Loading...

Stephen Port: who is ‘Grindr’ killer, who were victims, was he on MasterChef, how to watch TV drama Four Lives

Port is serving a whole-life sentence for the murders of Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor

Notorious murderer and rapist Stephen Port became known as the ‘Grindr killer’ for his horrifying crimes.

The serial killer, who used dating sites and apps to make contact with the victims, is serving a whole life term for the murders of four men.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

He was convicted of the murders in 2014 and 2015 as well as a string of sex assaults.

It was announced that the The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is to reinvestigate the Metropolitan Police over their initial handling of the murders.

And earlier this year TV series Four Lives aired following the stories of the families of the men killed by Port.

But who is Stephen Port, who did he murder and did he make an appearance on MasterChef?

Who is Stephen Port?

Port, now 47, was a former bus depot chef, who harboured a “strange” obsession with children’s toys and rarely socialised. Instead spending his free time in his flat on his laptop or internet dating, rarely going too far from work and home.

The 6ft 5in former escort was obsessed with drug-rape pornography, and lured unwitting, boyish-looking, gay men to his flat through websites such as Grindr before fatally plying them with GHB, sexually abusing them, and disposing of their corpses.

Port, originally from Dagenham, trained as a chef after dropping out of art school.

He lived at home until his early 30s, having come out as gay, and part-bought a one-bedroom flat in Barking that would eventually become the grim theatre for his depraved acts.

Loading....

As he approached his 40s, but with his desire for much younger male company unrelenting, the balding Port began to wear a floppy, blond hair-piece atop his athletic frame in an effort to persuade people he was closer to their age.

Port became a GHB user towards the end of 2013 and, by then, had come to the attention of police for allegedly drugging and raping a man on New Year’s Eve.

One of his few friends remarked how Port had a “voracious appetite” for meeting “very young” men.

But he later became so concerned that Port was spending time with “vulnerable” boys.

On 23 November 2016, Port was convicted of the assaults by penetration, rapes and murders of Anthony Walgate, 23, Gabriel Kovari, 22, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25.

He was also convicted of the rapes of three other men he drugged, and ten counts of administering a substance with intent, and four sexual assaults.

Who were the men killed by him?

Anthony Walgate. Photo: Supplied

Anthony Walgate

On 13 June, 2014 Port made contact with Anthony Walgate, 23, a fashion student originally from Hull who on occasion worked as an escort. Port pretended to be a client and offered him £800 . On 17 June Mr Walgate went to Barking train station to meet Port. Two days later he was “found” slumped outside Port’s house in Cooke Street, Barking, shortly after 4am. Port calls the emergency services saying he found the body outside.

Fashion-conscious Mr Walgate was found with his underpants on back to front and inside out, but police said this was “unusual, not necessarily suspicious or sinister”.

On 26 June Port was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. His laptop is seized by police investigating Mr Walgate’s death, having established the link with Port. But for more than 10 months, the device was left untouched.

Investigators at the scene were not told of a previous allegation of rape against Port on the police national computer from 2012, who was traced as being the person who called 999 to report the body.

In fact, police only checked the national database for Mr Walgate, not Port.

Another officer deduced there was “nothing to suggest the victim had been assaulted”, despite bruising under Mr Walgate’s arms.

Two of Mr Walgate’s friends were convinced his death was suspicious and aired their concerns, but said they believed police assumed he had overdosed on drugs simply because he was a gay sex worker.

Gabriel Kovari.

Gabriel Kovari

Aspiring English teacher Mr Kovari, 22, had moved to London from Slovakia and had briefly lived with Port. He moved in with Port on 22 August and was last seen alive three days later, and had told a neighbout “Stephen is not a nice man”. On 28 August he was found slumped in a graveyard near Port’s home. But the scene was not declared suspicious, so his body was not subjected to a forensic post-mortem examination.

His clothing was not seized and so was not analysed, and no samples were taken from his body.

Police did not follow up leads to trace Mr Kovari’s friend, Karl Kamgdon, who Mr Kovari sent pictures to from inside Port’s flat when he arrived there, and was the last person he spoke to.

John Pape, Mr Kovari’s friend, effectively turned detective to find the victim’s boyfriend in Spain, Thierry Amodio, who had been contacted by Port masquerading as another man.

Daniel Whitworth.

Daniel Whitworth

The 21-year-old chef from Gravesend, Kent, was contacted by Port for the first time on 18 August on a website called Fitlads, and asks to see photographs of him. The pair communicate intermittently.

On 18 September Mr Whitworth messages his long-term boyfriend Ricky Waumsley to say he will be leaving work at 5pm. However he leaves at 3pm and tells a colleague he was going to meet friends in Barking. He is not seen or heard from again.

Two days later his body is found slumped in the same graveyard as Mr Kovari’s was. Police find a “suicide note” on his body, accepting responsibility for Mr Kovari’s death. The note is later found to have been written by Port.

Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor.

On 23 March 2015 Port is jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice in relation to the investigation into Mr Walgate’s death. He is released after three months.

On 13 September Jack Taylor, a forklift driver who stayed in Dagenham, took a taxi to Barking station, where CCTV footage shows him meeting an unidentified man in the early hours of the morning. The following day his body is found in grounds next to the church.

His death was initially determined as non suspicious and a police officer who patrols local parks was put in charge of the death. He asked for help from the CID but was told the death was not in their remit.

Jack’s family were contacted and told of his death, but no further contact was made until two weeks later when his sister, Donna, contacted the Met and expressed her anger at the lack of communication.

She had begun her own investigation with her and Jack’s sister, Jenny, and found links between the four deaths.

The Taylor family pushed for the police to put out a public appeal for the ‘tall man’ seen on CCTV with Jack to be identified, and after reluctance to do so, they did.

It was one of the original Anthony Walgate detectives who recognised the man as Port and ultimately led to his arrest.

Was Stephen Port on MasterChef?

Yes. He appeared on BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef in 2014, the year he killed three of the four men, when celebrity chefs were tasked with making meatballs and pasta for more than 100 bus drivers.

Port could be seen in a clip of the show wearing blonde toupee and chef’s whites while working at West Ham Bus Garage.

JLS singer JB Gill and actress EastEnders actress Emma Barton, were among the contestents on the show.

Sheridan Smith battling police incompetence in Four Lives

How to watch the drama Four Lives

Four Lives, a drama series of three episodes aired on BBC One in January this year. It starred Stephen Marchant and Sheridan Smith and followed the fight for justice by the families of the men murdered by Port.

It is still available to watch on BBC iplayer.