Colin Ireland (16 March 1954 - 21 February 2012) was a British serial killer known as the "Gay Slayer" because his victims were homosexual men.
While living in Southend, he started frequenting The Coleherne pub, a gay pub in west London. It was known as a place where men cruised for sexual partners and wore colour-coded handkerchiefs that indicated their preferred role. Ireland sought men who liked the passive role and sadomasochism, so he could readily restrain them as they initially believed it was a sexual game.
Ireland said he was heterosexual - he had been married - and that he pretended to be gay only to befriend potential victims. It is unknown whether Ireland's murders were sexually motivated. Ireland was highly organised. He carried a full murder kit of rope and handcuffs and a full change of clothes to each murder. After killing the victim he cleaned the flat of any forensic evidence linking him to the scene and stayed in the flat until morning in order to avoid arousing suspicion from leaving in the middle of the night. Criminologist David Wilson stated that Ireland was a psychopath.
He was jailed for life for the murders in December 1993 and remained imprisoned until his death in February 2012, at the age of 57.

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