In an act described as ‘one of the most gruesome murders in British legal history’, Matthew Hardman, a teenage boy stabbed a 91-year-old woman 22 times, ripped her heart out and drank blood from it in a bid to become immortal. The horrific murder which happened in 2001 was the subject of a recently aired documentary, The Kids Who Kill on UK’s Channel 5.
The documentary details how Matthew Hardman, then 17, broke into Mabel Leyshon’s bungalow in Anglesey, North Wales, in December 2001.
After lighting two candles, he then cut open her chest and removed her heart, placing it in a saucepan, and drank the blood from it before putting the pan on a silver platter by her feet and next to two pokers laid out in the shape of a cross.
Her body was found two days later and North Wales detectives who only see five or six murders a year were in shock.
Hardman was an art student. He had previously attacked a German exchange student after she refused to bite him on the neck to make him immortal, the Sunday Express reports.
Hardman told police that old people were the sort to have their blood drunk by vampires. It was discovered that he had been smoking cannabis and had searched the Internet for “vampires, gothic flesh-eating and other macabre things”.
Daily Mail Uk reports that Det Sgt Iestyn Davies, who investigated the crime said Hardman had ‘this deep-rooted insanity’, adding: “He believed if he murdered this old lady of 90, disembowelled her, ripped her heart out and drank her blood, he would be a vampire for ever.”
Det Supt Jones said: ‘If he had got away with it, if we had not discovered him, he could have gone on and committed further horrendous crimes.’
During the sentencing, Judge Mr Justice Richards said all the evidence pointed to the fact that Hardman believed he could achieve immortality by killing Mrs Leyshon and drinking her blood.
Mr Justice Richards said:
“Why you should have acted in this way is difficult to comprehend but I am drawn to the conclusion that vampirism had indeed become a near obsession with you, that you really did believe that this myth may be true, that you did think that you would achieve immortality by the drinking of another person’s blood and you found this an irresistible attraction.
“I can make an allowance for a degree of confused thinking and immaturity, for some childish fantasising, but the fact remains this was an act of great wickedness and one that you have not faced up to and one for which you have not shown any remorse.
“You hoped for immortality but all you have achieved is the brutal ending of another person’s life and the bringing of a life sentence upon yourself.”
Matthew Hardman was convicted and jailed for life after three hours’ deliberations at Mold Crown Court in August 2002.