cover image The Secret Serial Killer: The True Story of Kiernan Kelly

The Secret Serial Killer: The True Story of Kiernan Kelly

Robert Mulhern. Pen & Sword, $15.99 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-52672-276-8

In 2001, Irishman Kiernan Patrick Kelly, the subject of Irish journalist Mulhern’s engrossing, well-researched debut, died in an English prison, convicted of two murders. In 2015, retired London cop Geoff Platt, who first picked up Kelly on a drunk charge, published The London Underground Serial Killer, a book claiming that Kelly may have killed up to 31 people, many pushed under trains in the London subway system, and that the government covered up these crimes. When Mulhern heard Platt talk about Kelly on the radio, the reporter decided to look into Kelly’s case. Mulhern’s meticulous investigation reveals that Kelly initially committed petty crimes, was tried and acquitted of earlier murders, and confessed more than once to many other murders. Was Kelly gay and killed his first victim because he was afraid of being outed? Was he a normal man who drank too much? Or was he a monster? Mulhern uncovers a Jekyll and Hyde personality along with a host of missing and inaccurate police files. In the end, it’s unclear whether Kelly was England’s most prolific serial killer. That there’s no one to identify with or root for may bother some readers. True crime buffs will have to accept that the truth may never be known. [em](June) [/em]