Under the horrifying mask, wig, and outfit worn by the Beast of Jersey was Edward Paisnel, a serial rapist who terrorized Jersey Island for over a decade. Paisnel had an unquenchable lust for little children and did not stop until his arrest on July 10, 1971.
The leather mask worn by Edward Paisnel as he was committing his crime spree is eerily enough to give even grown adults nightmares.
So imagine the sheer terror that children, his prime victims, felt when he snuck into their bedrooms at night.
Paisnel wore a large jacket with one-inch nails protruding from the lapels, wristbands with rusted nails jutting out from the base, and a 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 of sorts.
The entire thing wrapped tightly around the rapist's 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 would bound the hands before 'trussing' them off to a secret rape spot.
One 15-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 rape victim because of the wristband of protruding nails that Paisnel wore during his crimes.
Unfortunately for the rapist, an unrelated murder had occurred on the island shortly before his arrest. Police were on high alert and random road checkpoints were setup to find the victim's killer.
They arrested Paisnel on July 10, 1971, after running through a police checkpoint. The car that he was operating was stolen and when asked about the mask stuffed in his pocket, he claimed he was coming from a "sex orgy".
Police didn't buy his story since for 14 years they have been searching for the man who don this 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 constantly bringing in money for the family and, of-course, learning the ins-and-outs of breaking into homes.
Joan's passion was taking in orphan children and giving them a pleasant home in Grouville.
The children often called Edward "Uncle Ted" and it is even reported that he would dress as Santa Claus each year at Christmas-time.
Joan ended up writing a tell-all book about her husband's crime-spree, which is no longer in print, but would make a great collectible for sure.
When pressed about his motivation for luring and raping children, Paisnel claimed he was a direct descendant of Baron Gilles De Rais, who has been believed to have murdered over 1,000 children in the 15th 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
Although Paisnel pled not guilty to 13 sexual offenses ranging from a 9-year-old child to a married woman, he was convicted and sentenced to 30 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 eventually returned to the Isle of Wight, where he died of a heart-condition in 1994.