Serial killer: I murdered 15 girls, not seven

An alleged serial killer arrested in Rivers State for the gruesome murder of girls in hotel rooms in Port Harcourt, Mr. Gracious David West, has added eight more girls to the list of those he claimed he had killed.

West had confessed to the murder of seven girls when he was paraded in Port Harcourt on Friday.

But his latest confession has taken the number to 15.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, who disclosed this in Port Harcourt, said that upon further interrogation, West confessed that apart from killing girls in Port Harcourt, Lagos, and Aba, he also murdered girls in Owerri, Sapele, Ibadan, and Benin.

The suspected serial killer had earlier confessed that he killed only seven girls in three cities (five in Port Harcourt, one each in Lagos and Aba), by strangulating his victims with ropes he made from bed sheets, which he also used in binding their legs and arms.

“After the press conference on Friday, he took us to all the rooms that he booked and killed those girls in Port Harcourt. He said he killed a total of nine girls in Port Harcourt.

“He killed one in Lagos, one in Owerri, one in Sapele, one in Aba, one in Benin and one in Ibadan. So now we have 15. He killed nine in Port Harcourt, and six outside Port Harcourt,” Dandaura said.

The police commissioner, who also disclosed how the police succeeded in arresting West, said because one of the hotels where he killed one of the girls had the footage capturing West, he was no longer invincible.

He added that the hotel also provided the suspect’s phone number, which the police used in tracking him down in a vehicle while fleeing the state to neighbouring Akwa Ibom State.

Stressing that most hotels in the state have not complied with his directive to install CCTV camera in their hotel rooms, he noted that the hotel which made available the footage on the serial killer contributed in arresting the suspect.

Dandaura added that the suspect killed the last victim in Aba the same way he killed the other ladies by using a rope to strangulate the victim, noting that two female CID in Aba had come with CCTV footage of the suspect after he killed the 15th victim.

The police chief said that when the two CID operatives confronted West, who wore the same clothes he wore in the other killings, with evidence of the killing in Aba, he owned up to the murder.

When West was paraded, he disclosed that he cried after each act of murder he committed, explaining that after being overwhelmed with the urge to kill, he usually comes back to his senses once snuffing life out of the victims.

The native of Buguma in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State noted that he was always armed with a knife, but killed his victims by strangulating them after which he took their ATM cards, phones, cash and jewellery for survival.

West added that before he killed his female victims he made them disclose their account balance and ATM pins.

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