Peter Moore, the Welsh Serial Killer, the Man in Black, was a murderer, a serial rapist, a sadist, and a respected community figure. Join JV as they cover The Man in Black.
SUBSCRIBE on RSS Feed at Criminal Musings
Transcript available on Website (click Read More)
This week, I’m going to be paying homage to one of my favorite true crime shows from across the pond. It is a show that I feel is very much excellent, in terms of single-host true crime shows. And I also have to give them credit for the branding. The title is exactly what the show is about, and the accompanying blog is very thorough. The podcast I’m talking about is UK true crime weekly podcast, hosted by Adam. In homage of Adam an his show, we’re going to start this episode in a different way than usual, by setting the backdrop and telling you about the pop culture at the time of these murders. The year is 1995. “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls dropped, which as a young queer person, I remember well. 1995 was a GREAT year for cinema, and ironically, this is very related to the crime today. Movies that had come out in 1995 include: Desperado, Die Hard with a Vengence, Braveheart, Batman Forever, Apollo 13, Bad Boys, Jumanji, Toy Story, The Usual Suspects, and Clueless. Sidenote….. Clueless is 23 years old? Congrats to everyone who just realized they are elderly. Also in 1995, Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced. So now that we know what’s going on, let’s start with the murders.
It’s September 1995, and in North Wales, John Henry Roberts has been missing for 3 days. Who notices that this 56 year old man is missing? Well, the local pub, of course, because some UK stereotypes hold very true. Y’all can drink, and I love it. Anyway, The pub noticed John Henry’s absense, and went round to his cottage to see if he was ill. After knocking, he went around back to the garden, where he found the body of John Henry Roberts. He was face down, ass up with his pants around his ankles. He’d been stabbed in both ass cheeks, as well as the heart, which had been the killing blow. He had been stabbed a total of 27 times, 14 in the front and 13 in the back.
Now, I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but John Henry Roberts… had… very questionable taste in decorations. (leave it to a gay to talk about home decor choices.) His cottage was decorated with Nazi paraphernalia, including a flag on the wall of the cottage. People said that Roberts was an eccentric old dude who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Now, Roberts was an old gay man, which reminds me of the fact that a lot of gay white men do incredibly racist things. One possible explanation for that is a combination of self-justification and the compensation effect. With the compensation effect, you are more likely to excuse your negative behavior by saying, “oh it’s okay, I totally did that one good thing though. It balances out.” With self-justification, you might say something like, “oh I can’t be racist, I exclusively have sex with black men.” If you would like to read up on that, I’ve included a link to an article on sexual racism and ethnosexual conflict in the show notes. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, back to the story.
The police suspected that Roberts was killed after luring a man to just outside his house for sex, at which point the killer went into a complete frenzy and began to stab him. Yikes.
A month later, the body of 28 year old Edward Carthy was found in the middle of the woods, having been stabbed to death. Edward was gay, and had last been scene at a gay bar, leaving with someone. The man he left with is the one who would stab him and leave him in Clocaenog forest. Poor dear.
A month after that, the body of Keith Randles was found, stabbed to death, near the caravan he lived in. Keith was the divorced father of two, and pretty much everyone says that he wasn’t gay. To that, I would add that he very well could have still been having gay sex. There are more than a few men who identify as straight who hook up with men. There are a bunch of theories I have about that, but my strongest one is this: I think that a large number of gay and bisexual men, particularly gay and bisexual bottoms, have an almost fetishistic attraction to the idea of the “masculine straight man”. It is logical to me that a quote-unquote “open minded straight man” might realize the open opportunity being presented by one of those willing gay men, and might ask for a blowjob or something. There is a standup comedian who once made the fact that gay men “have parks where you can stick your dick in a bush and someone will suck it.” This straight comedian was then like, “If someone told me where that was, I would literally never do stand up again, and just live in that park forever.” Possibly he was joking, but given how masculinity works in our society, he probably wasn’t. In any case, I can’t, and wouldn’t, judge them for doing so, or the people who agree to suck someone off who isn’t into you. I just think it is a possibility that should be considered that Mister Randles, being a divorced man, was seeking some company and maybe didn’t care very much from who.
Two weeks later, the body of Tony Davies was found at Pensarn beach, which is a known cruising spot for men looking to hookup with men. Tony was married to a woman at the time, so remember that theory I literally just brought up 5 minutes ago? Yeah, case and point. Anyway, Tony had also been stabbed to death in a frenzy.
Okay, so, we’ve got 4 bodies, people are confused, [in an accent] and now here comes the bastard what done em in.
Peter Moore was born in 1940 in St Helen’s, Wales. He lived in Rhyl, north wales, with his mama right on up until she died. Mama Moore doted on sweet baby Pete, calling him her ‘miracle son’ because he was born when she was in her 40’s. Now, If I had to describe Peter… he looks like… a cross between a beagle, walt disney circa 1966 and a Cumberland hog. Looking at him, he’s sorta what you think of when you think of a stereotypical non-wealthy old man in the UK… It’s not great. Moore was a respected dude who ran a chain of local cinemas. He was regarded by folks as a kind local businessman who was just trying to pump life back into the community, via his cinemas. Peter Moore was known locally as “the Man in Black” because of his habit of dressing exclusively in black clothing, which is literally the only thing I like about him. He said that this is because black outfits are the traditional mode of dress for theatre workers, and this is what he considered himself to be.
One local person in north wales described Peter Moore as follows: “It was a normal Saturday morning in the early 1990s and in the sleepy North Wales Town of Denbigh, my wife Sharon and I were off to do the weekly shop at the local supermarket. We followed the usual Saturday routine of dropping our kids – a boy and a girl – at the Local cinema “The Futura”. Here the Owner/Manager, a man called Peter Moore ran a Saturday club for children. The kids would be entertained by a matinee children’s film and would be treated to snacks and pop in the cinema’s little snack-bar. Many local parents would drop their kids off into the care of Peter Moore, go off to do their shopping, and pick them up again afterwards. It was an Ideal arrangement. Peter Moore appeared to be an affable and trustworthy businessman – An upstanding member of the community”
Yeah… maybe not so much. Well, firstly, the man is a murderer and a Nazi. Fascinated with the wartime nazi party, he would go to gay meeting places across north wales in nazi style caps and leather boots with a large knife or truncheon. Aka VERY Tom Of Finland leather daddy, which…. Oh my god, eww, if there is one person I would NEVER want to see in that get up, it’s this fucker. He had a strained relationship with his father, because he was apparently a rather effeminate child. He apparently suffered episodes of bullying and drunken abuse at the hands of dear old dad. Shocker of the century, that is not. Toxic masculinity, yet again. woohoo.
Years later, as an openly gay man, Moore expressed a desire to dominate and exert control. He owned a hardwear store, and would dominate his male staff in his hardware shop, often taking them as lovers. Which is unethical as fuck, by the way, and HR would have a FIELD DAY with that. In reality, his private life had a far darker side; from the 1970s until the early 90s, Moore dressed in black and hunted at night, committing an obscene number of rapes and sexual assaults on men in and around the Conwy Valley. And then we come to the inciting incident: The death of dear old Mama Moore in 1994. That triggered the escalation of violence from ‘The Man in Black’ assaults to Murder. For indeed, what greater control could one have over someone than the decision of whether or not to let them live or let them die. The power he craved so much is what he was exerting when he ended the lives of those 4 men.
Listeners, I just want to give a reminder to watch out. If you are in the BDSM community, and you encounter a sadist, be very clear on rules, and limits, and always have measures of safety in place to protect yourself from someone going too far. If there is one thing this series has definitely shown us, it’s that predators will often seek out people in that community. Have fun always, but please be safe and please be careful.
He was caught, and sentenced to life without parole. He is under orders to never be released, and to that, I say, good riddance. May this gross excuse for a human never again see the light of day.