Criminology student in court on murders of 3 prostitutes in northern England

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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A doctoral student researching murder was accused of being a killer himself Friday in Britain.
Stephen Griffiths appeared in court on charges of killing three prostitutes in northern England.
The case has startled the country.
Griffiths is accused of killing the three women who disappeared in Bradford, about 320 kilometres north of London.
The 40-year-old Griffiths was studying homicide in the 19th century at the local university at the time he was arrested at his home.
He was living on the edge of the city's red-light district.
When asked to give his name in court, Griffiths said simply "the crossbow cannibal." Britain's tabloid newspapers, which have devoted front page attention to the case, have suggested that Griffiths used a crossbow in slaying one of his victims.
When asked for his address, Griffiths shrugged and said: "Erm ... here I guess," referring to the courthouse.
Relatives of some of the victims wiped away tears as they strained to see Griffiths through a glass barrier at the first of two hearings Friday. Griffiths, sporting a black shirt and dark jeans, showed little emotion, staring silently at the floor and sometimes fidgeting and touching his head.
Griffiths joined Bradford University in 2004 as a Ph.D student in local history. His research is said to focus on comparing modern policing methods with those of detectives in the 19th century, the Times reported.
Police said the body parts of one of his victims, 36-year-old Suzanne Blamires, were found Tuesday dumped in a nearby river. Blamires was last seen last Friday. The other two women both went missing in Bradford: Shelley Armitage, 31, disappeared since April; and Susan Rushworth, 43, has not been seen since last June.
Police were still searching the apartment complex where Griffiths lived, and forensic officers and trained dogs were combing the city for the remains of Armitage and Rushworth.
Judge James Goss adjourned the case until June 7, telling Griffiths his next appearance would be by video link to prison. Griffiths did not apply for bail.
The case has featured prominently in Britain's newspapers, particularly because another serial killer had been active in the same area. The case has drawn comparison to the so-called "Yorkshire Ripper" serial killings of 13 women in the 1970s.
Peter Sutcliffe, a truck driver from Bradford, was jailed for life in 1981 after he was convicted of 13 murders and seven attempted murders. Three of his victims - many of them sex workers - were killed in Bradford.

Organizations: Bradford University

Geographic location: Northern England, Bradford, Britain London

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