Back in the summer of 1984, a triangular area of England comprising of Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable & Tring, bordering three counties; Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire, was the stalking ground for a truly twisted burglar and rapist that became known as "The Fox". This nickname was due to his ability to escape through wooded areas, leaving the Police helpless. The panic that ensued saw many locals set up armed night patrols. The Police had to draft in huge reinforcements in the hunt. But in the end, it came down to persistent Police enquiries and sharp eyed coppers that brought "gentle" Malcolm Fairley to justice, but not before he left a terrifying catalogue of crimes.
It all began in April 1984 when a 74 year old woman was awakened in her bed by a man, in her home in Linslade, Leighton Buzzard. She was indecently assaulted but she resisted him and he fled. Then on 10th May, he struck again when he broke into a house in Cheddington, stole money, a shotgun and cartridges. But he decided to wait for the occupant to come home. He arrived to find himself confronted by a masked man wielding a shotgun. He tied him up and then settled down to watch some porn videos before indecently assaulting the man. After leaving, he buried the gun, then committed another three burglaries.
In the village of Tring, he burgled a house but the occupants were out. He helped himself to clothes, another shotgun, flicked through photographs, then decided to settle down and wait for the occupants to return. Again, he watched videos, whilst cutting dressing gown cords for binding. He also cut the telephone wires. The couple arrived home at 1.30am but the intruder fled. But he was not finished. He broke into another house where the owners were in bed. The man awoke to see a masked man so he screamed at the intruder and a shot rang out, hitting him in the hand. He fled but four days later, he struck again. This time, a family of four were the victims. He tied up the husband and indecently assaulted his wife. He objected to this so the intruder hit him with the gun, then he raped the woman.
Then on 17th August, he committed more burglaries in Edlesborough, then hit a house with three young people in it; a girl of 18, her brother, 17 and her 21 year old boyfriend. The men were tied up, the girl tied up and put on a bed. Then the gunman disappeared for a drink, came back and raped her. Then he raped her again. He then left and committed more burglaries around the Milton Keynes area. Then this dangerous man went up to his native north east and went to the tiny village of Brampton-en-le-Morthen, where he broke into a bungalow and tied up the couple. The husband was threatened with a gun, his wife indecently assaulted and then raped. Now, the intruder was showing awareness of forensics as he cut a patch out of the mattress so no semen stains could be found. He left the house, got into his car and reversed into bushes. Paint flecks were transferred to the bush. He then travelled to Peterlee where he carried out a further two burglaries. Then it was a journey to Milton Keynes where he carried out eleven more crimes, there and around Leighton Buzzard.
Police had linked the crimes in the "triangle" with those in the north east and came up with a description of a man between 20 & 30, 5`8", 140 -150 pounds, athletic with a north east accent. The paint flecks were analysed and was determined to be of harvest yellow used by car manufacturer British Leyland, so began the arduous task of tracing cars of that colour. Two detectives travelled to Oseney Crescent in Kentish Town in London. They found the owner working on his car. They noticed the paint scratches. The owner had a second car in which they found some overalls with a leg cut off. It turned out to have been used as his mask. His name was Malcolm Fairley, a 32 year old labourer. Fairley admitted all his crimes and his only regret was being caught. He was given six life sentences, but it seems that he was released around 2012. His excuse for his crimes was being "influenced by pornography" which sparked the usual outcry from moral crusader Mary Whitehouse. He was very organised and very calm when he committed these crimes, such as sitting and watching TV until the homeowners returned home. The cutting of binds, frequently tying up his victims before indecently assaulting and raping them, shows his mindset. He openly confessed yet regrets only being arrested. What does that tell you about him? He did not care a toss about what he put his victims through yet a parole board must have been impressed with his "progress". Personally, I believe he should have been chemically castrated and given a whole life term but we cannot be seen to be "inhuman". Fairley was inhuman to his victims but since when does their suffering count?