Detectives are facing questions over how a serial killer who murdered young gay men before dumping their bodies just yards from his house was free to carry on his twisted crime spree.
Stephen Port killed four young, gay men by administering overdoses of the date rape drug GHB, which has been dubbed “liquid ectasy”. All four men were found very close to Port’s London apartment in Barking. Three of them were in a graveyard only 400 metres away when the fourth was discovered outside the communal entrance to his apartment block.
All of them had been propped up against a wall and all were left in the same sitting position. All four was also showing signs that they had not died at the scene, but had been dragged there. None of them had their phones on them and three of them had a bottle of GHB on them.
A jury at the Old Bailey was told that to think the deaths were a coincidence defied common sense. However, that is initially what was thought to have been the case.
The court heard that there were missed opportunities from police who had arrested Port for lying to officers after the discovery of the first man. An independent LGBT police advisory group and journalists from the website Pink News had raised fears that a serial killer were on the loose, but their concerns were dismissed.
The Met has now referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The Met had taken on the investigation which was originally being carried out by police from the Barking and Dagenham force.
While he had pleaded not guilty to the charges, Port was found guilty of murdering Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, Jack Taylor, 25 and Anthony Walgate, 23.
Port had found his victims on gay dating websites, including Grindr, and lured them to his flat in Barking for sex before administering fatal doses of the date rape drug.