Man dubbed ‘Monster of Worcester’ after killing three kids ‘released from jail’

A man dubbed the ‘Monster of Worcester' after killing three children as he babysat them at their home has reportedly been released from jail.

Elsie Urry, the mother of the three young kids, sobbed as she told the BBC their killer David McGreavy is free.

She said she was informed of his release by Victim Support today.

McGreavy murdered Paul Ralph, four, Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha at their Worcester home in 1973.

Mrs Urry had previously spoken of her fears at seeing him in the street if he was ever released.

McGreavy was 21 at the time of the murders and was the family's lodger. He impaled the children's bodies on railings.

Dad Clive Ralph had left McGreavy to babysit the children while he went to collect wife Elsie from work.

But when Mr Ralph returned, the house was a bloodbath.

There was no sign of McGreavy or the children.

McGreavy had flown into a drunken rage because baby Samantha started crying for her bottle. He strangled her and she eventually died from a fracture to her skull.

McGreavy then turned his murderous intention to the other youngsters.

He slit Dawn's throat and strangled Paul with a wire.

After the violent murders he then mutilated their tiny bodies with a pickaxe and impaled them on a neighbour's fence.

It earned him the chilling nickname the 'Monster of Worcester' and McGreavy was jailed for 25 years for the brutal crime.

Mrs Urry told the BBC that she felt "terrible" as she spoke of the day she had been dreading.

"It's still not fair that he's been released for what he's done," she said.

"They're saying he was going in for life and then they changed it to 20 years but he hasn't done 60 years, he took three lives, not just one or two – three.

"And also he's took my life really. There's other prisoners that haven't done half as bad as what he done to my children and yet they haven't been put up for parole so what's made him be able to get parole?"

McGreavy had moved into the family home when Mrs Urry was pregnant.

He became a much-loved part of the family, often cooking Sunday dinner and babysitting the three children.

So his brutal crime stunned the nation and McGreavy's family were also baffled.

His father, Tom McGreavy, said: "Everyone who knew David knew that he loved children."

In 2016, Mrs Urry revealed she had written to the Parole Board several times to oppose plans for his release.

Speaking of her fears she could soon bump into him in the street, she said: "In the back of my head I just feel that if I did bump into him – and because I'd kept him in for these extra years – would that create a problem?"

McGreavy was born in Southport in 1951. He was the second oldest of six children and spent much of his childhood moving between Army bases as his father was a sergeant.

His early life pushed him to pursue a career in the Armed Forces and by 15 he had quit school and enlisted in the Navy.

In the late sixties, and stationed in Portsmouth, McGreavy joined his first ship, HMS Eagle.

Described by colleagues as a "arrogant young man" and "cocky", McGreavy found himself subject to several disciplinary procedures.

But then he started drinking and his career began to unravel.

While working as a steward in the mess hall he spotted his name had been written in a Chief Petty Officer's Book.

Worried this could mean he was about to be told he was changing jobs, he reached for booze.

Criminologist Dr Elizabeth Yardley said: "He actually broke into an officer's ward room and set fire to a bin that had papers in it.

"He said he did this mistakenly, by accidentally dropping a cigarette end, and he did raise the alarm at 2:30am.

"He expected the Navy to believe he was just an innocent eye witness, they saw beyond that and he was court marshalled."

He was found guilty of negligence and sentenced to 90 days detention.

By 1971 he had fallen in love with a woman called Mary, who he proposed to just one week after meeting her for the first time.

In the same year, his career in the Navy had collapsed and he was dismissed and was forced to return home to his parents.

A series of jobs followed, from chef to labourer, but they all ended the same way – he was sacked.

McGreavy then put all his focus on his upcoming marriage to Mary – and wanted a huge white wedding with all the trimmings.

But on New Year's Eve 1971, Mary ended the engagement, leaving McGreavy devasated.

Depressed and sulking while living with his parents, McGreavy moved into with his school friend, Clive Ralph.

Mr Ralph's decision to allow him to lodge with his family would have devastating consequences.

The father had married Elsie when she was just 16 and pregnant with their first child and worked hard as a lorry driver to provide for his growing family.

Living conditions in the two-bed house were cramped.

McGreavy shared a bed with little Paul while baby Samantha was in a cradle cot in her parents' room. Dawn slept in a bed next to her mum and dad.

Mr Ralph's lorry driving job meant he was regularly away from home and Mrs Urry was grateful for McGreavy's help in caring for the children and running the home.

He was a genial man who was adored by the family and liked by those who knew him, but his personality completely changed when he drank.

McGreavy was arrested several times for being drunk in public and his father warned him to stop.

On the night of the killings, McGreavy had been drinking in a pub with a friend.

He drank between five and seven pints and played cards and darts.

Mr Ralph picked him up so he could babysit the children while he went to collect Mrs Urry from her own job in another pub.

Nothing could have prepared the couple for the scene that greeted them when they returned home.

The walls were drenched with blood and there was no sign of McGreavy or the children.

Police found their bodies impaled on the fence an hour later.

At the time the sight was so hideous that Detective Superintendent Bob Booth, head of West Mercia CID, said: "No investigating officer has ever had to witness that such a scene of indescribable horror."

When police arrested McGreavy he initially denied carrying out the gruesome murders.

By the following afternoon, he snapped and confessed.

During his police interview he slumped forward and started sobbing.

McGreavy said: "It was all too bloody gruesome. It was me but it was not me, how could I do it?

"On Paul I used the wire. Everything just seem to cave in. 

"I picked up the pickaxe and used all of them then I went outside and put them on the railings.

"All I can hear is the kids, kids f****** kids.

"I did the same to Dawn and used the piece of curtain wire on Paul."

Asked why he had killed the three innocent children, McGreavy replied: "That is what I have been trying to figure out."

He pleaded guilty to the murders in a hearing that lasted just eight minutes.

Most of his sentence has been served with him under protection as he has been subject to abuse from other prisoners.

Mrs Urry previously told the BBC: "There are people in prison who have done murders, not half as bad as what he's done, and yet they haven't been put up for parole, so why should he get it?"

The Ministry of Justice has been contacted for a comment.

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