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Larry Murphy a year in exile

Suspected serial killer Larry Murphy was released from jail a year ago today, after serving 10-and-a-half years of a 15-year jail term for rape and attempted murder.

Since his release, Murphy (46) has spent virtually all of his time in continental Europe and is understood to be based in Spain this weekend.

Perhaps Ireland's most notorious criminal, Murphy fled Ireland just three days after being released.

His release from jail on the morning of August 13, 2010, sparked a huge media frenzy with Murphy being followed by dozens of journalists and photographers.

The fact that he was back on the streets led to a wave of public fear with dozens of false sightings of the sex monster and false reports that he was living in various parts of the country.

After turning to gardai for help, Murphy sought refuge in Kevin Street Garda Station in Dublin.

He then fled the country -- first travelling to the south of France and then on to Amsterdam.

He was discovered in Holland last November and he subsequently left for Spain.

Murphy, a skilled carpenter, worked mending boats and ships. He earned up to €150 a day and based himself in Barcelona.

The suspected killer had no post-release supervision order attached to his sentence and shockingly gardai had no clue to his whereabouts until May when he became a victim of crime himself in Barcelona when his passport and other travel documents were stolen in a city centre pick-pocketing.

Murphy returned to Ireland and spent over a fortnight holed up in hotels in Dublin until a new passport was provided for the rapist. He was under constant garda surveillance during his stay here and had very little contact with anyone other than his prison chaplain Fr Ciaran Enright.

Since his release, he has never returned to his native Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, and his family have indicated that they don't want anything to do with him.

Murphy's depraved reputation is not just based on the sick crime that he was convicted of where he brutalised a Co Carlow woman in 2000.

He kidnapped his victim and drove into the mountains where he raped her repeatedly before he put a shopping bag over her head and forced her into the boot of his car.

The woman, then in her mid 20s, was rescued by two men who were hunting. Murphy fled the scene and was arrested a short time later at his home.

He is also the chief suspect in the disappearances of Annie McCarrick (26), Jo Jo Dullard (21) and Deirdre Jacob (18), who all vanished without trace in Leinster in the years before he kidnapped and raped the Co Carlow woman.

Since Murphy's conviction and subsequent imprisonment for that crime, no other women have disappeared in such circumstances.

Gardai set up Operation Trace to try and solve the mystery of the missing women and their primary target was Murphy.

Officers questioned Murphy in Arbour Hill Prison but he refused to co-operate with the investigation and attempts by gardai to get Murphy to reveal all to some of his cellmates in jail also failed.

Murphy is now a free man living in continental Europe where most people are completely unaware of his identity.

Sources say it is "hugely unlikely" that he will ever live in Ireland again.