All True Crime enthusiasts know the only form of transport to fear is hitchhiking (Google Mary Vincent for details). Everything else points to escape, and therefore survival. However, it may be time to add trains to that list….
The reason for this writer's sweat-drenched commute to work, you ask? The Nobody Zone, a six-part podcast series, from RTÉ's Documentary On One, in association with Third Ear Productions. This true crime, murder history hybrid details the alleged 30-year killing spree of Irish serial Killer Kieran Patrick Kelly. Episode one details Kelly's egregious crimes, however, things may be worse than expected ….
If you have yet to listen to episode two, this article should get you up to speed (no pun intended). Prepare yourself for spoilers, and newfound commuter paranoia…
He had a conscience… sort of
"What you're telling us, is that its been playing on your mind for some time, you then decide to come clean and tell us all the truth". While being questioned for the murder of his cellmate Boyd (see ep.1) Kelly voluntarily admitted to a cluster of other murderers. Extracts of this interview are played during episode two, in which Kelly confesses to a staggering 13, 14 or as many as 15 murders.
He may be an undocumented Underground slayer...
If his crimes did not sound monstrous enough in the first episode, the second installment of The Nobody Zone has a fresh batch of evil to unleash. In episode two former detective, Geoff Platt reveals he may have committed a second series of murders in the London underground. "A drunken male approaching you at Clapham Common, would probably get short shrift off most people. They would turn away, they would try and ignore him, and move away from him. That tended to push them closer and closer to the tunnel. And that’s where Kelly pushed most of his victims underneath the train when they got to the edge of the railway platform".
Kelly's final confidant
In the first episode, two detectives can be heard interviewing Kelly. However, there was a third person present, Platt. Platt would become the most influential figure in the Kelly investigation; his name comes up frequently in episode two. "Geoff Platt is the only witness to revelations Kelly made about killing random strangers on the tube. Geoff Platt is the only man who claims that there was a cover-up of a London underground serial killer."
Kelly is an invisible man
Irish Journalist Rob Mulhern, is a critical figure in episode two. He scoured London for anyone with a potential Kelly connection. And what did this veteran journalist, with a fat contacts book find? Nothing. " The problem with Kelly is that he operated so far from ordinary life - so deep in the grimy dark of The Nobody Zone as we’re calling it - surrounded by alcoholism, homelessness, social deprivation - you name it - that there’s really no one left alive who can talk about him". No one except for Geoff Platt.
Every killer has an M.O.
A large proportion of murderers kill out of unfettered hatred - the Green River Killer hated women, Edmund Kemper his mother, Charles Manson the music industry. And according to Platt Kelly hated homosexuals. "Something that started as a horrifying experience became an addiction for a repressed homosexual Kelly - who targeted men just like himself because he hated them for what they were".
Will Platt be the key to unlocking the truth about Kelly? The narrator gently pulls at Platt’s story to encourage new lines of enquiry " Why does Geoff land at 16 original confessions and not not the 13,14, or 15 DI Ian Brown said he recalled in the last episode?"
If like me, you are screaming into the void asking - how did no one notice the work of an active serial killer! Fear not as there are conspiracy theories. In 2015 Platt released his book The London Underground Serial Killer. In the book, he alleges Kelly’s victim count is closer to 24 people, a number he latterly alters to 31. However, his most striking revelation is that the Kelly story is a cover-up. Platt claims the Home Office put direct pressure on the Metropolitan Police to bury the case and keep it out of public view.
At this point, the podcast becomes the Russian doll of true crime stories. It is a murder story, within a murder story, within a cover-up story about a murder. Still with me? The narrator did say it was a bit bizarre.
In 2015 the media erupted after Platt’s outrageous allegations, and the London Metropolitan reopened the Kelly case. It’s still open. But don’t fret, The Nobody Zone promises to fill in all the blanks - however you’ll have to keep listening.
Keep up to date with episodes of The Nobody Zone here.
Words: Anna Joyce