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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Dando killer's Diana 'obsession'
Newspaper covers mulling the motives behind Ms Dando's murder
"He tried to kill Di too", says The Sun
The unemployed loner sentenced to life for the murder of Jill Dando, also plotted to kill Princess Diana, according to UK newspapers.

In 1983 Barry George was arrested in the grounds of Diana's home at Kensington Palace, it emerged after the trial.

He was armed with two knives and a 15ft coil of rope, and was wearing combat gear and an SAS gas mask.

Princess Diana pictured in Tuzla, Bosnia
Did George want to kill Diana, Princess of Wales?
The Sun quotes offender profiling expert Dr Reid Meloy as saying George "was very much intending to assault or harm" Diana.

The Daily Telegraph says "strong evidence" had emerged that George stalked the princess.

It says that in the same year as his arrest "he had been stopped four times in 10 months hanging around Kensington Palace in the middle of the night".

George was not charged over the incident, and his files were destroyed as a matter of course six years later.

But police later found pictures and articles about the princess in his flat, and details of her car registration numbers.


I don't know if he's crazy. but I am sure he is not a murderer - I know that 100%

George's former wife Itsuko Toide in the Mirror
And he was at one point on Scotland Yard's list of potential dangers to royal figures, said the Telegraph.

George was in the crowd at the princess's 1997 funeral, according to The Mirror, after staying up all night at Westminster Abbey to ensure a central position.

It says he held up a placard to his "Queen of Hearts", signed "Barry Bulsara, Freddie Mercury's cousin (RIP)".


Home was a flat that resembled a junk yard. There, surrounded by yellowing newspapers and scattered garments, he would read pornographic and military magazines or, more disturbingly, compile lists of guns and women's car numbers

The Daily Telegraph
The Guardian delves deeper into George's obsession with the Queen singer Freddie Mercury.

"On the first anniversary of Mercury's death, George hired a white limousine and drove to the former singer's house," it said.

"He left a floral tribute with a gold plaque inscribed with a message and signed: 'Your cousin, Barry Bulsara'."

The newspaper suggests the obsession with Mercury could provide a motive in killing Ms Dando.

"He disliked the BBC and its journalists because of the way Freddie Mercury had been treated before he died", George had reportedly told one woman.

The Mirror carries an interview with the Japanese former wife of George.

Itsuko Toide, 46, who now lives in the city of Sendai in Japan, said the marriage was one of convenience - but nonetheless violent and terrifying.

Miss Dando
Police think George may have transferred his Diana obsession to Miss Dando
Under the headline "I married a monster", she tells how George would frequently attack her and rape her.

However Ms Toide, who was married to George from 1989 to 1994, said she had seen no sign of an obsession with Princess Diana - and was "certain" George had not killed Jill Dando.

The Daily Mail ponders the various identities George, 41, had taken on over the past two decades - and some of the bizarre incidents in his life.

It said George had already emerged as a "character" in west London by 1980, when he was fined for impersonating a police officer.

Shortly afterwards, he duped a local newspaper into believing he was a karate champion.

He then created an event in Derby where he sped down a ramp on roller skates and tried to leap across four double decker buses.

He completed the leap - but fractured his femur and dislocated his spine.

George's six suspected personality disorders
Psychopathic (aggressive)
Narcisstic (self-important)
Histrionic (theatrical need for attention)
Paranoid (needlessly suspicious)
Somatisation (psychological root of medical illness)
Concurrent factitious (faking sickness)
Source: The Daily Telegraph
In 1986 he mimicked his SAS hero Thomas Palmer - who led the storming of the Iranian embassy in London in 1980 - by staging a raid on the home of family friends.

He rang the doorbell to their home and when they answered it, charged in and fired a blank shot with a pistol.

George had several previous convictions for sexual assaults.

The Daily Mail carries an interview with June Zeller, a theatre actress thought to be one of his first victims.

She says she was pounced upon by George in 1980 in the lift of the west London flats where she lived.

She said George - who was acquitted - was "a bit peculiar", saying nothing the whole time.

"But I have to say that he seemed rather weedy and useless," she said.

The paper also carries a leaked psychological report by offender profiler Dr Adrian West.

It said Miss Dando's killer would have been an "isolated man". who had difficulties in relating to women.


His difficulties in relating to other people generally and his inability to access women specifically may have already brought him to notice for harassing or intimidating women

Profiler Dr Adrian West, in a police document seen by the Daily Mail
The Daily Express has more from Dr Meloy.

In it he suggests that George may have been deluded into thinking he had a "personal relationship" with Miss Dando, because of the way television newscasters look directly at the viewer.

"The stalker begins to believe if Jill Dando wears a red sweater she is sending him a special message," he says.

"If it's a blue sweater she is communicating she loves him. If it's a brown blouse, she is rejecting him."

The Daily Telegraph looks at the daily life of George, who had been unemployed for many years.

"Much of the time, he would hang around local shops," it says. "Occasionally he could be seen attempting to direct traffic."

It said he stalked numerous women - with his behaviour, in the words of one detective, veering from "an amiable pest to very scary with low levels of violence".

Photo of George posing with a handgun
Police found photo of George posing with a handgun
The Telegraph also looks into the psychology of George, saying doctors diagnosed six separate personality disorders.

He could also suffer from various other syndromes, it says, including one in which sufferers fake illnesses.

The Independent looks at the wider issues surrounding the murder.

The case, says writer Deborah Orr, "points up our tremendous shortcomings in dealing with the mentally ill".

The Times offers a long list of statistics into the police inquiry.

This includes 14,000 e-mails traced, and 5,000 people interviewed.

It says 140 people were found to have an "unhealthy interest" in Miss Dando.



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