Gracious David-West (born c. 1980) is a renounced armed robber, a member of the ‘Dey-gbam’ cult group and a notorious Nigerian serial killer from Buguma, Asari-Toru local government of Rivers State, South-South, Nigeria. He confessed to killing 15 women across 7 states in Nigeria after he was apprehended in Port Harcourt on the 19th of September, 2019 while fleeing to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, following his capture on the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) of a hotel on SARS Road, Rukpokwu, a Port Harcourt suburb where he allegedly killed a middle-aged woman the day before.
Gracious David West, according to an anonymous claim was a militant who confessed and was rehabilitated at Omega Power Ministries (OPM) where he surrendered his life to Christ. During his confession, he revealed how he worked for politicians and how he had killed for political reasons. With time, he got closer to the resident pastor of the church after many believed he had left the life behind. He took to washing the pastor’s car regularly and would run errands until he got frustrated about not getting enough money and help from the church, which made him steal from a staff of the church and disappeared.
David West confessed that he killed whenever he had the urge to. In total, he killed 15 women across 7 states in Nigeria. He killed one person each in Abia, Edo, Ibadan in Oyo, Owerri in Imo, Ikeja in Lagos state where the act started a few months ago and nine in Rivers state. He claimed he would kill whenever he felt like it and that he takes joy in strangling young women in hotels whenever the urge to kill comes.
How it Started
When middle-aged Maureen Ewuru, an indigene of Abia, was found strangled in a hotel in D/Line, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on August 1, 2019, it passed, to many, as one sexual affair that went awry.
Two weeks later, another lady was found dead in a similar circumstance in another hotel room at new Government Reserved Area, Port Harcourt.
Both incidents, similar to another in Owerri, the capital of neighbouring Imo State, left many agitated residents wondering if serial killers were on the rampage.
By Tuesday, September 17, recurring cases had assumed worrisome dimension from the statistics presented by River State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mustapha Dandaura.
The CP said, “We are, at these times, faced with serial killings that have been going on in the state capital. A total of eight women have been killed in different hotels within two months in Port Harcourt metropolis”.
Many residents believe the death toll may have surpassed the official figure announced by the police.
How Gracious David West Killed his Victims
Gracious David West, a father of one confessed to the police that he would lure his victims who were commercial sex workers with monies beyond their regular charges. In his words;
“Whenever I need blood I enter the road looking for girls willing to accept cash for short time with me, I offer 100k to 200k to persuade them. Sometimes I call them much later to try my luck some will accept to follow me.”
While he admitted his urge to kill, David West claimed he never used any of his victim’s parts for ritual purposes and never mutilated them.
According to Dandaura, “same modus operandi is used by the killers”. The Commissioner of Police stressed, “They drug the ladies before strangling them. They use a white cloth to tie either their necks or their waists. There is element of cultism. They do not remove any vital organ from their bodies”.
Detailing how Gracious David West killed his victims, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police narrated:
“It was easier to trap him because of the repeated cloths, he pays the hotels to launder it for him, when it is returned, he proceeds to kill the girls while tying towel, before changing to his clothes and leaving.
In the case of the girl found in the wardrobe, he killed her before his clothes were returned, that is why he hid her body in the wardrobe for fear of room service seeing the corpse. The one he hid under the bed at Owerri, he hid her under the bed because room service was due for cleanup any minute.
His homelessness frustrated him a lot so he lives from hotel to hotel, state to state.
He has given us names, the names which will be trailed from today, releasing such sensitive information will not help the investigation.
He made use of the pillowcases as he threatens the girls with the knife to cooperate, that he wants to tie them up, rob them and leave. They comply and allow them tie them up, their hands, legs, and mouth, while the TV volume is high. After restraining them and getting their pin, he proceeds to kill them by using the 4th torn bedsheet to strangle them.
Actually he killed all the girls and described in details how he killed each of them. He will be taken round town to confirm the hotels he stayed in as he has forgotten most of the names.
How Gracious David-West was captured
David West was identified on September 18, 2019, on a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) while leaving a hotel after allegedly killing his latest victim. In the footage, his victim was captured walking on the stairs to a room; the same he came out from afterward. A supposedly calm David West loitered around the reception of the hotel to avoid being suspected by walking towards the gate of the hotel. The CCTV footage which was released same day led to an anonymous church member of the church David West stole from to not only give his name but also what made him leave the church.
The following day, the 19th of September, 2019, Gracious David West was arrested in an AKTC bus along the East-West road en route while attempting to flee to Uyo. Unfortunately for him, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police had launched a manhunt and he was easily identified by his shirt, the same on him in the CCTV footage.