The lawyer who represented “Wales’ most dangerous man” has revealed the chilling moment serial killer Peter Moore confessed to stabbing to death four men and saying the brutal attacks were easy – “like a knife through butter”.
The shocking inside story is told for the first time by former solicitor Dylan Rhys Jones in a new book, The Man in Black – Peter Moore – Wales’ Worst Serial Killer, that’s being published to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the vicious murders which Moore said he committed for “fun”.
It was in the early hours of Christmas Eve morning, 1995, at Llandudno police station that Nazi-obsessed Moore admitted the killings in a three-month spree that had begun on Anglesey in September, terrorising the gay community in North Wales and Merseyside.
With Mr Jones, alongside him, Moore, a softly spoken film fanatic from Kinmel Bay who owned a chain of cinemas in Bagillt, Denbigh, Holyhead and Blaenau Ffestiniog, told two North Wales Police detectives he had slain the four men.
He said: “I want to admit to both of the murders in Anglesey, the murder on Pensarn beach and also I want to admit to another murder that you don’t know about which I committed in Clocaenog Forest near Ruthin.”
Moore was known in the area for his eccentric dress sense and was dubbed “The Man in Black”.
And when prosecuting barrister Alex Carlile QC opened the case against Moore at Mold Crown Court in 1996, he called him: “The man in black – black thoughts and the blackest of deeds.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 1996 with a recommendation that he never be released.
Moore is still alive, locked up almost certainly for ever, in Britain’s Monster Mansion, Wakefield high security prison where the Supermax wing has been home to murderers like Dr Death Harold Shipman and child killers Ian Huntley and Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April Jones in Machynlleth in 2012.
But at 2.32am on that chilly morning in Llandudno the lawyer calmly took notes as Moore, in his quiet, effeminate voice, told Detective Sergeant Ian Guthrie and Detective Constable Dave Morris about the killings.
They began in the September when Moore stabbed 56-year-old Henry Roberts to death at his home near Caergeiliog, Holyhead – there were 27 wounds in the retired railway worker’s body.
The reign of terror continued as Edward Carthy, a 28-year-old man whom Moore met in a gay bar in Liverpool, was stabbed to death in Clocaenog Forest in the October, followed by Keith Randles, a 49-year-old traffic manager from Chester, in November 1995 on the A5 in Anglesey.
His final victim was Anthony Davies, 40; stabbed and left to die on Pensarn Beach, near Abergele in December.
The book tells how Moore called on Henry Roberts’ home in Caergeiliog dressed in black with a Nazi-style cap and armed with a hunting knife with Roberts pleading that he wasn’t Jewish before he was killed, how Keith Randles pleaded for his life and how the killer hid mementos of his victims in his garden pond.
A knife bearing traces of the blood of a number of men was found in a bag belonging to Moore.
On a shelf in Moore’s bedroom were a police helmet, two German military caps and a pair of long, black boots.
Hanging on a cupboard alongside the bed was a truncheon and a sergeant’s uniform hung in the wardrobe.
Speaking about the murder of Keith Randles, Moore told the detectives: “He asked me why I was killing him as I stabbed him, and I said that it was for fun.
“He fell to the floor. I just thought it was a job well done, and left and returned to my van.”
And when asked how he felt when he killed his victims, Moore replied chillingly: “It was easy. Just like a knife through butter.”
Moore a confessed to attacking “many men” in the Conwy Valley over a period of 20 years before the murders started.
He said: “When driving around, I would sometimes notice someone walking along the road late at night and I would stop and attack them.
“I would assault them with a police truncheon and strike them on the body and their heads many times. Usually I would be dressed as a policeman or in a Nazi uniform or something similar, just to scare them. I heard that a few of these men had been seriously injured after the attacks.”
In the book Mr Jones also describes the traumatic effect on himself and on the two police officers of hearing Moore tell his grisly tale in a calm, measured way.
Mr Jones, who lives in Abergele, added: “It was like watching a cold-blooded lizard move towards its prey, slowly, calculating every move not using its energy unnecessarily, just describing the bare essentials of the deed … It was the desensitized description by a killer dispassionate as to the implications of his actions.”
The following morning, just a few hours later, Moore withdrew his confession, claiming he had done it to protect his friend, the real murderer, a man he called Jason, the name of the killer in the Friday the 13th films he had shown at his cinemas.
Dylan Jones added: “I have reflected often on whether what Moore said during this interview was true. Was it a case of bravado, the man had his audience and he took his opportunity to perform, like an actor on celluloid before a captive cinema audience?
“Were the two detectives and I the gullible audience ready to lap up the gory details of a horrific killer in some B-movie, just for Moore’s pleasure? The three of us were without doubt shocked, horrified and captivated by the performance we witnessed. But was it true?”
The book conveys Moore’s calmness and composure, his descriptions of killing someone told in assured dispassionate terms, the process of killing sounding easy, the process of stabbing a person simple, straightforward and emotionless.
Author Dylan Jones no longer practices as a solicitor but lectures on Law and Criminology and helped create the Criminal Justice and Offender Management foundation degree course at Coleg Cambria and Chester University. He is a regular contributor to TV and radio.
He said: “Moore made killing an emotionless, simple and efficient process. He had perfected the act of killing in a way which had made him a ruthless machine feeding an inner need in the darkest reaches of his psyche to be pleasured by violence, control and ultimately death.
“The impression I had is that Moore had enjoyed what he had done, that he believed it was a job well done and that he had fed his demons in an effective way, the act of killing was like putting ‘a knife through butter’ the pleasure of killing appeared immeasurable.”
The Man in Black – Peter Moore – Wales’ Worst Serial Killer is published by Y Lolfa in September, priced at £9.99.