Bully with a deadly hatred for blondes

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The Independent Online

Levi Bellfield - a man who hated blondes - was one of the most dangerous serial killers Britain has known.

He would have gone on killing by night, preying on young women, if he had not been stopped.

By day, he thought of himself as affable Lee, family man, businessman and Jack the Lad.

Bellfield fled into the darkness leaving his female victims dead or dying after spotting them on buses or near bus stops.

His attacks over three years are thought to be only part of his sexual and violent offending against women.

Detectives believe he may have been responsible for 20 attacks on women which were never solved.

The most serious allegation is the murder of 13-year-old Milly Dowler in 2002.

But they also plan to question him about a number of unsolved murders around Britain.

These include the killing of Judith Gold who was hit over the head in Hampstead, north London, in 1990 and Bellfield's school friend Patsy Morris, 14, who was strangled on Hounslow Heath, west London, in 1980.

In addition to a number of unsolved attacks on people in west London, Bellfield is suspected of date-rape crimes involving young women who were plied with drugs and sexually abused.

Bellfield, who had a devil tattoo on his shoulder, denied his Jekyll and Hyde existence right to the end.

He tried to convince the jury that he was caught up in a miscarriage of justice.

But a succession of friends and former colleagues told police a different story, of a man who had an unhealthy interest in sex.

Bellfield had a series of blonde lovers on the go. Sometimes, more than one was pregnant at the same time.

When he was violent towards a partner, she would seek comfort from one of the other women. They lived in the same area and knew each other.

One said Bellfield showed an unhealthy interest in one of her 13-year-old relatives.

He was said to have 11 children aged from three to 18 from five women, but an unofficial estimate put the number of offspring at 13.

Over the years, he had many girlfriends in addition to his "wives" but still sought younger and younger girls to impress.

He flashed his cash and was once seen doing a "loadsamoney" impersonation with a handful of notes.

He trawled the darkened streets for young runaways from care homes getting off the last bus with nowhere to go.

Tempting them with drink and drugs, they soon found themselves in the back of a succession of old cars and vans which were often adapted with darkened windows and carpets.

If he picked the wrong woman and was turned down, he exploded with violence, parking his vehicle and going after them with a hammer or baseball bat.

A former partner said she found a magazine with the faces of blonde models slashed out.

Bellfield also told her he would go to alleyways and would wait and watch blondes passing, claiming that he wanted to "hurt them, stab them, rape them".

"He hated women. He hated blonde women," said prosecutor Brian Altman.

A former friend Peter Rodrigues suffered a life-threatening head injury in June 2004.

He told police that as he recovered consciousness, he saw Bellfield leaning over him with a mallet in his hand.

The two men had been in dispute about a flat in West Drayton and police could not prove he was the attacker.

Another acquaintance claimed Bellfield told him about his attitude to women.

"He was like a caveman. He treats women like dogs," the man said.

Ricky Brouillard said Bellfield had a relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

On one occasion Bellfield had sex in front of him with another teenager.

He said: "I would describe him as an animal. She was a naive little girl. He didn't treat her with respect."

Mr Brouillard said Bellfield admitted he had sex with the teenager's younger cousin, who was 14 or 15.

"She had long blonde hair and a ponytail. He said he had sex with her and I was disgusted."

Police were told that Bellfield kept an array of weapons in his vehicles from which he sold cocaine.

They included hammers, baseball bats, a knuckleduster, a cosh and even a gun.

The Toyota Previa used to mow down Kate Sheedy had blacked-out windows and a quilt in the back.

There were also claims of manacles and whips kept in the back of his van in 2004.

The day before his arrest in November 2004, Bellfield was under police observation when he was seen to approach two cousins aged 14 and 16 at a bus stop.

He got out of the car, said "Are you virgins?" and made other lewd remarks to them.

The 6ft tall, 20-stone killer was brought up in west London by his now elderly and ailing mother.

He began chatting up girls and had ready access to drugs when he worked as a bouncer in pubs and clubs in the Twickenham area.

Then he hit gold with the demand for wheel clamping services for businesses with land which could be used for car parks.

With a bunch of friends, he set out to trap motorists. If they refused to pay, some would have their feet "accidentally" run over.

A doctor complained after this happened to him, unaware that the company he was writing to consisted only of Bellfield.

An elderly woman also found her toes crushed after Bellfield arrived to sort out a dispute with his men.

Bellfield summed himself up in his own words on the Friends Reunited website.

He told former schoolfriends: "Was short at school now over six feet ha ha... i havnt grown up still think im 18 out clubing, ibiza, tenereif. A bit flash like the labels am i sounding a prat???? dont look my age...any single girls out there e mail me."