Who is Christopher Halliwell? Sian O’Callaghan and Becky Godden’s killer who is also linked to Claudia Lawrence’s disappearance

SMIRKING double killer Christopher Halliwell was handed a whole life sentence in 2016 for the murder of prostitute Becky Godden.

The cabbie was already serving life for the murder of Sian O’Callaghan in 2011 when he was finally brought to justice for killing Becky in 2003.

Christopher Halliwell, 52, was found guilty of the murder of Becky Godden today
Christopher Halliwell, 52, was found guilty of the murder of Becky Godden
PA:Press Association

Who is Christopher Halliwell?

Taxi driver and former burglar Christopher Halliwell, 52, lived with his partner Heather Widdowson and her three daughters in a suburban semi in Swindon.

Brian Jerome who lived nearby said at the time of his arrest: “He’s a really nice guy. He’d always have a smile and he’d often be out working on his car.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard. Nice man, nice family, nice girls.”

Halliwell is a father of three children himself with ex-wife Lisa.

Fellow minicab driver Neil Barnett said: “Real nice bloke, a genuine bloke, a normal run-of-the-mill bloke. I’ve got two daughters I would have trusted them in his car.”

But the respectable family man had a darker side and was regularly using prostitutes.

Hookers who were picked up by Halliwell in the weeks before Sian’s death said he got “rough and weird” with them, and some got frightened and called for help.

Police say he has a brutal childhood and has “issues” with women.

Police believe Halliwell could have ben involved in the disappearance of numerous women in the Swindon area over the years
Police believe Halliwell could have been involved in the disappearance of numerous women in the Swindon area over the years
PA:Press Association

Detectives fear he may have killed many more victims after he boasted he wanted to be a serial killer like his idol Myra Hindley.

Halliwell has been linked to a string of women who went missing in his home town.

The cop who nailed him for killing Sian has also linked Halliwell to the disappearance of Claudia Lawrence in York – where his father lived close by – in 2009.

What happened to Sian O’Callaghan?

Sian O'Callaghan, 22, was abducted and murdered on her way home from a night out in Swindon in 2011
Sian O’Callaghan, 22, was abducted and murdered on her way home from a night out in Swindon in 2011
PA:Press Association

Personal assistant Sian O’Callaghan, 22, was abducted by Halliwell as she made her way home from a night out in Swindon in the early hours of March 19, 2011.

Halliwell was arrested five days later after CCTV showed Sian getting in his green Toyota Avensis taxi outside a nightclub.

He confessed to killing her and took police to her body.

The depraved killer was jailed for life for her murder.

Sian’s mum Eliane Pickford has revealed she “always thought” her daughter’s killer was involved in more murders.

What happened to Becky Godden?

Prostitute Becky disappeared from Swindon in 2003.

After he was arrested for killing Sian, Halliwell offered detectives “another one” and led them to where he had buried her headless corpse eight years earlier.

He told officers he was a “sick f***er” and asked: “Is it too late to get help?”

He then said: “I know you aren’t a psychologist but what the f***’s wrong? Normal people don’t go round killing.”

Halliwell confessed to strangling Becky Godden (pictured) after being arrested for Sian's murder
Halliwell confessed to strangling Becky Godden (pictured) after being arrested for Sian’s murder
PA:Press Association

Despite initially denying Becky’s murder, Halliwell admitted taking a girl from Swindon between 2003 and 2005, when he “had sex with her and then strangled her”.

But even after confessing he was able to dodge justice for Becky’s killing on a technicality.

Senior investigating officer Steve Fulcher was found not to have followed procedures on the treatment of suspects, meaning Halliwell’s confession was inadmissible in court.

Eventually new evidence was uncovered, allowing police to bring the killer cabbie back in for questioning over Becky’s murder.

Evidence from a former prostitute who said Halliwell was “besotted” with Becky, and forensic evidence linking his shovel to the field where she was buried, were enough to send Halliwell down at the second attempt.

A judge slammed his “cock and bull” defence as he passed a whole life tariff – reserved for the most dangerous criminals such as serial killers.

Is Christopher Halliwell a serial killer?

Officers who dealt with Halliwell believe he may have killed other victims besides Sian and Becky.

In a police interview he said he could not remember which year he killed Becky, suggesting there were others.

A former cellmate said the cabbie was obsessed with Moors murderer Myra Hindley and was fixated on becoming a serial killer.

Ex-armed robber Ernest Springer, 64, said: “He used to ask me about killing. He said, ‘How many people do you need to kill before you become a serial killer?’

“He just had a thing about them. He wanted people to be proud of him or an area to be afraid of him.

The former detective claims Halliwell could have been involved with the disappearance of Linda Razzell who disappeared in 2002
A former detective claims Halliwell could have been involved with the murder of Linda Razzell in 2002
INS News Agency

“Don’t ask me why, but that’s what he wanted to be. He used to get this magazine called True Detective with stories about people getting knocked off.

“His favourite book was about the Moors Murders with a picture of Myra Hindley on the front.”

Halliwell has been linked with a string of suspected murders in the Swindon area over the years after hinting that he had other crimes to hide.

When being quizzed for the second time over Becky’s death, he told police: “I don’t want to keep coming back every couple of years on different charges,” adding: “If I can clear this up in the next few hours, will everything else be forgotten?”

Melanie Hall, 25, disappeared after leaving a nightclub in Bath in 1996. Her body was found by the M5 in 2009.

Halliwell reportedly once told a colleague at his minicab firm: “Who knows what or who you will find buried out there, there could be loads of people over the years.”

Halliwell was convicted of the 2003 murder of Becky Godden
Claudia Lawrence also went missing on March 19
PA:Press Association

Another potential victim is prostitute Sally Ann John, 24, who vanished from Swindon in 1995. She and Halliwell lived on the same street at the time.

Tina Pryer, 39, Thi Hai Nguyen, 20, and Sandra Brewin, 21, have also been missing for years.

And Linda Razzell, 41, disappeared in the Wiltshire town in 2002. Her husband Glyn has spent 13 years in jail for her murder but maintains he is innocent.

It has emerged Halliwell was obsessed with Linda after doing building work at the Razzells’ home four years before she was killed.

Incredibly, the date Linda went missing in 2002 — March 19 — links Halliwell, his second known victim Sian and another unsolved case.

Chef Claudia Lawrence, 35, was reported missing after she failed to turn up to work at York University on March 19, 2009.

Former Det Supt Fulcher believes there could be a link.

He has said: “His father lived a few streets away. It fits his pattern.”

It was reported that Halliwell shocked prison officers by claiming to practice Satanism.

The twisted killer has also boasted to inmates that he is now more famous than the Yorkshire Ripper, according to the Daily Star.

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