Who were Stephen Ports victims? BBC series Four Lives pays tribute

Four Lives stars Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith

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Miniseries Four Lives starts on BBC One this week with all three episodes airing on successive nights at 9pm. The factual drama is about the victims of murderer Stephen Port, who invited men to his flat in Barking, east London, where he would drug and rape them before disposing of their bodies nearby. Previously titled The Barking Murders, Four Lives was renamed to focus the story on the victims of the killings rather than Port. Express.co.uk looks at the men whose lives were lost at the hands of the cold-blooded killer.

Who were Stephen Port’s victims?

Anthony Walgate, 23

Anthony Walgate was Port’s first victim after he was lured to the killer’s flat in June 2014.

The young fashion student from Hull was studying in London and sometimes worked as an escort to make extra cash.

Port gave Walgate a fatal dose of the drug GHB before dragging the young man’s body outside his flat.

Port used his victim’s mobile phone to call an ambulance before abandoning the scene.

Gabriel Kovari, 22

Gabriel Kovari was from Slovakia but moved to London after completing his degree, according to iNews.

He had ambitions to become a translator and work for the NHS but sadly his dreams were ended after meeting Port.

For a brief period, Kovari lived with Port after saying he had a free room in his flat for a lodger, reported the Belfast Telegraph.

Kovari was murdered in August 2014 in similar circumstances to Walgate with his body left in nearby St Margaret’s churchyard.

Daniel Whitworth, 21

Daniel Whitworth from Gravesend, Kent was working as a chef in London when he encountered Port through a dating site.

According to The Sun, Whitworth had been working in upmarket places such as Canary Wharf and One Moorgate Place.

His body was again found in the churchyard with a fake suicide note on him which seemed to suggest he had been responsible for Kovari’s death as well.

Like the previous victims, Whitworth has been poisoned with GHB. Later, the police concluded the suicide note had been written by Port.

Jack Taylor, 25

Port’s final victim was Jack Taylor, who worked as a night shift forklift driver.

Taylor was found dead in St Mary’s churchyard where both Kovari and Whitworth were discovered.

Despite the striking similarities between the cases, Taylor’s death wasn’t linked to the other two men and considered a drug overdose.

Instead, Taylor’s family launched their own lines of investigation into his death to get to the truth.

An inquest in December 2021 concluded the errors during the investigation into Walgate’s death contributed to the killings of Kovari, Whitworth and Taylor.

The families of Port’s victims hailed the inquest jury’s findings, saying: “The deaths of Anthony, Gabriel, Daniel and Jack should be on public record as one of the most widespread institutional failures in modern history.”

Port is serving a whole life order after he was convicted in November 2016 and is unlikely to ever be released.

The producers of Four Lives reached out to the families of the victims to inform them of the factual drama and work with them on the programme.

Producer Jeff Pope told the Radio Times: “Our process is to engage very, very early with the families, which we did. And if we’d really encountered a lot of resistance to the idea of doing this drama then we would have abandoned it at that point.

“The only family that we couldn’t really establish proper contact with was Gabriel Kovari’s family in Slovakia. We informed them about what we were doing and so they’re aware of it… but they chose not to be involved.”

Four Lives will be airing on BBC One on Monday, January 3 at 9pm and all episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer

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