Michael Sellers is believed to have attacked Miss Spinks as she tended her horse before killing himself. Friends and neighbors who knew Sellers have since come forward and described him as a “weirdo” and a “perverted stalker.” One described him as a “creepy-looking” loner who could not make eye contact.
Neighbors have also now revealed he would use binoculars to spy on women. Sellers is thought to have become obsessed with Miss Spinks while they worked at Chesterfield e-commerce firm Xbite Ltd.
This week, his neighbors spoke to the local Derbyshire press about his odd behavior. One, who asked not to be named, said, “I found him a little strange. He would never speak or give you eye contact if he saw you in the street. He would spy on people from his parents’ home, especially women. I’m convinced I once caught him looking at me through a pair of binoculars.”
The unnamed source went on, “A friend told me she thought he had followed her once. It was really creepy behavior. He wasn’t a bad-looking lad – just odd. It’s terrible what happened.”
Another neighbor said, “I always said he was a little strange. He’d never speak to anyone but just stare. It’s scary that someone living so close to us could have murdered that woman.”
Another neighbor said, “I have a daughter, and I’m glad he didn’t speak to her.”
One of his co-workers said of Sellers, “He was strange. He became very weird at work, going like blank and staring at people. The women became wary of him. Hardly anyone liked him. He was a real loner.”
Sellers, 35, is thought to have fatally attacked Miss Spinks, 23, as she tended to her horse, Paddy, at a farm in Duckmanton, on Friday, June 18.
Shortly after her body was found, he was discovered dead in fields half a mile away.
Friends have told how Sellers became obsessed with Miss Spinks following a date and continued to turn up at the stables. She contacted police to say she was being stalked by Sellers. Derbyshire police are now being investigated by the UK’s Independent Office for Police Conduct over the contact they had with her prior to her death.
According to the Daily Mirror, one of Miss Spinks’ work friends claimed, “It’s going around that she had a stalker who was totally obsessed with her. He wouldn’t take no for an answer, so she got a restraining order out against him.”
In a heartbreaking tribute, Miss Spinks’ mother, Alison Heaton, wrote on Facebook, “My beautiful daughter Gracie taken away from me, her dad and brother and sister and everyone who loved and cared for her.”
Mrs. Heaton added broken heart and crying emojis and changed her Facebook profile picture to a photo of her daughter with a pink frame stating, “Stop violence against women, justice for women.”
Heaton wants people to support a petition to be sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for a “Gracie’s Law” demanding harsher punishment for stalkers, especially those who threaten a woman’s life.