Graham Young

Graham Young Nickname: The Teacup Poisoner

Reign of terror: 1962 and 1971

Motive: To conduct an experiment to measure the time between the dosage of poison administered and the first sign of discomfort.

Crimes: In 1962, he murdered his step-mother by poisoning her. He also poisoned his father, sister, and schoolfriend but failed to kill them.
In 1971, he poisoned Fred Biggs and Bob Egle. He also attempted to kill several others, including Jethro Batt and David Tilson. All these men worked at the same place as him.

Method: Young poisoned his victims with continued doses of thallium, administered to them through cups of tea, which he kindly made for them at work.

Sentence: For the murder of his mother in 1962, he was committed to Broadmoor at the early age of 14. However, he was proclaimed cured after nine years of imprisonment there. In 1971, he was given life imprisonment.

Interesting facts: Whilst in Broadmoor, Young spent much of his time studying medical books, and any other books that could teach him more about chemicals and poisoning. By the time he was proclaimed cured, he was an expert in the subject.

In spring 1971, at the age of 23, Young started his job at the John Hadland Laboratories in Bovington, Hertfordshire, who manufactured photographic equipment. When he started working there, there was an outbreak of gastro-enteritis going round, so little suspicion was raised when Young's boss, Bob Egle fell ill. He suffered violent vomiting, loss of balance, severe pains in his chest and back, and delirium.

Young obtained his thallium from the factory,where it was used to make camera lenses. Young came to the attention of the police when a consultant toxocologist came to the factory to ensure there were no leakages of chemicals there. Young asked him if he thought that the symptoms of the sufferers bore the signs of thallium poisoning. He was suspicious of this as thallium was so rare as a poison that he asked the police to check up on Young.

The fatal dose of thallium is 12 grains. Although Egle had been cremated, his ashes when analysed showed 9 milligrams of thallium remaining - the remains of a large dose.

When Young was arrested, the police found a detailed diary accounting the doses of thallium he had given all his victims, and detailing their symptoms suffered with each dose.

Graham Young died of a heart attack in Parkhurst Prison in August 1990.