Colin Ireland, a serial killer who murdered five gay men in the early 1990s has died in prison.

Ireland, who was sentenced to whole life imprisonment in 1993 and dubbed the ‘Gay Slayer’, is reported to have died from natural causes aged 57.

The Yorkshire Post reports a Prison Service spokeswoman saying: “As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

Ireland had made a New Year’s resolution to become a serial killer at the start of 1993 and picked men up in a bar before murdering them in their homes.

All of Ireland’s murders took place in 1993 and involved men he had found at the Coleherne Pub in Earls Court, London.

Ireland called the Samaritans and The Sun newspaper after murdering his first victim, choreographer Peter Walker. He expressed his intention to become a serial killer.

Later, he would call police to ask why they had not linked the next three murders.

After Peter Walker, Ireland killed Christopher Dunn a 37-year-old librarian, Perry Bradley III, 35, the son of a US Congressman, Andrew Collier, 33, and Emanuel Spiteri, 41. He also killed Andrew Collier’s pet cat.

Ireland consistently denied being gay himself, saying he posed as gay to gain access to men’s homes where he could then carry out the killings.

He reportedly told investigators gays “keep their mouths shut and don’t tell the police things”.

He admitted all his crimes at the Old Bailey on 20 December 1993.

A 2007 report by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Group (LGBT IAG) found that the police investigation was “hampered by a lack of knowledge of the gay scene in London and the special culture of SM bondage”.

“In particular, valuable time was lost before the police managed to recognise two common threads to the crimes. These links were established only after the death of the fourth victim.”