Steven John Grieveson, The Sunderland Strangler
An English Serial Killer who was not convicted of all his murders for several years
Steven John Grieveson was born in 1970; he is an English serial killer who was convicted in 1996 of the murders of three teenage boys in Sunderland. He gained the nickname the Sunderland Strangler.
At trial, it was ascertained that he murdered the boys after having sex with them to conceal his homosexuality. He was given three life sentences for the murders and would serve a minimum of thirty-five years.
This, however, was not the last time Grieveson was in court or the last victim he claimed.
Grieveson started his murder spree in May 1990. He abducted and killed Simon Martin. After playing football with him, he lured the boy to an abandoned building.
Martin was last seen by his parents on 18th May when he went out to play with friends at 5 pm. He was reported missing that night; his body was not discovered for a week; it was found in a disused house.
Thomas Kelly was eighteen when he became Grieveson's second victim on 26th November 1993. He was found in an abandoned allotment shed in Monkwearmouth Hospital.
On 4th February 1994, fifteen-year-old David Hanson was his third victim. He was found in Roker Terrace in an abandoned house.
The body had been found with drugs and glue beside it, so the police assumed that he had been caught up in the glue-sniffing craze which had led to their death.
On 25th February, David Grieff became his fourth and final victim. In a strange twist, Grieff was a classmate of David Hanson's at Monkwearmouth Academy.
Once again, the police went with the glue-sniffing theory. Stating that both boys had been victims because of their sniffing lifestyle.
It was not for another eight months when the case was reviewed the police discovered that they had both been strangled. They then found the third strangling case, Kelly.
Hanson's parents have always maintained that the assumption of the police prevented a fuller investigation from taking place, which allowed Grieveson to kill Grieff.
On 11th March 1994, Grieveson was arrested for burglary at the house where Hanson's body had been found. This was after a footprint and fingerprint were matched to him.
It wasn't long before witnesses came forward to say that Grieveson had been seen with David Grieff the same night as he was killed. DNA was run against him, and that was found on Grieff, which matched.
Grieveson was charged with three murders: Grieff, Hanson and Kelly. At trial, he stated that he had killed them unintentionally whilst he was trying to ensure they didn't tell anyone he was bisexual.
He denied murder, stating that he had diminished responsibility because of mental health problems. The fact he strangled the victims and then burned their bodies to hide the evidence went against this claim.
On 28th February 1996, he was found guilty and sentenced.
In November 2000, Grieveson was arrested at Full Sutton Prison near York. He denied involvement in the murder; the evidence was not there to convict him.
In June 2004, he admitted his guilt at the three murders, but he still maintained his innocence concerning Martin. It was not until November 2012 that he confessed to the murder, saying it was an accident and the murder had haunted him ever since.
He was finally convicted on 24th October 2013, giving the family some justice for their loss.
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