Richard Cullen

Richard Cullen, a violent male transvestite, was convicted at Swansea Crown Court in November 2002 of the murder of a 21 year old woman named Elizabeth Simms-Rees. He received a life sentence and died in HMP Wakefield of natural causes on 28 August 2015.

Cullen, an amateur photographer with a long criminal history, also faced rape charges involving two women. He denied the allegations and the prosecution said the public interest did not require a trial because of the life sentence for murder. Cullen had reportedly also killed dogs in the past as part of a satanic ritual.

In June 2002, Cullen, aged 44, had been watching TV with Ms Simms-Rees – who was his neighbour – when he ferociously attacked her with a mallet, then used his shirt and the mallet to create a ligature and tourniquet to strangle her to death. Cullen then raped her corpse multiple times.

After being arrested, Cullen claimed Miss Sims-Rees had been blackmailing him after seeing photographs of him dressed as a woman. This is the same dubious and completely uncorroborated claim made by another violent trans-identified male sex offender, Gavin Boyd, 51, to justify his murder of Vicky McGrand, aged just 20 years old. It was revealed to be untrue in court as his family already knew he liked to dress up in women’s clothing.

Miss Sims-Rees’ heartbroken mother, said after the verdict: “It just tears me apart when I think about what happened to her in that house. “Can you imagine what that was like for a mother to hear that her daughter died like that? I don’t think I’ll ever recover from it. “I haven’t been able to eat or sleep since then. Whenever I close my eyes I just think of Elizabeth. “She was such a trusting girl and her biggest mistake was making friends with Cullen.” She described her daughter as a `”wonderful, bubbly trusting girl – the apple of my eye.”

Photo credit: BBC

Media reports

BBC ‘Life for man in ‘Buffy’ murder’ archive

BBC ‘Mother ‘ready’ for murder details’ archive

Wales Online archive

Western Mail 13.11.02 Evil murder haunts mother archive

Independent archive

Prison Ombudsman Report on the death of Richard Cullen