Evil serial killer John Shaw given first taste of freedom in 46 years with day out in Dublin

Published date22 May 2022
AuthorEmma McMenamy
Publication titleDublinLive (Ireland)
The evil rapist and murderer – who with accomplice Geoffrey Evans became known as the State's first serial killers – has been behind bars since September 1976

But lifer Shaw, 75, left cushy Arbour Hill prison last weekend for a day out in the capital flanked by two plain clothes prison officers.

He won the right to two days' annual escorted temporary release years ago, but had not been allowed out on the grounds that he still poses a danger to women.

However after talk of a fresh legal challenge Ireland's longest serving inmate walked out of the prison gates last Sunday morning and spent the day strolling around the city.

Clad in black slacks, a white shirt, purple tie and Nike jacket, a relaxed looking Shaw was grinning from ear to ear as he left the jail and got into a white car parked outside.

As our exclusive pictures show, he could easily have passed as a harmless pensioner out for a ramble around town on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

A source told the Irish Sunday Mirror how the serial killer had been looking forward to his day out after previous planned sorties were cancelled due to the pandemic.

The source said: "He has no family or friends in Ireland, so he wanted to go and have a walk around Dublin city centre and stop off for a coffee in a cafe.

"I'm sure people sitting across from him would have assumed he was just an old man out with his two grown-up grandsons.

"Little did they know they were looking into the face of one of the most dangerous rapists and killers the country has ever seen."

Lifer Shaw is likely to die in jail because of the severity of his crimes.

He met Geoffrey Evans in an English prison where they hatched their chilling plot to abduct, torture, rape and murder women.

The career criminals, from Lancashire, left the UK and travelled around Ireland in the summer of 1976 resolving to kill one woman a week.

The twisted killing spree ended with the murder of young clerk Elizabeth Plunkett, 22, in Co Wicklow and cook Mary Duffy, 24, in Co Mayo.

Shaw and Evans were handed life sentences in February 1978. Evans spent almost four years in a coma at a Dublin hospital and died of sepsis in 2012.

The city has drastically changed since Shaw was first locked up over four decades ago and he took in many new sights including the Luas tracks and the Convention Centre.

A source said prison veteran Shaw, who works recycling computer parts behind bars, is a grumpy inmate who doesn't interact with anybody.

The source said: "Except for when he is...

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