SMIRKING as he described slitting the throat of a teenage boy after hacking his ear off with a knife, Allan Grimson told horrified police interrogators: “It was better than sex that feeling, better than an orgasm.”
Grimson, then 39, had lured 18-year-old Nicholas Wright back to his flat in Portsmouth after a night out in 1997 — when Nicholas refused Grimson’s sexual advances, Grimson brutally beat him with a baseball bat.
Once the boy was too hurt to defend himself, Grimson grabbed a diver’s knife and cut off Nicholas’ ear before slitting his throat.
Exactly one year later, on 12 December 1998, Grimson murdered another young man in his flat, this time punching 20-year-old Sion Jenkins and forcing him to have sex.
He bound Sion in his bath tub and, as Sion begged to go home, beat him to death with a baseball bat before dumping his body by the side of the A32.
Cops think Grimson may have been responsible for killing as many as 20 people — during his trial, one psychiatrist called him a psychopath and the most complex of over 250 murderers they’d met.
His blood-curdling story is told in a new episode of Murdertown on Crime+Investigation. It focuses on the tragic case of Simon Parkes, who is believed to be one of Grimson’s victims – although the killer has always denied involvement in the case.
Simon Parkes joined the Royal Navy straight out of school and immediately set sail aboard the HMS Illustrious on a round the world trip.
When the ship docked in Gibraltar — its last stop before returning to Portsmouth — Simon phoned his mum Margaret to make sure she had the right forms to get on to the dock to welcome him the moment he got home.
But Margaret, now 73, would never see or hear from her son again.
‘You’re not thinking he’s dead’
When the ship left Gibraltar on 14 December 1986, no-one had seen Simon for two days – he was last spotted in the Horseshoe Bar on the night of the 12th.
A huge manhunt of 250 people was launched to look for the missing sailor, but it turned up nothing.
On 16 December, the phone rang in Margaret’s Bristol home.
She told Sun Online: “It was a call to say he hadn’t returned to the ship. The presumption in those days was that he’d gone AWOL.
“And that was it — then we had no news at all, we had nothing. We were left for days with nothing.”
Margaret imagined Simon had met a girl and run off, or maybe he’d got drunk and was late back to the ship and decided to run away for fear of punishment.
She said: “All these things go through your mind of what he was thinking, and trying to find a reason for him not being back on the ship.
“You’re not at all really thinking that he was dead.”
Witnesses would later say the last time they saw Simon alive was in a bar with another crew member of the HMS Illustrious — Allan Grimson.
Margaret didn’t hear anything about her missing boy for more than 10 years, and was tormented by not knowing what had happened to him.
Then out of the blue in the late 1990s, police officers turned up at her door as part of an ongoing investigation into a serial killer.
Cops told her that Allan Grimson, who had been on the ship with Simon when he went missing, had already confessed to murdering two other young men he’d met in the Navy.
Police had hauled in Grimson, who was nicknamed Frankenstein by his co-workers because of his appearance, while investigating the disappearance of Nicholas Wright.
Nicholas, who’d met Grimson on a training course in the Navy, was lured back to the killer’s flat on the night of 12 December, 1997.
Retired detective Neil Cunningham explained: “He tried to kiss Nicholas but he pushed back, and that just made him angry. Really angry.”
“He got him in the hallway and he remembers at one point, Nicholas was laid on his front and Grimson was on his back, and he had a really sharp diver’s knife.”
It was then that Grimson said he cut Nicholas’ ear off and sliced the teen’s throat before putting his body in the flat’s bathtub, and went to bed.
The next day, Grimson wrapped Nicholas’ body up while naked and later told police that he’d felt a “tingling” sensation while doing so.
During the drive to dump Nicholas’ body in a ditch, he pulled over to chat with a policeman while Nicholas’ bloodied remains were in the boot of his car.
Grimson then calmly carried on with his gruesome errand, enjoying the thrill of deliberately coming so close to being caught.
It was a cold-blooded and calculated murder — which made cops think Grimson had killed before.
Grimson confessed to killing Nicholas and offered to take cops to where he ditched the body.
After recovering Nicholas’ body, Det. Cunningham said Grimson told him: “‘There’s one more body’. And the room went silent.”
Grimson then confessed to holding Sion Jenkins hostage for hours at knifepoint while drunk in his flat before killing him too.
Sion, who’d met Grimson during a brief stint in the Navy, had bumped into Grimson on a night out and the pair were last seen together at a nightclub called Joanna’s in Portsmouth.
Grimson had lured Sion back to his flat where he beat the youngster, forced him to have sex, and then battered him to death in the bathroom the following day.
The killer later told cops he wanted the same powerful feeling he’d savoured when he murdered Nicholas.
Police also thought it was strange that the two killings Grimson confessed to took place on the same day — 12 December.
So investigators started looking for men in the Navy who went missing on that day and came across the name of Simon Parkes, who had vanished in Gibraltar over 10 years earlier while working alongside Grimson.
When cops came knocking, Margaret was hopeful that at long last she might get answers about what had happened to Simon.
She said: “To have this investigation was amazing. It was harrowing, but we had to go through with it and deal with it.”
Silent serial killer
But what followed was an agonising case of cat and mouse as Grimson denied having any involvement with Simon’s disappearance.
And without a body and merely circumstantial evidence that Grimson was connected to Simon’s disappearance, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge Grimson with the crime.
Desperate for answers, Margaret asked to meet with the murderer to try and get him to confess to her son’s murder.
She said: “We were advised that, psychologically, he would manipulate the situation. I think he had a sense of power over the situation, or over us, because he had a secret.
“So we didn’t visit — but I would have done.”
Instead, she wrote him a letter saying she didn’t feel anything against him, but just wanted to know what happened to Simon.
Margaret added: “I had to be very careful with him, with his state of mind. I couldn’t get inside the state of mind of a criminal I don’t think many people could.”
But Grimson continued to deny his involvement with Simon’s killing.
Retired detective Neil Cunningham standing at the site where Grimson dumped Nicholas’ body in Hampshire[/caption]
‘He’s a dangerous person’
When Grimson was convicted of the murders of Nicholas and Sion, Hampshire Police told the court they believed Grimson may have been responsible for as many as 20 disappearances.
Sentencing him in 2001, Mr Justice Creswell told Grimson: “You are a highly dangerous serial killer who killed two young men in horrifying circumstances.”
He was sentenced to 22 years for the two murders and has not been charged with any others since.
Margaret said: “Allan Grimson is apparently asking for parole in November, so there is no way that he’s going to admit to anything else that would jeopardise his parole. It’s no good appealing to him.”
She added: “I wouldn’t want him to be out. I think he’s a dangerous person. How can someone with that mentality change?
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“He’s shown no remorse at all all the way through. So I think it’s a pretty scary thing, and I feel so sorry for Sion and Nicholas’ parents.”
Margaret says despite it being unlikely that any new information will emerge on Simon’s disappearance, she and her loved ones still have hope.
She said: “It’s all we have really — we don’t have anything else.”
Murdertown starts on CRIME+INVESTIGATION® tonight at 9pm. The series is available on all catch up and on demand services.
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