Crazed Philip John Smith killed three women in the space of 96 hours – and one of the victims was found near Droitwich.
Born in 1965, Smith grew up with notorious serial killers Fred and Rose West as neighbours in Midland Road, Gloucester. He was nicknamed Laa-Laa after one of the Teletubbies on children’s TV, but there was nothing cute and cuddly about the 22 stone, 6ft 4in monster.
Smith’s first victim, on November 8, 2000, was 20-year-old Jodie Hyde, from Alum Rock, Birmingham. They were seen leaving Digbeth’s Rainbow pub together and Jodie’s body was discovered in Sparkhill the next morning.
Three days later Smith was seen leaving the same pub with 25-year-old Rosemary Corcoran, from Castle Vale. He drove the mother-of-three to Rashwood Lane, near Droitwich, where she was brutally murdered.
Rosemary’s body was discovered the next morning by Paul Ryder, the landlord of the Robin Hood pub, while he was walking his dog.
The third victim was Carol Jordan, a 39-year-old from Balsall Heath. Smith drove into her on his way back from Droitwich, fracturing her hip. Fearful the accident would lead police to his door, Smith killed her.
Former fairground worker Smith was arrested on November 17 and at a trial in 2001 he was sentenced to life in prison for the three murders.
He originally denied the charges but changed his pleas after police agreed to return £400 confiscated from his flat. He said he wanted to spend the money on Mars bars in prison!