London Police Charge Suspect in One of Four Killings of Gay Men

From Associated Press

Police investigating slayings of homosexual men charged a man Wednesday with the murder of one of the four victims.

Colin Ireland, 39, was charged with killing 33-year-old Andrew Collier, who was found dead in early June at his home in east London. Ireland was arrested Tuesday after he arranged to meet police at a lawyer's office.

News reports said Ireland apparently came forward after police published a security camera picture of a man walking behind one of the victims, Emanuel Spiteri, at Charing Cross rail station shortly before his death in June.

Spiteri's burned remains were found at his apartment June 15.

Ireland was described as unemployed and "of no fixed abode." He is to make a court appearance in London today. News reports said he has denied killing Collier.

Collier, who worked at a home for the elderly, is believed to have been the fourth victim of a killer who suffocated or strangled five men between March 8 and June 15.

Four of the victims were known to be homosexuals. Police say they have no evidence that the fifth slaying victim, senior company manager Perry Bradley III, 35, of Sulphur Springs, Tex., was gay.

Bradley, found naked, bound and strangled at his west London apartment June 4, has been linked with the other victims because of the way he died and the physical evidence left at the scene.

The other victims were Christopher Dunn, a 37-year-old librarian, found strangled at his home May 30, and Peter Walker, a 45-year-old theater director who died while tied to his bed in March.

After each slaying, the killer telephoned police, a national newspaper or a suicide hot line with precise details of the crime. Newspapers reported that he also threatened to kill someone every week until he was caught.

The police, striving to overcome longstanding hostility and suspicion in the gay community, assigned a homosexual officer to the investigation and have actively sought gay cooperation in the case.

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