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Cannibal killer David Harker ate woman's thigh with pasta after murdering her and raping her corpse, says former cop

Psychopath David Harker was arrested after boasting to friends that he had 'killed a girl called Julie'
(Source : Police Department)
(Source : Police Department)

Former British police officer David Davies recalled how he and his team discovered the partially eaten body of mother-of-four Julie Paterson in 1998 after cannibal killer David Harker had dumped her remains. 

The Darlington ex-cop revealed details of the gruesome case on the latest episode of 'Murdertown' on Crime+Investigation UK on Monday, October 14. 

Psychopath David Harker had lured Paterson—a troubled mother—to his house and proceeded to kill and eat her legs with a side of pasta.

Paterson was described as an avid party-goer who was would disappear from home for days but would always come back. Her relationship with her partner, Alan Taylor, was described as a happy one but, despite that, Paterson suffered from depression.

Harker met Paterson in a pub in the northeast town where the two seemingly hit it off. She went back to his flat with him where the pair had sex. However, soon after, Harker proceeded to strangle her to death and rape her corpse.

He then cut off her leg and cooked her thigh with pasta, garlic and cheese. After having his fill, he dragged her body down to the basement of his building and kept it there for several weeks while he chopped off her arms, legs and head.

Eventually, he dumped her torso in a bin bag and dumped it in a garden of an abandoned house. 

The torso was found in a bin-bag nearly in Polam Lane, Darlington, County Durham, as police carried out a routine search for missing mother-of-four Julie Paterson, who disappeared on April 16. (Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Taylor became worried when Paterson did not return home for days in 1998 and when she missed her appointment with one fo her children. 

Meanwhile,  her remains were found by the police when they were looking for another missing person.

Davies said that his dog was aiding in their search when he started barking after smelling a corpse in the area. That was when they discovered Paterson's mutilated torso.

"His head went up in the air and he started to sample the air, or sniff the air," Davies recalled on the show. "He then jumped up, put his paws up on the wall, started to run to and fro, like he was playing a piano, and then he started to bark; the bark being the indication that he had found something bearing human scent. I've gone across to where he was, looked through the fence, or the hedge, and seen what looked like a derelict house, a derelict bungalow."

The retired officer said that, at that point, he had no idea that the canine had sensed a dead body nearby. 

"My initial reaction was that he's probably found a homeless person," he said. "I called out to see if there was anybody there. No reply. I put my arm through the hedge, felt what I now realize was a bin bag, pulled at it, which caused it to split open a little bit, and of course, that released the smell of decomposing flesh."

Harker was arrested after boasting to friends that he had "killed a girl called Julie."

The charges against him were later reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility instead of murder. He famously never revealed the location of the body parts he had chopped off.

Paterson's brother, Michael, said that even after 21 years, it pained him to have never found out where the rest of his sister's remains were.

"If he was to tell us where Julie's head was, I wouldn't have a problem with him getting parole. But he wouldn't, I know he wouldn't say anything. I know he won't. He enjoys all of this. He does. He hasn't just ruined my life, he ruined my family's life and two other family's lives. So there's a lot of people being affected," he said.