Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas ‘Grindr Killer’ Stephen Port’s murders

‘Grindr Killer’ Stephen Port’s murders

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Stephen Port

Stephen Port, now 48, of Barking, raped and murdered 4 men he targeted on homosexual and bisexual oriented dating applications. He was handed a whole life sentenced after the four deaths, originally deemed suicides, were reinvestigated after families of the victims launched their own investigation. Due to the media coverage of the case, a further 7 victims of rape came forward.

Stephen Port’s first victim, Anthony Walgate, 23, of Hull was studying fashion in London and also occasionally worked as an escort. Port, under an alias on a dating app, offered him nearly £1k for an ‘overnight stay’.

Later, Port anonymously called 999 to say that a “young boy” collapsed on Cooke Street, Barking, and when first responders arrived they found Walgate situated on a wall, dead, outside Port’s house. Port lied various times in his witness statements to the police. Walgate died from a fatal overdose of ‘date rape’ drug GHB

Despite unearthing Port’s lies and the fact that Walgate overdosed on a date rape drug, his death was deemed ‘not suspicious’ and Port was only charged with perverting the course of justice and bailed. This was a decision that would lead to more deaths.

Stephen Port mugshot
Stephen Port’s mugshot //METPRESS

Gabriel Kovari

Gabriel Kovari, from Slovakia, moved to London after university and briefly lived in Port’s property. Around two months after Walgate’s murder, a dog walker found his body laying in a churchyard in Barking that was close to Port’s flat.

He had the same fatal overdose of GHB yet police still deemed the deaths ‘not suspicious’ initially. At this point is when the Met should have recognised a pattern was emerging, and this is the assertion of the families of Port’s victims.

Kovari met someone named John Pape on an LGBT+ app prior to his murder, and after he heard of his sudden death repeatedly contacted the police to raise the link between these deaths but was ignored.

“Multiple emails were ignored. I felt like I’d hit a brick wall with police. I reached out to LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell and Galop to express my concerns.

“I was alarmed, in a heightened state, I was starting to be worried for my own safety,” he added.

Daniel Whitworth

Stephen Port’s youngest victim was Daniel Whitworth, 21, of Gravesend who lived with his boyfriend. Port actually faked a ‘suicide note’ where, under false pretenses, Whitworth appeared to be confessing to killed Kovari by accident after he got “carried away and gave him another shots of GHB”.

Whitworth was found in the same area Kovari was found in, and by the same dog walker. He told his partner he was going to ‘meet some friends in Barking’ but never returned, so his partner notified the police, who took the suicide note at face value and, again, assumed yet another death in this clear pattern was simply a suicide.

Jack Taylor

Port’s final victim was Jack Taylor, 25, of Dagenham, and he was found in the same area as Kovari and Whitworth. Concerns were raising by the family when they heard he died due to a GBH-overdose as he aspired to a police officer and was strongly anti-drugs. At the time of his death he was routinely drug tested due to being a forklift truck driver and was always negative.

Jack Taylor, victim of Stephen Port's family
Jeanett Taylor (C) and Donna Taylor (R), relatives, of Jack Taylor speaking to the press //GETTY

Taylor’s family launched their own investigation when hearing the circumstances of his death, and successfully linked all four of the deaths police attribute to Port. When initially passing the information the police they were repeatedly dismissed.

The police only accepted the link after CCTV was discovered showing Taylor with Port and he was subsequently arrested.

After the global press coverage on the case and the police’s failings several more victims of Port – that are alive – came forward to present themselves as victims. 7 people reported rapes 4 reported sexual assaults. Port has since been handed a whole life sentence.

The police have seen been deemed institutionally racist, misogynistic, and homophobic, and at the time of the police’s failings, there were suggestions discriminatory attitudes towards homosexuality played a key role in how the force mishandled the murders.

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