Author's Tale of Cozying Up to Serial Killers Now in Doubt

After the Yorkshire Ripper reportedly says he never met Paul Harrison
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2019 11:55 AM CDT
Crime Writer Said Gacy Sent Him Paintings. Is It All a Lie?
This 1978 file photo shows serial killer John Wayne Gacy.   (AP Photo/File)

What is known for certain: That Paul Harrison was a UK cop who exited the force in 1999. What's all of the sudden much more murky: Whether the true-crime author's claims to have met and interviewed a series of serial killers actually ever happened. The Guardian reports Harrison's latest, Mind Games, came out in October and has now been pulled from the shelves by publisher Urbane Publications, which describes itself as "very concerned by these revelations." The revelations seem to begin with the "Yorkshire Ripper," the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, who the Sun reports called Harrison a "liar" and a "wazzock." Sutcliffe says he has never met the author—who has reportedly commanded as much as $18,000 for talks he has given on meeting Sutcliffe and other murderers.

Others have since come out of the woodwork to pick at Harrison's claims, one of which is that he worked with the FBI in Quantico, Va., in 1982. Seven former FBI agents who would have interacted with him at the time say they've never heard of Harrison, and one of his ex-wives says his first trip to the US happened in 1999 when he went to a Loch Ness monster expo. As for his claims to have interviewed killers like John Wayne Gacy (who he said mailed him clown paintings), one of the ex-agents says that's "completely false." In a now-deleted Facebook post, Harrison wrote, "This monster is no longer mine, nor is it what I wanted it to be. I saw it as a tool to give victims a voice ... but because I'm weak and vulnerable ... I was introduced into sensationalizing events by promoters who often sent out misleading blurbs." The News & Star reports Harrison's book on soccer star Billy Bremner is now being questioned. (More author stories.)

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