Ackland, obsessed with serial killer Ted Bundy, murdered 18-year-old Bobbi with a claw hammer and dumped her body near Bovisand Beach
A musician obsessed with US serial killer Ted Bundy has brutally murdered 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod after spotting her waiting for a bus.
Cody Ackland was leading a “double life,” the court heard when he appeared for sentencing after admitting to Miss McLeod’s murder.
Bobbi-Anne was last seen at a bus stop on November 20 last year, her body was found near Bovisand beach on November 23.
How long was Ackland in prison?
The 24-year-old was sentenced to at least 31 years of life imprisonment at Plymouth Crown Court.
A judge told him he would remain a “highly dangerous person” indefinitely, adding: “There is a strong possibility that you will never be released from prison.”
After attacking Miss McLeod with a claw hammer, Ackland loaded the semi-conscious teenager into the footwell of his Ford Fiesta and drove her 20 miles to Bellever Forest car park on Dartmoor, where he killed her.
Ackland burned her purse and loaded her body in his trunk and drove 30 miles back towards Plymouth to Bovisand where he stripped her naked and left her in the undergrowth.
He later threw away her clothes in an allotment before spending the next 48 hours hanging out with friends.
Three days later, Ackland turned himself in and confessed to detectives where he had dumped her body.
Who is Cody Ackland?
Ackland, 24, was the lead guitarist for Plymouth-based Indy band Rakuda.
He also worked as a car porter.
However, he was hiding a dark obsession. When police searched his home following Miss McLeod’s murder, they found a cache of over 3,000 dark and disturbing images on Ackland’s phone.
Many of them were tracked down from the mutilated bodies of murder victims, as well as murder weapons, soiled and bloodied clothing, and the sites of sacrifice.
Turns out he was fascinated by various notorious serial killers.
Investigators found from August to November last year that Ackland had been searching for information on several killers, including Ted Bundy, Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo Jr., Andrei Chikatilo, Ivan Milat, Fred West and Tommy Sells.
In the week before Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s murder, Ackland conducted additional searches for Ted Bundy, Fred West, and “Fred West’s house.”
Two days after the murder, he was also looking for Richard Chase, the Sacramento Vampire, and “Richard Chase Bodys”.
The day before he turned himself in to police, Ackland was also searching for serial killer Ed Kemper.
In the days and hours leading up to the murder, Ackland searched out-of-the-way places on Dartmoor for possible weapons.
Richard Posner, prosecutor, said: “His interest in the macabre present runs deep; a fascination with death, murder, and murderers, and the means of committing murder.”
Ackland, it seemed, had had problems growing up and was diagnosed with special educational needs at age seven, and by age nine he was contemplating suicide.
He was diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, depression and anxiety, and by the age of 19 “had a seven-year history of depression,” the court was told.
It has been said that he has not received “much comfort” from his home or school life and that his father and other male role models have not offered much “in the form of succor or support”.
Who is Ted Bundy?
A notorious American serial killer, he kidnapped, raped, and murdered several young women in the 1970s.
After a decade of denials, he finally admitted to 28 murders in seven states between 1974 and 1978. However, it is suspected that he committed other murders. He received three death sentences and was executed in 1989.
Ackland’s attack on Miss McLeod bore a striking resemblance to the tactics used by American serial killer Bundy in the 1970s, approaching her from behind and hitting her with a hammer before kidnapping her.
Was Ackland known to the police?
The murder was the first time Ackland had come to police attention, and not a single person who knew him had the faintest inkling of his dark leanings.
The day after the murder, Ackland was out again, rehearsing with his band Rakuda and partying into the small hours in a pub lock-in.
The only difference friends noticed was that Ackland, who has been described as typically introspective and keen to share his feelings, was “happier than usual.”
They said the only time they’d seen him in such a bubbly and happy state was when Rakuda was getting ready backstage for a gig.
By Tuesday of the following week, Ackland had surrendered and told police he had dumped Miss McLeod’s body in the undergrowth in Bovisand – a beautiful piece of land a few miles from Plymouth.
He told police he hadn’t even thought about the murder for the past three days because it was “so out there” that it was like a movie or a fantasy.
Ackland claimed he was feeling down on the day of the murder, drove to clear his head and bumped into Miss McLeod while taking a shortcut through Leigham on his way to the town centre.
What did he tell the police about what he did?
Around noon on Tuesday, November 23, Ackland left work in a cleaning department of a garage and never returned.
At 1.30pm he entered Charles Cross Police Station in Plymouth and said he had information on Miss McLeod’s disappearance.
Ackland was arrested on suspicion of murder. He asked for a map and referred the officers to Bovisand. She said she could be found in the alley leading to the beach cafe.
In disturbing police interviews, Ackland revealed the horrifying circumstances surrounding the night of the murder, for which he said he was “solely responsible.” He confessed, he claimed, to helping the police and Bobbi-Anne’s family.
He told police he panicked when a still-conscious Bobbi-Anne McLeod caught his eye as she fell to the ground.
“I did it again, I hit her with the hammer again and got back in the car and was going to drive away,” he said.
Ackland said “that should be it,” but as he got back to his car, he saw Miss McLeod sit up and try to scream, adding, “I drove over to her and put her in the car.”
He said he picked up Miss McLeod and supported her as they walked towards the woods and she said she said something like “I’m scared”.
Ackland told police, “I said (to Miss McLeod) so am I, I’ve never done that, I’ve never seen that,” but I wanted to say, “I’ve never done that.”
What happened to Rakuda?
Ackland was lead guitarist for Plymouth-based indy band Rakuda, who released their debut EP in August last year.
At the time of publication, an article from rightcordmusic.com described Ackland as the band’s principal songwriter and lead guitarist, and described the group’s sound as a throwback to ’90s and ’00s garage rock.
The other members of Rakuda announced in November that they were disbanding “effective immediately” and said they were “extremely shocked and completely in disbelief” at what happened and said their thoughts were with Miss McLeod’s family . The band’s profile picture is that of a candle in honor of Miss McLeod.
Weeks later, they said they were taking a “brief hiatus from the music scene” to reform in spring 2022.
https://www.nationalworld.com/news/crime/cody-ackland-bobbi-anne-mcleod-killer-plymouth-rakuda-sentence-3701163 Cody Ackland: Who Killed Bobbi-Anne McLeod?