A PhD in murder

While pursuing a PhD in “homicide studies” at the British taxpayers’ expense, a man with a long history of criminal violence became a serial killer, writes Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal.  After Stephen Griffiths’ release from prison — and a mental hospital, in which he was diagnosed as an incurable psychopath — he was accepted by the University of Bradford; the government paid his fees and living expenses. Griffiths “killed and ate three women, two cooked and one raw, according to his own account.” He’s now serving a life sentence, giving him time to complete his doctorate on 19th-century murder practices.

On the British series Wire in the Blood, a paroled killer enrolls in a PhD program while committing new murders. It was written in 2005, before Griffiths’ murder spree.

Guess who’s coming to dinner, writes Erin O’Connor.

About Joanne


  1. Richard Nieporent says:

    Though computer checks on the criminal records of prospective employees are now routine in Britain, and medical students are checked, applicants for doctorates in homicide studies apparently are not; or if they are, no notice is taken of what is found.

    Au contraire, they gave him credit for his practicum.