Manhunt: Why did the Night Stalker leave lightbulbs in the sink of his victims?

Manhunt: Why did the Night Stalker leave lightbulbs in the sink of his victims?

IMAGINE the fear that went through the Night Stalker's victims when they heard someone creeping around their house in the dead of night.

Evil Delroy Grant would prey upon the elderly, breaking into their homes before stealing their money, attacking them, and sexually assaulting them.

Why did the Night Stalker leave lightbulbs in his victims sinks?

Master burglar Grant was skilled at breaking into pensioners homes.

He would either enter through an open window, or actually go as far as removing the whole pane of glass.

But another one of the sicko's calling cards was to remove all of the light bulbs in the victim's home.

He would then leave them in the sink for officers or family members to find after the attack.

There are few reasons he did this:

  • One was because he didn't want his victims to be able to identify him by turning their light on.
  • Another was to taunt the police, and prove that he had struck again and they were still no further in catching him.
  • One more reason was to leave the victim even more vulnerable, and in total darkness after the attack.

How many people did the Night Stalker attack?

By the time of his arrest, Grant is thought to have assaulted more than 203 women, the youngest in her late 60s and the eldest aged 93.

His crime spree went on from October 1992 and May 2008 across south east London.

Despite officers believing Grant attacked hundreds of elderly victims, he was charged with only 22 counts.

In 2011, he was convicted of five counts of rape, six counts of indecent assault and 11 counts of burglary.

How was the Night Stalker caught?

Grant was arrested on 15 November 2009, when police officers covertly monitoring the area of Croydon following attempted break-ins, found him walking back to his car after trying to enter an elderly woman’s home.

DCI Colin Sutton, who had also headed up the investigation which led to the conviction of Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield, was brought in to support the case.

When Sutton was drafted in to solve the case, he applied the same techniques he had used when searching for Bellfield.

He decided to change tactics from using DNA, and instead set up a burglary squad of over 70 officers and deployed them in and around a street in Croydon where there had been regular attacks.

Sutton established an in-depth surveillance plan for the street and on their first night of watch, the Night Stalker attacked three times, but each attack was just outside the area being watched.

However, police managed to catch the serial rapist running to his car on CCTV, and examined each frame to identify his vehicle.

How can I watch Manhunt?

The final episode of Manhunt season 2 – starring Martin Clunes – airs tonight (September 23, 2021) at 9pm on ITV.

You can catch up with past episodes on the ITV Hub right now.

Alternatively, if you have a BritBox subscription you can watch seasons 1 to 2 advert-free

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