Murderer accuses his friend of killing spree

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The Independent Online

A convicted serial murderer and rapist accused his childhood friend yesterday of being his partner in a campaign of rape and murder.

A convicted serial murderer and rapist accused his childhood friend yesterday of being his partner in a campaign of rape and murder.

John Duffy, 41, sentenced 12 years ago to life imprisonment for two sex murders, was escorted from his top-security prison to the Old Bailey to be the star witness against David Mulcahy, also 41. Mulcahy, a builder with three children who lives in north London, denies 15 charges.

The killer said he had helped attack 23 women, three of whom were murdered. He said he had acted "with others on occasions", and indicated his old friend with a sweeping arm gesture. Mulcahy, who had shaken his head in apparent disbelief at Duffy, shouted: "Why don't you just tell the truth and get it over with?"

Duffy, in a grey suit, white shirt and blue tie, said he went with Mulcahy on "hunting" expeditions for rape victims. "We used to call it hunting. We considered it a bit of a joke, a bit of a game. It added to the excitement. We would feed off each other's emotions.

"We never thought we would get caught. We were playing a game with the police and generally making it fun."

Duffy said he and Mulcahy would cruise London in a car for hours, armed with knives, balaclavas and sticky tape to cover victims' mouths and eyes. He described the "excitement" in the car as the two men escaped after attacks. "We would put a tape on and sing along to it. Our favourite, and the one we played most times, was Michael Jackson's Thriller."

The men had met on their first day at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, north London. They became frequent visitors to Hampstead Heath, north London, where they masked themselves and hid in bushes to scare passers-by. They had a shared interest in martial arts and air rifles and were arrested as teenagers for taking shots at passers-by.

Duffy said their friendshipwas unaffected after both men married and they continued to go out terrorising people. "We never really grew up," he said.

The murderer said he helped Mulcahy rape a 21-year-old woman after seeing her at a takeaway food shop in Kilburn, north London, late one night in October 1982.

Mark Dennis, prosecuting, asked Duffy if his recollection of a long series of sexual attacks was clear. The killer agreed there were "many offences" but said: "It's something I don't think I'll ever forget."

Duffy said the pair abducted a woman at West Hampstead station, north London, in 1984, and forced her down the tracks to a railway bridge, where both raped her. Duffy admitted he later felt guilty "because the girl reminded me of my wife".

In July, 1984, Duffy said, he and Mulcahy raped two women walkers on Hampstead Heath. Duffy used a replica firearm to make the women submit.

At Duffy's trial in 1988, he admitted his part in the murder of Alison Day, 19, who was abducted at Hackney Wick station in east London and raped in December 1985. He also admitted murdering 15-year-old Maartje Tamboezer, who was abducted and raped while cycling to buy sweets near East Horsley station, Surrey, in 1986.

Since being jailed, he has also admitted murdering Anne Lock, 29, who was raped and killed near a Hertfordshire railway station in 1986. A decade after the offences, Duffy confessed to other offences and named Mulcahy as his partner in 12 rapes and attempted rapes as well as the three sex killings which became known as the "Railway Murders".

The trial continues.