Will it ever end? This riotous behaviour in Dublin recently brings to mind some disturbing history–The Shankill Butchers were a law unto themselves, their roots were based from the Protestant side of the conflict, but none were safe. Loyal to nothing but the notion of savagry, both Catholics and Protestants became their victims. They were basically murderous thugs that would prey on the weak, and sometimes the not so weak. The Shankill Butchers were for all intents and purposes psychopathic terrorists that held Belfast in a pall of fear for many years.
This guy is not someone you would desire to meet. Murphy’s thirst for blood and in particular his pathological hatred of Catholics was astonishing. His insane acts created unparalleled fear in the hearts of everyone–fully documented in the substantial list of murderous atrocities attributed to him. The Shankill Butchers thrived in the midst of all the sectarian violence of the late 60′s and 70′s in Northern Ireland. They had no interest in guns however, preferring a more hands on approach to their work–employing knives, axes and all manner of blunt instruments they delighted in the slow deaths of their victims.
In one particularly brutal murder an elderly Catholic man was tortured over a six hour period and killed. The perpetrators of this crime were never brought to justice but it is believed to have been the handiwork of Murphy and his crew. 147 stab wounds were found on the corpse that had been suspended from a wooden beam by way of a noose around the victim’s neck. It was discovered that the man did not die from the stab wounds but rather from the slowly tightening noose strangling him. Murphy’s murderous rampage cloaked beneath the banner of a war-torn city continued…
It was only when the Butchers mistakenly left behind a living victim many years later (who was able to identify them), that the gang was brought to justice. Years after that upon his release from prison, Murphy was gunned down by a hit squad rumoured to be a coalition of Loyalist and IRA personnel thus eliminating a mutual problem. This has never been proven but it would not be surprising if it were true as The Shankill Butchers had managed to create many enemies on both sides of the conflict. So ruthless were they that everyone wanted them gone. Various other members of the gang were eliminated in similar fashion.
It is so saddening to see violence escalate once again in Northern Ireland.
I hope that it does not give rise to more gangs like The Shankill Butchers, or another Lenny Murphy.