Last week, as part of our FAQ update, we looked into the question of why Abraham Christie got involved in the Hampstead Satanic ritual abuse hoax. We’re following up with a more in-depth look at Ella Gareeva Draper, who has always seemed curiously two-dimensional to us. Please feel free to critique, add information we might have forgotten, or ask questions we haven’t answered. Our goal is to make this blog’s FAQ the gold standard for credible, well-referenced information about the hoax, so have at it!
Who is Ella Gareeva Draper?
Ella Gareeva was born on 13 December 1972, in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, which was listed last year as “the most dangerous city in Europe” due to its skyrocketing crime rate.
(We mention this only because Ella would later allege to interviewers that as a Russian she had very little knowledge or understanding of sexual crimes against children, which she claimed were a uniquely British phenomenon. We find this strange, since Ella’s home town was known in the 1970s and 1980s as home to Andrei Chikatilo, known as the Rostov Ripper, who spent 12 years luring a total of 55 young male and female victims from bus and train stations around the city. He would sexually assault, mutilate, murder them; then he would chop out their tongues, burst their eardrums, and gouge out their eyes, which he feared had logged his image. After all this, he would eat their genitals. Frankly, we find it hard to believe that anyone living in that city at the time could have failed to be aware of this person’s activities.)
Ella attended the Moscow State University and graduated with a master’s degree in Art History in the mid-1990s.
Ella and her then-partner Mr Draper had a son in 1997; in 1999, Ella and Mr Draper married in London. However, within a few years Ella left her husband.
By 2003, she was in a relationship with Ricky Dearman, and in 2005 they had a daughter (“Child P”); a year later, they had a son (“Child Q”). Ella and RD’s relationship had deteriorated by 2006, and he moved out of the family home to an adjacent street.
In 2008, a core assessment was prepared by the London Borough of Camden, and the children were placed on a CIN (Children in Need) plan. This appears to have been implemented because the children had been seen to steal food from other children and from the school bins. In 2013, the children were referred to social services again, because of “concerns over the children being left on their own as being heard crying”.
Ella and the children received several referrals to the Tavistock Institute and CAMHS, which she failed to attend. Concerns were expressed about Child P’s relationship with her mother, but Ella failed to take advantage of the professional help offered.
According to the fact-finding judgment handed down in High Court by Mrs Justice Pauffley, “there was never a time when the children’s contact with their father proceeded smoothly”. Ella made numerous allegations against RD, including assault against herself, assault against her son, assault against her mother, attempted murder of her mother, assault of the two younger children, and sexual abuse of the two younger children. None of these allegations stood up in court, and RD continued to be granted access to the children, but Ella blocked this at every turn.
At one point in 2010 she was able to obtain a “non-molestation order” against her ex-partner. To clarify, this sort of order does not imply guilt, but is simply a way to ensure that one person is unable to contact another.
RD obtained numerous court orders to enable him to have contact with the children in the five-year period prior to the 2014 hoax; Ella was able to thwart them all. In November 2013, Ella and RD met at the McDonald’s restaurant in Hampstead. She presented him with papers to sign, which would enable her to take the two children out of the country. However, instead of signing, RD presented Ella with his own court papers: he had initiated proceedings to gain full custody of their children. It now seems entirely possible that this was the final straw, and the factor which precipitated the hoax
Ella had an interest in Bikram yoga—yoga performed in rooms kept at a high temperature—and was teaching this as well as “face yoga” by 2013. She had an interest in health and fitness, and insisted that her children follow her strictly vegan diet.
In May 2014, Ella met Abraham Christie, who shared her passion for raw veganism, with an added twist of his own: raw, juiced hemp. Within a few weeks, Ella said, Abe was staying overnight at her house two to three nights per week.
Abraham had a confrontation at Christ Church Primary School when he arrived at the end of the day to pick up Ella’s children. According to Mrs Justice Pauffley, “He was loud and aggressive, accusing the teachers of poisoning the children by giving them the food supplied at the school”.
Ella’s role in the Hampstead hoax
In some ways, Ella’s character remains enigmatic. In all her interviews, she comes across as wooden, characterless, a bit of a cipher.
We have little knowledge of Ella’s response to the schoolyard confrontation. Nor do we know what role she played in the decision to take the children to Morocco for the month of August.
We do know, however, that while Abraham was subjecting her children to beatings, hitting them with spoons, kicking them, burning them, pouring water over their heads while they knelt in their underwear before him, and threatening to bury them alive in the desert, Ella made no attempt to stop him. Nor did she intervene when Abraham would wake the children up at night for “brainstorming” sessions. According to Child P, Ella seemed to approve of Abraham’s torture of her children.
We do know that the police were surprised at her response to what the children said while they were at Jean-Clement Yaohirou’s house the night they returned from Morocco. A notation on the CRIS report says that while the children described the most brutal and horrific sexual abuse, Ella did not “seem overly concerned”, and that she could be heard on that recording “laughing and joking about it”.
Following the children being taken into protective custody on 11 September 2014, Abraham made a hasty exit, in an attempt to convince the courts that he was out of the picture and that the children could be returned to Ella. It didn’t work, and Ella spent the rest of 2014 battling the courts to regain custody. On 10 December, having already sacked one set of solicitors who refused to do her bidding, she sacked a second set—twice—and they very unwisely handed her the court bundle, which included the CRIS report, videos of the police ABE interviews with the children, the medical reports, and other confidential material which, in the normal course of things, she would only have viewed under supervision. Later, she and Abraham would release this material in dribs and drabs, as a way of feeding the public hunger for salacious details of the case.
During what would be their last supervised visit, Ella brought pencils and paper and attempted to cajole her children into writing to the judge that they wished to return home to her. At that meeting, the supervisor reported that Ella had threatened the children that something could happen to their dog if they refused to co-operate; nevertheless, they refused, and she stormed out angrily.
Ella refused to attend the fact-finding hearing which began in late January 2015, a fact which Mrs Justice Pauffley noted in her judgment.
In this video from February 2015 (which we will not show as its thumbnail contains images of the two children), Ella and Abraham can be heard making their escape from the police who’d come to speak with her about the illegal release of her children’s videos. They flee the scene through a back window of her house, leaving her lawyer to communicate with the police through the letter-slot in the door. According to police, Ella and Abraham fled along the roof-line of the house, and made their way out of the country. At present they are presumed by most people to be in either Spain or Morocco.
In a video of Ella, released three days after the Pauffley judgment was handed down, Ella, clad in a light-blue track suit, makes a “witness statement”. In a robotic monotone, she reads from a script, stating she is acting under the Criminal Law Act “to expose serious crimes of ritual Satanic abuse, including rape, sodomy, murder, and cannibalism committed against infants and children in churches and primary schools in the UK”. She goes on for nearly 18 minutes, her voice and facial expression never changing, as she talks about her children allegedly having been subjected to grotesque torture since the time they were infants.
If Ella’s response to her children’s “revelations” during the Jean-Clement video was odd, this video is downright bizarre. Certainly, not every parent would break down in tears at the thought of harm coming to their children, but Ella’s performance is downright wooden. Never once does her voice shake, her gaze waver. She doesn’t blink away tears, or pause to collect herself. The viewer would be forgiven for thinking that Ella didn’t believe a word she was saying.
Following this video, Ella and Abraham would participate in a number of interviews with various UK and US conspiracy theorists, in an effort to promote the hoax and bring in new supporters. During the first year of the hoax, Ella tended to say little, other than the odd nervous laugh, and let Abraham do most of the talking.
However, by mid-2016 it had become apparent that Abraham was “box-office poison” on the troofer interview circuit. In 2017, Ella was put forward as the couple’s spokesperson in a series of interviews with US troofers like Nathan Stolpman and Sean of SGT Reports. These videos represented an attempt to raise their flagging fortunes, as they attempted to open several crowd-funding campaigns to raise money. Clearly, they are now out of cash and desperate; in one interview, the allegedly vegan Ella could be heard speaking over several clucking chickens.
Ella admits to lying
According to interviewer Nathan Stolpman, who interviewed Ella several times and was very supportive of the hoax, Ella confided to him that she had been “mistaken” in claiming that Mr Draper and their eldest son had been involved in the “cult”—her ex-husband as the “cult financier” and her son as a sexual abuser of her two younger children.
However, this directly contradicts the stories of Child P and Child Q, who stated on the videos made en route from Morocco that both things were true. In admitting that she had made up at least part of the story, Ella inadvertently destroyed the hoax: “true believers” had been insisting that they believed every word the children said, but now Ella was saying that at least some of what they had said had been concocted by her and/or Abraham.
Why she admitted to this is not yet clear. However, we expect that when she and Abraham are eventually apprehended and brought back to face their crimes, the truth will come out.