top of page

WHY THEY SLEEP WITH THE DEAD: Criminologist David Wilson talks necrophilia after David Fuller case

TWISTED David Fuller (above) may have sought out his mortuary job so he could sleep with the dead without having to kill anymore women, a top criminologist has theorised.

Father-of-four Fuller, 67, is facing a whole-life term behind bars after he admitted murdering Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, 34 years ago - a previously unsolved case known as the "Bedsit Murders," due to where the women lived.

This week it emerged he has also admitted 51 other offences, including 44 relating to sex abuse of corpses and others such as possessing extreme porn, downloading indecent images of children and voyeurism after he filmed a female acquaintance with a spy pen camera over a prolonged period.

Detectives revealed he had assaulted at least 100 dead women and girls while working as an electrician at the now-closed Kent and Sussex Hospital from 1989 until 2010, when he moved to Tunbridge Wells Hospital until his arrest last December.

To those who knew three times married Fuller, he appeared a respectable family man keen on birdwatching, cycling and photography.

Yet, when police investigating the Bedsit murders, after he was linked to the killings through new familial DNA techniques last year, searched his house they discovered hidden computer hard drives, CDs, and floppy discs with 14 million images of sex offences, included footage him sexually assaulting dead bodies in two morgues.

Detectives also uncovered diaries in which he had handwritten details of his victims in hospital with his oldest victim 100 and the youngest aged just nine.

TV criminologist Professor David Wilson (above), who has researched what motivates necrophilia, believes Fuller may have been more motivated by sex with the dead than murder and could have sought out the job so he could satisfy his sickening lust without having to kill again.

Although he has not worked on the Fuller case, he theorised what could have driven Fuller's deranged acts.

He said: "With the murders the sex abuse was after the poor women had died.

"What could make sense of the escalation in behaviour is that he seemed to find the opportunity to abuse dead bodies.

"His job allowed him to access more dead bodies without killing.

"I worked with a couple of people convicted of necrophilia.

"They want to try to create a perverted intimacy that is often as a consequence that they fear they will be rebuked, rejected or ridiculed if they engage in the behaviour they want to with someone alive, sentient and feeling.

"Some want to kill and have sex after, while some want just to engage with dead bodies without having to kill, but it goes back to the perverted intimacy of creating a relationship of total control."

Yesterday (Saturday, November 6) police said they are investigating if Fuller may have killed or sexually assaulted any other victims before or after the "Bedsit murders" in 1987.

They said there is an ongoing investigation looking at unsolved murders and sex attacks in areas the 67-year-old has lived or worked since the 1970s when he was convicted of a string of burglaries.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham said: "Since Fuller was identified as a suspect, The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate has undertaken one of biggest investigations in the force’s history.

"Part of this investigation has been to try and understand what drove Fuller to commit such violent and appalling acts and clearly we have also had to consider the possibility that he could be responsible for further violent and sexual offences over the past 30 to 40 years.

"The investigation remains ongoing and is hugely complex, with many challenges and includes collaboration with other police forces, but at this stage there is no evidence to connect Fuller to any other murder victims."

Professor Wilson said: "It is logical for police to check the timeline of where he worked and where he lived and other unsolved murders and crimes that correspond to that timeline and using the DNA now available."

Tunbridge NHS Trust has launched an independent investigation to discover why Fuller wasn't detected sooner.

It comes as Tunbridge NHS Trust said its Chief Executive Miles Scott would continue in post after relatives of those Fuller violated demanded to know how he was able to get away with the sickening offences for so long and it emerged he was able to keep his job after a 2015 CRB check revealed he had a string of burglary convictions he earlier failed to disclose.

Mr Scott refused to comment on how Fuller had done undetected.

A trust spokesman said: "Miles feels it would be inappropriate to comment while the independent investigation is ongoing so won’t be saying anything more until it concludes."

On Friday a Kent Police helpline for distraught relatives who believe their loved ones could have been violated after their death received more than 200 calls in the first 24 hours.

Kent Police say they will never know how many women and girls Fuller violated, but they admit it could be hundreds more.

His third wife Mala Fuller, 50, who married him in Barbados in 1999 and had a son with him, only learnt the truth about her husband after his arrest.

She said on Friday: "I’m not with him. I couldn’t carry on in that relationship. I’m too upset to even think about what was going on, I couldn’t live with it."


bottom of page