John Nichols and Sam Russell were a pair of serial killers who appeared in The Black Queen.


See the John Nichols and Sam Russell articles

Modus Operandi

Nichols and Russell targeted prostitutes, whom they would call over before incapacitating them by drugging them with a drink. Then, they would kill them by alternating between a pattern of stabbing them and strangling them, depending on who killed them (Nichols stabbed his victims, while Russell strangled his). Judging by the crime scene photos, they would specifically target Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic prostitutes (it is unknown if the racial types were exclusive to one each or both) and then dispose of their bodies after killing them by dumping them in alleyways or other locations holding trash.

Real-Life Comparison

Nichols and Russell both seem to have some parallels to South African serial killer Moses Sithole and David Selepe, an initial suspect in Sithole's case. Russell and Selepe were both accused of committing a string of killings of women; while they were responsible for some of the murders, they weren't responsible for all of them, with Nichols and Sithole being responsible for the rest. Their cases were later revisited and their innocence questioned when Nichols and Sithole continued the killings. While Sithole and Selepe weren't outright confirmed to be partners, the fact that Nichols and Russell worked together as a killing team may be a reference to an assumption that they were.

In addition, Nichols and Russell both seem somewhat similar to Angelo Buono and Kenneth Bianchi, a.k.a. "The Hillside Stranglers", in the sense that both pairs operated in California, targeted high-risk victims and murdered their victims together, but one member of each pair also murdered victims alone: Nichols killed three women in response to Russell's impending execution, while Bianchi killed two women in Bellingham, Washington, for unknown reasons.

Mutual Victims

  • 2004: Eight unnamed prostitutes (four killed by Nichols, the other four by Russell)


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