Serial killer abandons 'hell' persona

A man labelled New Zealand's first serial killer, who killed two prostitutes and a massage parlour boss, says he has abandoned the second "hell" personality that drove him to commit the murders.

Hayden Poulter, now 51, was jailed for at least 15 years for the 1996 rape and killing of prostitute Natacha Hogan, stabbing to death of sex worker Ladda Nimphet and her boss Herbert Richard Norris.

He told police that his second personality, "Hell", drove him to commit the murders and also the attempted murder of another sex worker, Angkana Chaisamret.

He became eligible for parole in 2011, but has so far been denied an early release.

In his latest appearance before the parole board, Poulter said he had let go of the Hell persona, which he had adopted to avoid responsibility for his offending, and it would not return.

He said he used the persona to avoid dealing with a variety of emotions, including those resulting from his wife and child leaving him.

Board convenor Marion Frater said it was a significant development, but it would need to be looked at by a psychologist.

Poulter had earlier expressed remorse for the killings. He will appear before the board again in October.

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