Evil Stephen Port used dating sites to lure young men back to his flat of horrors.
The twisted Grindr killer drugged his victims with date rape drug GHB before raping them – killing four inside his home in Barking, London.
Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25, were all attacked and murdered by Port between June 2014 and September 2015, which is the focus of harrowing BBC drama Four Lives.
They all died from a drug overdose and three of his victims were callously dumped in a church graveyard – with the same dog walker finding two of the bodies.
While using dating apps, Port would often make up wild tales about graduating from Oxford University, serving in the Royal Navy and working as a special needs teacher.
His lies were far from reality, as the bus depot chef was a loner who enjoyed playing with children’s toys.
BBC/ITV Studios/Ben Blackall)
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Port’s killing spree began when he hired fashion student Mr Walgate, from Hull, as an escort and offered to pay £800 for his services in June 2014.
Instead, Port gave him a fatal overdose of date rap drug GHB, dragged his body outside and called 999 anonymously, claiming to have found him collapsed as he was passing.
Port was jailed for perverting the course of justice in the Walgate case in March 2015 after his evidence to the police change, then was released the following June and electronically tagged.
Between August 2014 and September 2015 he struck three more times before he was caught, killing each of his young, gay, male victims in near-identical circumstances, with police failing to link him to the deaths.
The killer lured Slovakian Mr Kovari to his flat on the false promise of a room to rent, then dumped his body in St Margaret’s churchyard.
A dog walker discovered his body, then just three weeks later the same person found chef Daniel Whitworth in exactly the same spot.
To try and cover his tracks, Port planted a fake suicide note on his body suggesting Mr Whitworth had accidentally killed Mr Kovari.
Two months after getting out of prison he killed his final victims, Mr Taylor, disposing of his body in the same church graveyard.
Each of the three men were found dead close to Port’s one-bedroom home over a 15-month period.
He had lived at home with his parents until the age of 31, when he moved to the flat in Barking through a part-rental part-mortgage scheme.
Port’s flat was first searched in June 2014 after the death of Mr Walgate – with police officers making several disturbing discoveries.
They found a bottle of ‘Amsterdam Gold’ poppers on Port’s bedside table and another bottle of poppers in the fridge.
There was an empty bottle of baby oil, a dildo, condoms and lubricating gel in a drawer in his bedroom and several porn DVDs.
There was also pornography in a living room cabinet a pair of underpants emblazoned with the words ‘Born 4 Porn’.
At his trial, the court heard how Port kept his flat immaculately tidy and his bed was covered in black sheets and red scatter cushions.
Images shown to the jury displayed an apparently well-maintained and tidy living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
The chef’s bedroom was dominated by a large double bed covered with black sheets and red scatter cushions.
The court also heard Port was obsessed with collecting Transformers toys and one was on display on a shelf in the bedroom.
Jurors were shown a photograph of a drawer containing various sex aids and baby oil.
There were also images of a bottle of ‘Poppers’ and shelves containing a selection of gay porn DVDs.
During an inquest into the murders in December last year, Port’s former friend spoke about the killer’s “strange” obsession with children’s toys.
His neighbour, Ryan Edwards, said Port spent time with “vulnerable” boys to such an extent that he considered the softly-spoken chef might have “paedophile tendencies”.
Mr Edwards told the court of the serial killer’s “voracious appetite” for meeting “very young” men and would frequently invite him over to meet his new partner, something which occasionally gave Mr Edwards cause for concern.
But Mr Edwards said he was reassured by the predator that his interest in young males was legal, and that the drug paraphernalia around his flat was for personal use only.
“My slight concern with Stephen Port was sometimes the guys he would introduce me to were very young – 16, 17 sometimes, very close to the age of consent,” he told the inquest jury.
“Often there were difficult circumstances, broken homes, needing somewhere to stay, vulnerable.
“I was wondering if he was bordering on paedophile tendencies, but I didn’t have any evidence.”
Port was eventually stopped when CCTV footage showed Mr Taylor with a “tall man” before he died.
An officer who had previously interviewed Port recognised him and he was arrested.
In November 2016, Port was convicted of the assaults by penetration, rapes and murders of Walgate, Kovari, Whitworth and Taylor, as well as the rapes of three other men he drugged, and ten counts of administering a substance with intent, and four sexual assaults.
Port is currently serving a whole-life sentence, one of just 60 in the UK, which means he will die behind bars.
He is being played by comedian Stephen Merchant in new BBC series Four Lives, which is airing on three consecutive nights this week.
But the killer has reportedly told family members that the Extras star “looks nothing like him”.
It’s also reported he claimed the drama will “blacken his name” and he will be targeted by vigilantes in prison.
His sister, Sharon, told The Sun: “He thinks it makes him look really bad and Stephan Merchant does not look anything like my brother.
“How do they know the truth as they were not there. It’s all going to be lies.
“All this is making my brother look evil – but he is not evil.”
Port had previously expressed his desire to be played by a Hollywood actor in a film.
Ahead of his trial, Port wrote to a Manchester-based pen-pal, who shared over 100 pages of letters with The Mail on Sunday.
He wrote: “Not sure who could play me in a film, I have been told I look like a younger version of Kevin Bacon, so maybe him or Eddie Redmayne, and maybe the guy who played Captain America.”
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