Graham Frederick Young was an English serial killer that used poisons to kill his victims. He used poison on his family, friends, work colleagues and even his fellow inmates. He was known as The Teacup Poisoner or the St. Albans Poisoner.


Graham Young was born in September 1947 in Middlesex to Fred and Bessie Young. His mother died of tuberculosis months after his birth. While his father mourned he stayed with his aunt and his sister Winifred went to their grandparents. When his father remarried in 1950 he was reunited with his family and introduced to his stepmother Molly.

He became fascinated with Hitler, Nazism and the occult. He allegedly sacrificed a cat in one of his rituals. At 13 years old he took a great interest in poisons and what they did to the human body. He started practising his skills at 14 years old on his family and students at his school. He even poisoned himself by accident when he forgot which teacups he had laced with poison.

Image credit: German Federal Archive (Deutsches Bundesarchiv) / Wikimedia Commons
He convinced local chemists that he was 17 years old so he could get his hands on antimony, digitalis, arsenic and thallium for his tests. His family fell ill suddenly and suffered from painful symptoms. It was thought to be a mystery bug that was spreading as Young's friends had the same symptoms. 

Young's sister became sick after she drank tea her brother made for her.  His father confronted him saying he was careless with his chemistry set, but Young tried to blame his sister for using the teacups to make shampoo. His father knew about his son's hobby and told him to be careful with the chemicals. He never believed he was intentionally harming his sister.

The advice fell on deaf ears and in 1962 Young's stepmother passed away from poisoning. Not long after that, his father was in hospital very close to death himself and diagnosed with antimony poisoning.

After hearing about this, Young's chemistry teacher found suspicious books and vials of poison in his school desk and reported it to the police. He admitted to poisoning his father, sister and school friend.

Young was detained at Broadmoor Hospital for the Criminally Insane at the age of 14, the youngest inmate since 1885. While at Broadmoor he continued his experiments but this time he used the inmates and the staff. It was rumoured that he killed an inmate called John Berridge with cyanide that he extracted from laurel bush leaves. He hid his continued study of poison so well that he was released in 1970 and allegedly said he was "going to kill one person for every year he spent there".

Life After Broadmoor Hospital

When he was released he lived at a hostel and would visit his old home town to see the reactions of the neighbours. Not long after he gathered his supplies once again and started his experiments on fellow residents.

He got a job with a photographic laboratory and continued his experiments there. He would make tea and coffee for his colleagues regularly, and when they started to experience cramping and dizziness they thought it was a bug going around locally.

His boss Bob Egle was the first to be killed by Young in July 1971, and his colleague Fred Biggs was the second in September 1971. Biggs took longer to die that Egle, which frustrated Young.

After the 2 deaths, the company became concerned and sent a doctor to the site to speak to them and reassure them everything was safe. However, this is where Young's downfall begins.

He asked the doctor questions and asked him why thallium poisoning was not considered. The doctor noticed that Young had extensive knowledge of poisons and notified the management who then reported this to the police.

When the police started searching they found his collection of poisons and his journal with all the details about his experiments, such as the dosings and the symptoms he observed.

The Trial

Young was put on trial in June 1972 at St. Albans Crown Court. He was charged with 2 counts of murder, 2 counts of attempted murder, and 2 counts of administering the poison. He denied any involvements and said the entries in his journal was for a novel he was drafting. 

He loved the attention he got from the media but disliked his nickname The Teacup Poisoner.

Ian Brady with Myra Hindley. Image credit: Ninian Reid @ Flickr

He was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in Parkhurst a maximum security prison. This is where he met and became friends with Ian Brady the Moors Murderer. They would play chess and bond over Nazi Germany.

He died at the age of 42 in August 1990. His cause of death is recorded as a heart attack, but it is believed he was poisoned by another inmate or he may have poisoned himself.

Young never showed remorse and when he was asked he said:

"What I feel is the emptiness of my soul"

Final Thoughts

It is clear there was no stopping Graham from conducting these experiments, in or out of Broadmoor Hospital. It's a shame that 3 people lost their lives as a result of his obsession.

He seemed to enjoy being feared by the public, but he hated the nickname he was given. I'm glad he got caught and it was his obsession and ego that made it happen.

I think that the staff at Broadmoor could've been more observant, and I am shocked he got released after saying he was going to kill again.

Do you think this could have been avoided? What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comments. 

Edward Theodore Gein is one of the most famous serial killers in the USA and he went by the name "The Butcher of Plainfield". He inspired many books and movies and became immortalised as the character Norman Bates in Psycho. He was also the inspiration for the following characters in horror movies:
  • Leatherface - Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • Buffalo Bill - The Silence of the Lambs. 

Attention! The content of this article or section may seem obscene or offensive to some readers.

Ed's Early Life

Ed Gein was born August 27th 1906 and was the second son of George and Augusta Gein. Gein had one older brother called Henry, and they all lived together on a farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin.

Augusta kept her sons away from outsiders, and only let them leave the farm to go to school. If Ed tried to make friends with anybody he would be punished. Ed was bullied a lot at school, and he developed a tic that made him laugh impulsively.

She was very religious and preached to the boys regularly. She would tell them about the evils of alcohol and women. She told them that all women were prostitutes except her, and when she caught Ed masturbating she scalded him with hot water. She would read the bible to them daily and would choose verses about death, murder, and divine retribution.

His father George was an alcoholic, and in 1940 he died because of his alcoholism. After their fathers' death, the two boys started to do odd jobs to help pay the bills. Ed's older brother started to question their mother, and he made it clear he wanted to date. 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
In May 1944 Ed and his brother were working in the fields when a fire broke out. After the fire was extinguished they realised Henry was missing. They created a search party to find him, and when they did he was laying face down dead in a field. At first, it was thought he had died of heart failure because he had no burns, but after closer inspection, they noticed bruising to his head. The police suspected foul play but they had no evidence to prove it.

This left just Ed and his mother alone at the farm, but after two strokes her health deteriorated and she died in December 1945. When his mother died he was devastated and became a hermit. He boarded up all of the rooms she would use to preserve them like a shrine and lived in the kitchen and a living room. This meant those rooms were immaculate, and the rest of the house fell into squalor.

Ed's Crimes

Ed was arrested after a hardware store owner went missing called Bernice Worden. He was the last person seen with her before she disappeared. The police went to the Gein farm to make enquiries, but then decided they needed to search the property. 

When they searched the farm they found the body of Bernice decapitated and hanging upside down. Gein had shot her and mutilated her body. When they searched the rest of the property, what they saw shocked them to their core. They found the following inside the house:
  • Human bones and fragments.
  • A basket of skin.
  • 9 masks made of skin from female heads. Some had lipstick on and had been treated with oil.
  • Skulls on his bedposts.
  • A belt made of female nipples.
  • Bernice's head in a burlap sack.
  • Bernice's' heart in a bag.
  • Lips used as pulls on a window shade.
  • Lampshades and bowls made of skin.
  • Human skin covering chair seats.

When questioned Gein admitted that he visited graveyards and would exhume bodies. He would dig up the graves of women that looked like his mother. He also admitted to two murders, and again that he targeted women that resembled his mother. He denied all cannibalism allegations made against him. 

It was also discovered that Ed was creating a woman suit made out of human skin so that he could become his mother. He wanted to be her because of the power she had over men.

Ed's Trial

Gein was put on trial in November 1957, and he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.  He was also diagnosed with Schizophrenia and sent to a maximum security facility called the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

He was not put on trial again until he was fit to participate in his own defence. This would not be until November 1968. However, Gein was deemed insane and committed to the same hospital for the rest of his life.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Gein died on July 26th 1984 aged 77. He was buried with his parents and brother in a now unmarked grave. It did have a gravestone, but unfortunately, people would take pieces of it as a souvenir and in 2000 it was actually stolen.

Final Thoughts

I knew a little bit about Ed Gein before I researched this post, but I had no idea he had inspired so many characters in horror. Each character is inspired by different aspects of Ed and his life.

He had a very unhealthy relationship with his mother. Ed was devoted to his mother but she was a very dominating woman and would emasculate her sons regularly. When she passed away he was left alone. He had no friends and felt more comfortable around children due to his lack of social skills. 

However, this does not excuse what he did. The farm was a thing of nightmares, and what he did to the bodies at his farm is horrifying.  So much so that it affected the police officer that found the body of Bernice Worden.

What are your thoughts on Ed Gein and his crimes? Please share them in the comments! 

Fred and Rose West were a killer couple that abducted and killed a dozen young females in the UK during the '70s and '80s, including their own children.

Attention! The content of this article or section may seem obscene or offensive to some readers.

Fred West

Fred was born Frederick Walter Stephen West in September 1941. He had five siblings and was born into a family of farm workers. His father wasn't the best role model, as he encouraged incest and bestiality and always told his children:

"Do what you want, just don't get caught."

Fred's life changed when he had an accident at 15 years old, which left him with a fractured skull. That's when he started having violent mood swings.

His first marriage was to Catherine Costello in November 1962. Catherine was pregnant with another mans child and after they got married she gave birth to a baby girl called Charmaine and a year later she had another child called Anne Marie. However, their marriage didn't last long and she left after Fred's sadistic sexual desires became too much. Costello left Charmaine and Anne Marie with Fred when she left.

Rose West

Rosemary Pauline West was born in November 1953 and lived with her mother until she was 15 after her parents separated. After she left her mother she went to live with her father, but her father was prone to violence and sexually abusing her.

Rose met Fred and moved in with him not long after she turned 16. They had their first child within a few months and named her Heather. While Fred was serving a 7-month sentence for theft Rose was left with the children.

While Fred was serving his time Rose killed Charmaine but told Fred that she had been collected by her mother.

Their Marriage and Crimes

They got married in January 1972 even though West was still married to Costello. The couple had their second daughter Mae and moved to Cromwell Street. They converted the rooms upstairs into bedsits, and one room was for Rose to use for prostitution complete with a red light and peephole for Fred.

The couple took 17-year-old Caroline Roberts into their home and sexually assaulted her. They knew her because she had been their babysitter in the past. They threatened to kill her if she didn't do as she was told.

Roberts was let go when she promised to be their nanny, but she reported them both to the police. Unfortunately, she dropped the rape charges later and all they received was a fine for indecent assault. 

When Anne Marie turned 8 she became the victim of her fathers' sadistic fantasies. From 1973 - 1979 she was abused sexually by Fred, but at 14 years old she finally escaped.

The Wests would then go on to abduct and murder 8 young women while abusing their other daughter Heather. When Heather started to talk about the abuse at school it forced Fred's hand. He killed her while Rose watched, dismembered her and buried the body under the patio.

Heather's remains were the first to be found after the abuse was reported by her friends' mother.

When the police visited the property they discovered 2 other bodies in the garden, and 6 bodies in the cellar. They also found a large amount of pornography which included bestiality. They would also find a camera that had been used to record the torture of their many victims. 

The couple was arrested in 1984 for their crimes. Fred was charged with 12 murders and Rose with 10. When they were questioned Fred was willing to take the blame, but later changed his mind and accused Rose of the killings.

Before Fred could stand trial for his crimes he hung himself. However, Rose did go to trial and was found guilty. She was sentenced to life in prison and became the second woman to receive that sentence in the UK.

The Aftermath

The House of Horrors, 25 Cromwell Street, was demolished in October 1996 and is now a public footpath.

Several of Fred's family got their fair share of media attention for all the wrong reasons.

One of the videos found at the house was allegedly Fred's brother John West abusing his own niece. In 1996, just like his brother before him, John hung himself after being charged with rape. Another brother called Stephen West was jailed for sex with a minor.

The entrance to Parkhurst, Isle of Wight. Image credit: Ian S
Rose West is now 65 years old and serving her sentence at HMP Low Newton.

Final Thoughts

This case is well known in the UK and recently there was a documentary made about the couple. I knew about the horrific crimes they committed together, but I knew nothing about their childhood or their families.

It's clear they both had tough childhoods, and even though I do feel for Rose I do not condone what she did as an adult. They both took pleasure in causing harm to these women and their own flesh and blood. 

I think it is a big misconception to think that a woman couldn't possibly do this to their own children or other women, as there have been many women in history that have committed crimes just as wicked as this.

What are your thoughts on the couple and the crimes they committed? Let me know in the comments section. 

The tale of Sawney Bean inspired Wes Craven's 1977 horror movie The Hills Have Eyes. The Hills Have Eyes earned 25 million dollars and there have been sequels and remakes since the original was released. The movie became a franchise and there are graphic novels and merchandise available too.

So, who was Sawney Bean? Sawney Bean was the leader of a clan in Scotland. His clan was a good size and it had 45 members in total. They were active in the 16th century and were executed for the mass killing and cannibalisation of around 1000 people.

It's not known if Sawney Bean ever existed as there is no documentation to prove it, but it's a well-known story in Edinburgh and has become part of the tourism.

Attention! The content of this article or section may seem obscene or offensive to some readers.

The Tale of Sawney Bean

Alexander "Sawney" Bean was born in East Lothian, Scotland. His father was a ditch-digger and Bean tried to follow in his father's footsteps. However, he lost interest in labour and realised it wasn't for him.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
He met and fell for a woman called Agnes Douglas who had been accused of being a witch by the locals. The couple left, began robbing and cannibalised one of their victims.

On their travels, they found a cave on the coast and decided to live there. In their 25 years living in the cave, they had 8 sons, 6 daughters, 18 grandsons and 14 granddaughters. Various grandchildren were products of incestuous intercourse between the children and their parents.

To feed their growing clan they would ambush people at night to rob them, and then take the bodies back to their cave to eat them.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
The locals noticed people were disappearing and body parts were washing up on the coast. They would leave body parts to be found so the locals would blame it on a beast. This meant that they had no idea that the clan lived so close.

Several searches took place to find the person or animal responsible for the murders. They found the cave but they never searched the cave because they didn't believe anyone could live there. Some locals even believed it was a goblin-like creature. As a result, several innocent people were accused and killed, but the murders didn't stop.

They were discovered one night when they attacked a young married couple. Unfortunately for them he was skilled in combat and fought them off with a sword and pistol. His poor wife was not so lucky, and when she fell the clan attacked her.  Before they could finish off the husband a group of people from a fayre nearby appeared, and the clan had to flee.

Sawney Bean's Cave. Image credit: Mary and Angus Hogg
Now their existence was known they were hunted. 400 men with bloodhounds searched for the clan on behalf of the king. The eventually found the cave, and when they got inside they found a horrifying scene. They found human remains hung and dried, the cave reeked of decay, and there were barrels of pickled and salted body parts. They also found stolen goods which consisted of gold, silver, watches, rings and weapons. 

What Happened Then?

The ending of this chilling story has 2 versions, and it's unknown which of them is true. 

Version 1:

This version tells how the clan were captured alive, and they put up no fight. They were taken to jail in chains and executed without trial. The clan showed no remorse for what they did.

Sawney and the other males had their genitalia removed and thrown into a fire. They then had their feet and hands severed and were left to bleed to death. Sawneys last words were:

"It isn't over, it will never be over."

Agnes and the girls watched the men die before they were burnt at the stake for their crimes.

Version 2:

In this version, the cave entrance was blown in using gunpowder. This left the Bean clan to suffocate inside with no way to escape.

Final Thoughts

Cannibalism is horrific but has been around since prehistoric times. However, this does not excuse what this clan did. This tale is gruesome from beginning to end, and I have never been one to enjoy movies that involve cannibalism, such as The Hills Have Eyes.

I had never heard of this tale before, but I found it very interesting to read about! Even though there is no proof the clan actually existed.

What do you think of this tale? Do you think it could be real or is it just a myth? Please let me know in the comments!

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