Serial killer who strangled nine women in ‘ritual killings’ sentenced to death

A serial killer who murdered nine women in ‘ritual killings’ has been sentenced to death.

Gracious David-West, 40, strangled his victims after having sex with them in hotel rooms.

Investigators say he wrapped white cloth around their necks and waists, which suggests they were ritual killings.

He carried out his murdering spree across Nigeria between July and September last year, with several of his victims sex workers.

The killer was arrested in September 2019 after the bodies of several women were discovered across Port Harcourt.

Judge Adolphus Enebele convicted him and ruled he will die by hanging.

He said: “I find you, Gracious David-West, guilty of the murder of nine young women and the attempted murder of another in hotels last year and sentence you to death by hanging.”

Police say he used cheap hotels with poor security and no CCTV, and killed one sex worker in a brothel.

He lured the women by claiming to be a military officer and promising large wads of cash for their time, according to the BBC.

But he then threatened them with a knife and robbed them before killing them.

Police paraded him through the streets after his arrest and shared a video of him admitting the murders, according to reports.

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State prosecutor Chidi Ekeh said: “We found the victims naked, bound with a white strip of cloth on their ankles and arms and neck.

"Although there is no concrete evidence that points to some form of ritualistic killing, I personally believe it was connected to such.”

A huge public outcry broke out at the time, with women marching on the streets of the city to demand better police protection.

Investigators said he also admitted the murders of six other women, but he was not charged over them because of a lack of evidence.

Mr Ekeh said: "No-one came forward for those murders and there was little evidence to pin them on him.”

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