BBC, Aug. 2, 2002
When detectives announced the discovery of Mabel Leyshon’s body, the case was described it as the “most callous and brutal” murder they had encountered.
But it was not until late December that details of ritualistic elements of the murder emerged and police began to piece together what happened.
Mathew Hardman struck on 24 November last year, when his widowed mother, a nurse, and her partner were away for the weekend.
He walked into the sitting-room and launched his ferocious, yet meticulously planned attack – stabbing her repeatedly with what was described at the time as a “bladed weapon”.
He moved her body to another chair, placed two candlesticks near the corpse and balanced a candle on the mantelpiece.
Two pokers were set in a cross formation at her feet.
Hardman then removed Mrs Leyshon’s heart from her body, wrapped it in newspaper, and placed it in a saucepan which he put on a silver platter.
He also made three gashes in Mrs Leyshon’s leg and drained some of her blood into the same saucepan, from which he then drank.
After police suspicions fell on Hardman, they soon found forensic evidence proving his guilt.
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