Police have asked anyone with information about alleged serial killer Stephen Port to come forward as he prepares to stand trial over the death of four men next year.
Port, from Barking, was charged back in October with four counts of murder and of “administering a poison with intent to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm” in relation to the deaths of four men between June 2014 and September this year.
Stephen Port is accused of poisoning four men he met online.
Port is accused of poisoning men he met via gay dating app Grindr with the party drug GHB before dumping their bodies in and around a nearby churchyard.
He is due to stand trial in April next year, and police say they want to speak to “anyone who has knowledge” of the 40-year-old chef.
Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “We are keen to speak to anyone who may have information in connection with these incidents, no matter how insignificant you may think it is.
“If you have any reservations about speaking to the police, please rest assured that your call will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.
“For anyone who feels anxious about talking directly to the police, I would urge them to speak to organisations such as Galop, a specialist charity that supports LGBT people affected by violence and abuse.
“They will be able to facilitate appropriate support and advice, maintain confidentiality and treat anything you tell them with the utmost sensitivity.”
Three of Port’s four alleged victims: Anthony Walgate, 23, Daniel Whitworth, 21, and Jack Taylor, 25
Port’s first alleged victim, Anthony Walgate, 23, was found dead on Cooke Street on June 19 last year. He was a fashion and design student at Middlesex University who was originally from Hull and living in Barnet.
The second victim, Gabriel Kovari, 22, was found by a dog walker near St Margaret’s churchyard on August 28 last year. He was originally from Slovakia but lived in Lewisham, south London.
Just under a month later, on September 20, the same dog walker discovered the body of a friend of Mr Kovari’s, Daniel Whitworth, in the same location. The 21-year-old from Gravesend, Kent, was found with a supposed suicide note in which he blamed himself for the death of Mr Kovari.
Then on September 14 this year, Jack Taylor, 25, a forklift truck driver from Dagenham, was found dead near the abbey ruins close to North Street. He disappeared after a night out with friends on the evening of Saturday 12 September, and police have urged the public to come forward with information about his movements that night.
The bodies of the four men were found between June 2014 and September this year in Barking, east London, in and around St Margaret’s Churchyard.
The four men’s death were not initially linked by police, but after further investigation they were referred to the Metropolitan Police homicide and major crime command on October 14.
The force has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over its handling of the case.