A detailed investigative report on the murders committed by ‘Grindr’ serial date-rape killer, Stephen Port.
The author was a reporter on the Barking and Dagenham Post and was living in Barking at the time Stephen Port was arrested. Port’s victims were all homosexual, each one killed by a fatal dose of the ‘date rape’ drug, GHB. A recent and very harrowing BBC drama about the case called Four Lives focused on the families’ fight for justice.
The author leaves readers in no doubt about his views about a police investigation that, despite clear opportunity, failed to stop Port before he killed again and again... He points the finger, as have the families, at the inability of local police to connect the crimes or even to realise a serial murderer was at work.
Easy Kills is a good addition to the ‘true crime’ genre and will, no doubt, be an engaging read for anyone concerned with police accountability, how cuts in police resources have affected investigative performance and how political control of what was once an independent public service has resulted in a focus on police ‘activities’ that reflect well on politicians but fail to address some of the serious criminal and social issues blighting 21st Century UK society. And, to be frank, that should be all of us.
Stephen Port was jailed in November 2016 after luring four young, gay men through dating apps so he could drug them to death and rape them.
Easy Kills tracks Port's life and crimes and questions the role of Barking and Dagenham Police, who were investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) as a result.
Officers neglected to check Port's electronic devices when the first overdosed body turned up outside his flat in June 2014. They found Port had called 999 trying to pose as a bystander after hiring the young man as an escort. He was not charged with murder, but perverting the course of justice.
In August 2014, a second body turned up 400 yards from Port's front door. The young immigrant's corpse showed signs of being dragged. No investigation was opened. Less than one month later, another body turned up in the same churchyard.
Port was jailed in March 2015 after being given eight months for perverting the course of justice. He served four. Had he served the full sentence, he wouldn't have been free to murder his fourth victim, Jack Taylor.
The case has garnered massive national media attention. It resulted in a series being filmed for the BBC starring Sheridan Smith. The yet-to-air drama, postponed during the Covid-19 lockdown, is called Four Lives and will propel the case back into the mainstream media.
|Publication date:||20th January 2022|
Closing date: 07/06/2022
Sebastian Murphy-Bates is an Editor at the Daily Star. He was previously at the Barking and Dagenham Post for two-and-a-half years, and was living in Barking when Port was arrested. He previously worked at MailOnline as a reporter. As part of his research for the book, the author contacted Port while he was in prison, inventing a character to suit Port’s desires.More About Sebastian Murphy-Bates