Anorak News | Bashing The Bishop

Bashing The Bishop

by | 19th, December 2006

THE hunt for the “Suffolk Strangler” goes on.

At least that’s what the police are saying, not daring to fully believe the man in their custody is the lunatic responsible for the death of five women in the Ipswich area.

But he is all they’ve got, or are at least willing to share with the public.

So who is he? Well, he’s called Tom Stephens. The Mail says he began using prostitutes after this marriage broke down 18 months ago. Home is a new-build starter flat in the village of Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe. His car is a less-than-inconspicuous purple Renault Clio.

Is he the murderer? Look again at the car. Consider his five years spent as a Special Constable in Norfolk, pounding the beat out of choice, a uniformed part of the trained volunteers who work with and support their local police force. The Home Office website says Special Constables are “teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries”. Are they also workers in a Tesco supermarket, like Stephens? Can a “WEB WEIRDO” be a Special?

The Star has done away with its River Ripper and leads with The Suffolk Strangler. And it says that this suspect has a website on which he refers to himself as The Bishop, a character in the X-Men comic book.

The front page promises the “full story” on pages 4,5,6 & 7. But the facts are not yet all in. How can his be the full story?

But facts are stacking up. This is Stephens, the “oddball loner”. This is Stephens who once spent three nights putting up a garden shed. Neighbours saw him washing his car in the rain and digging holes in his garden. He wore Lycra shorts, or “hotpants” as the Star knowingly calls them. Locals Lesley Anne Barber and husband Mike say Stephens was “often seen on his bicycle”.

The facts start to look full. And damning. But what if it is all an act? Might it be that, as the Mail notes, Stephens is “fantasist”?

As the Star investigates Stephens, amid it sadverts for TV porn and “OLDER LADIES – OVER 40s TALK DIRTY LIVE”, the Sun considers some other facts.

Facts: Stephens visited the murder sites. He knew all the victims. And he also knew one Jacci Stephens, a former prostitute, who says: “He was nice and sweet with no nasty bone in his body. He has not got it in him to hurt anyone.”

And the Mirror hears how the suspected “Ipswich Ripper” was “begging” a “vice girl” for sex just hours before his arrest. A former school classmate describes him as a “nerd” known for wearing “extremely tight trousers”.
And Stephens has spoken out. Said he of the murders before his arrest: “I don’t have alibis for some of the times. Actually, I’m not entirely sure I have alibis for any of the times.” He admits that “from the police profiling it does look like me”.

These are the facts, such as they are. More to follow…

Posted: 19th, December 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink