The Camden Ripper | Anthony John Hardy: Part Two

(A room in Anthony John Hardy's flat in Camden. There was a number of Television sets in this room along with a vast collection of pornographic videotapes. Photo credit:

As I mentioned in part one, this post may contain some graphic and disturbing details.

Once Anthony had returned to the UK he managed to find his wife and children pretty quickly. He wasn't happy that Judith had started divorce proceedings against him and began stalking and threatening her. She reported him to the police and had a restraining order put out against him. Being the determined individual he was, he broke the restraining order and continued harassing her until he was arrested. He spent a short time in prison for violating the order.

Following his release from prison he attended outpatient clinics and was diagnosed with diabetes and manic depression. He was prescribed medication for both of these health issues.

In the early to mid 90s, Anthony developed an addiction to alcohol and drugs. He ended up living on the streets and would sometimes live at different hostels. He would be involved in various thefts and was arrested on various occasions for his aggressive behaviour. He ended up in jail again for a short period of time.

In 1998, a sex worker had reported him to the police for rape but due to lack of evidence the charges were dropped.

Anthony had a horrible view of women but had somehow managed to strike up and maintain a ten year friendship with a lady called Maureen Reeves. They would meet each other for coffee every now and then and Maureen was very fond of him and would later say that she always found him a very interesting and intelligent person. There was no love interest between the pair and Maureen knew of his obsession with Jack The Ripper. She would later comment that Anthony was always reading books about Jack The Ripper and talked about how fascinated he was with how he'd outsmarted the police. Maureen didn't seem to be that alarmed that her friend was obsessed with an infamous murderer. When she heard about what Anthony had later done, she was in shock and couldn't believe it was the same person that she had known for all those years.

In 2000, Anthony had his sights set on a flat in Camden. He chose this flat specifically because it was near Kings Cross which had a well known area for sex workers, drug dealers and pimps. It would be easy for him to find sex workers who would help him indulge in his addiction to violent sex if he promised them money and drugs.

It was around this time that a man who had been walking along the River Thames saw something floating in the water. On closer inspection he made the horrific discovery that the object in the water was the upper remains of a woman who's body had been severed at the waist. The police had to use pictures of her distinctive tattoo and a twisted lateral incisor tooth in hopes that someone would be able to come forward and identify her. After seeing the pictures in a newspaper her relatives came forward and she was identified as Zoe Louise Parker. Zoe was a 24 year old who had been working as a sex worker in the Feltham and Hounslow areas of London. She'd been described by her mother as a caring, loving daughter who had suffered from learning disabilities. [The police have never found Zoe's killer but they suspected that Anthony John Hardy may have been responsible but there is no evidence to connect him to her murder]

Less than two months later another horrific discovery was made and this time it was by a group of ten year old boys who had been fishing in the Regent's canal in Camden. The boys saw a bag floating in the water and being curious they decided to open it. To their horror, the bag contained human remains. The police were called and the canal was searched. Six bags were found which contained various female body parts wrapped in bin liners. Not all of the victim's body was accounted for and bricks had been put inside the bags in an attempt to weigh them down in the water.

Investigators suspected that the rest of the victim's body could still be in the canal or possibly kept as trophies by the murderer. The victim was later identified as 31 year old Paula Fields who was originally from Liverpool. She was a mother of two children and had lived in the Highbury Grove area of London. She'd been living in London and had somehow become involved in drugs and prostitution. Paula had been working as a sex worker to help fund her £150 a day cocaine habit. She was last seen getting into a red car and investigators believed that a hacksaw was likely used to dismember her body. Her ex boyfriend was the prime suspect at the beginning of the investigation due to his violent criminal past but he was soon released due to lack of evidence.

Paula's ex boyfriend John Sweeney was later charged with her murder and sentenced to life without parole. He had also murdered and dismembered another former girlfriend and disposed of the woman's remains in a canal in Rotterdam.

Once Anthony John Hardy had moved into the one bedroomed council flat on Royal College Street in Camden he was able to have access to sex workers on a regular basis. He would often be seen looking unshaven and would go for days without washing himself. He would dress in a long black coat and a black baseball cap. The neighbours thought he was a bit of a weirdo and would often see him coming back to his flat with different women. The man who lived next door to him said that he didn't see him much in the daytime but whenever he did happen to come across him, he described him as polite and friendly.

It didn't take much to anger Anthony and when the neighbour above him had a problem with her shower which was causing a leak into his flat, he became enraged. Instead of calling the council and sorting the problem out in a sensible manner, Anthony decided that this woman had wronged him and that he needed to get revenge.

He got some black paint and painted obscenities on her front door and then poured battery acid through her letterbox. The woman, understandably terrified, called the police who came out to investigate the situation. When the lady was interviewed by the police she spoke about how something wasn't quite right about Anthony and that she felt something odd was going on in his flat. She also mentioned that he always had women coming and going at all hours of the night.

The police went to Anthony's flat anyway because of the damage he had done to his neighbour's front door but they thought they would have a quick search of his flat just to be on the safe side.

When Anthony answered the door he was polite and let the officers come inside. The officers noticed that the flat was cluttered with strange yellow and red symbols painted all over the walls and there was an off-putting smell. Anthony looked like he'd been in the middle of something and officers found it suspicious how enthusiastic he was to come to the station with them. They noticed a locked door with a jacket pushed up against the bottom of it. When they asked for the key, Anthony claimed that the room belonged to a lodger and he didn't have the key. As he went to grab his coat, an officer reached into one of the pockets and the key fell out.

Not knowing what was going to be on the other side of that door, the officer turned the key and couldn't believe what he was seeing before him.

Continued in part three...

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Check out some of the true crime cases I have covered previously:

Targeted: The Kriss Donald Story

Toxic Relationship: The Tracie Andrews Story

Stalked To Death: The Alissa Blanton Story

Rod Ferrell And The Kentucky Vampire Cult

What Happened To Dominique Dunne?

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  1. I'm not surprised that he stalked his ex but good for her for being speedy about the divorce proceeding and getting that restraining order. I think that the sad part is most people with mental disorders who do alcohol and drugs make their mental issues much much worst because the effect it has on them is not the same as people who don't have those mental disorders. It probably increased his violence and aggressive tendencies, and make it easier for them to come out. It's seems obvious that he could have don't those things without them, but with actual help maybe he could have possibility been able to control them.

    I would not be shocked to learn if the sex worker was ignored or not taken serious because of her job to be honest, at least during the 90's that was the attitude in the US. Worst of all in the US a lot of people thought that they deserved it. Honestly, if I was Maureen I would have probably not been alarmed or worried either, since the whole subculture around criminals and true crime is very interesting and a lot of people are interested in it.

    If not for the neighbour, I wonder if Anthony would have gotten away with it.

    1. Yeah, certain types of psychiatric drugs don't work well with alcohol and like you said, he already had issues. The attitude over here to sex workers seems to be a bit lighter but there is still that attitude. I agree that if the neighbour had not called the police, Anthony may have disposed of sally's body and it would have been an unsolved case to this day x