In October 1995, the body of 77-year-old Eric Boardman was found beaten to a bloody pulp. His 74-year-old wife, Joan, was found strangled in another room at their home in Bispham, near Blackpool, Lancashire. That same month, 75-year-old Jemimah Cargill died after her Blackpool home was set on fire. In February 1996, 68-year-old Dorothy Harris, who was partially blind and deaf, was found dead after a fire at her home on the Isle of Wight.
Stephen Akinmurele, an 18-year-old Nigerian-born barman, benefits officer and part-time burglar, left his fingerprints and a cosh at the Boardmans' house.
Because of this carelessness, and his connection with Jemimah Cargill who had been his landlady, he was eventually tracked down.
In 1999, he was placed on self-harm watch in Strangeways after admitting to wanting to capture and kill a female member of staff. Despite this precaution, on 28 August, he was found hanging in his prison cell.
A close family member of the Boardman's said:
"It was a relief more than anything when we heard of his death... From our point of view I think relieved is the best word for it".Det Supt Bob Denmark, who led the Blackpool murder investigations, said:
"I have interviewed him personally and regard him as one of the most dangerous men I have ever met. He had a strange and hostile attitude towards elderly people... He was drawn to situations where he was likely to encounter old people".Police suspect Akinmurele of many more killings than those listed.