An Irish native, born in 1928, Kelly migrated to London at age 25, working odd jobs and spending most of his money on liquor while launching a one-man war against "poofters." He slaughtered an uncertain number of gays over the next three decades, clearly recalling five victims at his arrest in 1983.
Considering that he had killed those five in eight years time -- and two within a three-month period preceding his incarceration -- it is possible that Kelly murdered dozens in his thirty years at large.
Kelly's first known victim, elderly panhandler Hector Fisher, was found in a Clapham churchyard on Christmas Day 1975, stabbed repeatedly about the head and neck. Last seen alive on Christmas Eve, Fisher had been loitering with several men dressed up as "Father Christmas."
Homicide investigators grilled a dozen suspects in the case -- including Kieron Kelly -- but they found no evidence that would support a murder charge.
Eighteen months later, on June 2, 1977, 68-year-old Maurice Weighly was found dead in Soho, his face and genitals mutilated, the neck of a broken bottle thrust up his rectum. Constables found Kelly and another transient in the neighborhood, with bloodstains on their clothing, and Kelly was charged with the murder, his companion describing the crime in grisly detail.
Six months passed before the trial, and Kelly was acquitted after his lawyer branded the state's key witness an alcoholic, "blind drunk" at the time of the murder. (The witness subsequently vanished and was never seen again. In 1983, Kieron Kelly confessed to his murder.)
In May 1983, an elderly panhandler was pushed onto the tracks at London's Kensington Station, saved when the driver managed to stop his train in time. Witnesses fingered Kelly in the attack, prompting his arrest on charges of attempted murder, but jurors failed to reach a verdict in his first trial, and he was acquitted the second time around.
By August 4, Kelly was back in jail, charged with robbery and public drunkenness. Locked in the drunk tank with transients, he crushed the skull of inmate William Boyd, finishing his victim off with a garrote fashioned from stockings and shoelaces. When tea was delivered next morning, Kelly's surviving cellmate begged for protection, ignoring dire threats in his eagerness to testify.
Under close interrogation, Kelly confessed to five remembered slayings. William Boyd aside, he now admitted killing Hector Fisher and Maurice Weighly, protected from further charges in the latter case by his previous acquittal.
Other victims included the missing witness from his first murder trial, and an elderly transient, shoved beneath a train days after the Kensington Station attack. Authorities confirmed a fatal "accident" at Oval Station on the date in question, but they had no firm corroborating evidence.
Convicted of the Fisher homicide in June 1984, Kelly was sentenced to life imprisonment. A few days later, he received an identical term for William Boyd's murder, departing the courtroom with a cheerful "Happy Christmas to you all!"
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial
Killers - Hunting Humans
M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE: PC-extremist
Homophobobic slayer of gay males
Life term on one count, 1984.