Reg Christie, Monster of Rillington Place

The US wasn’t the only country to produce serial killer’s in the 1950’s. In England the 50’s started with one of the most notorious sex-murder cases of modern times.

The story came to light when in March of 1953. The new owners of 10 Rillington Place began to remodel their kitchen. They started peeling away wallpaper. They noticed that the wallpaper was covering a cupboard. Inside the newly discovered cupboard were the bodies of three women wrapped in blankets. The police arrived and started their investigation. Along with the women behind the wall, they found another one under the floorboards in the dinning room and two more outside buried in a garden.

The previous resident was John Reginald Christie. He was a quiet, balding man and had been in the public eye three years earlier during a murder trial. A young man named Tim Evans had confessed to killing his wife and baby, but then later retracted his admission. He claimed that his downstairs neighbor had committed the crime. At the trial, Christie testified on Evans guilt and the jury believed him. Evans was hanged. Now with the new bodies, the police were starting to rethink the previous case. 11 days later they arrested Christie and he helped fill in the blanks.

Christie and his wife, Ethel, moved into the flat on Rillington Place in 1938. Two years later when he was 42 years old, he started killing women. He would commit these crimes when his wife was away visiting relatives. His first victim was Ruth Fuerst. He brought her to his apartment telling her that he could help her with her breathing problems. He would administer an herbal concoction. Instead, he gassed her, strangled her and then raped her. He waited three years before committing his next murder. The next victim was Muriel Eddy, a friend of his wife. Those bodes ended up in the garden.

In 1949, he was able to get Tim Evans wife alone. He told her he would be able to perform an abortion for her. Once alone though, he strangled her, raped her and killed the baby as well. The police found their bodies in a tool shed.

He again waited three more years. That’s when he strangled his own wife and put her body underneath the floor boards. Now he didn’t have to wait till she went out of town to have his second life. In less than three months, he killed three more women. Those were the bodies found in the hidden cupboard.

Christie went to the gallows just three and a half months after his arrest.

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~ by B on July 26, 2006.

7 Responses to “Reg Christie, Monster of Rillington Place”

  1. He sounds like a highly disturbed individual. I wonder as to “why” he was targeting these women.

  2. It has always been mistakenly reported that John Christie was born at Black Boy House, Boothtown, Halifax. There was never a Black Boy House at Boothtown. He was in fact born John Reginald Christie. April 8, 1898 at Black Boy House, Turner Lane, Shibden, Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire. His birth was not registered until over a year later in June 1899. He added the middle name ‘Halliday’ himself. Halliday was his mother’s maiden name.

    Interestingly, amongst the Christies’ neighbours, a few streets away in Chester Road lived the Portmans and their son actor Eric Portman (1903-1969).

  3. iam studying this case for a forensic science course assignmnet he was a disturbed and evil man.

  4. I can’t fault the bloke

  5. I and my Grandfather both had a striking resemblance to Reg Christie…so striking that my father cannot bring himself to watch the film “10 Rillington Place”. In the early 70s he was given the task of itemising a load of obsolete iron fittings stored in tea chests. He got to the bottom of a tea chest and saw the front page of a local evening newspaper with the headline “CHRISTIE HANGED”.

    Others have noted the resemblance…but I doubt there’s much call for a Christie look alike. I stood on Sid Dernley’s gallows (rescued from a closing prison I believe) and got my father to make me a working model based upon photos, and I made a table of drops!! I also made a model electric chair myself, and the dummy ‘victim’ was filled with electric motors to make it writhe when I threw the switch. I am known for my ‘gallows humour’ and executions fascinate me. I think the gas chamber would be the scariest way to go.

  6. Christie was born in 1899, not 1898

  7. The 1911 census shows Reginald Halliday Chritise age 11 lived at 30 Chester Road, Halifax. The same census shows Eric Portman age 9 lived at 20 Chester Road, Halifax This is Chester Road Ackroydon, Halifax.

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