Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Dale Christopher CREGAN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Convicted drug-dealer
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: May 25/August 10/September 18, 2012
Date of arrest: September 18, 2012 (handed himself in at a police station)
Date of birth: June 6, 1983
Victims profile: Mark Short, 23 / David Short, 46 / Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32 (police officers)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order on June 13, 2013

photo gallery


Dale Christopher Cregan (born 6 June 1983) is a convicted British drug-dealer and murderer who is sentenced to a whole life order in prison for four counts of homicide involving the use of firearms—including killing two police officers—and three separate counts of attempted murder.


Cregan was born at Tameside General Hospital in Greater Manchester and grew up in a two-up two-down terraced house in Droylsden. He has an older brother, a younger sister and a son. Cregan attended Littlemoss High School in Droylsden and soon after became a cannabis dealer. He became a cocaine dealer in his early twenties. He claimed to have lost his left eye during a fight in Thailand. However Greater Manchester Police believe his eye was forcefully and intentionally removed by fellow gangsters.

Murders and subsequent convictions

On 25 May 2012, Cregan shot dead Mark Short, 23, in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden. In the same incident, he tried to kill three other men. On 10 August, he killed Mark's father David Short, 46, at David's house in Clayton by shooting him and throwing a hand grenade at him.

On 18 September 2012, Cregan made a hoax emergency call to the police. Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, constables serving with Greater Manchester Police, were mobilised to Cregan's call in Hattersley. When they arrived, Cregan shot them and threw an M75 hand grenade at them. Both officers were hit by at least eight bullets as Cregan fired 32 shots in 31 seconds. He later handed himself in at a police station, admitting to killing Hughes and Bone.

During his trial, which began on 4 February 2013, Cregan was detained at Manchester Prison. The trial was held at Preston Crown Court, where scaffolding was erected to accommodate armed officers. Police snipers watched over the building from nearby offices. The daily convoy, carrying Cregan between Manchester and Preston, included two prison vans, police cars, motorcycle outriders and a helicopter. In total, 120 Lancashire Constabulary officers were deployed daily. The total cost of the trial was in excess of £5 million.

Cregan was convicted of all four murders and of three attempted murders in the Mark Short incident. Cregan was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order on 13 June 2013.

In August 2013 it was reported that Cregan was on hunger strike at Full Sutton. He was moved to Ashworth Hospital in September 2013.


Dale Cregan ‘will die in prison’ for four murders

By Kim Pilling and Paul Hurst -

June 14, 2013

KILLER Dale Cregan will spend the rest of his life in prison for the ruthless murders of two unarmed policewomen and a father and son.

  • Dale Cregan handed whole life sentence for murders of two policewoman and a father and son

  • Cregan, 30, “acted with pre-meditated savagery” in the “quite appalling” murders

One-eyed Cregan, 30, acted with “premeditated savagery” in luring PCs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, to their deaths in a gun and grenade attack, a court heard yesterday.

He went on the run days before he killed David Short, 46, last August after he gunned down his son, Mark, 23, in a pub in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, three months earlier.

On 18 September, he lured the constables with a bogus 999 call to a house in Abbey Gardens, Hattersley. His last comment to the call handler as he was told officers were on the way was: “I’ll be waiting.”

He opened the front door as they walked up the front garden path and shot them in the chest with a Glock handgun.

PC Hughes was hit eight times, including three bullets to the head as she lay on the ground. PC Bone was hit up to eight times after she managed to draw and fire her Taser at Cregan, who fired 32 bullets in total in half a minute.

He then left his “calling card” of a military grenade, which he threw on the path where the officers lay, before he calmly handed himself in at a nearby police station.

He then told an officer: “I dropped the gun at the scene and I’ve murdered two police officers. You were hounding my family, so I took it out on yous.”

Sentencing him to whole-life terms for the four murders with no prospect of release, Mr Justice Holroyde said he had no doubt that Cregan could see the policewomen approaching the house and that they were unarmed.

He told him: “You acted with premeditated savagery … you drew those two officers into a calculated trip for the sole purpose of murdering them in cold blood.”

Preston Crown Court heard it was the first time a grenade had been used on mainland UK with such devastating consequences.

Outside court, Bryn Hughes, father of PC Hughes, said: “She was brutally and callously murdered in the most despicable and cowardly way.

“We can only imagine what thoughts and feelings she experienced in those few seconds it took for this person to pull the trigger and for Nicola to draw her last breath.

“Our lives have been shattered beyond belief and will never be the same again.

“To have a child taken from you in such a cruel and meaningless way is without doubt the worst thing any parent can wish to imagine.”

Paul Bone said of his daughter: “My family is still coming to terms with our loss and not a day goes by without thinking of Fiona.

“I am told that it gets easier in time but for the moment every Tuesday lunchtime is difficult, for that was when our lives changed forever.”

The spiral of violence began on 25 May last year when a balaclava-clad Cregan stepped into The Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden and shot Mark Short, who died in the arms of his father.

Cregan was arrested on suspicion of the murder but was later released on bail. When he concluded that he was due to be rearrested in August, he set out to murder David Short.

On 10 August, Cregan targeted Mr Short outside his home in Clayton as he unloaded his car. He chased him into his house and gunned him down at close range, before he threw a grenade at his dying body.

During his four-month trial, Cregan admitted at various stages the four murders and the attempted murders of three others, along with a count of causing an explosion with a hand grenade.

Nine others faced trial alongside him on various charges linked to the deaths of the Shorts. Four were cleared.

Cregan smiled and shook hands with the other defendants after the verdicts were returned.

Mr Justice Holroyde criticised Cregan and his co-accused for not showing any remorse or compassion for his victims.

Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester, described Cregan and his gang as a “scourge on society”; Greater Manchester’s police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd called them “animals”; while Ian Hanson, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said Cregan was an “abomination upon our society”.

“I have no problem whatso­ever with the thought of him staring through one eye at a locked cell door wondering what kind of life he is missing,” Mr Hanson said.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Dale Cregan is a despicable individual and I am pleased he has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“The shootings of Pcs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were a terrible reminder of the risks police officers face every day.”

Prison sources have said whiplash claims are to be made by killers in the trial over a prison van accident as they were ferried to court.

Murderer Damian Gorman is among those in line for cash if he is successful in personal injury claims and “hurt feelings”.

Profile: Hard man and drug dealer with a ‘bad fetish’ for knives and a collection of guns

Vain, paranoid, a cocaine-snorting, muscle-bound drug dealer armed to the teeth, Dale Cregan on the loose was a nightmare scenario for police trying to find him.

He had been a villain, and a heavy one, for most of his 30 years, but had evaded the law – mostly – and had never been behind bars as an adult.

A well-known local “hard man”, he spent his life on his mobile phone, sometimes taking and making more than 200 calls a day, dealing drugs, in between daily sessions in the gym lifting weights, followed by afternoon sessions drinking in pubs, fuelled by cocaine.

He carried wads of cash, drove a Mercedes 4x4 ML and enjoyed jetting to the West Indies, the Far East and Europe – always flying business class – not bad for a man who gave his official occupation as a plasterer.

All a far cry from the endless terrace streets and corner pubs where he made his name in east Manchester and its outer suburbs in Tameside, stretching as far as the 1960s overspill new town of Hattersley, where he would shoot dead two policewomen.

Dale Christopher Cregan was born at Tameside General Hospital, on 6 June, 1983, to Paul Cregan, a tool setter from Manchester, and Anita Marie Cregan, then living in a two-up, two-down terrace house in Greenside Lane, Droylsden. He has an older brother and a younger sister.

His father left the family, eventually marrying a former policewoman with Greater Manchester Police.

Not long after leaving Littlemoss High School in Droylsden, now closed, Cregan began dealing cannabis.

He would have fist fights with the nephews of David Short and developed a “bad fetish” for knives. He spent 18 months with his sister in Tenerife and on his return, bought guns, going on to have a collection of around ten weapons, including machine guns.

By the age of 22, he had started dealing cocaine, making £20,000 a week, he said.

Cregan enjoyed holidays in Antigua, was “always” over in Thailand, staying at a five star £105-a-night destination, the Peace Resort in Koh Samui, spent time on fishing trips to France and days away in Amsterdam, an international centre and wholesale market for criminals in drugs and firearms.

Along the way he lost his left eye, boasting to friends he was struck with a knuckle-duster during a fight in Thailand. A police source said there was no marking or scar tissue around Cregan’s eye socket, suggesting instead that it was “plucked” out with a knife.

At 24, he became a father with his partner, Georgia Merriman, from Crumpsall, Manchester. The couple and their baby son were living in a three-bed semi in a quiet cul-de-sac in Droylsden, half a mile from David Short’s home.

Cregan had money and David Short – not a popular man, even among gangsters – knew it.

A criminal source, a convicted drug dealer on release on licence for other offences, described Cregan as a “Joey” – the hired muscle willing to do the dirty work.

Or as one detective put it in court: “You can give any muppet a gun.”

After his son was killed, David Short publicly branded the perpetrators “cowards” and privately let it be known to Cregan he would have his revenge by kidnapping, raping and burning his four-year-old son.

He paid with his life in a gruesome murder.

While on the run, Cregan boasted the £50,000 reward for his capture was “rare – like me”, and on his final night of freedom used a laptop to look himself up on the news, drank beer, smoked cigars and tried to get his hands on cocaine.

Knowing his time was almost up, he apparently had at the forefront of his mind thoughts about his appearance in court, ordering his captive to cut his hair and beard, took a bath and put on new clothes.

Even killer’s eye socket was searched in court security

CREGAN was subjected to twice-daily checks behind his false eye as part of the intensive security operation surrounding his trial.

Nothing was left to chance for the ring of steel thrown around Preston Crown Court, which cost more than £5m.

All Category A inmates transported to court need to undergo a strip search and in Cregan’s case that included his left eye socket – a time-consuming extra check which is said to have annoyed the killer. A source at HMP Manchester, better known as Strangeways, said: “Every time he comes in and every time he goes out of the building he must be searched and checked – including behind his eye.

“Because he is a category A prisoner, each time he leaves these walls he is strip-searched and he must take his eye out so we can look behind it for drugs, or some sort of weapon, or anything he shouldn’t have.

“And every time he comes back from court he gets strip-searched again – and it p***** him off.”


Dale Cregan: The criminal feud that led to four murders

June 13, 2013

A "ruthless and intimidating lead player in the criminal underworld", Dale Cregan was known and feared by people long before he became notorious as the killer of two policewomen and two members of a rival local family.

Mr A, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals even after Cregan was jailed, lived in the same part of Greater Manchester as the multiple killer.

He said Cregan made it obvious he was "ready and willing openly to use violence to get his own way" - but no-one had really thought he was capable of the four brutal murders he admitted carrying out last summer.

Cregan, 29, pleaded guilty part-way through a trial to killing father and son Mark and David Short in separate attacks before going on the run and murdering police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone.

According to Mr A, Cregan "ran things" in Tameside and would "walk around the community making people feel uncomfortable, staring at people".

Knee cap blown off

A stare also sparked the decade-long feud between the Short family and the Atkinsons - friends of Cregan - that led to the killings.

Leon Atkinson hit David Short in the face in 2001 for "looking at him", the jury heard during the 12-week trial, creating a simmering tension between the two east Manchester families.

We had another fight after that", Atkinson told Preston Crown Court; "I had a fight with one of their nephews… two of their nephews. My brothers had fights with his cousins or nephews."

The feud escalated in September 2003 when Atkinson's father Francis was shot in the leg, his left knee cap "blown across" a pub.

David Short thought Atkinson's "right hand man" Cregan was responsible for a serious attack on him when he was run off his bike and had his throat cut, the court heard.

Even so, an uneasy truce was called when Atkinson and David Short shook hands in Manchester's Arndale Centre, in 2008.

"We just said there was no use in fighting," Atkinson said on the witness stand.

But, war broke out again in 2012 during a drunken pub row.

'You're all dead'

Theresa Atkinson - dubbed the "matriarch" of the family - threw a bottle at another member of the Short family, Raymond Young, who slapped her.

The court heard Ms Atkinson warned him: "I'm going to get my boys - you're all dead."

Phone records showed she called her son Leon and another son hours later, and the following morning Atkinson spoke to his mother again before contacting Cregan.

Twelve days later the Short family and friends gathered at the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden.

Cregan, Luke Livesey and Damian Gorman - known as Scarface - pulled up in a car outside.

Shortly afterwards a balaclava-clad gunman entered the pub, fatally shooting Mark Short and also hitting three other men.

David Short, in the toilets during the shooting, emerged unscathed to see his son die in his arms.

Grenade 'calling card'

Despite being a "lead player" among local criminals, Cregan feared retaliation attacks and decided to kill David Short to prevent this.

Greater Manchester Police said they issued Mr Short with three "threat to life" warnings, believing his life could be in danger.

The force gave out 130 such warnings in 2012 and the same number in 2011 - more than the Metropolitan Police.

In August, Cregan and Anthony Wilkinson emerged from a van parked outside Mr Short's Clayton house and opened fire.

He was chased through the house and back outside, shot at least nine times and a grenade was thrown on to his body where he lay.

A second grenade was thrown at another house in nearby Luke Road, Droylsden, 10 minutes later, though no-one was hurt.

The grenade was to become Cregan's grim "calling card" and PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes would not be spared that method of attack.

'Rape son' threat

During the trial Dr James Collins, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, said Cregan told him David Short was killed after making threats against his family.

During their conversations Cregan said: "After I killed Mark Short, he said he would rape my son, he said he would set him on fire.

"I couldn't get him out of my head. I thought if I kill him, maybe I will get a rest.

"He threatened my whole family. He told me 'The gloves are off'. So I was always going to kill him.

"The night I shot David Short I had the best sleep of my life."

After the murder, Cregan and Wilkinson went on the run and became the most wanted fugitives in the country.

Wilkinson gave himself up to police first and, after a month in hiding, Cregan finally handed himself in after murdering the two police officers having lured them to the scene with a false report of a burglary.

The only explanation offered: "You were hounding my family so I took it out on yous," though he later added he was "sorry about those two that have been killed, I wish it was men".

'Strange moral code'

Consultant criminal psychologist Elie Godsi said Cregan displays all the characteristics of a psychopath and may have killed the PCs because "he wanted to go out in some sort of distorted blaze of glory and gain notoriety for himself".

He said: "In the criminal underworld there is not only people taken out because of turf wards and disputes... there's also a very strange moral code where people mustn't be offended, you must save face.

"Perhaps in some circles the murder of police has some sort of kudos attached to it.

"Grandiosity is central to the behaviour of psychopaths because usually their lives are quite pathetic, empty and meaningless... so they have to create a very distorted sense of their own self-worth.

"The other side of that is that other people are not important to them."

However, not much is known about Cregan's past.

Mr A said people were too intimidated to go to the police about his threats.

He added: "People don't want to get involved do they, and to be labelled a grass, I guess that's one thing.

"But also the repercussions. The police aren't there 24/7.

"Sometimes there's nothing the police can do... and they're not in the neighbourhood at 10 o'clock at night when they come and give you a knock on the door or are just generally intimidating you.

"It's uncomfortable, it's psychological. He was ruthless and people were scared of him and that's what he wanted. Basically the reputation he wanted was that he ran things in that area and by all accounts he did.

"He was in control of a lot of the drugs coming in and out of the area."

But his "associates" looked up to him and his lifestyle was attractive to young people.

Mr A said it was hard for normal people seeing "people like Cregan, living a lifestyle that was far beyond most people's means".

"Trips away, decent cars, I mean it was pretty obvious what people are up to when you go to school or the nursery in the morning and someone turns up in a 4x4 with a blazing suntan," he said.

"It's attractive because that's what we see on our televisions every day, that's what we measure success by... what car you drive and what clothes you're wearing."



home last updates contact