Who is Cody Ackland? The musician obsessed with Ted Bundy who murdered Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Cody Ackland attacked Bobbi-Anne McLeod with a claw hammer at a bus stop in Leigham

On the surface, Cody Ackland seemed a typical man. He worked, he played in a band and he had friends.

There were highlights on his Instagram of himself and friends gigging, drinking and playing golf.

But nobody knew he was leading a double life in which he was fascinated with serial killers.

He had thousands of pictures of dead bodies, murder weapons and other depraved scenes on his phone.

Who is Cody Ackland?

Ackland is a serial killer obsessed 24-year-old who brutally murdered 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod in Plymouth.

He carried out the sadistic and prolonged attack to satisfy a fascination to imitate the crimes of notorious murderers such as Ted Bundy.

Cody Ackland has been sentenced to life in prison and will serve a minimum of 30 years and 190 days. Police say he has shown no remorse.

The 24-year-old had attacked Bobbi-Anne with a claw hammer at a bus stop in Leigham on November 20 2021 in the early evening. He then kidnapped her and took her to a remote part of Dartmoor before dumping her body in overgrowth at Bovisand.

Three days later he turned himself in, confessed to the murder and told police where they could find the teenager's body. But for two days after the horrific crime he spent time partying, eating pizza with friends and going to the cinema.

His friends said they recall him being "happier than usual".

  • CCTV shows Cody Ackland handing himself in to police

What we know about Ackland's life before the murder

Ackland lived in Southway. He was the lead guitarist and main songwriter for Plymouth band Rakuda.

The band split up on 26 November 2021, the same day Ackland was charged with Bobbi-Anne's murder.

In a statement, the band wrote: "The remaining members of Rakuda; Josh, Ross, Josh and Mike are all extremely shocked and in complete disbelief by the tragic event that has unfolded over the last several days.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s family and friends who must be devastated at their loss.

"As a mark of respect, we have decided that we shall not be going forward as a band and will be disbanding with immediate effect. We will not be making any further comments at this time."

Cody Ackland was told he may never be released Credit: BPM Media

A man with murder on his mind

Ackland was leading a double life and he had a secret. A morbid interest in a significant number of serial killers from around the world, particularly US killer Ted Bundy, whose kidnap and murder of young women bore similarities to Ackland's crime. He had pictures of Bundy and the weapons he used on his phone.

In the days and weeks leading up to Bobbi-Anne's death, Ackland had searched the internet for information about serial killers' crimes, their aftermath and bodies that had been left behind.

Investigators uncovered 3,216 images on Ackland's phone, many of a disturbing and dark nature and reminiscent of horror films.

Senior Crown Advocate Richard Poser told the court Ackland's interests were "sinister and relevant to his motivation", saying: "His interest in the macabre presents as deep-rooted; a fascination with death, murder and murderers and the means to commit murder."

He had viewed and kept extreme and graphic images of dead and dismembered people, postmortems, deposition sites and weapons. Ackland possessed images linked to serial killers and historic missing persons appeals by US police.

Mr Poser added: "There are numerous images of the American serial killer Ted Bundy in his telephone and images of weapons he used to kill his victims. Bundy approached his victims in public places and knocked them unconscious before killing them. It is not a coincidence that Bobbi-Anne McLeod met her fate the same way."

The prosecution said that as he drove through Leigham, Ackland had an intent to replicate the actions of the serial killers he was so fascinated by.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod was at a bus stop close to her home when she was attacked

What did Cody Ackland do on the night he murdered Bobbi-Anne McLeod?

On November 20, Cody Ackland parked his car on a grass bank and walked to a bus stop where Bobbi-Anne was waiting. He then struck her on the head with a claw hammer before kidnapping her.

Ackland said that on the night of the murder he went out because he was "wound up" and needed to get out of the house.

He said he intended to go out socialising for the night and cut through Leigham to save time.

The bus stop in Leigham where Bobbi-Anne McLeod was attacked

It was then that he saw Bobbi-Anne, who he did not know but who resembled girls he had dated in the past.

Ackland said he was not looking for anybody in particular, it was just a coincidence.

He told police the initial bus stop attack was "meant to be it" and went back to his car, but as he was about to leave he saw Bobbi-Anne move. At that point, he drove around to her.

Ackland described his actions as "an industrial way of thinking" to get rid of a problem. He thought about taking Bobbi-Anne to hospital but was scared about being caught. He decided to "dispose" of Bobbi on Dartmoor, so drove to Bellever car park.

There he attacked her again with the hammer, and police believe Bobbi-Anne was killed by Ackland in Bellever Forest on Dartmoor.

He then dumped her body in Bovisand, drove home and went to bed.

Bobbi-Anne's body was found in Bovisand

He spent most of the next day at home. He was monitoring social media around Bobbi-Anne's disappearance. He drove to Tamerton Foliot and threw the hammer into the Tamar.

He then went for a pizza with a friend, went to band practice and drank into the early hours of the next day. He was described as being chatty and having a laugh.

Friends recalled him as being happier than usual. The only time they had ever seen him this happy was just before performing at one of his gigs.

The next day he went to the cinema.

In interviews, Ackland said the killing was not on his mind because it was "so out there" and "so extreme" that it was almost like a film.

He told police he did not know how he felt about the murder. He said it felt like someone else had committed the crime, but he knew deep down that it was him. He blamed childhood issues and a failure to be given help when he was younger.

The 24-year-old led a secret life and was obsessed with serial killers such as Ted Bundy Credit: BPM Media

Mike West, Detective Superintendent for the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: "Ackland acted with a level of ferocity, brutality and he acted in a manner that was a personification of sadism. The brutality and the prolonged nature of the attack upon a lone 18-year-old young woman who was just over 5ft, who was significantly under seven stone, defies belief.

"As does the fact that he has shown no contrition no remorse, and not even approached making any form of apology to Bobbi's loved-ones.

"He's refused to give us a level of detail as to what his motivation might have been, he's avoided questions in relation to what drove him to such horrific acts, he appears to be blaming absolutely everybody apart from himself and the way that he has acted in my experience as an investigator is exceptional."

Det Supt West added: "[Ackland] appears to have led a secret life, operated clandestinely, and his offending has come as a major shock to those who knew him best.

"I've certainly asked the question around prevention and I'm convinced that this happened without warning, and nobody could have recognised the level of risk that Ackland presented."