John Reginald Christie was one of the most notorious serial killers in British criminal history. He was born near Halifax in 1898. He served in the First World War and was eventually invalided out of the army following the effects of a mustard gas attack. He worked in several clerical jobs and was involved in petty crime. He had six convictions for theft deception and violence when aged 40 he moved to 10 Rillington Place with his wife Ethel in 1938.
Improbably during the war years he served as a special constable in the War Reserve Police. He committed his first murder in 1943. His victim was Ruth Fuerst a munitions worker and part-time prostitute. Christie stored her body under the floorboards and later buried it in the tiny garden at number 10. In 1944 he murdered Muriel Eady.
In 1949 he offered to perform an abortion for one of the other occupants of the house, Beryl Evans. Christie killed her and her daughter Geraldine. He then persuaded her husband Timothy to help dispose of the body. Evans left London but soon confessed to police in south Wales. The bodies were discovered in Rillington Place. Evans was charged with the murders but only stood trial for the murder of his daughter. Christie gave evidence against him. He was found guilty and hung in 1950.
Christie subsequently murdered four more women including his wife. He left Rillington Place in 1953. The landlord uncovered some of the bodies and a police search found the others. Christie was arrested in Putney, tried, and executed for the murder of his wife.
The miscarriage of justice in the Evans trial was one of the cases which contributed to the abolition of the death penalty for murder.
Rillington Place was renamed Ruston Close and demolished in 1970. It is possible to find the location of number 10 in the modern street Bartle Place but there is no sign today of the site of the infamous series of murders.
For a more detailed account of the facts and myths surrounding the Christie case visit the 10 Rillington Place website.