Inside UK ‘Hannibal Lecter’ underground glass cell housing ‘Brain Eater’ inmate

Deep below the ground at Britain's "Monster Mansion" is one of the country's most dangerous criminals, dubbed "The Brain Eater" by fellow inmates.

Grim tales of Robert Maudsley's cannibalism have surrounded his time behind bars – and the twisted serial killer's existence in jail is eerily similar to Hannibal Lecter's in the film Silence of the Lambs.

Authorities had to have an underground glass box cell specially constructed for "Hannibal the Cannibal" Maudsley, who had previously killed three fellow prisoners and threatened to strike again in a letter to his nephew.

READ MORE: UK's most dangerous prisoner breaks record while locked in underground glass box

The brutal killer has now broken a world record for the length of time spent in solitary confinement – 16,400 days, or almost 45 years.

Most of this has been inside his bulletproof dungeon below HMP Wakefield, a prison dubbed "Monster Mansion" due to its high-risk population.

Maudsley has been inside the cockroach-infested glass box since 1983, and will likely die there – alone.

It is a cripplingly-lonely existence that has driven the highly-intelligent, classical music lover with a "genius" IQ to depression and despair.

No other prisoner in the UK lives in such tough and isolated conditions. Even his request for a pet budgie was rejected, despite assuring prison authorities he would "love it and not eat it".

'Brain Eater' nickname

Maudsley's first kill was in 1974 during his time working as a male prostitute. He strangled customer Robert Farrell after he showed him pictures of children he had sexually abused.

Sent to psychiatric hospital Broadmoor, he would then kill again in 1977. Maudsley and a fellow inmate barricaded themselves in a cell with convicted child molester David Francis. They brutally tortured him to death for nine hours.

Maudsley became known as "Spoons" because Francis’ body was reportedly found with a spoon sticking out of the skull and part of the brain missing – seemingly eaten.

While the autopsy refuted the spoon claim, "The Brain Eater" and "Hannibal the Cannibal" nicknames stuck, as well as his alleged liking for human flesh.

The Broadmoor murder led Maudsley to be sent to maximum security Wakefield Prison.

Just a year later, though, he would kill two more times – acts that would see him banished to the one-of-a-kind dungeon below the prison.

Maudsley killed two fellow inmates on one afternoon in 1978, although had set on slaughtering seven.

  • Inside brutal -53C cold snap in Chinese city where frostbite sets in within minutes

The first was wife killer Salney Darwood who turned blue as Maudsley slowly garrotted him to death.

His body was hid under Maudsley's bed before prowling the wing for his next victims.

Maudsley then killed convicted child abuser William Roberts, hacking his skull with a makeshift dagger. Once he was sure he was dead, he calmly walked up to a prison guard and told him to expect two less mouths to feed at dinner that night.

Living like Lecter

After becoming a quadruple killer deemed too dangerous to remain amongst the general prison population, work began on a specially-constructed Perspex cell below ground.

The cell, completed in 1983, measures 5.5 by 4.5 metres and contains only a sink, toilet, and desk and chair which are made from compressed cardboard.

It is encased in reinforced acrylic and is completely transparent.

The door is solid steel, and opens into a small cage inside with a slit in the bottom through which food and other items can be given to Maudsley, while the bed is a concrete slab.

The cell has been likened to the one containing Hannibal Lecter in the film Silence of the Lambs.

Maudsley was banished there forty years ago and spends 23 out of 24 hours of the day inside the box.

He is only allowed to leave it for one hour of exercise a day under close escort from six guards before being returned to his dungeon underground.

'Concrete coffin'

Maudsley has previously said how he finds being kept in solitary confinement excruciating – and how he wishes to commit suicide.

"The prison authorities see me as a problem, and their solution has been to put me into solitary confinement and throw away the key, to bury me alive in a concrete coffin," Maudsley wrote in the early 2000s.

"I am left to stagnate, vegetate and to regress; left to confront my solitary head-on with people who have eyes but don't see and who have ears but don't hear, who have mouths but don't speak. My life in solitary is one long period of unbroken depression."

  • Brit woman marries US rapist serving 20 years after dating him for nine months

Starved of company, he wrote a letter to The Times, asking: "Why can't I have a budgie instead of the flies and cockroaches and spiders I currently have? I promise to love it and not eat it."

In a later letter, he asked for a cyanide pill so that he could end his life.

“There is a lack of hope and I don’t appear to have anything to look forward to," he said in an interview.

“I feel no officer takes any interest in me and they’re only concerned with when the open the door and then to make sure I get back in my cell as soon as possible.

“I think an officer could stop and talk a bit but they never do and it’s these thoughts that I think about most of the time.”

Evil genius

The origins of Maudsley's killings can be traced back to his savage and traumatic childhood.

He blames the violent and sexual abuse he faced from his parents for his later brutality: "When I kill, I think I have my parents in mind."

"'If I had killed my parents in 1970, none of these people need have died," he added. "If I had killed them, then I would be walking around as a free man without a care in the world."

  • Female teacher 'raped 16-year-old student in exchange for giving him good grades'

Despite his dark crimes, friends and family describe him as gentle, kind and highly intelligent.

Maudsley is said to have genius-level IQ and loves classical music, poetry and art.

The most recent pictures of Maudsley are around forty years old and were taken from a documentary made about his time in prison a few years into his regime of solitary.

It is reported that Maudsley now looks significantly older than his 69 years. His skin is pale from a lack of sunlight and his cheekbones are sunken.

Maudsley's only way out of UK's grimmest cell appears to be with his death – something Britain's most dangerous prisoner seems to be keenly awaiting.

"All I have to look forward to is further mental breakdown and possible suicide," he said. "In many ways, I think this is what the authorities hope for.

"That way the problem of Robert John Maudsley can be easily and swiftly resolved."

Keep up to date with all the latest news stories. By signing up for one of Daily Star's free newsletters here.


  • 'Idiot' burglars who broke into UK zoo to harass giraffe and kick at tigers fined
  • Cartel massacre fears as 47 sacks of human remains found buried under nightclub
  • Dismembered head, legs and arms found in suitcase in grim motorway discovery

Source: Read Full Article