardy in the area where he was last witnessed. He was promptly arrested and held at a local police station. It was there that he would reveal the full extent of his crimes.