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The Secret Serial Killer (Hardback)

The True Story of Kieran Kelly

British History True Crime London P&S History 20th Century Ireland

By Robert Mulhern
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 196
ISBN: 9781526722768
Published: 9th May 2019


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On the evening of 21 August 1983, Metropolitan Police detectives raced to the cells of London’s Clapham Police Station to find a prisoner dead and his cellmate sat cross-legged and quiet in the corner.

Kieran Kelly, a labourer from Ireland, quickly confessed to strangling the prisoner – and then stunned officers by confessing to dozens of unreported and unsolved murders over the previous 30 years.

Detectives believed they were in the presence of Britain’s most prolific serial killer yet Kelly was convicted on just two of his admissions and his story went unnoticed until 2015, when a former police officer who worked on the case claimed the killer’s crimes were covered up by the British Government.

Strangulations, murders on the London Underground, an internal Metropolitan Police review – as the story’s elements whipped the international news media into a frenzy, journalist Robert Mulhern set off on a methodical search for the truth against the backdrop of an ever-increasing body count.

Could Kieran Kelly really have murdered 31 times?

Sensational claims are set to emerge in a new book that an Irishman who went on to be one of Britain's most notorious serial killers may have committed his first murder in Ireland.

Irish Mail

Book extract/article: 'On the trail of Kieran Kelly – the Secret Serial Killer' + author Q&A as featured by

Leinster Leader, 25th June 2019

Author article: 'A KILDARE MAN IN LONDON: Hot on the heels of a serial killer’s trail' as featured by

Leinster Leader (online), 27th April 2019

Article: 'Ireland's Secret Serial Killer' as featured by

Sunday World (Eire), 26th May 2019 – words by Eamon Dillon

Article: 'Irish “Secret Serial Killer” responsible for up to 30 London murders' as featured by

Irish Central (online), 30th May 2019

Article: 'Book sheds new light on suspected Irish serial killer Kieran Kelly' as featured by

The Irish News (online), 30th May 2019

Article: 'An Irish Serial Killer? - Doc on One goes to print' as featured by

RTÉ (online), 28th May 2019

Featured in

The Sunday Buisness Post, 14/07/2019

As both a true crime and English detectives lover I was immediately drawn into this story. I had previously spent two years delving into the history of crime in London during the Victorian period and while Kelly’s crimes and the investigations surrounding them fall closer to the present, it was still something I couldn’t put down. Through eyewitness testimony, Kiernan Kelly’s case has been rebuilt with new evidence from Britain and Ireland, which is full of twists and turns that will keep readers hooked until the very end. The murders Kelly committed are seen as something that would not have wide appeal or interest. The fact that he killed those often identified as drunken vagrants seems to have limited the urge to investigate, which speaks to a cultural issue that arises within true crime topics. Kelly’s hidden crimes show that victims who are considered outside of mainstream society do not often receive the attention they deserve.

Read the full review here

The Nerdy Girl Express

It is an interesting book overall I thought, with a level of impressive research that makes it THE definitive study of a case that is destined to forever remain one that tantalises and intrigues the student of true crime.

Read the full review here

The True Crime Enthusiast

Mulhern uncovers a Jekyll and Hyde personality along with a host of missing and inaccurate police files.

Read the full review here

Publishers Weekly

About Robert Mulhern

Robert Mulhern is a multi-award winning journalist.

He worked as a reporter and editor for the BBC, Sky and The Irish Post, after graduating from local papers. He is currently contracted to RTÉ Radio 1’s Documentary on One series in Ireland. Mulhern is a three-time World Radio award winner at the New York International Festivals, as well as a previous Celtic Media award winner. His work has been short-listed for Amnesty International Media awards.

Perfect Partner

Britain's Forgotten Serial Killer The Terror of the Axeman (Paperback)

Serial killer Patrick Mackay was dubbed the most dangerous man in Britain when he appeared in court in 1975 charged with three killings, including the axe murder of a priest. The Nazi-obsessed alcoholic had stalked the upmarket streets of West London hunting for victims and was suspected of at least eight further murders. Now, after more than 40 years behind bars, where he has shunned publicity, Mackay has been allowed to change his name and win the right to live in an open prison - bringing him one step closer to freedom. For the first time, Britain’s Forgotten Serial Killer reveals the full,…

By John Lucas

Click here to buy both titles for £26.38
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