I've no sympathy for Evil pair who vowed to kill one a week

Gerry O'Carroll

MY old nemesis is dead. When I heard that Geoffrey Evans had passed away, I had mixed feelings. He was made to account for his crimes and yet he never showed remorse.

Today's news has brought me straight back to September 27, 1976.

I was one of a group of detectives that had been sent to interview Evans and his pal John Shaw at Eglinton Street Garda Station in Galway.

Both had been arrested the previous evening in connection with the disappearance of Elizabeth Plunkett, a 23-year-old who had disappeared in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, a month earlier. We were also investigating the case of another woman, Mary Duffy, from Castlebar, Co Mayo, who had disappeared around the same time.

During the course of that Monday night, into the early hours I interviewed Shaw. What unfolded has stayed with me since.

Shaw confessed, in banal terms and in words without regret, to killing Plunkett and Duffy, and dumping their bodies in the sea and a lake respectively.

To this day, I think of the torture Evans and Shaw subjected these women to.

Evans and his mate Shaw were natural-born killers. Their total lack of any morality or scruples ensure they stand out in a long line of Irish killers over the years since then.

Despite this, Evans was an unlikely looking murderer. He was petite and slight, an artistand a musician. But in both killings he ordered the murders, instructing Shaw to "kill her".

After he was sentenced to life imprisonment, Evans never got parole. Neither will Shaw. This is because, as Shaw was being taken back to Wicklow from Galway, he confided a horrendous promise to me. He said to me, in his Lancashire accent, "I'm glad ye got me, Gerry. We were going to kill one a week".

I don't believe that we ever had a more dangerous pair of killers here than Geoffrey Evans and John Shaw. As murderers they were unique.

To my knowledge they have shown no remorse, no sorrow, no comprehension of the pain they caused. No lapse of time, even four decades later, can diminish one iota the scale of their crimes.

Evans died yesterday without a word of remorse, peacefully in a nursing home. His passing could not contrast more with that of his victims.

Given the nature of his crimes I cannot find it in my heart to have any compassion or sympathy for him.