Under a horrifying mask, wig, and cape, a serial rapist known only as the Beast of Jersey, terrorized Jersey Island in the English Channel for over a decade. The man behind the disguise was Edward Paisnel, a pedophile with an unquenchable lust for little children.
Making A Nightmare
The leather mask worn by Paisnel was enough to give even grown adults nightmares, so imagine the sheer terror that children felt when the Beast of Jersey snuck into their bedrooms at night.
The horrifying outfit comprised a large jacket with one-inch nails protruding from the lapels, wristbands with rusted nails jutting out from the base, and, of course, the creepy wig and mask.
The Freddy Kruger-esque mask made of leather is simple but horrifying. An outline of lips with no expression, two misshapen holes for Paisnel to watch as he rapes his victims, and a dirty wig held down with a bandana.
The maniac wrapped the abomination tightly around his face with a nylon cord.
Paisnel would sneak into the homes of his victims — mostly children — but on one occasion, a mother and her daughter, and then bound their tiny hands before ‘trussing’ them out of their windows and into a secret rape spot.
One fifteen-year-old victim recalled the harrowing event:
“I couldn’t breathe, and he told me not to scream. Then he put a rope around my neck and pulled me to my feet.”
On at least one occasion, he badly cut a victim with the protruding nails attached to his wristbands; prove to the children that what happened the night before was no nightmare.
Unfortunately for the rapist, an unrelated murder had occurred on the island in July 1971. Thus, police were on high alert and random road checkpoints were being conducted on the island. On July 10th, Paisnel blew past a police checkpoint. Not only was he driving a stolen car, but his mask was in the passenger seat, which he told the officer he had because he was coming from a “sex orgy”.
Police didn’t buy his story since for fourteen years they have been searching for the man who donned that exact mask.
Inspector George Shutler, the lead detective on the hunt of the Beast of Jersey, felt relieved that they had finally apprehended him.
“I had had nightmares about him and I had dreamt about him. He looked exactly like the man I knew I wanted. It was a tremendous relief to know he had been caught.”
Edward Paisnel was married at the time of his crimes to his wife, Joan Paisnel.
Working full time as a house contractor, Edward traveled around the island bringing in money for the family and, of-course, learning the ins-and-outs of breaking into homes.
Joan’s passion was for orphan children and for providing them a pleasant home in Grouville. The children often called Edward “Uncle Ted” and it is even reported that he dressed up as Santa Claus each year at Christmastime.
When pressed about his motivation for luring and raping children, Paisnel claimed he was a direct descendant of Baron Gilles De Rais; a serial rapist and killer of one-thousand children in the fifteenth century.
Officers found a hidden cellar in the Paisnel home leading to a ‘devil-worshiping’ shrine where he would practice “black magic” rituals before setting out to commit his rapes.
“But at night, Jekyll became Hyde. He would worship at his black magic shrine, then set off to seek his next victim.” — Sydney Morning Herald
Edward Paisnel pled not guilty to thirteen sexual offenses — including the rape of a nine-year-old child; the Beast of Jersey was convicted and sentenced to thirty years’ imprisonment.
The Attorney General Mr. Peter Crill remarked about Paisnel being “a cunning and hideous man who had deliberately gratified his lust for young children as and when he liked.”
Edward Paisnel served his time and spent the rest of his life on the Isle of Wight, where he died of a heart condition in 1994.