"Curly" Bill - The Cat-Eating Psycopath of Southend-on-Sea!

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"Curly" Bill - The Cat-Eating Psycopath of Southend-on-Sea!

Post  The Merry Stranger on Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:30 am

Southend-on-Sea is a town littered with both obnoxious tourists clogging up the seafront, and gritty housing estates and tower blocks.
In such depressing, filthy places many stories are played out. Some amusing, some unbelievable and some repulsive.
This, however, is a tale of a particularly frightening variety. And the villain of the piece? A seemingly harmless old man named William Burgrees.
On the surface he was harmless enough. He wore a long brown overcoat during every season of the year and would nod politely to passers-by both old and young. More amusingly was the wig he used to cover his baldness, a shocking ginger mop which earned him the nickname “Curly Bill”.
Overall, if you were to ask his neighbours what they thought of him the general consensus would be ‘odd but harmless’.

Whilst he lived in the tower block, and went about his usual routine, other people led their own lives. Good people, with homes and children and pets. Pets which happened to go missing with alarming regularity. Especially cats.
Even today it is a common sight to see posters on lamp-posts and telephone poles begging for the safe return of some faithful feline companion.
But for almost two years the volume of such instances increased. Letting your pet out at night was downright foolish, some even thought that there was a kidnapping ring involved. Groups of criminals perhaps stealing pets and ransoming them off to the distraught owners.
But no, that wasn’t the answer. The answer was something quite different. These cats weren’t being held captive, they were being killed – butchered – by someone acting without any logical motivation.


The spot where Bill was alledgedly seen with one of the cats.

The end, as it often does, came suddenly. On one foggy night a teenager was walking home after drinking with some friends. He was a decent lad, one who had been raised right and had enough guts to try and help someone if they were in trouble.
As he walked past the Churchill bar he hear screaming in the darkness. It almost didn’t sound human, it was primal and excruciating. It seemed to be emerging from behind some public toilets that had been erected in the area.
Behind them was what could be charitably be described as a cesspit. An abandoned building covered in incomprehensible graffiti and a wasteland of abandoned cardboard and glass bottles.
Even more distressing was the source of those strange screams.
An old man, with a bizarre red wig, was crouched over a plump tabby cat. One hand held a knife, his other was stuffed in his trousers. Upon seeing the teenager, and without either of them saying a word, the old man ran away with deceptive speed. Escaping through a hole in the fence.



On that same night, William Burgrees flung himself from the top of the Victoria Plaza shopping centre. Perhaps it was not him with that cat, perhaps it was unrelated, or perhaps he knew the game was up and decided to end it.
But rumours abounded about what the authorities found in his room upon his death. Dead cats in the refrigerator, charred remains in the oven, brains and eyeballs and exhumed intestines.
If that’s what they found, they never said for sure.
But from that point on, “Curly” Bill, the kindly old man, would forever be known by his old neighbours as one of the most depraved, perverted figures in the history of the town.

The Merry Stranger

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