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Evil hitman who butchered six people tells pen pal...I would do it all again tomorrow!

One of Britain's most evil hitmen has boasted to a penfriend of his brutal crimes.

Ruthless John Childs described how he slaughtered six people including a 10-year-old boy.

He cut up most of the bodies and burned them in his fireplace.

Childs cooked a meal while one victim was roasting.

In his chilling letters to penfriend Sandra Watson he revealed how his victims were shot, stabbed, beaten or hacked to death with a chisel in a frenzy of blood-lust.

Sandra, 31 said last night: "The things he told me have shocked and sickened me. They are so terrible.

"He shows no remorse for what he did. He's proud of it and would do it again tomorrow if he was released from prison."

In jail, Childs used a chisel to carve a large black rocking horse for Sandra's children - but they are afraid of its wild, staring eyes.

`I will kill anyone for money'

The divorced mum-of-three was introduced to him after she wrote to the Prison Reform Trust three years ago asking for a penfriend.

At first the letters were innocent, discussing subjects like DIY.

Then they took a more sinister turn.

Childs, 58, poured out his darkest secrets from a maximum-security cell at Franklands Prison, Co. Durham.

Each letter had a grinning Bugs Bunny motif - used as a macabre trademark as he recounted his gory executions.

One of his victims was 10-year-old Terry Brett who was shot when Childs and accomplice hitman Harry MacKenny bungled the contract killing of his lorry boss dad George Brett.

Childs clearly loved the blood-thirsty trade which earned him pounds 2,000 a victim.

The former squaddie wrote: "All I wanted to do was to get rich and I didn't give a damn. I will kill for money, revenge, honour!"

Childs gleefully described how he roasted pork while Harry - nicknamed Big H - fuelled his living room fire with human limbs.

One letter to Sandra's home in Hull said: "I went into the kitchen and proceeded to cook Big H and myself a meal, cutting up a large joint of pork adding the veg and consigning it all to the stove.

"I went in to see how Big H was performing. The heavy drapes had been drawn and the room was lit solely by the fire and its grisly cargo."

Childs painstakingly sawed up the bodies in his East London council flat - burning them until only the ashes remained.

One of his letters included a grim anatomical diagram describing the best way to sever a victims head and limbs. And another revealed how he executed criminal Robert Brown - because Brown had blamed him for the unsolved murder of Margaret Lightfoot whose naked body was found in Epping Forest, Essex.

Childs shot and hacked Brown to death. He told Sandra: "We stuck him in my bath and I cut the clothes off him.

"I then used every knife-sword-chisel-screwdriver-bayonet and hunting arrow in my home to stab the slimy bastard with.

"When I'd finished he not only looked like a pin cushion but he looked bloody bizarre with all the steel and wooden objects sticking out of him."

The most chilling photograph of Childs is of him carving a rocking horse with a chisel - the instrument he used to hack victims to death.

Childs called the horse Star Child and had it delivered from Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight.

The eerie horse - which has a photo and lock of his hair in a sealed compartment - stands in a corner of Sandra's lounge.

But she believes it carries Childs' legacy of evil - because children are terrified of it.

Sandra said: "When youngsters come into the room they scream and run away. It's really weird." Sandra's daughter Nicola, eight, said: "I hate its face and eyes. It looks nasty and when I see it in the dark I think it's coming to get me."

Childs learned how to kill in the Army.

He signed up for nine years starting as a sapper but was kicked out for burglary nine months later.

In one letter he makes an astonishing confession to shooting and seriously wounding two security guards in a pounds 37,000 Midland Bank robbery in 1979.

Childs was never linked to the crime but he told Sandra: "Because a couple of guards wanted to be heroes and a customer wanted to have a go I was forced to pistol whip the customer senseless and shot the two guards at pointblank range with my Webley MK6 revolver.

"Any idiot who fails to obey me when I say `get on the floor or die!' in my opinion deserves to die. It's as simple as that!"

He made passionate love to his wife Tina, 37, just hours later - with the bed awash with banknotes.

`If he escaped I would freeze'

He said: "I have a large carrier in my hand. I upend it, a torrent of money pours out and completely covers her head. We frenzily f***. By now the money is everywhere."

Crafty Childs fooled prison guards and sent Sandra diagrams of a home- made silencer which he used in his killings.

Sandra said: "He pretended he was giving me details of how to mend my boiler but it was really the plans for a silencer."

Childs lovingly calls his penfriend Babe and Pixie because of her petite figure and phones her every night.

Sandra visits him regularly and insists she will always be his friend.

The brunette said: "I know he's fond of me but I think if he ever escaped and arrived on my doorstep I would freeze. I'm really scared of him."

Childs was given six life sentences in 1979 after pleading guilty to six murders.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frank Cater, to whom Childs confessed, said: "It was the most incredible and chilling interview of my career."

Harry MacKenny was convicted a year later of four contract killings.

Childs' shamed wife, mother of his daughters Nicola, now 21, and Leigh Gemma, 19, divorced him in 1982.

HAUNTED BY FACES IN THE FLAMES...

Cold blooded Childs boasted to The People when we quizzed him about his deadly trade.

"It was just a business. It was a dirty job and lucratively-paid for the amount of time you had to undergo unpleasantness," he said in a phone call from his cell.

But the psychopath admitted he was haunted by two victims burned on his fire. He said: "When I was still doing the murders I had a number of visitations which in the beginning were quite frightening.

"The fire in my living room was the gateway to a void and their faces used to appear in the fire regularly.

"I'm at peace with myself whatever I have to face. If there is a life after death then I'm willing to face it."

Childs added: "I would like to think my life would be different if I had it again."

The killer also admitted that he shot and wounded two security guards during a raid on a Midland Bank branch in 1979.

He added: "Of course I shot the two security guards but I was never tried for it. But it's small peas like compared to murder, isn't it?"
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Perthen, Amanda
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Mar 2, 1997
Words:1198
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