Sunday, 4 November 2012

Bradford s ` Infamous

Bradford.  The name usually brought up mental images of a city full of different cultures, most particularly, Asian.  What is not generally known, is that the first influx of people from the continent, were refugees from the Soviet Union.  This happened during the 1950`s.  So having such a completely diverse mix of cultures, it is inevitable that the dark side of these cultures emerges.  Prostitution, a profession once culturally controlled by West Indians, is now controlled by Asians.  This change is not widely known outside Bradford, as people still believed West Indians were the principal pimps, alongside their long history of involvement in drugs.  This I know through where I come from, Ellesmere Port, as numerous people I knew, thought that all pimps were West Indians.  Asians are very prominent in the drugs trade, very prominent.

    Yet when we look at the murderous side of Bradford, the most infamous are white.  The most infamous is Peter Sutcliffe, the Ripper, hailing from the Heaton area.  Suffice to say, much has been written about him, so we will by-pass him.  We then had "The Black Panther," multiple murderer and kidnapper, Donald Neilson.  He hailed from the Thornbury district, and carried out numerous burglaries and armed robberies, always alone.  He brutally shot dead three sub-postmasters during botched raids, during the night, holding them at gunpoint, in their homes above the shops.  In one attack, he cold-bloodedly shot one dead, and then almost beat his victims` wife to death with his gun.  He then kidnapped a teenage girl, Lesley Whittle, and murdered her when his plans went wrong.

    Next on the list is murderer and kidnapper Michael Sams.  He hailed from Keighley, just outside Bradford. He murdered a prostitute that he kidnapped, Julie Dart, then kidnapped an estate agent, Stephanie Slater, who survived.  Sams had tried some extortion demands, at first, against British Rail, by threatening to derail passenger trains.  This failed, so he resorted to kidnapping, ultimately leading to murder and his eventual downfall.

    Over the last couple of years, we have had two notorious cases.  One is the so-called "Crossbow Cannibal" Stephen Griffiths.  He murdered and dismembered three prostitutes, and is thought to have consumed part of one of his victims.  His last killing, he carried out in full view of CCTV, doing nothing to hide his identity.  Griffiths was an obvious narcissist, wanting his piece of "fame."  Up next, is probably the oldest convicted killer to be given a whole life tariff.  Ernest Wright was a criminal originally from the Shipley district.  He had already served a very long sentence for a gruesome murder in 1971(roundabout), down south.  His murder here, was a brutal shotgun killing of a gay man, and the attempted murder of his partner.  The Police launched a manhunt, and arrested him.  They quickly disproved the alibi he had carefully constructed for himself.  Despite his age, 68, the Judge stated that he was far too dangerous to be ever released, and imposed a whole life sentence.