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Shelter is the main antagonist from the 1993 novel "Stone Cold" by Robert Swindells which about homelessness. His character changed a bit in the 1997 TV show adaption of the story. He hates homeless people seeing them as scum and wishes to remove them from the world and does so by luring them into his house and killing them.
He was portrayed by Peter Howitt in the episodes.
Shelter was originally a soldier in the British Army who was discharged after twenty nine years because of his mental health condition. Shelter developed an intense hatred of the homeless, deeming them lazy and a burden to society. Deeming himself to be a still active soldier, he made it a mission to rid London of the homeless. Living at Nine Mornington Palace, Camden, he bought a cat called Sappho, despite hating cats. He bought it to lure victims in, tricking them to believing him kind hearted. Understanding serial killers and their patterns of selecting victims, Shelter decided to create a diversity when selecting victims, or as he called them “recruits”. Prior to his capture he murdered seven people. Among the victims was at at least one woman, and a black person, so the police would not realise a pattern. After each killing, he would shave their head, then change them into army uniforms and boots, then store the corpses under the floor boards. He called them the Camden Horizontals.
In the text Shelter is shown to have a log diary named "Daily Routine Orders" about how each day goes. Before moving to Central London to obtain his victims he headed to buy a cat named Sappho apparently in order to make his home less suspicious. Soon arriving in London he captured several young homless people by tricking them into the hostel trap and then murdering them.
In a crosspatch between the hero of the story homeless teen Link and his best friend Ginger, who then made fun of the army, Shelter decided to capture them. First getting Ginger when he went on a trip with a gang of friends claiming that Link was hurt and bought to his house in order for revival needing his help, Shelter murdered Ginger before hunting for Link.
While Link soon meets a homeless girl named Gail, Shelter stalks them until finally capturing Link. Link who began to start getting tortured was soon rescued by Gail along with the police.
Shelter is seen to be arrested while Link falls out with Gail after finding out she wasn't homeless instead using him to give a good story to the press.
- Shelter is apparently a code name as well as Link's while neither of the two's real are ever told to the reader
- It can be theorized Shelter also liked Gail as he wouldn't have revealed it in his journal but got angry at Link for having her to himself.