"Crossbow Cannibal" Killed Women, Ate Bodies

Stephen Griffiths (CBS/AP)

A British man who admitted to shooting his prostitute victims in the head with a crossbow before dismembering and eating them was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, according to several British news reports.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, who called himself "The Crossbow Cannibal," pleaded guilty to murdering Susan Rushworth, 43, Shelley Armitage 31, and Suzanne Blamires, 36, the U.K. daily Guardian reports.

Griffiths was caught when a building supervisor spotted him in the act on closed circuit television in Bradford, near the city of Leeds, in northern England, the Guardian reports.

"(The supervisor) saw an image of someone on the third floor dragging a person into flat 33," prosecutor Robert Smith said.

Shortly afterwards, a woman ran from the apartment and fell to the floor, the Guardian reports. Griffiths shot her with a crossbow as she lay on the floor, and dragged her into the flat by a leg.

Griffiths allegedly "toasted" the death by raising a can of drink to the closed circuit security camera, the U.K. daily Telegraph reports.

Police believe Griffiths might also be responsible for three unsolved murders after he indicated in an interview that he had killed six women in total, the Telegraph reports.

He claimed he had cooked and eaten parts of his first two victims, boiling one in a pot, and ate the third one raw, the Telegraph reports.

The prosecutor said Griffiths had admitted to killing Blamires in the flat and dismembering her by hand. He apparently used power tools on the other victims, the Telegraph reports.

Griffiths told police he had "cut himself off from society" and a "civil war" was going on in his head, the Telegraph reports.

The prosecutor also told the court 81 different pieces of Ms Blamires were found in or by the River Aire in Shipley. A broken knife and a crossbow bolt were embedded in her severed head, the Telegraph reports.

Griffiths was known as 'the weirdo' by neighbours in his apartment building, reports the U.K. Daily Mail. He was also known as 'Penfold', a character in the children's cartoon show Danger Mouse because he wore round dark glasses whatever the weather.

One neighbour said Griffiths befriended prostitutes who worked in the red-light area around his apartment, the Daily Mail reports. There were also suggestions that Griffiths, who was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, kept pet lizards.

According to neighbors and his Myspace page, Griffiths had an advanced degree in psychology, and was studing towards a Ph.D. in criminology, with a focused study on homicide and serial killers, the Daily Mail reports.
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