Humanity is not merely a biological condition, but a state of mind... On that basis I am a pseudo-human being at best. A demon at worst.

Stephen Shaun Griffiths, a.k.a. "The Crossbow Cannibal", is a British cannibalistic stalker and serial killer.


"What will this pseudo-human do, one wonders. Poor Stephen, pretended to be me, but he was only the wrapping. He knew towards the end, that i supplied the inner core of iron. Hatred Bound Tighly in Flesh. At very long last, the time has come to act out."

Griffiths was born on December 24, 1969, as the first child of frozen food salesman Stephen Griffiths and telephonist Moira Dewhirst; she was secretly a con artist who would later be convicted of fraud. The couple divorced when Griffiths was only 13, leaving him and his siblings to stay with their mother, despite her criminal record. Griffiths had a strange and disturbing habit of watching his mother have sex with multiple men in their garden. As a teenager, Griffiths would shoplift; on one occasion, Griffiths slashed a clerk's face with knife when he attempted to stop him, this attack resulted in him being arrested and sentenced to three years in youth custody; Griffiths was aged only 17. During his time in prison, he lost contact with his family and told probation officers and psychiatrists that he fantasized about being a serial killer. A year after his first arrest, Griffiths was released and began to live in a flat located in Manningham; enrolling in psychology at Bradford College.

In 1989, Griffiths was sentenced to 100 hours of community service after an air pistol was found on his possession; he had previously used the pistol to shoot birds, which he would then dissect. The next year, he is arrested again and sentenced to two years in prison for holding a knife to a young girl's throat. Sometime after his release, Griffiths began collecting many books about serial killers in order to study them in a more efficient manner; Griffiths mainly focused on Jack the Ripper, the Moors Murderers, the Acid Bath Murderer, and his personal favorite, the Yorkshire Ripper. In 1998, Griffiths began dating a woman for two years, but the relationship ended when he invited her to his flat, and she found every single surface covered in plastic. Later, Griffiths dated another woman, but she broke up with him because of his abusive nature. This resulted in Griffiths stalking and harassing her for years, despite knowing that she would be the mother of his child that was lost in a miscarriage.


Stephen flipping off CCTV footage, which had previously captured the moment of him killing Suzanne Blamires.

In 2001, Griffiths began to drink heavily and take drugs. Griffiths also bought two lizards and frequently took them for walks on dog leads. One of his neighbors, Rachel Farrington, was invited to his flat and saw Griffiths feeding live rats to his lizards; Griffiths' former friend, Billy Parkin, stated that he once saw him eating a live baby rat. In 2003, Griffiths earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and enrolled at the University of Bradford for a Ph.D. a year later. Being unemployed, Griffiths spent the majority of his time on the Internet, downloading violent pornography. He also quoted criminals on his MySpace account. Griffith would occasionally quote fictional killers, such as Francis Dolarhyde, a necrophilic serial killer and family annihilator from Thomas Harris' novel, Red Dragon. Griffiths' MySpace account username was "Ven Pariah", a figure from demonology.

Unable to resist his urges, Griffiths decided to begin serial killing, killing prostitutes in the Bradford area as a way to honor Peter Sutcliffe, who had killed some of his victims in that same location. On June 22, 2009, Griffiths took a prostitute named Susan Rushworth to his flat and killed her before dismembering her in his bathtub; Griffiths' next two victims were killed in the next year. Suzanne Blamires, Griffiths' third and final victim, attempt to escape but was fatally shot with one of his crossbows and then stabbed. A CCTV camera, which had been installed in the hallway for the sole purpose of monitoring Griffths, captured the whole event and resulted in his arrest. In court, Griffiths introduced himself as the "Crossbow Cannibal", an alias that would later serve as his official serial killer nickname. Griffiths pleaded guilty to all three murders and is currently serving life in prison. Griffiths attempted suicide several times while incarcerated.

Modus Operandi

Griffiths would roam Bradford's red light district in the middle of the night until he found a prostitute and brought her to his flat. If not counting Suzanne Blamires, who was shot and stabbed, details of how he exactly killed his victims are unknown, though it is very likely that he would fatally shoot them with one of his crossbows. After killing his victims, Griffiths would dismember them in his bathtub and cook parts of their bodies for him to consume; sometimes eating them raw. Afterwards, Griffiths would place parts he didn't consume in plastic bags and dump them into a nearby lake.


"I'm a misanthropic. I don't have much time for the human race."

Following his second arrest for possession of an air pistol, Griffiths was diagnosed with an unspecified personality disorder, but later diagnosed as being a sadistic, schzoid psychopath. Criminologists suggested that Griffiths was a narcissistic and misogynistic individual who longed for his moment of fame. People who knew Griffiths described him as being a very odd and Machiavellian misanthrope with a short-temper for people.

Known Victims


  • Unspecified dates:
    • Spring 1987: Unnamed supermarket clerk (slashed his face with a knife; survived)
    • 1990: Unnamed girl (held at knifepoint; was rescued)
  • June 22, 2009: Susan Rushworth, 43
  • 2010:
    • April 26: Shelley Armitage, 31
    • May 21: Suzanne Blamires, 36 (shot with a crossbow and stabbed in the head)


Note: Dates and locations denote when victims were last seen or discovered.

  • September 12, 1992, Northwood Edge, Caldy: Yvonne Fitt, 33 (bound and stabbed)
  • May 1994, Derbyshire, East Midlands: Dawn Shields, 19 (strangled)
  • May 2000, Leeds, West Yorkshire: Gemma Simpson, 24
  • 2001:
    • April 26, 2001: Rebecca Hall, 19 (bludgeoned)
    • November: Michaela Hague, 25 (stabbed)
  • Note: Griffiths is suspected of killing at least three additional women.

On Criminal Minds

While Griffiths has yet to be directly mentioned or referenced on the show, he appears to have been an inspiration for Michael Peterson ("Tribute") - Both were narcissistic serial killers who owned books about infamous killers and had a deep fascination with serial killing from an early age. Also, both were regarded as violent juvenile delinquents, classified as psychopaths, lived most of their childhood and adolescence with their mothers, and had parents who were criminals. Though not exactly a copycat killing, the way Griffiths chose Bradford to commit his murders in order to "honor" another serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe, is similar to how Peterson went out of his way to kill victims in the same locations as the serial killers he was copying, as a tribute to them.