BBC Four Lives: Where is Stephen Port now and will he ever be released from prison

BBC Four Lives: Where is Stephen Port now and will he ever be released from prison

Stephen Port, dubbed the Grindr Killer, murdered four men in Barking between June 2014 and September 2015 – Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Jack Taylor and Daniel Whitworth.

BBC drama Four Lives explores the lives and deaths of the victims, and the tireless work of their families and friends to get justice.

Port, a 46-year-old former chef, lured young men to his flat in East London where he piled them with drugs before he raped and murdered them.

READ MORE: How police caught Stephen Port and the ‘opportunities they missed’ to catch him

Men he had previously been in relationships with before the murders told police he regularly used the party drug GHB, which is often referred to as a ‘date rape’ drug.

Port used dating sites to meet younger men, and searches of his computer at the time found that he regularly watched ‘drug rape’ pornography.

Port was eventually arrested in October 2015 on suspicion of causing the deaths of all four victims by administering poison.

He was caught in part thanks to the loved ones’ victims putting pressure on police.

Detectives released CCTV of Mr Taylor in the hours before he died, which showed him with Port, who was then recognised from previous inquiries by a local officer.

He was jailed for life in 2016 after being found guilty of four counts of murder.

He is now serving a life sentence with a whole life order at HMP Belmarsh, meaning he will never be released.

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There are only around 100 people serving whole life orders in the UK, as they are reserved for the most serious criminals.

In total, more than 10 men were known victims of his crimes which also include rape, sexual assault and administering poison.

As the BBC drama details, there were many missed opportunities to catch the killer.

His first victim, Anthony Walgate, was found dead outside Port’s building.

Anthony Walgate, 23, was the first to be killed by Port

Anthony Walgate, 23, was the first to be killed by Port

At the time, police were also unaware that Port had previously been accused of rape, and was known to the authorities, but they didn’t consider the death to be suspicious – instead ruling it a drugs overdose.

They ruled out assault despite clear bruising under his arms, and did not forward forensic swabs for DNA testing.

A few months later, on August 28, 2014, the body of another young man was found in a graveyard in the same area.

The body belonged to Gabriel Kovari, a Slovakian national living in the UK.

Port also murdered 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari

Port also murdered 22-year-old Gabriel Kovari

Again, police were quick to rule out foul play, ignoring photos Kovari had sent to a friend from inside Port’s home just before he died.

Information provided to police by Kovari’s boyfriend in Spain that could have led to Port’s capture was also discarded.

Just three weeks after that, a third body was found in the exact same location as the second, this time the victim being Daniel Whitworth.

His body was discovered on September 20, 2014, by the same person who found Kovari’s body.

Daniel Whitworth was 21-year-old when Port murdered him

Daniel Whitworth was 21-year-old when Port murdered him

This time, however, police did treat the death as being suspicious, but a forged suicide note left at the scene by Port that read “don’t blame the guy I was with last night” was seemingly taken for face value, despite concerns of friends and family over the handwriting and lack of mention of the victim’s family members.

A little digging into what the victim was doing the night before could have led them to Port, while fingerprint scanning and DNA testing on other items found at the scene might have also pointed police in the direction of the serial killer had they been carried out properly.

Port continued to walk around freely for another 13 months after the three murders.

He committed the fourth murder in September 2015, this time killing 25-year-old Jack Taylor after meeting him on the Grindr dating app.

Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor, 25, was Port’s final victim

His body was found in Barking on September 14, 2015. Despite it being the fourth mysterious death of a young man in the area in the space of 16 months, police again failed to recognise the link between Taylor’s death and the three other previous deaths.

Once again, police treated the death as a drug overdose.

Police continued to work on the cases separately, or at least this was the case until a detective who was working on the Walgate case by chance came across CCTV footage showing Taylor with Port on the night he died.

Recognising Port as being the man who initially called 999 on the Walgate case, further investigations were made until it became clear that Port was also linked to the Kovari and Whitworth cases as well.

The final episode of the new BBC One series airs tonight at 9pm.

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