Graham Frederick Young was born in Neasden, North London on September 7, 1947. His mother died when he was three months of age after developing pleurisy while she was pregnant. His father, unable to raise young children on his own, sent Graham to live with his sister and Graham's older sister to live with her grandmother.
When Graham was 2-1/2 years old his father remarried and the family was reunited.
Graham preferred to keep his own company and had very few friends. By age 12 he was avidly reading books about murder, especially those that used poison as the modus operandi. He had also developed and unhealthy fascination for Adolf Hitler and the occult and took to wearing a swastika badge to school. His only interests in school were chemistry and toxicology, particularly the study of poisons.
Although 13-years-old at the time, Graham was able to convince some local chemists he was much older due to his considerable knowledge of poison and he was able to procure large quantities of antimony, arsenic, digitalis and thallium for "school" experiments.
Graham befriended a fellow science enthusiast at school named Christopher Williams. The two often ate lunch together and swapped sandwiches. Soon after Christopher began to suffer from bouts of vomiting, severe cramps and headaches. Doctors were baffled as to the cause of his illness and attributed the symptoms to severe migraines. Christopher would eventually recover from his illness.
In early 1961, a mysterious gastric illness plagued the Young family. Graham's stepmother, Molly, was the first to suffer from vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness next struck his father, older sister and finally Graham himself.
One morning Graham fixed his sister, Winifred, a cup of tea. After a couple of sips she refused to drink anymore because it tasted bitter. On the train ride to work she began to hallucinate and had to be hospitalized. The doctors eventually discovered that she had been poisoned with belladonna.
Graham's father, Fred Young, suspected that he had inadvertently contaminated the families food with his chemistry experiments and warned him to be more careful in the future.
On April 21, 1962, Fred Young came home to find an entranced Graham staring out the kitchen window. When he looked out he saw his wife, Molly, writhing in agony in the back yard. She died at the hospital later that night. Her death was attributed to a prolapsed spinal bone and she was cremated at Graham's urging.
Following Molly's death, Fred's symptoms intensified and he was admitted to the hospital. When the doctor's diagnosed that he was suffering from Antimony poisoning, he still refused to believe that his son had deliberately poisoned him.
Concerned about the dangerous experiments he was conducting, Graham's chemistry teacher contacted police after he searched his desk and found bottles of poisons and information about infamous poisoners.
Graham was arrested on May 23, 1962 and confessed to poisoning his family and his schoolmate. No charges were brought against him for the murder of his stepmother since the evidence had been destroyed when she was cremated.
At the age of 14, Graham would become the youngest inmate at Broadmoor Maximum Security Psychiatric Hospital since 1885. He was sentenced to serve a minimum of 15 years.
Within a few weeks of his arrival, fellow inmate John Berridge died from Cyanide poisoning. Graham confessed to the murder but he was not believed and the official verdict was listed as suicide.
By the end of his 5th year Graham realized that the only way he would be released any sooner was to become the model prisoner and to hide his obsession with poison. However, that did not stop him from continuing to tamper with the staff and inmates drinks.
By June 1970, after he had served nearly 8 years, the prison psychiatrist recommended that Graham be released stating that he was no longer obsessed with poisons.
On the eve of his release Graham told one of the nurses, "when I get out, I'm going to kill one person for every year I've spent in this place." His statement was recorded in his file but was never passed on.
Graham was released on February 4, 1971 and moved into a room at a hostel in Hemel Hempstead. It was not long before he started his poison collection for his "experiments". Soon after residents of the hostel started to exhibit abdominal cramps and sickness. One of the residents ended up committing suicide because of the severe pain he was suffering.
Graham obtained a position as a store clerk at a photographic supply firm in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire and within days of his employ started to make tea for his colleagues.
His boss, Bob Egle, began to suffer from severe cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. His symptoms were attributed to a virus that was going around at the time. When Bob Egle went on vacation he recovered completely. However, the day after he returned to work he fell ill again. Eventually he was admitted to the hospital where he died 10 days later. The official cause of death was recorded as pneumonia.
Fred Biggs, stock supervisor, suffered from symptoms similar to Bob Egle. He was admitted to London National Hospital for Nervous Disease when he eventually succumbed after suffering excruciating agony for weeks.
By this time at least 70 employees had suffered similar nonfatal symptoms of various degrees prompting authorities to launch an investigation. The police quickly ascertained that the illnesses started shortly after Graham began working at the firm. Subsequent forensic investigations revealed that the victims had been subjected to Thallium poisoning. They also uncovered the fact that Graham was a convicted poisoner.
When his room at the hostel was searched, the police found numerous vials of poison and a detailed diary with the names of his victims along with the effects of the poison. Also who he was going to kill or allow to live.
Graham Young was arrested on November 21, 1971 and went on trial at St. Albans Crown Court in June 1972. He was convicted of two murders, two attempted murders, and two counts of administering poison. When asked if he felt any remorse he replied, "No, that would be hypocritical. What I feel is the emptiness of my soul."
He served his sentence in the maximum security Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight until his death in 1990 at age 42. The official diagnosis was Myocardial Infarction, however many have their doubts.