The Beast Of Jersey

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If you didn’t know better you’d probably think the Beast of Jersey was a 80’s horror movie character; it is so far fetched that it’s almost difficult to believe. But he’s real, he’s the real boogeyman from hell.

The mask this monster wore to commit his ghastly deeds.

So this case took place on the Channel Island of Jersey, which is just 6 by 9 miles wide; it is a tiny place for such a horrific predator to blend into for more than a decade. In 1960 a monster began to attack women and children, he would rape and torture them; today there is evidence which suggests that some victims did not survive their encounter.

Actual uniform

Edward Peisnel had been obsessed with Gilles De Rais, a notorious serial killer and the inspiration for Bluebeard; this killer had lured children to his home to be sacrificed to Satan. Edward had wanted to be like his idol; he is said to have been a Satanist who would practice his rituals, which included the sacrifice of animals, before and after attacks. But by day he was a construction worker and pillar of the community.

Nails sewn into his jacket, in case anyone were to grab him

Edward’s first known attacks were on four young women who’d either been waiting at a bus stop or had just gotten off of the bus when they were attacked. He would slip a noose over their heads and drag them off into a field where he’d have his way with them; these women were beaten and sexually assaulted.

Mask Edward wore during his attacks.

Though he did continue to attack women, Edward began to focus his attention more on children; he did assault girls but it appears that this monster had been overly fond of young boys. Sadly he had access to all of the children he would ever need – his wife, Joan, and her mother ran an orphanage called La Preference. Edward became very close to the children, who affectionately called him Uncle Ted, and he even played Santa for them at Christmas. But his motives were anything but pure – Edward stalked the kids through the halls, and he had holes drilled into the walls so that he could watch them. Finally he’d attack when these children were most vulnerable: while they were asleep in their beds.

The uniform he donned during his attacks.

Sometimes Edward would gain access to his victims via window, with others he’d use a crawlspace. The attacker always wore a dark coat, dress pants, gloves, a black wig, and the creepiest rubber mask you’ll ever seen in your entire life. Around his wrists he wore inch long sharp spikes. He’d tie a noose around their necks, drag them off to an empty room or field where he’d beat them, sexually assault them, or do whatever else he pleased. The victims all recounted seeing their attacker’s nightmarish costume, and described a musty smell; some recalled chloroform being used.

Orphans had not been this madman’s only victims – Edward also entered private homes late at night in order to attack women and children; some of these stories are just awful. In one of his earlier attacks, in March of 1960, a mother had been home alone with her 14 year old daughter. Someone had called the home after midnight, so Mom had gotten out of bed to answer; no one had been on the line. An hour or so later she heard someone in the house; she got up again, and as she was walking towards the sound all of the lights went out. Panicked she ran for the telephone only to find that the line had been cut. When her 14 year old daughter heard the commotion she came to investigate as well; the moment mom realized that the intruder wasn’t paying attention to her, she took a chance and fled to a neighbor’s for help. The girl did survive the encounter, but she had been beaten and brutally raped. There are so many horror stories from these victims.

During one cool down phase, Edward sent this taunting letter to police:
“My Dear Sir,
I think that it is just the time to tell you that you are just wasting your time, as every time I have done wat I always intended to do and remember it will not stop at this, but I will be fair to you and give you a chance. I have never had much out of this life but I intend to get everything I can now. I have always wanted to do the perfect crime. I have done this, but this time let the moon shine very britte in September because this time it must be perfect, not one but two. I am not a maniac by a long shot but I like to play with you people. You will hear from me before September and I will give you all the clues. Just to see if you can catch me.
Yours very sincerely
Wait and See”

Right after the aforementioned letter was received, Edward did attack multiple times. These attacks went on for more than a decade, until late at night on July 17th 1971. Edward drove through a red light, then he ran from police. When he was pulled over, officers found the mask, wig, and jacket which proved Edward was the Beast of Jersey.

More than 2 dozen children at the orphanage came forward with their tales of abuse, including one young girl who had been forced to have an abortion with his baby. More than 100 have said they were assaulted by him in one way or another, but Edward was convicted on only 13 counts of rape and sodomy. He was sentenced to 30 years but as a model inmate he served only 19. When released in ’91, the people of Jersey ran him out of town; Edward moved to the isle of Wight where he died in 1994.

Since his death there have been investigations into the children’s homes he frequented. It’s now believed that Edward was not only a rapist, but a killer. They’ve found a man who had worked in another children’s home called Haut de la Garenne. Edward had paid this man to find the most vulnerable child victims. It is claimed by some sites that in 2008 a child’s skull was discovered in this orphanage. After this an excavation of the basement was conducted; teeth and bones which had belonged to more than 60 kids were discovered, along with shackles.

One of the most frustrating things about this case is how the abuse against those defenseless children was covered up. It was kept hush hush as the police didn’t want word to get out about what was going on in these orphanages. Not only had there been sexual abuse, rape, pregnancy and forced abortion for plenty of the young girls, but beatings and psychological abuse by staff was rampant. While there is not a whole lot of info available on the Beast of Jersey, his wife, Joan Peisnel, did write a book about Edward’s life. She swears to have known nothing about his crimes, but children have come forward claiming that Joan had not been innocent; if nothing else, she’d been aware of the beatings and other abuses including the girl who was forced to have the abortion.

Joan, just after Edward was sentenced
Paisnel home

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