Wednesday, 27 November 2019

The Secret Serial Killer: The True Story of Kieran Kelly by Robert Mulhern @MulhernRobert @penswordpub @penswordbooks

Journalist Robert Mulhern has spent three years investigating claims Kieran Kelly, a two-time convicted killer, has in fact murdered many more people - 31 to be exact. Kelly's claims first emerged in 1983 after he killed his cellmate in London's Clapham Police Station, having been arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Under questioning, the labourer from Ireland candidly confessed to strangling the prisoner - and then stunned officers by confessing to dozens of unreported and unsolved murders over the previous 30 years. Kelly's victims died from stabbing, strangulation and blunt force trauma. Others survived being thrown in the path of trains on the London Underground. Detectives believed they were in the presence of Britain's most prolific serial killer, yet Kelly's claims escaped public scrutiny for three decades. Then in 2015, a former police officer alleged the murders had been covered up by the British Government. A sense of urgency gathered around the case; a new investigation begged to be undertaken. Especially after it emerged that remains, thought to be human, had been discovered on the site of Kelly's one-time home in Ireland. Against the backdrop of intense international media interest, London's then Metropolitan Police chief, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, committed to revisiting the case. In this thrilling new book we cross two countries and three police forces in search of the truth. Using new eye-witness testimonies, the case of Kieran Kelly has been methodically rebuilt, with new evidence gathered from a range of sources in Britain and Ireland. Fighting a fog of contradictory claims, the narrative pursuit of _The Secret Serial Killer_ negotiates a series of curious twists before culminating in a bizarre showdown on the commons that Kelly himself once stalked. Could Kieran Kelly have murdered 31 times?

The Secret Serial Killer by Robert Mulhern was published in hardback by Pen & Sword Books on 9 May 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Like most of the population, I'd never heard of Kieran Kelly before.  He's also known as the 'London Underground Killer' and his story is absolutely intriguing.

Kelly was an alcoholic Irishman who died in prison in 2001, he was serving a sentence for two murders. It appears though that he may have been a serial killer as documents have emerged detailing how Kelly confessed to many more killings. He claimed that some of his victims were pushed under tube trains; thus gaining the Underground nickname.

Robert Mulhern is not the first person to write about Kelly. It was when he heard about a 2015 publication by retired police officer Geoff Platt, and read his claims that Mulhern decided to do his own investigation.

This is a detailed and exceedingly well researched book that throws up many questions for reader. Why were Kelly's crimes covered up? Why were the general public not made aware of them?
I suspect that this may be a cultural issue as Kelly's victims tended to be down and outs; people who had nobody to miss them; people who are not considered important by the establishment.

This is a fascinating subject and the book is well written and incredibly interesting. There remains questions to be answered about Kelly but he's the only person who could ever give those answers.

Fans of true-crime stories will really enjoy this.

Robert Mulhern is a multi-award winning journalist.
He worked as a reporter and editor for the BBC, Sky and The Irish Post, after graduating from local papers. He is currently contracted to RTÉ Radio 1’s Documentary on One series in Ireland. Mulhern is a three-time World Radio award winner at the New York International Festivals, as well as a previous Celtic Media award winner. His work has been short-listed for Amnesty International Media awards.

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