Anthony Hardy What qualities does a person need to possess for them to be able to kill another human being? Could it be a lot of determination perhaps? Or what about a single minded facet that drives them on to commit such an evil act? Better yet, would it be something explained in this great 60 minute documentary made in 2013? Hmmmm?

Violence and Sex Work in Britain

Get ready, crime fans. In this episode of 'Killers Behind Bars', the man with the taciturn tone, Professor David Wilson, does whatever he can to figure out if a convicted killer has killed more than we all first thought.

This time though, the killer in question is the self-titled 'Camden Ripper', Anthony Hardy, who prompts David to lavishing this program with stock photography and archival footage, before travelling to Camden and then interviewing a number of people who knew of his devilish deeds. This includes Journalist: Richard Osley. Forensic Experts: Dr Julian Bond and Tony Madden. Therapist: David Friend. Home Office Pathologist: Stuart Hamilton. Plus one of his victims Fathers, Jack Hoare; two known acquaintances: Mhari Macdonald and Allan Young; with Danny the Chelsea Gatekeeper.

What now follows is a basic run down of how this show plays out:

Who is Anthony Hardy?   During his early life, Anthony had the gumption to work his way out of his more rural routes in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, by obtaining an Engineering degree from 'Imperial College London'. Later on though, once he got married and had four kids, by his own accord, his life seemed to spiral out of control. His wife divorced him on the grounds of domestic abuse. He spent some time in a mental hospital, diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. And he was even homeless, and charged with thief, drunk and disorderly, plus accused of raping a prostitute too.     

What were his crimes?   In 2002 Anthony chopped up and killed three prostitutes living in and around the Camden area of North London.

Who did he kill?
  • During different dates throughout 2002, Anthony lured, trapped, killed, and disposed of three sex-workers who lived around the same North London borough he lived in. Their names were Sally White, 38, Bridgette MacClennan, 34, and Elizabeth Valad, 29.

What was Anthony's Modus Operandi?   (1) All of his victims were known sex-workers. (2) He dominated and controlled each of his victims, before killing them during the sexual act. (3) He used affixation and brutal techniques whilst killing his victims. (4) On at least two occasions, he'd dispose of his victim's dead bodies by chopping them up, packing them into bin-bags, and then dumping them into the local council run garbage bins.

How was he caught?   Anthony first came to the police's attention when Sally's dismembered body was found in his flat, due to the fact that his neighbour called them in as he had vandalized their mailbox. However, due to a forensics glitch helmed by a Doctor Patel -- implying that Sally died of natural causes -- this allowed Anthony to escape justice, until his two subsequent victims were discovered in a nearby bin by a homeless man a couple of months later, leading to his eventual capture, arrest, and incarceration.

Once David presents his findings to his students, who does he think Anthony has also killed?   Well, after looking through a number of cold cases, David come up with two possible names. The first person is a 45 year old sex-worker called Christine McGovern, who was found stabbed to death in her bathtub in Walthamstow, in June, 1995. And the second person is a 19 year old sex-worker come model called Amy Hoare, who was found killed in her flat in Chelsea, in 1991.

Can David prove himself right?   Yes. Yes he can. In the case of Christine, he can link Anthony to this murder through location (as it's nearby) and his M.O. (because he attacked his ex-wife in a similar manner). And in the case of Amy, David can confirm that Anthony was a cab-driver (which the victim regularly used), utilised a similar M.O. (affixation), and was even identified by two friends via a photo fit (printed in a newspaper).

Now whenever I watch an episode of 'Killers Behind Bars', I am reminded of a scene I once saw in an old Batman comic book I once read. Imagine if you will: The Dark Knight face to face with an oriental assassin wielding a long and sharp sword. Post haste, the assassin swings his sword towards Batman's imminent direction. But before he can slide out of its path, Batman expertly clamps the tip of the blade within the palms of his two hands, and then pivots this weapon back towards the direction of his attacker.

Professor David Wilson
Do you see what I am driving at, folks? David uses his knowledge and his skill in criminology, by presenting to us something different in a way that is both surprising and dangerous to say the least.

Granted, unlike Batman, his show isn't as punchy or dynamic for my own tastes. Generally speaking, most of his subject's history is glossed over in a very simplistic manner. Plus there are parts of his program that I would define as 'repetitive' and 'formulaic' by default. Still, overall it's all good. And honestly, I will miss David when he pops off of the air, because I really do enjoy watching him every week.

Anyway, enough of that for now! What about this episode, huh? What about this so-called 'Camden Ripper'? Well, from my own point of view, I am reminded of something else that happened to me only last week. No. Don't get any funny ideas. I wasn't doing anything naughty. I was speaking to a good mate of mine on Twitter, StephenMotson, who was telling me how he saw a connection between last week's subject, Robert Napper, and my old favourite, Jack the Ripper

Anthony Hardy

Admittedly, at first I thought to myself 'What's Stephen talking about? Jack and Robert are worlds apart!'. However, over time he did manage to win me over in a very unintentional manner. Not by gauging me in the points he was raising. Oh no. But the mentality that both of these killers must have had.  

Elizabeth Valad
You see, in my eyes, both Jack, Robert, plus Anthony Hardy, all thought they could kill women and get away with it, because in their minds they were doing something 'righteous'. Furthermore, another aspect these three killers all share; is a brutality and an audacity to think more of themselves than those around them.

Try to think about it for a moment, crime fans. The only type of person who uses the system and society are narcissist, right? As that's what they are you know! Narcissists! Narcissists that think they are above the rest, without caring about their own families, their victim's families, or their victim's. Also, let's not forget how Anthony wanted to 'better' himself as a kid. Or how he has tried to 'tamper' with the 'mental health service' to further his own 'cause'!

Professor David Wilson

Oh! Wait up! I best stop myself there I think. I can feel my blood pressure rising by the word. So before I bugger off to Lady Gaga land, I'd just like to thank David, Stephen, Musical Monkey's, and everyone else who has supported me in following this series. It means a great deal that I can include a review like this one within a blog targeted at comic book and movie fans. I hope that next time round both me and David I can do something different with our collective blah-blah-blah's. Plus, please remember...