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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Drugs
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: August 28, 1998
Date of arrest: September 12, 1998
Date of birth: 1967
Victims profile: Gillian Harvey, 30, Peter Smith, 31, and Ian Brown, 36 (his friends)
Method of murder: Beating with an axe
Location: Slough, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on July 12, 1999

We'll start on the afternoon of August 28, 1998.

Alan Hobbs, 32, got lucky that afternoon. He went to visit a friend, Gillian Harvey, 30. She lived in a flat in Slough, Berkshire, England. During the day the two consumed a rather large quantity of Amphetamines and alcohol, which, as always, led to sex between the two. From here things get a little bizarre. Apparently the two then got into an argument and somehow Miss Harvey ended up being butchered with a chisel and two knives.

A few hours later Miss Harvey’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Ian Brown, arrived home to be greeted by Alan Hobbs in a pretty odd mood. Hobbs bound and gagged him. Then, rather than leave the two together and risk Brown raising the alarm, he slept in the blood-spattered flat that night.

The next day Miss Harvey’s ex-boyfriend Peter Smith, 31, popped 'round for a visit (or whatever else was on offer) and found himself in the same situation as Ian Brown. Over the course of the day Hobbs tortured the current and former boyfriends of his victim, then, once he was bored with that course of action (and getting Mr. Smiths PIN number) he took to smashing them about the head with an axe. As often happens in cases of a skull being crushed with an axe, both men died.

After the murders he went to visit his sister in Basingstoke, Hampshire. And that's were he stayed for the next ten days. Ten days that the bodies of his victims were left to ferment in the flat where they had been slaughtered.

Eventually someone noticed that all three were missing and filed a report to the police. I reckon that they got a bit of a surprise when they showed up at Gillian Harvey's flat to find a bad smell and some rotting meat in the shape of humans. Not a very pleasant surprise at all.

So, once the victims had been identified and found to have no credit cards on them it didn't take long to track down the person who had been making withdrawals, One Mr. Alan Hobbs.

Police eventually found him at his sisters in Basingstoke, cowering in a bedroom. When officers asked him about the three killings, he replied: "Yeah, I done them." He also said he had been "whizzing" after coming down from amphetamines.

Police were apparently unsure what had caused Hobbs to start killing his mates, stating that ,"There was no history of any animosity between him and Gillian or Mr Brown or Mr Smith." In their words, ""The only explanation that can be given is the culmination of drink and drugs withdrawal which led to this bizarre behaviour."

On (or around) 12/07/99, Hobbs was given three life sentences, with a recommendation that he serve at least 20 years, after admitting the apparently motiveless murders in court.

The Wacky World of Murder


Axe murderer jailed for life

BBC News

Monday, July 12, 1999

A man has been jailed for life for the brutal killings of three of his friends.

Alan Hobbs, 32, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the murders at Reading Crown Court.

The court heard he was high on amphetamines when he murdered his friends Gillian Harvey, 30, Peter Smith, 31, and Ian Brown, 36. The bodies lay undiscovered for a week.

The murders took place in a flat in Slough, Berkshire, last August. The court was told how Hobbs attacked Miss Harvey after having sex with her. He killed Mr Brown and Mr Smith after they came separately to visit Miss Harvey.

Adrian Redgrave QC, for the prosecution, said on the afternoon of 28 August, Hobbs arrived at Miss Harvey's flat in Slough. He had sex with her before killing her.

Bound and gagged

The court was told that Miss Harvey's boyfriend, Mr Brown, arrived later that afternoon and was attacked by Hobbs. He was left bound and gagged overnight.

The following day, Mr Smith arrived at the house. He was tied up with Mr Brown and the two of them were murdered.

Mr Redgrave said Miss Harvey had been attacked twice and had several stab wounds and a fractured skull.

Both men died of severe head injuries, he said.

Two bloodstained knives were found in the kitchen and an axe was found in the bedroom near the bodies of the two men.

Hobbs was arrested on 12 September after a massive police hunt.

'Callous and brutal'

The man in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Trevor Davies of Thames Valley Police, said it was the worst crime scene he had ever been to.

He said the murders were the "most appalling" he had seen in 29 years in the police.

"It is difficult for someone like myself to understand what could possibly have been going through Hobbs's mind. I don't know how anyone could be capable of such callous and brutal acts," said Mr Davies.

Richard Benson QC, defending, said: "Mr Hobbs has always expressed remorse and dismay about what happened on that day."

He said Hobbs had a long history of drug and substance abuse going back to the age of 11.

Sentencing Hobbs, who had refused to undergo psychiatric analysis, to three terms of life imprisonment, Mr Justice Blofeld said he should serve at least 20 years in jail before being considered for parole.


Triple axe killer was high on drugs

By Jason Bennetto - The Independent

Tuesday, 13 July 1999

A MAN who hacked to death three friends with an axe during a 24-hour killing spree was jailed for life yesterday.

Alan Hobbs, 32, who had been taking drugs and had been friends with all three victims, killed Gillian Harvey, 30, shortly after having sex with her at a flat in Slough, Berkshire. The two other victims, who later visited the flat separately, were tied together and kept alive, one of them overnight, before being murdered with the axe and knives.

Police only discovered the grisly scene a week after the killings last August when Ms Harvey's mother reported her daughter missing.

The two men killed, Peter Smith, 31, and Ian Brown, 36, were both lovers of Ms Harvey, who had learning difficulties and was a volunteer worker at a charity shop.

Mr Justice Blofeld, sitting at Reading Crown Court, gave Hobbs - who admitted all three murders - three life sentences and said he had appeared to show no remorse for the "three apparently motiveless crimes". He said: "I find these matters inexplicable," and called Hobbs' conduct "extremely wicked" and his behaviour "extremely callous". He added that Hobbs should serve a minimum of 20 years in jail before being considered for parole.

Adrian Redgrave QC, for the prosecution, said: "It was over the weekend of August 28-29 that this accused murdered three friends. He did so over a period of about 24 hours, all in the same house in Slough in circumstances of almost unimaginable savagery and callousness."

Hobbs, who had been high on amphetamines and had been drinking, was thought to have got into an argument with Ms Harvey after having sex and attacked her with a chisel on 28 August. He later killed her with an axe. She suffered stab wounds to her back, head, neck and face. Her skull was also fractured.

Later in the afternoon Ian Brown, a decorator, visited Ms Harvey at the flat. He was overpowered by Hobbs, who gagged him and tied him up before going to sleep on a sofa. The following morning he made him a cup of tea before tying him up again.

Hobbs told detectives he had been planning to leave the flat that morning but as he walked out Peter Smith, a rail worker, arrived. As Mr Smith began to realise what had happened, Hobbs struck him with the blunt end of the axe and then tied him on the bed to Mr Brown. He then murdered the two men.

Mr Redgrave said: "Both men died of severe head injuries. The principal weapon was an axe found in the bedroom. This accused must have struck repeated blows to the heads of both men with all his force." As well as the axe, two bloodstained knives were found in the kitchen.

Hobbs left the flat with a computer game, a watch and a cashcard. After a massive police hunt, he was eventually arrested on 12 September. He had gone to visit his sister in Basingstoke, Hampshire, where detectives tracked him down after he used the stolen cashcard to withdraw money.

The court was told that Ms Harvey and Mr Brown lived together in the flat and that Peter Smith, a former boyfriend of Ms Harvey, was friendly with the pair. He said that Hobbs had known Ms Harvey for some years and had met Mr Brown and Mr Smith several times.

Richard Benson QC, for the defence, said Hobbs had a history of drug and substance abuse since the age of 11. Hobbs had refused to undergo psychiatric analysis.



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