Courthouse Steps Maven
| February 26th, 2008 09:57 PM
Bellfield: The killer with a hatred of blondes who boasted 'I'm above the law'
By FIONA BARTON
26th February 2008
As countless female victims can report, Levi Bellfield never takes no for an answer.
Overweight, with an effeminate squeak of a voice, he could hardly be described as irresistible. But the 39-year-old former bouncer and wheelclamper never let that cramp his style.
At first, his hunt for new conquests brought him girls who were naive or drunk enough to fall for his crude propositions.
Those who were unwise enough to resist were drugged and raped on a mattress in the back of his van.
As the years passed, fuelled by cocaine and mental instability, Bellfield became increasingly more violent and fixated on young blondes.
Johanna Collings, mother of two of his children, told detectives that he slashed photographs of blonde models in magazines and confessed that he would wait in alleyways wanting to "hurt" such women.
Bellfield told others that girls who dyed their hair blonde were "sluts", "impure", and "deserved to be messed around with".
Cynically, he acted as a registered police informant for a number of years, passing on bits of "unimportant tittle-tattle", according to one source, to stay "in" with the law.
But at the same time, he was boasting to friends that he had shaved his entire body to avoid leaving any DNA evidence and was "untouchable".
Bellfield told one of his victims, former friend Peter Rodriguez, before he beat him into a coma: "The law doesn't apply to people like me."
In the dock, Bellfield, nicknamed Mr Truthful by friends because of his ability to lie, tried to win over the jury of seven women and five men.
He told them: "No airs and graces. This is me. I'm not trying to fool anyone. I'm not an angel, I'm not claiming to be an angel."
But what the jury did not hear was that since his teens, Levi Bellfield has been obsessed with sex and the power he believes it gives him over women.
Former employee Ricky Brouilliard said simply: "I would describe Levi as an animal", after he offered to sell him a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Bellfield told another friend that women were like "pet dogs" adding: "You feed them and you keep them, you can do what you want."
The cause of this twisted attitude might never be known but it has emerged that Bellfield's first love was a murder victim.
Patsy Morris was 14 when she went missing from a playground in West London in 1980.
She was found strangled and hidden in undergrowth on Hounslow Heath 48 hours later and Bellfield, then just 12, was said to have been fascinated by the unsolved killing.
He will now be questioned over it.
Early in life, Bellfield developed a schizophrenic hatred and desire for women.
A former girlfriend said: "He would start off extremely nicely, playing the fool and trying to convince them that he wasn't a threat.
"But once they trusted them, he turned into a controlling monster."
One partner was made to sit on a stool all night because she answered him back and others were beaten into submission.
Over the years, he notched up a string of girlfriends and fathered 11 children by five different mothers - but that was not enough to satisfy his rapacious appetite.
Bellfield regularly used prostitutes and kept an empty flat near his home for sex sessions.
At night, he stalked nightclubs and bus stops looking for blondes.
A former colleague recalled how, while working as a bouncer in Maidenhead, Berkshire, Bellfield gave Rohypnol to a young clubber before raping her in the nightclub car park and stealing her mobile phone.
When the girl's mother rang her number, Bellfield answered and boasted about the attack.
Another girl was assaulted in a toilet cubicle at a club in Cobham, Surrey.
A friend of the victim later told police she looked over the top of the door and asked the girl, who was extremely drunk, if she was all right.
Bellfield is said to have held the girl's jaw and moved her mouth like a ventriloquist's dummy to make her say "yes".
No one but Bellfield knows what he said to Marsha McDonnell or Amelie Delagrange before he murdered them.
A prisoner who shared a cell with him while on remand claimed the ex-bouncer confessed to offering cocaine to Miss Delagrange before attacking her.
The young Frenchwoman had missed her bus after a night out with friends in August 2004 and was retracing her steps home when Bellfield spotted her about to cross Twickenham Green.
Eighteen months earlier he had stalked Marsha McDonnell as she, too, travelled home late at night.
The teenager stepped from a bus just yards from her home in Hampton.
Moments later, Bellfield struck her about the head with a blunt instrument, leaving her fatally injured.
Detectives believe he probably tried to entice both girls into his car for sex but they refused and his retribution was swift and savage.
Convent schoolgirl Kate Sheedy, 18, suffered an equally violent attack but survived, despite being run over twice by Bellfield.
A sixth sense made her cross the road to avoid walking past the car but her actions so angered Bellfield that he drove straight at her before reversing over her gravely injured body.
Murder squad officers suspect these women are just the tip of the iceberg.
They believe the ex-bouncer may have bludgeoned a total of 20 women with a hammer, leaving those who survived with devastating head injuries.
They are now trawling through cases where victims were so severely injured that they have no memory of being attacked, and their injuries were put down to the victim being drunk or having fainted.
During the Old Bailey trial, it emerged that Bellfield, who had convictions stretching back to when he was 13 and had been jailed for dangerous driving and assaulting a policeman, suffered wild mood swings, which were worsened by his drug use.
Diagnosed as clinically depressive, he claimed in court that he had tried to hang himself at least twice, and took anti-depressants.
However, they failed to stop him flying into uncontrollable rages.
While this violence was normally directed towards strangers, those closest to Bellfield were also victims.
In 2004 Bellfield attacked Peter Rodriguez, hitting him three times on the head with a hammer and stabbing him with a screwdriver in the stomach and kneecaps.
And many of his girlfriends were raped and savagely beaten if they refused him sex.
One former partner, Becky Wilkinson, believes Bellfield's psychiatric problems stem from his relationship with his mother, Jean, the dominant force in his life.
His father, Joseph, a car mechanic, died when his son was eight and family friends describe Mrs Bellfield, now 71 and seriously ill with emphysema, as a strong-willed matriarch who turned her youngest son into a spoilt "mummy's boy".