Suspected London Serial Killer Gave GHB To Victims

By Victoria Kim 10/30/15

Stephen Port was once seen in an episode of Celebrity Masterchef.

Stephen Port
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The suspected east London serial killer accused of fatally drugging four young men with GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) appeared in Central Criminal Court of England and Wales last Wednesday. Stephen Port, 40, was arrested early October, and is alleged to have drugged and raped four men, all in their twenties, over a span of 15 months.

Port, a gay prostitute and a chef who appeared on an episode of Celebrity Masterchef, is charged with four counts of murder and four counts of administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm, the Daily Mail reports.

Prosecutors say Port would meet the men on Grindr and invite them to his apartment, where he would drug them with lethal quantities of GHB before raping and dumping their bodies. All were found within a quarter mile of his home in east London.

The victims’ families and members of the gay community say they had gone to police as early as last year with suspicions of foul play, but it was not until the fourth victim was found in September that authorities took action.

It took “four almost identical deaths of gay men over a 15-month period in the exact same area of London for police to sit up and take notice,” writes VICE’s Max Daly, who provides a brief history of GHB in the United Kingdom, especially in the gay club scene. “What that says about the authorities’ attitudes towards various social groups is a topic for another article entirely.”

GHB gained popularity in the U.K. gay club scene in the 2000s, branded as “liquid ecstasy” and a popular and cheap alternative to MDMA. The “Jekyll and Hyde of recreational drugs” can increase sex drive with the right dose. But get it wrong, and it becomes toxic. GHB is more widely known, however, as a date rape drug, used by sexual predators as a powerful sedative to spike women’s drinks before raping them.

It took the media’s focus on the female victims of GHB, and not the gay men regularly turning up in hospitals, for the government to decide to ban these substances.

Scotland Yard has voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over its handling of the case, and police are seeking any information on the killings, while working closely with LGBT independent advisers.

Port is set to stand trial in April.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr