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  • A hulk of a man is doing his usual bench pressing routine in the afternoon.

  • 400 pounds (181kg), he thinks, not too bad.

  • He wipes the sweat from his face while looking up at a TV monitor that's playing a bare-knuckle

  • boxing match he's seen eight times already.

  • A couple of hours ago he got a call from theAdam's Family”; not the bunch of spooks

  • from TV but one of the most vicious and powerful criminal organizations in the UK.

  • They have a job for him.

  • With that in mind, he goes into his garage and takes stock of his tools.

  • Chainsaw, present; ax, present, meat cleaver, present; knives, all there and recently sharpened.

  • He flexes his bicep and gives it a reassuring grab with his hand, all the time wondering

  • where he'll hide the human remains this time.

  • It doesn't really matter, he thinks while grinning and shaking his head, the cops are

  • useless.

  • His name is Stephen Marshall, a man that will become known as the Jigsaw Killer.

  • Make no mistake, this man was terrifying.

  • He was violent to the nth degree.

  • He dismembered bodies without so much as breaking a sweat.

  • He left pieces of people all over the south of England, a hideous trail of bread crumbs

  • for the police to follow.

  • He was an excellent butcher, too, expertly removing flesh from faces, adroitly cutting

  • people into little pieces.

  • When pathologists looked at his work they said it must have been done by someone who'd

  • worked in their profession.

  • Like the infamous Jack the Ripper, he knew his way around a human body.

  • But who was Marshall, and who finally put his macabre jigsaw together?

  • We don't know too much about his childhood, so we can't hypothesize about what might

  • have happened during his younger years to make him the monster he became.

  • We do, however, know how he strayed to the dark side.

  • In the 90s when he was in his early twenties he got into bodybuilding.

  • He was what the Brits sometimes call a “hard man”, and that led to him getting jobs as

  • a bouncer.

  • In the English underworld, being a formidable bouncer might lead to gang connections.

  • If you are particularly good at breaking noses and not shying away from a man with a weapon

  • in his hand, it's possible you could get hired by a criminal gang as a bit of muscle.

  • That was back in the 90s anyway, the world of British bouncing isn't so wild these

  • days.

  • That's exactly what happened to Marshall though.

  • He started doing jobs for the Adam's crime family, an outfit said to be behind scores

  • of murders and who racked up millions of pounds.

  • This family was heavily involved in drug trafficking, extortion, hijacking, and of course the odd

  • murder.

  • The problem with killing people is getting rid of the bodies, and that's certainly

  • not something criminal millionaires want to do.

  • It's not just dirty work, but it can be difficult to do it right.

  • And it's not as easy as you might think, not if you want to leave no trace.

  • That's why the Adam's family hired Mr. Marshall.

  • Body disposal was just a part-time gig for Marshall, though.

  • Besides working on doors at nightclubs, he also ran a gym at one point in his life that

  • was apparently very popular with other underworld figures.

  • Other jobs he had were having his own car-valeting company, and later, working as a kitchen salesman.

  • It's said he routinely spent thousands of pounds on drugs and prostitutes throughout

  • his life, so we're guessing when he took the salesman job he'd already failed at

  • his other ventures.

  • This is a good segue for us to introduce a man named Jeffrey Howe, someone who would

  • become one of Marshall's jigsaws.

  • Howe wasn't like Marshall in the least, not having any connections to the underworld.

  • He was rather unhealthy and obese, so not a man you'd instantly think was a gym rat.

  • The two met because Howe was also a kitchen salesman.

  • At first, they got along well.

  • It's said they were drinking buddies that became the best of friends, although we doubt

  • Howe knew about his friend's aptitude for butchering corpses.

  • In fact, Howe was described by the people that knew him as a kind of Santa Claus character.

  • He always had a smile on his face and was said by his brother to have a “heart of

  • gold.”

  • He was so kind in fact that when Marshall didn't have a place to stay in 2008, he

  • said you can stay at my place, for free.

  • Marshall was quick to take up the offer but then asked if his 21-year old prostitute girlfriend,

  • Sarah Bush, could stay, too.

  • Howe obliged.

  • Ok, so it's 2008 and the two men plus the young woman are living together.

  • Howe is 49 and Marshall is 38.

  • They all liked to drink heavily and occasionally consume illegal substances.

  • One of those men had a history of violence and was described ashighly volatile.”

  • What could possibly go wrong

  • Well, the couple were a pair of parasites if ever there was one, and Howe being Howe

  • was impressionable, somewhat lonely after a couple of failed marriages, so he wanted

  • to help.

  • He also quite liked the fact that he lived with a friendly and very attractive woman,

  • as well as a hard man who offered friendship and protection.

  • When you went to the pub with Marshall, you didn't get into trouble.

  • Howe enjoyed this feeling of invulnerability.

  • But the pair were rinsing him, to use a British expression, meaning taking him for all he

  • had.

  • They just asked for more and more, until Howe became somewhat bothered by this.

  • It might at one point have occurred to him that he was being used.

  • He even told a friend this.

  • Meanwhile, he had no idea that by forging his signature the selfish couple was able

  • to claim housing benefits on a place they pretended to be renting.

  • At the same time, the couple was aware that the spring of cash they'd been tapping for

  • six months might dry up.

  • What to do?

  • March 9, 2009.

  • The couple has decided they won't wait for the cash to dry up and will take what they

  • want.

  • They'll have the apartment, thank you very much, and they'll take the credit cards

  • and whatever else Howe owns.

  • Marshall has already told his partner that getting rid of the body won't be a problem.

  • He's an expert and has done it many times before, he tells her.

  • He's going to create a jigsaw, one that will become a confounding case for the cops.

  • While Howe slept that night, the couple sneaked into his bedroom.

  • Bush put a pillow over his head to prevent any screams from waking up the neighbors and

  • Marshall stabbed Howe twice in the neck.

  • They waited until he bled out, and that was that; job complete.

  • Now there was a missing man.

  • When people that were friends with Howe went to the apartment, the couple told them that

  • he was renting the place out to them and they hadn't seen him in a while.

  • They told others that Howe had packed his things and taken off someplace, which didn't

  • seem too unusual given that Howe had been a chef in Italy in his past.

  • The couple pretty much emptied Howe's bank account and they forged checks in his name.

  • They sold just about everything of value he owned, including a nice Saab car that they

  • put on eBay.

  • They basically lived a life of booze and drugs on tap while eating where they wanted.

  • Ok, but what about the body of a man that was to say the least on the large side?

  • Well, Marshall spent 12 hours working on that body, hence the commendable workmanship that

  • the pathologists would later comment on.

  • He used the whole gamut of his tools, his chainsaw for the larger cuts, his meat cleaver

  • for the medium cuts, and a hacksaw and knife for the fiddly bits.

  • He likely used a knife when he removed the flesh from Howe's face.

  • Once the body was dismembered into manageable pieces, Marshall set about leaving bits at

  • various places in some of the most picturesque spots in the south of England.

  • You could say his actions were defiling nature, but what did he care, he'd done this before

  • and had gotten away with it.

  • Still, Marshall may have been a dab hand at dismemberment, but his hiding skills it seems

  • were below par.

  • On March 22, just a couple of weeks after the murder, someone came upon a blue bag ditched

  • in a hedgerow near a farm in the county of Hertfordshire.

  • Inside the bag was a left leg with the foot still attached.

  • The farmer who found it said, “It was all wrapped up in plastic.

  • I didn't open the plastic but it was then I realized it was either a joint of meat or

  • something a lot worse.”

  • It was soon discovered that whoever that leg belonged to hadn't been dead long.

  • It was also assumed that it belonged to someone Asian or Caucasian.

  • This was just one piece of the jigsaw, and for cops, not much more meaningful than getting

  • a piece of Adam's leg in a jigsaw of Michelangelo's “Creation of Adam.”

  • They were a long way from seeing the full picture.

  • Then on March 29 cops were called out to see another piece of the puzzle.

  • This was a forearm without the hand.

  • It was actually found in the same county as the last piece, although in a different village.

  • It was soon understood that this body part belonged to the same person as the leg.

  • It hadn't even been buried and was just lying in some grass, so it seemed to the police

  • that someone might be playing a game with them.

  • Just two days later, cops were alerted to a grizzlier find.

  • This was a head with the flesh shorn off.

  • The eyes, tongue, ears, as well as the neck, had also been removed.

  • The killer hadn't tried very hard to hide it since a farmer found it in a cattle pen,

  • although it was discovered in a different county from the previous two pieces.

  • Then on April 7, the fourth part of the puzzle was found.

  • This was a right leg that was recovered from a layby on a busy road in yet another county

  • in the south of England.

  • The guy that found it had been driving for a pest control firm and had decided to stop

  • his van to take a break.

  • The police were almost certain the body parts were all from the same person.

  • Going to the public for help solving the case, they announced that the man had two front

  • teeth missing and that whoever it was had had a fungal infection in one of his toenails.

  • As for that jigsaw of the Creation of Adam, the cops now had bits of Adam, bits of God,

  • lots of cloud, but they were still missing the main pieces.

  • On April 11, they hit the big time.

  • A hiker had been out walking in one of the nicest areas of England's green and pleasant

  • land and had come across a suitcase.

  • Inside it was Howe's torso and the other missing body parts.

  • The only bits of his body missing now were the hands, but hey, isn't there always a

  • darned missing piece in every jigsaw.

  • They were never found, although Marshall later said he'd ditched them in woodland in the

  • county of Essex.

  • The cops still didn't know who the dead man was, but at least they had a picture to

  • look at.

  • They said he was overweight, had a problem with eczema, and had bleached skin pigmentation

  • on both of his legs.

  • At the time, though, they didn't tell the public the body wasn't all in one piece.

  • They thought that might worry folks a bit too much.

  • On April 21, Howe's mother called the cops and reported a missing person.

  • This wasn't because she thought her son had been killed, only that she was concerned.

  • Still, when the police heard her description of Howe things added up.

  • They went around to his apartment and busted in since there wasn't anyone home.

  • They didn't find any evidence of the murder and dismemberment that had taken place there,

  • but they found Howe's passport.

  • Marshall and his girlfriend later told the cops that Howe was alive and had just taken

  • off someplace, but after the police got Howe's dental records the game was pretty much up.

  • This is what the cop who arrested them said, “Marshall was very, very nervous, jittery,

  • his leg was shaking.

  • Sarah Bush was uncomfortable, and at that point, I knew that Jeffrey Howe was going

  • to be our victim.”

  • Once forensics got to work, traces of Howe's blood were found all over the apartment.

  • T-shirt fibers found on duct tape that was used to wrap one of the body parts also matched

  • a t-shirt of Marshall's.

  • If that wasn't enough, CCTV showed Marshall's car traveling to all the spots where the body

  • parts were found.

  • The game was certainly up now, although at first, the couple denied the murder.

  • Marshall pleaded guilty to perverting the cause of justice by lying about Howe being

  • alive and well, and he also admitted to cutting up the body, but he denied the murder.

  • Bush denied everything but said she was only with Marshall because she was scared to leave

  • him.

  • Then witnesses came forward who said they'd heard Marshall brag about his dismemberment

  • skills.

  • It was also revealed that Howe had told someone that Marshall had threatened to kill him if

  • he didn't leave the apartment.

  • At the time, Howe thought Marshall was just kidding.

  • Marshall then shocked everyone when he did an about-turn.

  • He changed his plea to guilty and then even owned up to cutting up bodies on four occasions

  • for the notorious Adam's family.

  • Such an admission meant he would have to watch his back for the rest of the 36 years he spent

  • in prison.

  • Such a powerful family could make sure someone died between prison walls.

  • Maybe the only reason he's alive today is that he never said whose bodies he'd disposed

  • of.

  • That, or he's kept away from the prison general population.

  • Bush tried to say that she had only acted out of fear of Marshall, although the judge

  • didn't buy it.

  • He said to her, “You were well aware of what Stephen Marshall had done.

  • You took advantage of Mr. Howe in life and then after his death you used his money.”

  • Still, she was given a lenient sentence and was out in just under four years.

  • Marshall is in prison now and could get out in 2046, but that will be up to the parole

  • board.

  • If you want to hear more about British killers watch, “The Most Evil Serial Killer Couple

  • of All Time - Fred and Rose.”

  • Or, watch this, “Most Evil Prisoner Kept in Glass Box.”

A hulk of a man is doing his usual bench pressing routine in the afternoon.

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Real Life Jigsaw Killer (True Crime)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/13
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