Bedsit Killer’s children are ‘in total shock’ and insist they ‘didn’t know’ the man who killed two and raped more than 100 corpses
- David Fuller pleaded guilty this week to murder of Wendy Knell & Caroline Pierce
- Detectives went on to discover that he had been abusing corpses at a morgue
- Now, the families of those he abused have begun to speak out about the impact
- His ex-wife has said that the children she shares with him are in ‘total shock’
The children of bedsit killer David Fuller are ‘in total shock’ and insist they ‘didn’t know’ the man who killed two women and raped more than 100 corpses, his ex-wife has said.
This week, Fuller finally admitted the murder of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987 after the crime mystified police for three decades.
The killings were known as the ‘Bedsit Murders’, and were solved after a DNA breakthrough cracked one of Britain’s longest unsolved murder cases.
However, as detectives investigated the 67-year-old, they soon found this seemingly harmless oddball was in fact hiding a double-life and had been abusing corpses.
Now, his family are starting to speak out after learning of his heinous crimes, with his ex-wife telling The Sun that his children are in ‘total shock’.
Gill Palmer, 65, who was reportedly visibly shaken when speaking to the newspaper, said: ‘It’s too horrific. I can’t even take it in myself yet.
‘It’s not right on so many levels. It’s just not right. My children can’t talk about it. They’re not in a good frame of mind,’ she said.
The children of bedsit killer David Fuller have said they are ‘in total shock’ and insist they ‘didn’t know’ the man who killed two women and raped more than 100 corpses.
Fuller’s ex-wife Gill Palmer, 65, (pictured) , said that the children she shared with him in shock after learning of their father’s true nature
‘What came out has been a total shock. It’s their father you’re talking about. They didn’t know the man. I didn’t know the man.’
Palmer married Fuller in 1972 in Portsmouth and the pair had a son and a daughter. The marriage ended in divorce and while Fuller remained in the south, marrying twice more, Gill moved north.
Gemma Keena, 39, Gill’s daughter from a later relationship had little dealing with the father of her half brother and sister, but earlier told Mailonline of the devastating effect his crimes had taken on her mother and siblings.
‘They are in such shock, the details are unbearable. I’d say they are numb,’ she said.
‘He isn’t my father, I came along later. It’s still an awful shock but it’s really dreadful for my brother, sister and my mum. What can they do or say when they’ve heard what he did?
‘He went to my sister’s wedding and I remember him from that but he went straight back down afterwards, he didn’t stay.’
Explaining the effect of Fuller’s crimes being revealed on the rest of the family, she continued: ‘Really it wasn’t a close relationship between him and this part of the family for a lot of years. But they are still having to think about all this information that’s suddenly hit them.
‘My mum and sister and brother are trying to process what he did and that is so hard for them. It’s so awful you don’t even want to say it.
‘They were made aware that he had been accused of the murder of those two young women and that alone was hard enough to deal with.
‘But they knew absolutely nothing about those other offences and I think someone could surely have prepared them. It was only when they went down to a pre trial hearing that they learnt about what he’d done in the hospitals.
‘What a way to learn something like that. They have been in shock ever since. They also didn’t know the trial was coming to an end and all this would suddenly hit the media.- we were on the school run when the news came out.
‘Since then all three have shut themselves away. They don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone until they’ve had chance to process it.
‘Sharon has been so upset and in tears. You are bound to look back over the years and wonder if there were ever any signs he was capable of such things.’
Ms Palmer’s comments come after Mala Fuller, 50, his third wife, exclusively told MailOnline that she ended their marriage after learning his true nature.
This week, Fuller finally admitted the murder of Wendy Knell (left) and Caroline Pierce (right) in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987 after the crime mystified police for three decades
‘I’m not with him, she said. ‘I couldn’t carry on in that relationship. I’m too upset to even think about what was going on, I couldn’t live with it. You can’t imagine how distraught I am.’
Mala, who originates from Trinidad moved out of the home she shared with Fuller in Heathfield, East Sussex for the past 20 years four months ago.
She sobbed: ‘I could not stay in that house knowing what he did and what went on in there. I wanted to be alone and want to live my life alone.’
Neighbours revealed that Mala had told them her marriage to Fuller was over just weeks after his arrest last December. One said: ‘She made it clear that she wasn’t going to continue with him but how could any sane person?
‘Mala’s sister has been helping her through this very difficult time. She had to stay in the house until she found alternative accommodation but as soon as she could, she got out and I don’t blame her. Nobody can stay married to a monster like that.’
Yesterday, Kent Police said they will never know how many women and girls Fuller violated – but admit it could be hundreds more, and released contact centre details in anticipation of an avalanche of calls from family members.
Ministers and relatives of those Fuller abused have demanded to know how the electrician was allowed to continue his sickening offences over decades of working for the NHS.
But officers say they may reach a stage when they cannot identify all of his victims – one of whom was Azra Kemal, 24, who was abused by Fuller at Tunbridge Wells Hospital after she died following a fall from a bridge in July 2020.
Azra Kemal, 24 (pictured), was abused by Fuller at Tunbridge Wells Hospital after she died following a fall from a bridge in July 2020
Her mother Nevres Kemal has raised fears over how many bodies Fuller may have abused, telling Sky News in an emotional interview: ‘He had entered the morgue and autopsy area thousands of times, not hundreds, thousands.’
When police searched Fuller’s house they discovered hidden computer hard drives, CDs, and floppy discs with 14 million images of sex offences, included footage of Fuller sexually assaulting dead bodies in two morgues.
Detectives uncovered hard drives attached to the rear of a chest of drawers along with diaries in which he had handwritten details of his victims in hospital. His oldest victim was 100 and his youngest was aged just nine.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms Kemal said she was consumed by a frightening rage when she was told by officers about her daughter’s body being abused.
‘The rage… .’ she said. ‘My only thought was, “He is not going to get away this.” I’d just been told he’d raped her in hospital when she was dead. It was incomprehensible. I felt I had to take things into my own hands — find him, punish him. I’m her mother.
Azra Kemal’s mother Nevres Kemal has raised fears over how many bodies Fuller may have abused, telling Sky News in an emotional interview: ‘He had entered the morgue and autopsy area thousands of times, not hundreds, thousands.
‘If I’d found him, I’m 99.99 per cent sure I’d have put that knife straight through his heart because he’d put a knife through mine. The thought of him violating her — of touching her hair, touching her skin…’
Local Conservative MP Greg Clark, for Tunbridge Wells, said a public inquiry into how Fuller carried out hundreds of sex attacks was required, adding that the investigation launched by the local NHS trust was ‘not sufficient’.
Police have set up a contact centre number of 0800 051527 as the horrifying scale of Fuller’s depraved crimes was revealed after he dramatically changed his pleas this week to confess to murdering two young women.
The force told MailOnline it has spoken to the families of all the victims already identified, and that members of the public cannot help with further identification at this stage – but support services are available through the number.
So far, Kent Police detectives have formally identified 81 of his victims in the mortuary, but the investigation is still ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call the number or fill in the online form by clicking here.
Fuller admitted killing Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in 1987 in what became known as the ‘Bedsit Murders’ – one of Britain’s longest unsolved murder cases.
He was still working for the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust when revolutionary DNA profiling techniques led police investigating the historic murders to his home in Heathfield, East Sussex, on December 3 last year.
Horrified detectives found a hidden cache of printed photos along with thousands of digital images and videos that exposed one of Britain’s biggest healthcare scandals.
Fuller had spent at least 12 years abusing corpses in the mortuaries of Kent and Sussex and Tunbridge Wells hospitals.
The hoarder kept detailed handwritten diaries of his abuse, along with thousands of videos and images of himself having sex with the corpses organised into folders.
Police have established he had sexual activity with at least 100 deceased women, 81 of whom have been identified, but say there may have been many more victims.
A mother’s grief and revulsion after her daughter’s body was defiled by David Fuller
A woman whose daughter’s body was defiled by David Fuller pleaded this week: ‘This must never happen again.’
The warped hospital electrician sneaked into the mortuary at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent three times to sexually abuse Azra Kemal, 24, who died after plunging from a bridge.
Horrifically, the first two attacks happened just hours before and after her grief-stricken mother, Nevres Kemal, had visited her daughter and stroked her hair to say farewell.
She said: ‘I had spent two hours in the mortuary sleeping with her. And that gave me some sort of comfort. Little did I know that my daughter had been violated prior to that day and the evening of that day. So, while I’m stroking my daughter’s hair, sleeping on her hair, a man had… crawled all over her skin. And there’s me kissing and cuddling and saying my last goodbyes.’
Sickening: Azra Kemal was one of Fuller’s victims
Miss Kemal, who worked as a researcher for Sky News, was one of Fuller’s most recent victims. He carried out his sickening assaults in July last year.
Her mother – a London social worker – told Sky News: ‘Men and women up and down the country will be appalled by what they are reading.
‘And I remind them that if this was your loved one you would roar with rage – and I am silently roaring. We need to respect the dead and this must never happen again.’
DS Ivan Beasley, who led Kent Police’s investigation into Fuller,, said: ‘It quickly became clear that the extent and scale of offending was likely to be unprecedented in the UK. We have never seen anything like this.’
More than 150 family liaison officers informed the families of the dead women simultaneously after Fuller pleaded guilty to 51 charges, including 44 relating to the necrophilia, at a hearing on October 8.
Libby Clark, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: ‘No British court has ever seen abuse on this scale against the dead before and I have no doubt he would still be offending to this day had it not been for this painstaking investigation and prosecution.’
Fuller worked at the now-closed Kent and Sussex Hospital from 1989 until 2010, when he moved to Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
In his role as electrician, he had a swipe card that allowed him unsupervised access to all parts of the hospital. Mortuary staff usually finished for the day at 4pm, while Fuller’s shift was from 11am to 7pm, police said.
He would carry his bag of tools with him and ensured his abuse could not be picked up by CCTV, which covered only part of the mortuary. Mr Beasley said: ‘We have evidence of him moving around the mortuary but no CCTV of him interacting with any of the bodies. All the evidence is from his own filming.’
Families of the victims were last night demanding answers from the NHS about how Fuller was able to access the dead bodies of their loved ones.
Azra Kemal’s body was abused by Fuller after the 24-year-old died following a fall from a bridge in July last year. Her mother, Nevres, told Sky News: ‘We have swipe cards and cameras for a reason. No one checked. It was so simple. He would actually abuse women while porters were bringing in bodies.’
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust chief executive Miles Scott last night apologised to the families of Fuller’s victims and said, while he was confident the mortuary was now safe, he was determined to learn if there were ways to improve.
Fuller evaded justice for 33 years after killing and sexually assaulting Miss Knell and Miss Pierce within months of each other, before decades-old DNA evidence linked him to the murders when a family member was arrested and added to the database.
When he was arrested, Fuller seemed surprised to see officers at his home, saying: ‘Oh blimey.’
Fuller had previously admitted responsibility for the deaths with ‘diminished responsibility’ at Maidstone Crown Court – but until this week he had denied murder. Miss Knell’s bloodstained body was found in her flat on June 23, 1987, after Fuller – a convicted burglar – had climbed in through the window, before beating and strangling her to death.
Miss Pierce was abducted from outside her home on November 24 the same year.
Her body, naked apart from a pair of tights, was found in a water-filled dyke near Romney Marsh three weeks later. Miss Knell’s mother, Pam, whose husband Bill died in 2017 without seeing justice, said she hoped Fuller’s conviction would finally allow her family to grieve.
‘For 34 years, we as a family, the police and press have been focusing on what actually happened to Wendy, wanting to know who did it and how she spent her last moments alive,’ she said.
‘Sadly it’s much worse than we could have ever imagined.
‘Hopefully we can now start to grieve and move past the pain… although the timing has meant our dad is not here to share this moment as we lost him four years ago. It broke his heart he never found out before he died.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel said her heartfelt sympathies went out to all those affected by Fuller’s crimes.
Police say they will never know how many women and girls David Fuller (pictured) violated – but admit it could be hundreds more
Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: ‘It’s absolutely shocking. Two murders, two young women was shocking enough, but then to discover that over 100 that we know about and possibly many more bodies have been desecrated in this way is absolutely devastating.’
He confirmed that he had written to Mr Javid and Ms Patel calling for a public inquiry to ensure offending of Fuller’s despicable nature can never be repeated. Mr Clark said that the NHS probe was ‘not sufficient’, adding: ‘To be clear, this is without precedent. There’s never been a case in Britain in which the number and the scale of the abuse of dead bodies has been revealed in this way.
‘And it raises such important questions as to the security of mortuaries not just in the two local hospitals, but for every hospital in the country. Frankly one of those hospitals is a very modern, state-of-the-art one with top security systems. So if it can happen there, it can happen elsewhere.
‘And I do think it’s now necessary – as well as obviously seeing Fuller go to jail for what I hope will be the rest of his life – that we move on to ask serious questions as to how this could have happened and we establish that it can never happen again.
‘And that is beyond the resources, beyond the capability, of a single local hospital trust. That demands a public inquiry, and I along with my neighbouring MPs have written to the Health Secretary and the Home Secretary to ask him to set that up without delay.’
Fuller will be sentenced at a later date.
Now hundreds ask police: Were OUR relatives abused by this monster? Helpline is flooded by calls from devastated families over morgue predator David Fuller
More than 200 horrified relatives called police yesterday demanding to know if a double murderer defiled their loved ones’ bodies in hospital mortuaries.
A police helpline was flooded by calls from devastated families after it emerged that morgue predator David Fuller had sexually violated at least 100 corpses while working at two hospitals in one of Britain’s biggest healthcare scandals.
After Fuller, 67, dramatically confessed to murdering two women in 1987 midway through his trial on Thursday, police revealed the electrician could have assaulted the bodies of hundreds of women and girls over decades working for the NHS as an electrician.
A police helpline was flooded by calls from devastated families after it emerged that morgue predator David Fuller had sexually violated at least 100 corpses while working at two hospitals in one of Britain’s biggest healthcare scandals
Yesterday his wife Mala, 50, spoke out for the first time, saying she had ended their marriage. She said: ‘I’m not with him. I couldn’t carry on in that relationship.
‘I’m too upset to even think about what was going on, I couldn’t live with it. You can’t imagine how distraught I am.’
It came as demands grew for a full public inquiry amid concerns by MPs and campaigners that attacks could have happened in other hospitals across the country.
Guidelines about protecting the dignity of the deceased mean the sensitive area of hospital mortuaries where post-mortem examinations take place are not routinely covered by CCTV.
The security loophole meant Fuller was able to carry out acts of unspeakable depravity on at least 100 victims, remaining undetected until he was arrested for two murders he had carried out 33 years earlier.
This week Fuller finally admitted the 1987 killings of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent – known as the ‘Bedsit Murders’ – after a DNA breakthrough cracked one of Britain’s longest unsolved murder cases.
Fuller was part of a cycling club in the 1980s with one of the group’s routes going directly past where Miss Pierce’s body was found.
Mala, his third wife, said she had moved out of the home she shared with him in Heathfield, East Sussex, for 20 years following his shock arrest in December.
She said: ‘I could not stay in that house knowing what he did and what went on in there.
‘I wanted to be alone and want to live my life alone.’ Yesterday the daughter of Fuller’s first wife, Gill Palmer, said she was ‘numb’ with shock at the ‘unbearable’ details.
Gemma Keena, 39 – Miss Palmer’s daughter from a later relationship – told of the devastating effect on her mother and half-brother and half-sister.
‘They are in such shock, the details are unbearable. I’d say they are numb,’ she said.
‘He isn’t my father, I came along later. It’s still an awful shock but it’s really dreadful for my brother, sister and my mum. They are trying to process what he did and that is so hard for them. It’s so awful you don’t even want to say it.
‘It was only when they went down to a pre-trial hearing that they learnt about what he’d done in the hospitals.’
Brought to justice: The moment corpse defiler and murderer Fuller arrived at the police station more than 30 years after murdering two women
The pervert kept a detailed diary of his sex assaults, printing photos and stashing thousands of digital images and videos at his home.
Detectives have established that he assaulted at least 100 deceased women after 2008 in the mortuaries of Kent and Sussex Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital – 81 of whom have been identified from the records Fuller kept.
The oldest was 100 and his youngest victim was just nine. Police believe some bodies will never be identified because the images taken bear no identifying marks.
Officers have pored over 150,000 hours of hospital CCTV footage and swipe card data to track Fuller’s movements from 2019 onwards, narrowing down the time he could have entered the post-mortem room to commit the crimes.
But detectives believe there could be hundreds more victims, as there were 20 to 25 women’s bodies stored in the mortuary at any one time.
Fuller worked as an electrician at the now closed Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells from 1989 to 2010, before he moved to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury.
The burglar, with convictions dating back to the 1970s, managed to dodge criminal record checks when he was first employed by the hospital as disclosure at that time was the responsibility of the employee.
But yesterday it emerged that Mitie, the company which provides facilities staff for the Tunbridge Wells Hospital, learnt of his criminal record in 2015.
Despite this, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust insisted last night it was not informed.
Yesterday local Tory MP Greg Clark demanded a full public inquiry and said a lack of CCTV meant there was no way of knowing if abuse had also happened in other NHS hospital mortuaries.
An independent review at the trust where Fuller worked is under way, but MPs are calling for a wider national review. Mr Clark said: ‘The questions that are raised include local ones about how this was allowed to happen.
‘But there are also national ones as to whether national policy was good enough, was stringent enough, and whether it could have happened in other hospitals across the country.’
He said the lack of CCTV in post-mortem rooms was a concern, adding: ‘We do not know how many people Fuller assaulted and how many people there are like Fuller across the country. We need to work on the assumption that there may be others and we need to protect people from being preyed on.’
A spokesman for the Centre for Women’s Justice said: ‘A proper inquiry must now take place to explore how Fuller was able to continue perpetrating these appalling acts over such a long period of time.’
Responding to calls for an inquiry, a spokesman for Boris Johnson said: ‘We’re not ruling it out, but we need to let the investigations that are already under way take place.’
A Kent Police spokesman said: ‘Kent Police has set up a contact centre and major incident public portal for people who may feel they may have information about the ongoing investigation into David Fuller.’
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