close
close

“I was with a serial killer

Kathy's life changed forever when she met Stephen Griffiths (Image: Gareth Prescott)

“It never occurred to me that I couldn't trust him… I only realized that now.”

In 2001, Kathy's life changed forever when she met the man she believed was her perfect partner.

Little did she know that Stephen Griffiths would one day become one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers.

Kathy bravely tells her story for the first time in Serial Killer Wives, a six-part true crime series that tells the stories of people who unwillingly lived with the world's most notorious criminals.

Kathy, a former nightclub queen and prison guard, began a relationship with the man who later called himself the “Crossbow Cannibal” over 20 years ago.

Griffiths, from Bradford, murdered three women between 2009 and 2010. They were 43-year-old Susan Rushworth, who disappeared on June 22, 2009, followed by 31-year-old Shelley Armitage on April 26, 2010, and 36-year-old Suzanne Blamires on May 21 of the same year.

Kathy and Stephen Griffiths, wives of serial killers
The couple had a whirlwind romance in the early 2000s – but it wasn't long before Griffiths began to control Kathy (Image: Channel 5)

Police were finally able to catch the monstrous killer because surveillance cameras showed him shooting Blamires in the head in his apartment block. It later emerged that he dismembered and disposed of his victims' bodies.

Griffiths also confessed to “eating” some of her body parts, describing it as “part of the magic.”

His crimes were and remain deeply disturbing, but Griffiths displayed alarming patterns of behavior long before the murders and acted as a punching bag for Kathy.

Kathy was the victim of his manipulation and violence during their whirlwind romance and was increasingly controlled and coerced. Griffiths slipped her tea into water, kidnapped her dogs, locked them up and beat them.

She eventually managed to escape, but the truth about her ex only came to light several years later when the police knocked on her door and revealed the extent of his evil streak.

Speak with Metro.deKathy admits that the ordeal now seems like “an eternity ago” as she often forgets how hard it hit her.

Kathy admits that she is still “scarred” by what she went through and recalls her confusion about the man she once loved.

Expand

Stephen Griffiths, Wives of Serial Killers
He became one of Britain's most notorious criminals (Image: Channel 5)

“The Kathy I knew is now gone. It confuses me. Some of what he told me was true, some not. Some was exaggerated, some not. I no longer trust my own judgement. I constantly question myself.

“I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round. I'm not an idiot, but I don't have the tools to stop this thing from spinning. I can't stop the cycle of self-criticism. Before him, I believed in my own thought process. Now that's over.”

Kathy praised Stephen as “the smartest person [she] ever met' during their first interactions. She was fascinated by their deep conversations and was attracted to his intelligence as well as his looks.

But within just two weeks it was “broken”.

“I had no strength left to fight. I only existed in that one moment. It's shocking when I think about how much I disappeared because of him, because he was very passive in his control and that took me completely by surprise.”

Griffiths exercised his control over Kathy very subtly, portraying himself as submissive in subtle ways, such as wearing glasses instead of contacts, ostracizing her from her loved ones, and alternating between affection and doling out “punishments.”

Kathy – who, to her relief, suffered a miscarriage two months into their relationship – became a “prisoner” in her own home, but she “still believed everything [Griffiths] did.'

Kathy, wives of serial killers
Kathy is still struggling with emotional scars (Image: Gareth Prescott)

Expand

While her family begged Kathy to leave him, she never questioned whether he liked her or not, even though he didn't allow her any autonomy over her own life. As she puts it, she “gave up control.”

The moment Kathy last saw Griffiths is forever etched in her memory.

“I can still remember the last time I saw him. I was in Turkey, but when I came home I had lost all feelings for him. I was done.”

“He came by and I opened my front door and he was standing there. I looked straight at him, slammed the door in his face and locked it. He banged on the window and eventually left.

“I had won. I'm not afraid of the man at all.”

In another attempt to prove she had the upper hand, and in a stunning turn of events, Kathy attended Griffiths' final court appearance, eager to look him in the eye. Unfortunately for her, however, he never looked up at her seat.

Kathy notes that everything Griffiths did was a case of “showing off.” From refusing to reveal all the details of where his victims' bodies had been disposed of to disgustingly calling himself the “Crossbow Cannibal” before pleading guilty to a judge, everything he did was an attempt to boost his ego.

Kathy and Stephen Griffiths, wives of serial killers
She never thought he was capable of murder (Image: Channel 5)
Stephen Griffiths
In 2010, Griffiths was sentenced to life imprisonment (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Shockingly, he even boasted about murdering Blamires just seconds after taking her life. When he realized he had been caught, he gave the camera in his building his middle finger and then dragged the poor woman back inside.

As of 2010, Griffiths has been serving life behind bars with no chance of parole, so even though justice was served on a legal level, it took Kathy a long time to overcome the “guilt” she felt about potentially stopping him.

However, she understands that it is “not as easy as just walking away”, especially since she had previously tried to use her eyes to silently beg for help when the police came to check on her, but this was in vain as Griffiths squeezed her hand tightly from the doorway.

“I really didn’t think he would take the step of taking a life,” Kathy explains.

When asked how she managed to deal with the guilt of these survivors, Kathy adds, “I know now that it was out of my hands.”

She also paid her last respects to the three victims in her own unique way by paragliding, scattering three white roses into the sea in their memory and saying a few words.

When she turned 50, she realized that she was still dealing with a lot of deep trauma that she had been repressing for so long. She had since been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but she found it difficult to seek help.

Susan Rushworth
Susan Rushworth, 43, disappeared on June 22, 2009 (Image: REX/Shutterstock)
Shelley Armitage
31-year-old Shelley Armitage disappeared on April 26, 2010 (Image: REX/Shutterstock)
Susanne Blamires
36-year-old Suzanne Blamires died on May 21 of the same year (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

“You never know who to talk to, but it's a battle I'm determined to win. You just have to keep going and live day by day.”

Kathy's great passion is dancing, to which she devotes all her energy in her free time, as it allows her to rediscover her former self and “let go”.

Unfortunately, she is still dissatisfied with the way the police handled the investigation against her ex-partner and explains that “more could have been done”.

So what would she say to Griffiths now if she had the chance? Well, Kathy doesn't want to waste her words…

“I have nothing to say to him. I used to think I did, or I wanted to hear what he had to say, but with my mental state, he could probably get inside my head.

“He simply allows the victims' families and I to be emotionally destroyed until his death and maintains that control until the end.”

Watch Serial Killer Wives, a six-part true crime series, Tuesdays at 9pm on 5Star and My5.

Do you have a story?

If you've got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we'd love to hear from you.

MORE: My uncle was one of the last people to be executed in Britain – but he was innocent

MORE: Three key Home and Away characters return for iconic couple's dream wedding

MORE: The story behind Channel 4's Imposter documentary about Nicholas Rossi

TV