Steven John Grieveson (1 Viewer)


Steven John Grieveson

A.K.A.: "The Sunderland Strangler"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Murdered the boys in order to conceal his homosexuality - Set on fire the bodies
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: 1993 - 1994
Date of arrest: March 11, 1994
Date of birth: 1970
Victim profile: Thomas Kelly, 18 / David Hanson, 15 / David Grieff, 15
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to three life sentences (minimum 35 years) on February 28, 1996

Steven John Grieveson (born 1970) is an English serial killer who was convicted on 28 February 1996 of the murders of three teenage boys in the city of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear from 1993 to 1994. It was ascertained at his trial that Grieveson murdered the boys in order to conceal his homosexuality. He was subsequently ordered to serve at least 35 years for the three murders.

Murders and trial

On 26 November 1993 Grieveson murdered 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in an abandoned allotment shed in Fulwell, Sunderland. On 4 February 1994 he murdered 15-year-old David Hanson in Roker Terrace, before finally murdering 15-year-old David Grieff on 25 February 1994 near Fulwell in Sunderland.

Following an extensive investigation, Grieveson was arrested for the murders on 11 March 1994 and faced a six-week trial in 1996 where he was handed three life sentences for murder. He was ordered to serve a minimum of 35 years in prison.

Ther possible murders

In November 2000, Steven Grieveson, serving his three life sentences at Full Sutton Prison, was arrested and questioned over the murder of 14-year-old Simon Martin, who was murdered in Gilside House Roker, in 1990.

In June 2004, Grieveson wrote a letter to the Victim Liaison Services admitting murdering his three victims, but did not admit to the murder of Simon Martin and was not charged with the murder.

Gay serial killer is given three life sentences

February 29, 1996

Gay serial killer Steven Grieveson was jailed for life last night after being found guilty of murdering three youths who he strangled and then set on fire.

The public gallery at Leeds Crown Court erupted as the jury's forewoman delivered the verdicts after more than four hours of deliberation.

Sentencing Grieveson to three life sentences, Mr Justice Holland described him as "plain evil". The judge said he would recommend to the Home Secretary that his successors think "long and hard" as to whether Grieveson was still a risk to the public before releasing him.

Despite an earlier request for people in the gallery to remain calm, there were cheers and sobs of relief.

The jury decided that 25-year-old unemployed Grieveson was responsible for the series of deaths at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, in circumstances so bizarre, that more than seven months went by before police launched a murder hunt.

Grieveson, formerly of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, had denied the murders of Thomas Kelly, 18, and David Hanson, and David Grieff, both 15, over a three month period.

The bodies of Kelly and Grieff, both from Sunderland, were found in burnt out huts on allotments in the city's Monkwearmouth area on 26 November 1993, and 25 February 1994, respectively.

Firemen discovered the body of Hanson, also from Sunderland, when they tackled a blaze started inside an empty house on the city's seafront on 8 February 1994.

After the verdicts Mr John Milford QC, prosecuting, raised the fact Grieveson was also charged with the attempted murder of a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the Hendon district of Sunderland, in August 1991.

He said that in view of the verdicts there would be "no profit" in trying that case. It would be left on file.

When the trial opened on 29 January, Mr Milford said Grieveson was a homosexual who was either "unable or unwilling to accept his sexuality", and that he killed the youths for two reasons. One was "to prevent them from revealing that he had demonstrated his sexual preference to them". The other was "simply because he enjoyed killing them and firing their bodies".

The jury heard Grieveson was interviewed by police after each of the killings, but it was not until seven months later that Northumbria police launched the investigation which led to him being charged. This was because initial post-mortem examinations did not indicate the causes of death and it took two of the country's most eminent pathologists to establish all three youths were strangled.

Outside court, Detective Superintendent Dave Wilson, who led the murder inquiry, said: "Grieveson is a very dangerous man who should not be released. He would have gone on to kill again."

The victims' parents, Tommy and Judy Kelly, John and Sheila Hanson, and Janet Grieff and Ray Gilston, were trembling with emotion. Mr Kelly said: "It is a great relief this monster is off the streets so no other family will have to go through what we faced.

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