Mystery of serial killer dubbed ‘Nilsen of Royal Navy’ who strikes ‘only on December 12’
Deadly serial killer Allan Grimson has already confessed to two murders, for which he is serving a 22-year prison sentence.
But police believe more of his secrets might be about to come to light after they finished an 11-day dig in Gibraltar last week.
Officers were hoping to find the remains of missing Royal Navy seaman Simon Parkes, removing 80 tonnes of earth in their search.
The 18-year-old disappeared on December 12, 1986, and is now presumed to have been murdered.
It’s the exact day that, more than 10 years later, another Navy recruit and a young barman were also killed.
The coincidence has led police to believe that one man could be responsible for all three murders.
Allan Grimson has previously admitted to murdering Nicholas Wright, 18, on December 12, 1997, and Sion Jenkins, 20, exactly 12 months later.
Police first became aware of him in 1998 in connection with missing sailor, Nicholas Wright.
A year later when re-questioned, Grimson confessed to luring Nicholas back to his flat where he violently murdered him, dumping his body near a country lane.
Grimson then admitted to killing another young man a year to the day after Wright was killed and convicted for both murders.
Noting the potential significance of December 12, police looked through archive cases and found other stories of sailors going missing on this date.
The dig at The Rock’s Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar is the third time police have tried to find Simon’s body.
DNA analysis is still being carried out, but linking Grimson to this case would be a major breakthrough for officers who have spent years looking into other incidents that the serial killer could be involved with.
Operation Thornhill has examined the disappearance of other young men at ports around the world where Grimson went ashore while serving on HMS Illustrious and the Type-42 destroyer HMS Edinburgh.
Grimson is currently serving 22 years in prison for the murders, but will be eligible for parole next December.
Police are desperate to connect him to the suspected murder before time runs out and he is released from jail.
Simon served on the same aircraft carrier — HMS Illustrious — as fire instructor Grimson and is suspected to have been targeted by him.
He vanished in the evening while the ship was docked in Gibraltar on its voyage home to Britain from a Far East tour.
When he did not return to the ship, his commanding officers, and his family who were later notified of his disappearance, assumed he’d gone AWOL.
Simon had left his belongings on board, including his passport and Christmas presents for his family and girlfriend.
He was never found, and never made contact with his family ever again.
There are also suspicions that Grimson may have targeted victims across the UK while on leave.
He had a Manchester United season ticket, which he used as cover, when actually he allegedly seeking new victims – young homeless boys in different cities.
One psychologist labelled Grimson as the worst psychopath he had come across.
He has since been diagnosed as suffering from a severe personality disorder — the same as fellow multiple killer Des Nilsen who murdered at least 12 young men and boys.
Retired Met detective chief inspector Mick Neville said: “Many things can trigger a series of murders.
“In Nilsen’s case, it was said that the death of his grandfather manifested itself into an obsession with dead bodies.
“The link between Grimson and December 12 is unclear, but it could be the death of a relative, pet or some matter inconsequential to the rest of us but important in the evil mind of Allan Grimson.”
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