In Brief

London Underground 'serial killer': was there a cover-up?

Convicted murderer claimed he pushed 18 people onto Tube tracks but confession didn't go public

Police covered up claims that a serial killer pushed 18 people to their deaths on the London Underground to avoid mass panic, a new book has alleged.

Author Geoff Platt, a former police detective, said violent drifter Kiernan Kelly had confessed in 1984 to pushing victims onto the Tube tracks in the 1970s.

He was sceptical about Kelly's claims at first but once he began investigating, he discovered that Kelly was at the scene of several reported suicides on the Underground, mainly on the Northern Line.

"Every time someone jumped on the track... Kelly was next to him," said Platt, who has published his claims in a book called The London Underground Serial Killer.

However, Platt said police chiefs played down the admission, fearing panic among the public if they knew the authorities had failed to stop him.

"It was a cover-up," said Platt. "Think about it, the police don't want it getting out – there would be mass panic. They didn't want people knowing a serial killer got away with pushing innocent people on to the tracks – they'd be afraid it could happen again."

Platt had been interviewing Kelly about a separate killing when he made the confession.

Kelly, who is now dead according to The Mirror, was convicted of killing a man called Hector Fisher, found dead in a Clapham Common graveyard in 1975. Kelly later killed his cell mate, William Boyd, by stamping on his head and strangling him with a pair of socks because he was snoring, reports The Independent.

A British Transport Police spokesman said: "We are aware of the claims included in this book but given the passage of time since they are alleged to have been committed these would prove difficult to substantiate without further evidence.

"We would invite Mr Platt to submit any information he has on these matters to us."

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