The shadow of a serial killer looms over the disappearance of Simon Parkes in Gibraltar

  • Allan Michael Grimson, the main suspect in the sailor's death, may be released on parole this month after serving 22 years for two other crimes

  • Nicknamed Frankenstein, he would try to seduce his victims before brutally attacking them, always on December 12

  • The judge, the police, and the psychiatrist who examined him consider him one of the most dangerous 'psycho killers' in the UK, but they find no evidence to charge him.

De izquierda a derecha: Simon Parkes, Sion Jenkins, Nicholas Wright y Allan Michael Grimson, sobre una imagen de la búsqueda del primero.

De izquierda a derecha: Simon Parkes, Sion Jenkins, Nicholas Wright y Allan Michael Grimson, sobre una imagen de la búsqueda del primero.

Nicholas Wright and Simon Jenkins were murdered on December 12, 1997, and 1998, respectively. Wright was 18 years old at the time and served in the Royal Navy. Jenkins, in his twenties, had also served in the British Navy. The man who killed them is Allan Michael Grimson, who has been in prison for 22 years for these crimes. He is considered a fierce serial killer who would attempt to seduce his victims, always young men, before brutally taking their lives. The police believe he may have left up to 20 other undiscovered victims. It is unclear why he always acted on the same day, December 12. Simon Parkes, also a sailor, disappeared in 1986 in Gibraltar at the age of 18. Grimson was present on the Rock at that time as he served on the same ship. Parkes was last seen on December 12.

Simon Parkes was a young sailor in the Royal Navy who arrived at the Port of Gibraltar on that day aboard the HMS Illustrious, which made a stopover during its return to Portsmouth after a deployment in Asia and Australia. The Hampshire Police, with the help of the Royal Gibraltar Police and the Ministry of Defence, has tirelessly searched for Simon Parkes' body in Gibraltar for 37 years. They have investigated every corner of the Rock, trying to reconstruct the steps of the young radio operator to find his body, so far without success. This search, including excavations in various locations on the Rock, is conducted with the suspicion that Grimson, nicknamed the Frankestein killer for his height and wide forehead, was the one who killed him. The judge who sentenced him to prison described him as "a serial killer by nature”. A psychiatrist labeled him the most dangerous of the 250 killers he had examined during his career.

The last time anyone saw Simon Parkes, around 22:30 that day, he was drinking in the same pub as Grimson, The Horseshoe. A fellow crew member also claimed to have returned to the ship with Grimson and a man resembling Parkes. The witness stated that upon reaching the ship, the two men decided to return to the city. However, when asked again 13 years later, he said he couldn't be sure it was Parkes. 

In 2002, The Sunday Mirror reported that Grimson had confessed to killing Simon Parkes but refused to disclose the whereabouts of the young sailor's body. He later denied killing him. Now, with no evidence of Parkes' murder, Frankenstein is about to be released from prison. His 2001 sentence, served at Frankland Prison, was for a minimum of 22 years, and a parole board is set to decide on his release this month. His lawyer will argue for his release. Only the discovery of Parkes' remains or those of his other victims could have prevented it. 

Margaret y David Parkes, padres de Simon, con una foto del desaparecido. Margaret y David Parkes, padres de Simon, con una foto del desaparecido.

Margaret y David Parkes, padres de Simon, con una foto del desaparecido. / E.S.

In this lengthy period, the police even traced the ports Grimson visited in search of other possible clues, following his trail of death while serving as an instructor on the former naval flagship Illustrious and the Type 42 destroyer HMS Edinburgh. However, they found no evidence to charge him with any additional crimes or to determine the specific reason for choosing December 12 as the day to kill. "The link between Grimson and December 12 is not clear, but it could be the death of a family member, a pet, or some trivial matter for the rest of us but significant in Allan Grimson's evil mind," said Mick Neville, a retired chief detective inspector from the Metropolitan Police in London.

Until last month, the Royal Gibraltar Police conducted excavations in the Trafalgar Cemetery. The search had previously taken place in 2019 and 2020 when Hampshire police officers searched various graves and storm drains after receiving what they described as a credible lead. Following new leads, investigators also dug up the ground in the Town Range parking lot. However, they found nothing.


Grimson had a season ticket for Manchester United, suspected to be used as an excuse to travel the country in search of victims. A former friend told The Sun, "He never actually went to the matches. It was a cover for something else. He would make sandwiches, take a flask, and then go looking for homeless young men in different cities."

Grimson himself confessed to the police, after his arrest, that when he was a fire-fighting instructor in the Royal Navy, he would observe young recruits lined up in front of him, select the most attractive ones, and try to seduce them.

Grimson's first confirmed victim was 18-year-old sailor Wright, whom he lured back to his apartment and beat with a baseball bat before slitting his throat, cutting part of his ear, and engaging in sexual acts on the body. According to Grimson, the young man had rejected him. After the attack, he "swung the air in triumph and roared," he said. "'It was such a great feeling. I've never had that feeling. It was a feeling of power, a good feeling. I felt good about it," he expressed during the interrogation. The next day, he wrapped the body in trash bags and buried it near Cheriton, Hampshire, in a shallow grave next to a road.

A year later, he murdered Sion Jenkins, who had left the Navy to become a bartender, in a similar manner. He hoped the murder would provide a similar thrill, but this time, he said, he "felt nothing."

The bodies of these two men were not found until two years later. In 1999, Hampshire police re-examined their disappearances and questioned Grimson. They reached him after learning that Nicholas Wright had complained to his parents, just before his disappearance, that the firefighting instructor had been sexually harassing him. Almost immediately, Grimson admitted to killing him and led detectives to his remains, which had been undiscovered in the bushes near a busy road in Hampshire. "There's one more body," he confessed to the astonished officers. He then took them to another remote location a few kilometers away, where he had thrown Sion's body.


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