Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Disappearance of Susan Walsh

The disappearance of Susan Walsh in 1996 has all the hallmarks of a complex mystery story.  There are so many different possible scenarios and so many potential suspects, that the case stalled after a couple of years, with every possible avenue of investigation, explored.  Susan Walsh vanished after walking to a public telephone, very close to her home.

    Susan Walsh grew up in New Jersey and fell into a problem that blights the lives of many young people; drugs.  But after a spell in rehab, she married and had a child, but the marriage fell failed.  She lived in the same home as her estranged husband.  Susan got a job as a stripper, working in clubs in New Jersey & New York, gaining good income.  But it seemed that she slipped back into using drugs, and her agent, who booked her dancing stints was suspected of being a drug pusher.  When Susan wished to call her agent, her husband insisted she used the nearby telephone.  Susan did branch out into journalism, writing and researching articles for the Village Voice magazine.  These included potential suspects for her disappearance;  strippers in clubs owned by Russians, and a vampire cult that was having blood stolen from hospitals.  She also helped research a book about the dancing and stripping game in that corner of the USA.  She was also one of the storytellers featured in the book.

    One friend commented that she had long lived life at full speed and she was facing total burnout, and hoped that if she did go on her own volition, it was to reorganise her life.  But she vanished after going to the telephone.  She left her keys, credit cards, clothes, and most importantly, her child.  Many leads were fully investigated and all cleared.  The case went cold.  Ten years later, a new detective chief reopened the case and made it a priority.  But, the former husband declined to help the new investigation and indeed, had a lawyer tell the Police not to bother him.  The new chief obviously made headway, as he said he did not have enough evidence to make an arrest, so he had somebody in mind.

    So what are the possibilities?  The ex-husband?  Why did he involve a lawyer?  To me, that is strange.  He was not arrested or accused of anything, but it could have been that he wanted it left.  The Agent who was an alleged pusher?  Or could it have been an obsessive punter whom had watched her dance.  What about her journalistic investigations?  Russians were people you did not get involved with and would kill without a second thought.  The Vampire cult she investigated?  Did her articles cut off their supply of blood from hopitals?  What about any men friends she had?  Many potential suspects but were any involved in her disappearance?  As for a snatch on the street, this was a very busy road so there would have been plenty of witnesses, and there were stores on the opposite side of the road.  A mystery that would have intrigued Holmes or Columbo.

The Murder of Gerry Tobin

The murder of Hells Angel Gerry Tobin, 35, was an act that put seven members of rival club TheOutlaws in prison for between twenty and thirty plus years.  The reason?  Simply because he was a full Hells Angel member.  He was shot riding his bike on the M40, after attending the Bulldog Bash, a huge biker weekend festival.  Tobin was shot simply because he was there, in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The target was any Hells Angel.  The hit team used three vehicles, firing two fatal shots.  The convicted were Sean Creighton, Dane Garside, Karl Garside, Simon Turner, Dean Taylor, Ian Cameron & Malcolm Bull.

    The convicted were members of the South Warwickshire chapter of The Outlaws.  A book was written about the ascent of The Outlaws in the UK by Tony Thompson, a crime reporter and author.  According to Thompsons` book, the Warwickshire Chapter split into North & South Chapters due to internal strife caused by Simon Turner.  It was suggested that Turner was pushing other members into doing acts and basically throwing his weight about.  Some agreed with him, others did not, hence the split.  According to Thompsons` book, Turner was constantly at others with remarks like "Do you want to be a Hells Angel?"  Judging by the alleged behaviour of Turner, it seems to me that he thought he could climb up the Outlaw hierarchy.  Maybe National or even European presidency.  Well, he has a long time to reflect on that.

    There has been media speculation that the order must have come from the USA, to carry out the hit.  I believe that they did not need an order to come from the States, as Hells Angels outside the States did their own thing.  Think about the most violent biker mob of them all, the Laval Chapter, which five were slaughtered and a couple others targeted, turned themselves into authorities, including psycho killer Yves Trudeau.  They were out of control so other Angel chapters in Canada decided to do some in-house cleaning.  Another big Canadian Angel, Mom Bouchier, did not need orders to do what he did.  And then what about the rubbing out of a Dutch Angel by his own comrades?  Did an order come from the States?  I think it is the same in The Outlaws & The Bandidos that operate outside the States.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Fred & Rose West

This post is not an in-depth look at the case but a reaction to a three part documentary on the murderous twosome.  One suggestion was that Rose West was manipulated by Fred.  To me, this is total bollocks.  Fred had a thing for filming her when she was servicing other men in their home, and she certainly looked like she was enjoying herself.  There was forensic evidence that one of the victims was murdered at a time when Fred was serving a prison sentence!  Then you wonder just who committed the murder, don`t you?  It also raises the question on who helped her with the burial?  One of her boyfriends perhaps?

    There was one very disturbing accusation that the house was a brothel that was frequented by Police Officers.  An enquiry concluded that no Police went there for sexual services from Rose, and that surviving victim Sharon Compton was never at the house and therefore suffered no violent and sexual assaults.  Really?   A witness who gave much compelling evidence at a house that apparently she never entered?   Stop for one minute and think about this;  Fred was a one time Police informer who was setting up lodgers at his home for drug arrests by Police.  As Fred was helping raise their drug convictions, it is logical that they would deny using the brothel, having sex with Rose.  After all, British Police Officers do not do that sort of thing.  It would be a heavy blow to the integrity of a force to have it confirmed that coppers were screwing a female serial killer, and indulging in whatever sexual practices they took a fancy to.

     A couple of people escaped their murder spree; Sharon Compton and also Caroline Roberts.  Their evidence was crucial to the conviction of Rose, but if Rose was a "victim" as some suggest, these witnesses certainly did not think so.  They made it clear that she was as guilty as him.  But how many bodies courtesy of this sick, twisted duo, are still out there?  Fred had spoken of at least twenty.  You have to think how many victims it took for them to hone their killing skill.  You do not start off as an organised killer, it takes "practice".  She should be constantly pressured to reveal all and give all their victims a proper burial.

Hanged in Error?

In 1948, David Maxwell-Fyfe made a statement in the House of Commons saying that mistakes in capital murder trials are not issues to be considered.  He also said that Judges, Juries and Home Secretaries may be stricken mad in thinking so.  This blind approach to Justice and whether somebody died on the end of a rope, revealed the set in stone views that mistakes do not happen in the UK.  Author and researcher John Eddlestone has researched many murder cases and found nearly one hundred had dubious convictions.  Many of these convicted were hanged.  We have to consider the odd trifling mistakes we Brits have made.  Timothy Evans, Derek Bentley, Mahmood Mattan, George Kelly; all paid the ultimate price.  Many years later their convictions were thrown out.  What about George McKay or John Williams as he also called himself in 1912 for the murder of Inspector Arthur Walls of the Eastbourne Police, and the so-called friend who cheerfully set him up to the Police just so he could get his hands on his girlfriend. 

    Guy Browne for the murder of PC George Gutteridge in 1927.  He was hanged as was his accomplice William Kennedy, yet Kennedys` actions were ignored when it came to his arrest.  He tried to shoot Police Officers.  Browne did have an alibi, but Kennedy made the most remarkable statement in which Police claimed that he made with no prompting but most conveniently answered all the questions they needed to ask.  The execution of Robert Hoolhouse in 1938 for the murder of Margaret Dobson yet witnesses saw a stranger by the scene of the murder, and the description and clothes wore by the man were not Hoolhouse.  Another case was the murder of prostitute Olive Balchin in Manchester in 1947 and the execution of Walter Rowland for the crime, despite alibi witnesses which included a couple of Police Officers, and the mysterious appearance of paricle evidence turning up in Rowlands` trouser turn ups but not on the trousers themselves.  What really went against Rowland was his conviction for murdering his daughter in 1934 but being reprieved from the Death Sentence by the Home Secretary.

    Another case being examined by researchers is that of Burns & Devlin.  They were both executed side by side for the murder of Beatrice Rimmer in Liverpool.  This, like the hanging of George Kelly, involved notorious Liverpool detective, Bert Balmer.  I will try and do a summary of these cases over time.  I have already been asked to have a look at the Walter Rowland case by a writer researching it.

The Execution of Marilyn Plantz

Marilyn Plantz was yet another example of a woman deciding that she no longer wants her husband so he has to be murdered and let us see if we can claim his insurance money.  What had husband Jim Plantz done to deserve his fate?  nothing at all.  He was a devoted husband and a very devoted father.  She grew bored with her life and wanted something more exciting.  She had an affair with a much younger man, 18 year old Clifford Bryson.  As usualy happens in these scenarios, she paints a picture of a violent and abusive spouse, who threatened her harm if she left him.  Her young lover swallowed all this, and went along with her suggestion that it would be better if he died and that he would receive a share of his insurance money. 

    Bryson convinced a friend, Clinton McKimble, to assist in the murder.  The plan was put into action on August 26 1988.  They waited in the house for Jim Plantz to come home.  Mrs Plantz was in bed, as were her children.  When he walked in, they attacked him with baseball bats, pummelling him mercilessly.  She stayed in bed listening to the attack on her husband.  They loaded his body into his car, drove off to a secluded spot and started pouring fuel inside and over the car. But Jim Plantz stirred.  He was not dead.  But that did not stop Bryson & McKimble.  They continued pouring petrol around the car and then set it ablaze.  Jim Plantz died the most gruesome of deaths.

    Marilyn Plantz attempted to make it seem that her husband had not come home.  This plan unravelled as Police enquiries unearthed Bryson & McKimble.  McKimble cracked, and in exchange for no Death Sentence, he would testify against the other two.  He said that after the beating, she came downstairs but looking at his injuries decided that it could not look like an accident so suggested they take him and his car and burn it.  He described how Jim Plantz stirred but it made no difference to them.  Plantz & Bryson were sentenced to death.  In June 2000, the State of Oklahoma executed Clifford Bryson by lethal injection.  Marilyn Plantz received a lethal injection in May 2001, witnessed by many of her husbands` family.

Murderous Double Acts PT2

This sick & twisted pair killed for the flimiest of reasons.  Alex Baranyi & David Andersen.  They slaughtered the Wilson Family in Washington State around 1997, the parents and their two daughters.  Why?  Because one of the Wilson girls believed that if Andersen wanted things like cigarettes, he should start buying his own.  This sparked a homicidal grudge in Andersen, who was an obvious relentless narcissist who thought that she should be privileged to be around such a person as himself.  He planned the murders for a year with his best friend Alex Baranyi.  The plan involved killing them all before they reached 18, as then, if caught, could not receive the Death Penalty.  Three of the family were attacked in their beds, bludgeoned and stabbed.  The other girl was lured to a park to meet Andersen, where she met her death at their hands.

    The Police investigation homed in on Baranyi, and forensic evidence was discovered linking him to the murders.  He described in graphic detail, and with great relish how the Wilson Family was slaughtered.  This truly appalled the investigators.  Through statements from other friends, Police arrested David Andersen, but did not have enough evidence to charge him.  His behaviour throughout was of arrogance, thinking the cops were never as clever as him.  Police later arrested Andersen again and forensic examinations finally linked him directly to the crimes.  Baranyi was convicted and received 770 years.  But the trial of Andersen was a deadlock and a retrial ordered.  This time he was convicted and received life.  He claims he is innocent.  Well, before the apologists start whingeing, he is a narcissist and a sociopath, he is not to blame.  Everybody is to blame.  Not him.  That`s because he is who he is, and the world should acknowledge it.  A family massacred simply because he was expected to buy his own cigarettes.  How dare somebody say that to him. 

    In an interview Baranyi admitted that he was thoroughly guilty, and having time to reflect, cannot understand why he did what he did, and apologising cannot bring his victims back.  I thought he was being open and honest in parts but not in others.  Footage of him during the trial and after his conviction, showing his amusement at everything, so no, I do not buy his remorse plea. 

Murderous Double Acts

Expanding on the theme of couples that kill, here I present the case of James Marlow & Cynthia Coffman.  This twisted pair kidnapped, raped and murdered two young women, who simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Coffman was the girlfriend of a cellmate of Marlows` whilst he was incarcerated at one time.  The tales about Coffman and her sexual antics intrigued Marlow whom, hen released went straight to see her.  The attraction was two way and a bond of pure evil was formed.

    Marlow was born in 1956 to a prostitute and drug addict mother and absent father.  Shuttled between both parents, he never had a stable life, though he was very close to his mother.  Too close in fact.  She began a sexual relationship with her own young son and started injecting him with drugs.  When finally arrested and convicted, he thought this was natural and common behaviour between parents and children.  Coffman was born in 1962, to a father who did not want her, and an indifferent mother.  Her mother remarried and her stepfather was a harsh disciplinarian.  She ran away from home.

    When she hooked up with Marlow, he was an addict and a threatening control freak.  She was the dominant one in the sexual side.  They carried out numerous robberies to fund their drug habits.  They abducted a woman, Corina Norvis, and took her to a friends home.  He was apparently afraid of Marlow, so said nothing about the woman they held captive.  Her disappearance sparked a Police hunt, but no trace of her was found.  They then robbed a store and abducted the woman working there, Lynel Murray.  She was reported missing and a hunt started.  Through tracking her credit card usage, the Police found them, but after the discovery of the body of Miss Murray.  She had been raped, strangled, tied up and placed in a bath of water.  Eventually, a trail of evidence made Coffman crack and confess, but claimed she did whatever Marlow told her.  Marlow then confessed saying that Coffman was the driving force.  He showed them where the body of Miss Norvis was.  Buried in a vineyard.  Autopsy showed she had been sodomised and strangled.

    The first trial saw them both receive the Death Penalty.  In the second murder trial, he received another Death Penalty, she, life without parole.  Examinations of the pair brought a conclusion that she was probably the brains of the two and received pleasure from the rape and torture of the two victims.  Like Karla Homolka, Myra Hindley, Cindy Hendy, a very small percentage of truly sick women who derive sexual satisfaction from sadistic harm to others, particularly women and girls.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Michael Chitwood - Supercop

It is good to know that there are dedicated cops who are prepared to go out and protect the public.  Mike Chitwell is most certainly one of them.  The difference with this Police Chief is that he leads from the front and by example.  After seventeen years with the Philadelphia force, he is offered the post of the new Chief of Police of the town of Shawnee in Oklahoma.  This he accepts and lets his new subordinates know that they are in for a fast ride.  Some complacent officers were suddenly tackling offenders alongside the new Chief.  He did not expect his officers to anything that he would not do himself.

    Over his one year leadership, his men learned to be more proactive, and indeed some men made small arrests that led to bigger arrests.  He also made himself available and approachable to the public.  He realised that good public relations was essential to him achieving his aim; a significant drop in the crime figures.  Over that one year, he achieved it.  He even introduced an awards ceremony for the best officers, ensuring good morale in his force.

    After one year, he decided to move on and accept a new post and challenge.  He left Shawnee with a more efficient and successful force, all due to his radical and challenging strategy.  He became Chief of Police for the city of Daytona Beach.  There are more chiefs like Mike Chitwell needed to fight crime, and men who lead from the front achieve results.

Albert Donoghue - Kray Enforcer

Big Albert Donoghue was an integral member of the Kray gang.  He was the minder to Reg Kray, being very tough and turned against them when he was expected to take the responsibility for a murder committed by somebody else, but he witnessed.  Donoghue was a known young tough and after a friend was badly hurt by the Krays, a remark was reputedly misconstrued and Donoghue was shot in the leg by Reg Kray.  Donoghue said nothing to Police and this earned him recruitment to the Kray mob.

    When Frank "The Mad Axeman" Mitchell escaped from Dartmoor Prison, Donoghue was one who went to take supplies to the house where Mitchell was hiding out.  A woman named Lisa was supplied to keep Mitchell happy, but unfortunately, Mitchell, it is said, fell for her.  But Mitchell became very restless and wanted to get out and about.  Despite his tough reputation, Donoghue knew he would never stop Mitchell, as he had unusually phenomenal strength.  The Krays decided that Mitchell was too much trouble, and asked Freddie Foreman to "sort out" the problem.  A van arrived with Foreman, Alf Gerrard.  When Mitchell climbed into the van, Foreman & Gerrard opened fire, killing Mitchell.  They drove off and let Donoghue out later.  The problem of the girl, Lisa, was sorted out later.  Donoghue took her away from the house, and took her some place where they spent the night together.

    When Reg Kray killed Jack McVitie, Donoghue redecorated the room that the murder occurred in.  When the arrests went down, Donoghue was expected to take the rap for Mitchell but refused to.  He went to the Police.  Even the killer of Mitchell, Foreman, said that the Krays put Donoghue in a difficult situation but he handled it badly.  Foreman later admitted that the evidence Donoghue gave in court was true.  This being the murder of Mitchell.  Yet, when you read his memoirs, yes, there are the exaggerations or lies, but he never made excuses for what he did, and made it clear that they were all thugs.  Kray ass kisser Tony "Gang Boss" Lambrianou liked to paint Donoghue black as black whilst excusing and justifying the actions of his heroes.  "All the men wore three piece suits" said the "Gang Boss".  "Yes" said Donoghue "But we were still thugs!"   In the case of Lisa, when asked if he would have killed her if ordered to, he said that, yes, eventually he would have.  Brutal honesty I call that.  He readily admitted he could kill.  The "Gang Boss" made much of how violent Donoghue was, whilst conveniently ignoring the violence and murder committed by his heroes. 

    Donoghue never hid from anybody, staying in his home area.  According to a book involving Foreman & Lambrianou, Donoghue received a severe beating late on in his life.  Obviously his assailant had to wait until he was old and getting infirm before daring to do something.  Does this indicate how dangerous he was?  Still able to mix it so we will avoid him until he gets really old?  Donoghue was a criminal, a thug who could easily kill, but it made a change to hear somebody say "We were thugs.  We would do anything to anybody!"

Thursday, 25 April 2013

"Mad" Sam Destefano

Mad Sam Destefano was an infamous loan shark and sadistic torturer/murderer for the Chicago  Outfit.  His out of control persona and irrational behaviour precluded him from being inducted into the Outfit as a "Made Man".  Born in 1909, he engaged in crime from a young age and served a number of jail sentences for armed robberies, before joining a gang ran by none other than future outfit boss Sam Giancana.  He came to the attention of the Outfit, who were perturbed by his irrational and totally unpredictable violence, but overlooked this as Destefano became known in mob circles as "A good earner".  He was used by bosses to kill any person that crossed them, and he took extreme delight in making them suffer as much as possible.

    What put him on the map as far as the Outfit was concerned, was that he did not care that he was asked to murder one of his own brothers, Michael.  He did it.  Destefano became a big loan shark in Chicago, and had defaulters as clients, so if they missed a payment, he could torture them as a warning to others.  Sometimes he killed them, as a warning.  In the fifties, he recruited a young tough guy that two decades later would come back to haunt him.  This was Charles "Chuckie" Crimaldi, a muscle man Destefano used for beatings, bone breaking and murder.

    Destefano slowly tortured a guy called Jackson over three days as he was believed to have become a federal informant, but this turned out to be untrue.  Another torture murder that Destefano carried out, was on an associate named Leo Foreman.  Crimaldi and Tony Spilotro were sent to lure him to Destefanos` torture chamber.  Spilotro became the character Nicky Santoro in the film "Casino".  But things were to change as Destefano started dealing in drugs, a move that allegedly upset Crimaldi.  Crimaldis` younger brother died from a heroin overdose, and slowly the Feds managed to turn Crimaldi into a government witness.  After the defection of Crimaldi, and before a trial, Destefano threatened Crimaldi in front of his FBI handlers.  Destefano, Spilotro and Mario Destefano were facing charges over the Foreman murder. But it was decided that Sam was too much of a problem and it was thought that Spilotro gunned Mad Sam down, but it was never proven.  At the trial Mario was convicted but Spilotro was acquitted.

Duncan Webb "The Greatest Crime Reporter of Them All"

Duncan Webb was a crime reporter synomonous with the big scoop for The People sunday newspaper during the 1950`s.  He is credited in some quarters with the coining of the legendary phrase "I made my excuses and left".  A phrase that decades later became synomonous with investigations into prostitution, vice & sexual antics of the population.
    His big scoop that truly put him on the map was that of the Maltese Messina Brothers, who were the vice lords of London.  Webb made enquiries and indeed approaches to prostitiutes, discovered where they worked from, and who owned the flats they used.  Usually it was the Messinas.  His big expose` read "Arrest these four men" and told how he had established that they had a number of working girls operating from properties they owned.  The Messinas were, quite naturally, very upset with the attention that Webb had brought upon them.  They went looking for him in his local bar, but found him drinking with a number of tough looking men, whose presence made it clear to the Messinas that attacking Webb would bring dire retribution.  These men worked for Billy Hill.  And as Webb was his tame reporter, naturally, he looked out for him.  Also, it is believed that Webb would never have been as successful as he was, without help from Hill.  In return, Webb made attacks on Jack Spot in The People, casually referring to him as a "Tinpot Dictator".

    The Messinas slipped abroad and carried on running their empire from afar.  Webb went abroad to track them down and report on them to his readers.  Webb covered some of the big murder cases such as Neville Heath, the sexual sadist, John Haigh, the acid bath killer, Donald Hume, who was cleared of killing Stan Setty, who then claimed he did it.  The Double Jeopardy Law ensured he was not retried.  He also wrote about the murder of cabbie George Heath, known as the "Cleft Chin Murder".  I have two old books by Webb and the manner of his writings make it seem that he was a real-life Sherlock Holmes who uncovered everything.  He also had a habit of trying to advise Police on just how to conduct an investigation.  Webb married the widow of Donald Hume but died two weeks after they wed.

Jack Spot & Billy Hill

I saw a website that stated that a film about the life of Jack Spot had been in the offing.  Considering that Spot always embroidered his tales, especially in the "Battle of Cable Street", that it would have been difficult to know what was true and what was fiction.  What is true is that Spot was born in 1912, and had various names, Jacob Comacho, Colmore, John Comer, etc.  Comer had to leave London and ended up in Leeds, supposedly establishing himself as a top man.

    When he returned to London, he did have his own mob of heavies, running protection rackets, illegal drinking dens and gambling joints.  He was in total contrast to Billy Hill, who had a following of thieves.  Spot was a man of violence, and had no hesitation in hurting much weaker people, even using knives on them, cutting them.  Spot`s biggest claim was taking on Moseleys` Blackshirts in Cable Street in 1936, fighting his personal boduguards, huge wrestlers.  Complete fiction.  This "Battle" never took place.  Moseley was advised not to march by the Police, and rather than be seen as ignoring the Police, he chose not to march.  The fighting seen in old newsreels was of Police and left wing agitators. 

    in the mid 50`s, Spot attacked a big ally of Hill, Albert Dimes, in Frith Street.  Both ended up in hospital with stab wounds but neither pressed charges.  It became known as the "Fight that never was".  Two years later, Spot was attacked by Frank Fraser and several others, leaving him needing dozens of stitches but never pressed charges.  However, his wife did, and Fraser and Co. went down.  It was the downfall of Spot.  His biggest crime he planned was a raid at Heathrow Airport in 1948, that failed spectacularly because Police got wind of the job.

    Hill, was a different kettle of fish.  He was a planner, and successfully engineered two raids in which neither money or suspects were apprehended.  Hill tried to retire to Australia but was refused entry.  He had his memoirs "Boss of Britain`s Underworld" ghosted by his tame journalist friend , Duncan Webb.  Webb, obviously received much help from Hill with his crime exposes, and delighted in taking shots at Spot.  This was too much for Spot who broke Webbs` arm and was prosecuted.  Hill did have much influence outside London but in Manchester, an associate of his upset Owen Ratcliffe, a club owner and fearless fighter.  He sent this associate packing which supposedly upset Hill.  Ratcliffe was said to have sent a warning to Hill not to encroach on his territory.  Hill did very nicely out of his criminal activities and died a wealthy man, in the mid 80`s.  Spot died in 1996 in an old folks home.
   Spot had his own memoirs written by an American pulp writer named "Hank Janson" and copies are scarce to find, but it is full of highly colourful stories that should be taken with a huge pinch of salt.  Hills` memoir has highly colourful claims as well.  The reader, if you ever come across them, judge for yourself.

Richard Kuklinski - The Iceman

This man had divided opinion amongst true crime buffs.  Some see him as one of the worst killers in history, others see him as a bullshit merchant, making himself out to be much more than he actually.  Kuklinski had claimed to have committed two hundred plus murders.  Many for the five New York Mob Families(Gambinos, Bonnanos, Colombos, Lucheeses & Genoveses) plus the Decavalcante Family in Newark.  He has also claimed to have been involved in the murders of Paul Castellano, Carmine Galante, psycho killer Roy Demeo & Jimmy Hoffa.  There is much evidence & testimony from participants, informants & Mob turncoats that shoot down the claims of Kuklinski.

     There was no doubt at all that Kuklinski was a brutal killer, but just exactly how many he murdered, is open to debate.  Kuklinski was born 11 April 1935, to physically abusive parents.  One of his brothers died at the hands of his parents but this was covered up within his family.  Another brother ended up dying in prison after raping and killing a young girl.  Kuklinski married a woman who claimed she suffered years of abuse at his hands, and had three children.  He allegedly started on his connections to organised crime whilst working in a film lab, illegally processing hard core porn films.  He is then supposedly started killing on behalf of various mob figures.  He claimed that he killed with guns, knives, strangulation, cyanide, cross bows, and even tying victims up and leaving them in caves to be eaten by rats.  He further claimed to have set up cameras to film it, and shown one film of this to Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.

    Kuklinski was brought down by various state Police officers, informants and undercover Police, being charged with a number of murders.  He was sentenced to life, ensuring he would never be released.  Whilst in Trenton jail, he collaborated on some HBO documentaries, being interviewed by top Psychiatrist Park Dietz.  He collaborated on his story with author Phillip Carlo, but Carlo has drawn much criticism over the claims of Kuklinski by not doing proper research.  They say he took Kuklinski simply at his word.  Kuklinski died of natural causes in Trenton in 2006.

    So what is the truth?  We will never know.  One reviewer likened Kuklinski to Henry Lee Lucas, a man who boasted of committing hundreds of murders, but was exposed as a large scale liar.  The "Iceman" tag was put on Kuklinski due to he supposedly keeping some victims in a deep freeze.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Dixon and Tibbs Families.

These two families hit the headlines in the early seventies, when they were brought down by Commander Bert Wickstead, a cop who became known as "The Old Grey Fox".  Wickstead operated as a cop for a number of years in the East End of London.  A major investigation for him was to look into the activities of a group of men known as the Dixon Gang.  This comprised of Brothers Alan, George & Brian Dixon, Mike Young, Mike Bailey, Leo Carlton & Philip Jacobs as their leader.  Jacobs was a small man whom it was said was dubbed "Little Ceasar".  Wickstead investigated claims of extortion, blackmail and intimidation.  A trial put all of them away for varying lengths of sentencing.  Alan Dixon later claimed that he had been an armed robber, and he and his brother George, had at one time been associated with the Krays, before they had a falling out. 

    During this period, Wickstead had another investigation thrust upon him;  The Tibbs Family.  This was a much more serious job for Wickstead as violence was getting dangerously out of control.  The Tibbs` had animosity towards the Nicholls family after one of the Nicholls` hit one of the elder Tibbs men.  The result was violence that involved guns, knives, and clubs.  Numerous attacks on the Nicholls brothers continued.  An associate of theirs called Len Kersey was attacked and left for dead.  Kersey was lucky to survive.  One of the Tibbs sons had his throat slashed.  Eventually, arrests followed and a couple of Tibbs Brothers were convicted of attempted murder.  One father, Big Jim Tibbs, received fifteen years for perverting justice. 

     Wickstead, in his memoirs, said that he researched into the background of the Tibbs Family, and discovered that the Krays NEVER tried anything with them, they kept clear of them.  The Tibbs` offered and accepted allegiance from nobody.  It could be why the Krays stayed clear of them.  If they had a problem, they dealt with it themselves, they did not look for support.  Jimmy Tibbs, the son of Big Jim, is one of the top boxing trainers in the UK.

The Bradford Batman

It seemed that Batman was alive and well.No, it was not in Gotham City but Bradford in West Yorkshire.  CCTV footage showed a tubby caped crusader handing in an apparently wanted man to Police in the early hours of the morning.  The footage was held onto for nearly two weeks when it was released, causing a worldwide reaction.  TV news stations around the world showed the remarkable scenes of Batman fighting crime. Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and even the mighty CNN in the United States.  So who was this mystery man donning a uniform and taking on the Underworld?

    The truth is somewhat of a disappointment.  Batman turned out to be a chinese takeaway delivery man, Stan Worby, from Wyke, Bradford.  The "Wanted Man" was a friend of his whom had an arrest warrant out for him.  Stan had bought the outfit to wear down in London where  Bradford City was playing in the final of the Capital One Cup.  His friend wanted to see the final before handing himself in to the authorities, and on the drive back to Bradford, he asked Stan to take him to the Police Station.  Stan complained that it was 1.30AM but his friend stated to take him there to get it over with.  When they walked into the station, as a joke, Stan said to the cop at the desk, "I`ve caught one for you.  He`s a wanted man" and then walked out.

   Soon people were telling him that he was world famous.  "What do you mean, famous?"  "Haven`t you seen the news?" they said.  "No" he replied.  "You taking that lad into the station" they said.  "Yeah, what about it?" Stan replied.  "It`s being shown all around the world!" they told him.  He told the whole story to the regional news programme.  A really good laugh whilst it lasted.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Criminal Millionaires

In a Dispatches Special on Channel Four, it was revealed that there are a known 178 criminal millionaires in the UK.  These people were not just drug barons, but money launderers, scammers and fraudsters.  They owe hundreds of millions to the Exchequer in money confiscation orders but ninety percent has not been paid and they are just getting away with it.  The appearance is that of ineffectual laws or the complete unwillingness to fully implement them.  They can come out of prison and start living a luxurious lifestyle, and apparently nobody can touch them.

    I say to this situation; What is the HMRC doing?  Nothing is the answer.  The way to hit criminals hard is in their pockets.  If people do not work, have loads of cash and pay for everything in cash, then why are they not being assessed by the taxman?  If plenty of money is being splashed about, then why is it not taxable income?  You will also find that many criminals, particularly low level ones, are receiving benefits.  Yet it is likes of these that get away with it.

    We have the Assets Recovery Agency that target both high and low level villains, but it is not enough to expect local Police Economic Crime Units to hit the local criminals.  Why does the HMRC set up local teams of investigators to target villains, check spending habits, and then hit them with assessments and money orders?  The professional apologists state the Police must prove that people who have lots of money, always pay in cash, particularly on cars, never work and draw benefits, are involved in crime.  The Taxman does not have to.  He can assess you and demand money, or issue confiscation of property orders.  This will never happen because if you go into your local HMRC office, you will probably find more security than staff.  It`s like that around here.  This will carry on whilst there is a total lack of courage to implement tough consequences of criminality.

James Daveggio & Michelle Michaud

This killer couple are paying the ultimate price for their rampage of kidnap, rape and murder;  they are both residing on Death Row.  It began in the nineties, with allegedly sexually assaulting some of their own children.  They then graduated to kidnapping and raping young women.  This brought in the FBI and the local Police, with the fugitives travelling between Sacramento, Reno, Pleasanton and Lake Tahoe.

    It was in Pleasanton that they chanced upon a young woman walking in the street, 22 year old Vanessa Samson.  She was abducted and driven away in a van with hooks and ropes attached inside, to restrain victims.  Miss Sansom was repeatedly assaulted by the couple.  They stopped to get fuel and food.  Here was a chance to release her but Michaud did not, showing how deeply involved in their actions she was.  They stopped at a motel and carried on their assaults on the victim.  But the FBI were closing in on them, and arrested Daveggio in a local casino, then arresting Michaud in their room.  There was no sign of Miss Sansom.

    Within days, a lorry driver chanced upon the body of Vanessa Sansom, thrown down an incline from a road.  She had been strangled.  Whilst in jail, Michaud offered to testify against Daveggio in a plea deal, but that was in one county, and they were wanted in others.  After one trial, they want on trial together in another juristiction, for the murder of Vanessa Sansom, and were both sentenced to death.  Seeing pictures of Michaud depict her as a hard faced bitch, and like other killer couples such as Brady & Hindley & Bernardo & Homolka, she seems to be as guilty as Daveggio.  In their cases, the women are as bad as or even worse than the men.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Charles kuhl - Double Murderer

Charles Kuhl.  Not a name that pops up in the annals of murder, but he was an extremely dangerous man who targeted young and impressionable and vulnerable women.  His childhood was blighted by his rejection by his mother, who left him with his father, and he had really no time for his son.  Kuhl Senior was a very harsh disciplinarian who many. many times, locked his son in closets as a punishment.  He grew up learning music and becoming a piano teacher and vocal coach.  He also married.

    Kuhls` behaviour took a drastic turn in 1966, when a music student, Suzanne Reynolds, turned up at his New York flat for a vocal lesson.  A notice was on the door, asking her to go in and he would be back shortly.  But when she had waited for a couple of minutes, he suddenly walked through the flat, naked, startling Suzanne.  He claimed that he thought she was not coming and was going to take a shower.  He then started coming on to her but she rejected him and tried to leave the flat.  This enraged him and he strangled her, then mutilated her body.  He was arrested and extensively questioned in which he admitted his guilt.  However, the Police had not followed procedure properly and rather than have the case thrown out on a technicality, he was offered a plea deal, in which he went inside for seven years for manslaughter.  He was a model prisoner and psychiatrists were convinced that he was no danger to anybody.  He served five years, four months.

    Back on the streets, he set up elaborate cons on unsuspecting young aspiring actresses, pretending that he was casting for a film.  He selected the ones he wished to lure into his flat.  One called for a music session, and again, he pulled the naked scam.  This woman used her instincts and when he asked if she thought he was attractive, she played along but said she had a boyfriend, and asked to go ahead with the lesson.  Kuhl cooled down and she left alive because she said that she thought logically rather than verbally attack him and anger him.

     But another woman Karin Seagler was not so lucky.  Again, the naked entrance was used but she wanted to leave and Kuhl strangled her.  Unfortunately for him, his wife called to say she would be home shortly, so he dragged the body of karin ino his bedroom and hid it under the bed, where he and his wife slept that night.  Next morning, after she went to work, he dragged the body up to the roof and left it there.  The body was discovered.  When news spread, his probation officer noticed the newspaper report and phoned the Police, telling them that released killer Charles Kuhl lived in that building.  Kuhl was arrested and confessed. He was jailed for life in 1974, but in 1982, he hanged himself in prison.  To the families of his victims, it was good riddance.

    It was said that the reasons for Kuls` behaviour was because of his mother rejecting him, and when women rejected him, it awoken the anger in him of his mothers` rejection of him, and he wanted to kill.  In short, when he was killing Suzanne and Karin, he was killing his mother.  I cannot subscribe to that, as he went to elaborate lengths to ensnare young women.  His traps were well set out.  It was not a man out of control.  He was fully in control.  My belief is that he wanted women to like him and find him sexually attractive, but if they rejected him, it was a massive blow to his self-esteem.  They had to die.  Whilst in prison, he was remarkably well behaved.  Thankfully, he is no longer around.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Films Can Make You Kill!

It is comforting to know that films can make you kill.  Murder stops being a rational, thought out judgement when you watch certain films.  The latest being James Holmes, shooting many people at a cinema, dressed as Heath Ledgers` version of the Joker.  Of course films are to blame!  It was not the actions of a sad pathetic bastard looking to achieve fame or notoriety, anyway he can.  Of course it has nothing to do with todays society being obsessed with "celebrity".

    We had it the early seventies with "A Clockwork Orange".  Director Stanley Kubrick with drew it in BRITAIN due to alleged copycat attacks on people.  For years, people who had seen it, said it was not as bad as it was made out to be.  People were judging it on hysterical diatribes from people like Mary Whitehouse.  When Kubrick died, it became instantly available on video and dvd, shown on television, and we have not seen rampaging hordes wearing bowler hats.

    The next big bogey film was "The Warriors" about gang warfare in New York.  You watch the "Extreme Violence" in it and wonder how street youths are suddenly using fists and sticks like top flight martial artists.  It is a bit deflating to hear that many of the lads in fight scenes were in fact dancers.  Just like David Carradine as Caine in "Kung Fu".  He had training as a dancer which helped in the fight scenes.

    One film that became the dagger in the eye to the Daily Mirror was Child`s Play 3.  Supposedly drove Venables & Thompson to murder a toddler.  That was just one of dozens of videos they had in their homes, but something had to be blamed.  Their evil behaviour before and during the murder was not the products of warped youngsters.  A person was tortured and murdered by a gang in Stockport, and they made the victim hear a phrase from Chucky repeatedly.  "Murdered by Chucky`s Children" screamed the Daily Mirror, ignoring the fact that these people were obviously involved in drugs.  A man I worked with was from Stockport and he said the word was they were a small drugs gang.  These people do resort to extreme sadism because they obviously need to spread fear on the streets as a warning "not to cross us".  It has nothing to do with a fictional puppet.  Judging by that headline, there should have been rampaging thugs everywhere, all inexplicably having their mind altered by something they watched on TV.  Yeah, right.

A Screaming Editorial

What is a newspaper without an hysterical headline and a screaming editorial.  We are particularly good at it in this country.  It will depend on the political slant of the newspaper.  But when horrific events occur, they can go into hysteria mode and blatantly ignore facts.  One example was the Hungerford Massacre, carried out by Michael Ryan in 1987.  More than a dozen were shot dead and more wounded.  Ryan, typically in situations like this, took his own life.  The blame for this outrage was firmly placed by sections of the media, at the feet of Stallone & Schwartenegger, due to their violent action films.

    Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that Police allowed Ryan to build up an arsenal of weaponry.  Ryan was also thought to be a bit of an oddball loner, and was even seen to be pretend stalking people with a gun.  Obviously not a huge red flag warning.  I remember media accounts saying that Ryan walked about with a bandana around his head, just like Rambo.  Absolutely NOT true.  Ryan was obsessed with violent films.  NOT true.  He did not watch TV much.  His obsession was with the military.  Reporter Kate Adie did an indepth investigation into the life of Michael Ryan, which completely demolished the media image of him.  Naturally, this never made it into newspaper reports.  Why did Ryan go on this rampage?  My opinion is that his life revolved around guns, he had no friends, no prospects of anything, and had formulated a plan, over considerable time, to go out in a blaze of glory.  Remember the stalking?  I believe that day he decided it was time and put his "mission" into operation.  After it was over, his mission had finished and he had only one way out.  Remember Columbine?  Harris & Klebold killed themselves after their mission ended.  Virginia Tech?  That guy did the same thing.

    It was only after the Dunblane Massacre that a real effort was made to try and limit gun ownership.  This has actually failed, in my view.  With borders coming down within Europe, guns have travelled between countries much easier.  What should not be forgotten is that both massacres were committed by men with LEGALLY held guns.  Some Police forces let gun owners do whatever they wanted, others took a tough approach.  Yet it took the slaughter of children in Dunblane before action was really taken.

Addiction Can Lead To Murder

Addiction can take many forms; drugs, alcohol, sex, money.  But there are people who have addictive personalities and take to likewise people.  The case of Mark & Florence Unger is a case in question.  He is serving life without parole for her murder.  He still maintains his innocence but his subsequent behaviour after her death, and with a second, more thorough autopsy, led the Police to arrest and charge him.

    It all started out as the perfect marriage.  He worked as a sportscaster, becoming quite popular, and she as a housewife and mother, living a very comfortable life.  After a number of years, he changed jobs to a mortgage broker, a job he disliked but it still provided him with a very good income.  However, over time, he became addicted to drugs, booze and gambling.  With all this turmoil going on in his life, Flo started an affair with a man called Glenn.  Glenn fulfilled the sexual needs and emotional support she felt was lacking with Mark.  He went into rehab, so Flo had to go out to work to support the family.  Mark, after rehab, made no attempt to get back into employment, causing further divisions between them.  Eventually, she asked him for a divorce.  His reaction was of disbelief and anger.

    They had a weekend away, staying at a boathouse.  Flo was found floating in the lake by the owner, but the reaction of Mark puzzled the owner.  He ran straight to where she was in the water, dspite not being told exactly where she was.  She could not be seen from where they met up.  Plus, he made no attempt to pull her out of the water, and try resuscitation.  Police were called and processed the scene.  The initial officer on the scene was deeply suspicious, that things did not seem right.  But an autopsy ruled her death an accident, that she fell over a balcony, struck her head on the floor below and rolled into the lake.  Flo`s family did not agree and pressed for a new autopsy.  A more thorough examination discovered that she had drowned, not died from her head injury.  She was alive when she went into the water.  Examination of brain tissues showed that parts of her brain had started to repair itself, thus showing that she had been alive for some time before she died.  Mark was convicted of her murder.

    It seems to be yet another example of one spouse deciding that if they cannot have the other, then nobody can.  Was Mark addicted to Flo?  That he could never let go?  Also that Flo was addicted to the Mark she first married and tried to replicate that feeling with Glenn?  Why is accepting the sands of time such a problem for people?  We are all getting older, slowing down, and therefore should have to face our limitations. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Ramraiding - What NOT to Do

This tale goes back around fourteen years or so, when I worked in a large and very busy accident repair centre.  I was asked to clean up a Saab 900 that had qiute a bit of front end damage.  The depot manager at the time, asked me to pop into his office after I had finished cleaning it, doing my usual check list and parking it up.  I knocked and walked into his office.  "The Saab is done now, boss.  What it is it you want?"
"Do you know anything about how that car was damaged?"
"No, boss.  How?" I asked.  The following story sums up just how thick some people can be. 

    "These lads stole it and used it in a ramraid but it was what they did after they smashed into a store.  They were all wearing balaclavas and one took photos of the others, and was going to send them into prison where the local Mr Big was, whose area the raid they were doing, was in.  They took the film to a Max Spielmans` store where the staff informed the Police and they waited until they came in for the pictures and nicked them all!"  This happened somewhere in Liverpool.

    There was a couple of numbskulls from Ellesmere Port who thinking they were the Wirrals` answer to the Krays, tried a ramraid and got stuck, and they could not get out of the car.  The Police thought it was hilarious.  They then tried to claim that the Police had fitted them up!  The whole raid had been set up and they had been forcibly put in the car by the cops and then nicked. Not even their heroes would have been so stupid as to claim that.  Or would they?

    On a separate note, I would really appreciate it if any of you people around the globe could sign in as a follower.  Maybe we could exchange information on crime and criminals.  Just a thought.

How Dare You!

One thing that I have noticed in my researches into crime and that is the perceived notion that whatever somebody says or does, should never be questioned.  You should never doubt whatever you hear.  I came across an example here in the UK, that happened a couple of years ago.  A young man named Elliot Turner had grown up totally spoiled by his parents.  Whatever he wanted, he received without question.  Whatever wrong deed he carried out, his parents excused or said nothing.  He grew up believing that anything he did, it was right.  Nobody ever told him different, not even his friends.  He went into a fantasy world that he was a "gangster" and that his circle of friends, were his "Firm".

    But it was bound to happen.  Somebody had to come along and decide he was wrong.  That was a young lady that he became infatuated with, but after a time, she decided that she no longer wanted to be around him. She finished with him.  She DARED to leave HIM!!  His response was typical of spoilt bastards who cannot get their way all the time; he lashed out.  He murdered her!  He committed cold-blooded murder because she dared to dump him.  What made it worse, was that his parents helped cover up for him.  This unbelievable act, earned them both a spell in prison for perverting justice.  Plus, his mother did NOT give the slightest toss that he had murdered a girl for such a ridiculous reason.  Turner himself received a minimum sentence of 16 years.  What will it be like when he is released and somebody disagrees and stands up to him.  As he is obviously never wrong, it does not require ingenuity to think of the consequences.

    This perceived slight or malignment is simply the result of pathetic people who want to desperately hang on to the fantasies of bullshit merchants.  Why is telling the truth a huge crime?  These people also have a nasty habit of keeping their mouths firmly shut when it comes to proof.  They are literally screaming "I want the lies!  I want the bullshit!  I want to be taken for a silly cunt because the person telling the stories NEVER lies!"  I suppose if they said they walked on the moon, not Neil Armstrong, there are morons who will believe them.  Sad, isn`t it?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Big Time Robberies

What is remarkable in British gangland history is the lack of publicity for the mainly anonymous names that perpetrate potentially mind-boggling heists.  One was in 2002 and concerned a blag that was to go down at a company at Heathrow Airport called Swissport.  The Police had arrested a man who worked as a baggage handler, and so he offered the Police information about a forthcoming heist at one of the companies at the Airport.  He gave them the name of the organiser, John Beach.  From that, they set up serveillance, received co-operation from Swissport, and had a general idea when the job was to go ahead.  The intended target was cash and bullion worth £33,000,000.  It was foiled by the Flying Squad, arresting the gang as they carried out the raid.

    What about the attempted raid on the Millenium Dome?  Trying to smash their way in with a JCB, and snatch the most priceless diamond in the world?  An extremely audacious robbery that almost succeeded, but ultimately it would have been in vain.  The owners of the gem had been informed of the planned raid and had actually switched it for a fake gem.  Again, the perpetrators of this crime were not household names.  Not men who embrace publicity, fame and alleged "celebrity".  Not men who like to be photographed at funerals by Fleet Street photographers, or go to big get-togethers, slapping each other on the back, and acting italian by kissing on the cheek.  No, they did not court publicity, but they were undone by others, and jobs like these, the planning has to be admired and respected but their names will never live on unlike many gangsters who simply did not have the bottle or intelligence to carry out raids like these.

The Houndsditch Murders

Continuing on my theme about how Jews from the former Eastern Bloc countries were treated in this country over 100 years ago.  Many fled persecution from Germany, Russia and Poland simply due to their Jewry, only to find it here, albeit not as severe as in their old countries.  In London, they settled mainly in the East End, particularly in Whitechapel.  But anti-semitism truly reared it`s head after a couple of incidents involving foreign radicals.  The Houndsditch murders became a national incident in which three cold-blooded murders escalated into the infamous "Siege of Sidney Street" and the personal involvement of then Home Secretary Winston Churchill.

    It was on December 16th 1910, that a gang, comprising of as mant as seven tried to smash their way into a Jewellers shop that had plenty of stock inside.  However, the noise they made brought a number of Police Officers to premises at the rear of the shop that the gang had rented.  Shots were fired.  Two Sergeants, Bob Bentley & Charlie Tucker fell dead.  Sergeant Bryant fell badly wounded, and Constable Wally Choate ignoring the serious danger he was in, fought with the gunman.  The gunman was believed to be George Gardstein, a man who fled Tsarist Russia.  Another Constable, Woodhams, was shot and badly wounded before Choate fought with Gardstein, who managed to shoot Choate a couple of times and he fell, bringing Gardstein to the floor with him.  One of Gardstein`s confederates accidentally shot him in the back, seriously wounding him.  The gang fled, taking Gardstein with them.  Amongst the group was Jacob Peters, a man later to become notorious, as a high ranking member of the "Cheka", Lenin`s Secret Police and forerunner of the KGB.  Also with them was another anarchist and revolutionary, Peter Piatkov, who became known as "Peter the Painter".

    They took Gardstein to an address in Grove Street in Whitechapel, then left, leaving Gardstein with two women, Rose Trassjonsky and Luba Milstein.  Gardstein refused to visit a hospital and so a doctor was brought to the house.  The doctor was shocked at what he could see in the house, weapons, anarchistic pamphlets, and a badly wounded man.  The doctor was only able to help stem the pain until he died.  The Police were summoned and the women arrested.  The manhunt for the gang intensified.  An informer helped the Police arrest Peters and two other men, but Piatkov and a couple others were holed up in a house in Sidney Street, which was quickly surrounded.  But the gang were heavily armed and opened fire, backing the Police off.

    Home Secretary Winston Churchill rushed to Sidney Street to see for himself thearmed resistance.  Churchill ordered an army unit in to assist. Churchill had earlier sent troops and Police into South Wales to quell rioting and later in the year(1911) had troops sent into Liverpool during the Transport Strike, and had two gunboats moored in the River Mersey.  During exchanges, smoke started billowing out of the house but Churchill refused to allow the Fire Brigade to tackle the blaze.  A couple of bodies were found but Piatkov was gone.

    The arrested people were put on trial but it turned into a huge failure as some were acquitted and the others had their sentences quashed.  What must not be forgotten is that three Police Officers were ruthlessly shot dead, and two others seriously wounded.  Feelings about foreigners and Jews were whipped up by the press in a fit of xenophobia and anti-semitism.  Yes, the good old days that people still like to view through rose-tinted glasses.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Russia - The Downfall of Western Civilisation

Today it would be inconceivable that the cinema of a foreign nation would be viewed as a danger to the security of a country.  But this is precisely the scenario in regards to the cinema of Russia.  Films from the Soviet Union were not banned outright but were refused certification by the film censors.  This meant that these films could only be viewed by members of film clubs.  Was there a problem with this?  You bet there was.  The intellect of the members of film clubs dictated as to whether they viewed these films.  It revealed just what politicians, both Conservative & Labour, thought of the population. 

    Middle and upper class film clubs could watch Russian made films with impunity.  This is because they were so well educated that they could clearly understand just what the message of these films was.  However, it was different for the working class.  They being not so well educated, would just see revolution and anarchy!  So the Government gave permission to local councils to use the Police as bully boys, to disrupt the showing of Russian films.  They were allowed to use whatever methods they could.  As they were not allowed to seize the films, it was a simple message "The working classes must not see these films!"  Politicians feared that the working classes would rise up and overthrow the Government, Police, Armed Forces, and then hand over the reigns to Russia!  Sounds totally ridiculous, but it is true.  The National Council for Civil Liberties sprung up from one of these Police intimidation actions.  I came across this information in a book on censorship.

    Of all the films that would bring about a revolution, the most famous, and still regarded as one of the greatest of all time, is "Battleship Potemkin" made in 1926 by Sergei Einstein.  It is based on a real mutiny.  This happened on the Potemkin in 1905, whilst it was docked in Odessa.  The crew rebelled against the most appalling conditions on the naval ships and expected to eat rancid food.  It caused a massive backlash as the authorities put down the mutiny.  Some mutineers were hung, many were thrown into labour camps, and the mutiny did cause so much worry for the Russian Government, as they did have two short wars with the Japanese in 1904 & 1905.  The film finally received a certificate from the censors in 1954.

    As a footnote, the advert about Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with a pram going down steps is based on the most famous scene in "Battleship Potemkin" in which during a riot between troops and the people, a pram with a baby in it, trundles down a load of steps.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Brian Blackwell - Parent Killer

Brian Blackwell was called"The Perfect Son".  Events later on as he left school blew this theory totally out of the water.  Blackwell lived in a suburb of Liverpool that was regarded as affluent, Melling.  His parents obviously doted on him, and indulged him completely.  He had finished his exams at school, but he then brutally murdered both of his parents and then set off on a jet set-style holiday.  He had developed a fantasy world that he was a world class tennis player, and went to lengths to fraudulently place his name on tennis rankings.  He was using his parents credit cards to spend extravagantly, in order to impress his girlfriend.

   True to form, he was rumbled, and in a fit of rage, he battered his father with a hammer.  His mother entered the room, he said carrying a knife.  She was then cold-bloodedly butchered.  Blackwell cleaned himseld up, packed his bags with clothes and started arranging a holiday with his girlfriend, to the USA and other places.  No expense was spared.  Because he was using his now dead parents credit cards again.  He even went through a charade of pretending to call his parents and chatting to them.  When he returned to the UK, he explained their absence as they had taken a lengthy holiday to Spain.  Soon, a neighbour noticed the windows thick with flies, and contacted the Police.

    Searches were conducted of his girlfriends` home and a bag was found, containing keys for the Blackwell home.  He claimed to neighbours he had no keys to get in.  It emerged that Blackwell had been in and out of the house numerous times before he left the country.  He left the bodies of his parents where he had killed them.  He was totally oblivious to the carnage he had caused.  Charged with two murders, the prosecution accepted a guilty plea of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.  This ensured that he may serve as little as six years, if he was to convince a parole board he was no longer a danger to anybody.  He was diagnosed with Narcisstic Personality Disorder.  Personally, I think he is a Sociopath.  He wanted to live his fantasy life and his parents were not going to stand in his way.  He was carrying on around their bodies as if nothing happened, the pretend phone calls to them in order to keep his lover in ignorance, and going all over the States without any sign of stress from his actions.  Okay, I am no psychiatrist, but actions speak louder than words.  And when he walks free, and somebody tries to keep him in check, no doubt there will be a repeat performance.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thatcher`s Law & Order Legacy

This is a slightly different tack to what I usually put but in the last few days, certain details have come into the public domain.  I was listening to Jeremy Vine the other day, on Radio 2 and a caller told of his time as a distributor of donations of money and food for families of striking miners in the mid-80`s.  He told of how Thatcher ordered the Metropolitan Police, NOT the local Police, to stop people delivering food and money for strikers.  They could share amongst themselves the money they seized but it was most important that all food was destroyed!  She was determined to starve them into submission.  I find it beyond comprehension that a Prime Minister can subvert the Police and turn them, literally, into highway robbers.  Anybody but the Police stealing money from people and keeping it for themselves, would be arrested and charged.  This was using the Police as her own private army of bully-boys.

    If Thatcher could have done something for Law & Order, it should have been in regards to the drug problem.  She would not have shirked from putting through proposals that would have tackled the drug problem in the 80`s, the era in which it should have been, but all she was interested in was the confrontation with the unions, and backing big business in making mass profits with total disregard for the working man.  Remember it was the era of the "Yuppie" which was hammered home by Michael Douglas in the film "Wall Street."  His character, Gordon Gecko infamously said, "Greed is good!" 

    Another point about her reign for a Law & Order perspective was made by former top cop John Stalker.  He stated that the closest we have ever came to a Police State was under her reign.  Strong stuff from such a senior cop, but then Mr Stalker was never anybody`s man.  He spoke his views whether you agreed with him or not.  He never toed the line.  During her time, we had riots, her turning a blind eye to blatant Police corruption, and doing nothing when it was finally revealed that Sir Anthony Blunt had been a Soviet spy.  This had been suppressed from the public for twenty years, yet he was never charged with treason, which incidentally, still carried the Death Penalty.  This was finally dropped at the beginning of the nineties.  Yes, she did an awful lot for the working class!!!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Paul Grimes - Supergrass

Paul Grimes` name throughout Liverpool is hated and reviled due to the fact that he helped put away a major drug supplier.  His motive?  One of his sons died from a drug overdose and the other ended up weorking for the man he helped send down.  He says that the death of his son was too much and that he needed to make a stand against drug pushers.  Yet the man he helped put away, became embroiled in a political scandal and ended up being exposed as a high level informant himself. This man was John Haase.

    Paul Grimes had his fingers in many pies, and was closely related to a top Liverpool villain, Billy Grimwood.  Grimes claimed to have been involved in armed robberies and relays how vain Haase was.  Whilst Grimes and others were wearing balaclavas and boiler suits, Haase was wearing a balaclava and a suit and tie.  "He looked like he had just stepped out of the window at Burtons" he said in a documentary with Donal McIntyre, "that`s what a vain bastard he was."  Haase had moved big time into drugs, and after the death of his son, made contact with the authorities and became an informant.  Grimes said that drugs had wrecked lives, wrecked families and communities and somebody had to make a stand.  Whether you applaud his motives or believe he had an agenda, what is not in dispute is the fact that he has a price on his head.  You could argue that he knows that if caught for his crimes, he could have gone down for a considerable stretch, and decided to get out regardless of a contract put out on him.

    When people scream he is a grass, I wonder what these very same people have to say about Haase and his sidekick Paul Bennett?  Or is it different because Haase was able to pull a fast one on Home Secretary Michael Howard?  Surely it is logical that Haase being an informer, he had to have had major protection from whatever agency he worked for.  That is, turning a blind eye to whatever crimes he committed and they applying pressure to have any investigations watered down or stopped.  When people become informants, they do have a literal licence to kill, and so you can argue the same with Grimes.  I feel that for some sick reason, people despise drug informants more than informants grassing up mainstream villainy.  Is it because drugs means big money and therefore the pushers and suppliers are above everybody else?  Drug pushers are most definitely not the neighbourhood heroes.  Everybody is commodity to them, and until it hits home hard, very close to home, you will never wake up to the reality.  You are their mate, providing you are putting money in their pocket.  Since when does a pusher have a conscience?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Joe "The Animal" Barboza

There are many notorious figures in the history of Organised Crime in the USA, but despite the fact Joe Barboza was not a big name, does not diminish his horrifying reputation.  A man so violent that many Police Officers were frightened of him.  Barboza was born in 1932 to Portuguese- Italian immigrants and grew up into a bull-necked young man of ferocious violence.  In 1950, he was incarcerated in jail and him and some other inmates broke out, but were only free for twenty four hours.  Throughout the fifties and into the sixties, he built up a fearsome reputation that came to the notice of Raymond Patriarca, head of the New England Mafia.

    It has been claimed but not proven that Barboza carried out 26 murders for the Mob and anybody who crossed him and even a victim being in the wrong place.   Barboza did not care who his victims were. Facing weapons charges, Barboza was convinced to become a Government Witness, and was the first person to go into the Witness Protection Programme.  He put numerous villains away, but he falsely claimed four men were responsible for the murder of a petty villain named Deegan.  His word alone sent two to Death Row, the other two to life.  His lies were uncovered some years later, but two died in prison and the others did spent a long time incarcerated.

    The Government moved Barboza around, to keep any hitman at bay.  They once housed him on a small island.  This was turned into a film "Nowhere to Hide" with Lee Van Cleef as the U.S.Marshall in charge of security and Tony Musante playing the Barboza character.  Musante played the man wrongly executed in the Frank Sinatra film "The Detective."

    Barboza collaborated with crime writer Hank Messick on his autobiography "Barboza" in which there is the notable absence of most of the motiveless violence and mayhem  Barboza reeked.  Not being full Italian excluded him from being made up, but people like him are convenient for Mob guys to use, in the same way Paul Castellano used the Westies Gang for contract killings.  In typical gangland style, Barbozas` violence came full circle when he was blasted with a shotgun in February 1976.  Nobody mourned his death.


Dena Thompson - The Black Widow

The phrase "Black Widow" has been applied to a number of women but in this country, few seem to have been more deserving of the title than Dena Thompson.  Three times married, though the second was bigamously, she used her charms and the ultimate weapon with many men, sex, to get her way.  The agenda she had was to get as much money from her spouses and lovers as possible.  There was nothing she would not do to achieve her purpose.

    Her first marriage was to a man named Lee Wyatt, and he was to find out how devious his wife was.  He was persuaded that a cartoon character they had created had been snapped up by Disney, but it also brought attention from persons wanting a slice of the action; the Mafia!  He convinced her husband that to save themselves they had to separate and be on the move to avoid the mob assassins.  You would think, "How the hell does somebody swallow all this crap?"  Yet she managed to convince him and off he went, moving around to foil the hitmen.  Dena swindled the building society she worked at, out of £26,000, and even incredibly, persuaded him to write letters to the Police saying it was all him.  She had him framing himself!!  So whilst her husband was living rough, doing what ever he could to get a roof over his head, doing odd jobs for cash, he kept sending money to her to make sure she was okay.

    Meanwhile, she had started courting a man named Julian Webb and then married him.  Plans were afoot for a move to the States, and as usual she was milking her husbands`bank account.  But tragedy was to strike as Julian fell ill.  His mother wanted to see him but Dena kept telling her that Julian did not wish to see her.  He died.  She put it down to suicide, saying that he was extremely depressed.  His mother and friends did not believe it, but could not prove anything.  Dena turned up at his place of employment demanding to know what death benefits she was entitled to and when she would receive them.  She had Julian buried very quickly and no autopsy was carried out.

    She then married a man named Richard, persuaded him to prepare for a move to the States, and indeed he went out there and gained qualifications for the venture they were planning.  But she reverted to type and persuaded him to participate in a bondage session, in which she attacked him with a knife and baseball bat.  Pressing charges against her, incredibly she convinced a jury that SHE was the victim and was cleared.  However, Police did much delving into her background and discovered many scams and lies that she had perpetrated.  A £300,000 lottery win, stricken with terminal cancer, putting her husbands` house up for sale without his knowledge, draining bank accounts.  A number of lovers were also discovered who had been conned out of money.  One was a convicted sex offender!

    Police had Julian Webbs` body exhumed for autopsy as they had found out that Dena had made him a very hot curry, and this would have helped hide any strange tastes.  He had been poisoned.  Dena was put on trial for murder and convicted.  Sentenced to life imprisonment, the Judge said that she was a danger to all men.  She maintains her innocence though there are plenty of victims who know otherwise.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Police Shootings

There has been many shootings by Police and I wish to go over some that I remember.  One was the shooting of Michael Calvey, during an armed robbery.  Calvey was confonted by an armed detective, who shot him.  During the trial of the other robbers involved, the detective said that if Calvey had opened fire, he would have been cut in half.  The detective was later promoted to Inspector from Sergeant.  I remember Linda Calvey, after the trial, responding to the question by a news reporter about her husband brandishing a firearm.  "He would not have used it" she stated.  Later, a friend summed up Calvey as the man who was first out with the raffle tickets if somebody needed help.  He also had no problem waving a sawn-off shotgun about.  Linda Calvey was also involved with another man to die, called Cook.  She went down for his death and became known as a "Black Widow."

     A few years after the Calvey shooting, another blagger went down to a Police bullet.  This was Tony Ash, a villain well into his fifties, and a photo of the death scene showed Ash covered over, wearing a white jacket that really made him stand out.  One of the Arif Brothers was shot and wounded during a robbery in which another member of the gang, Ken Baker was fatally wounded.  It was wondered why one of the Arif family got involved in the robbery.  They were probably the biggest crime family in London in the seventies and did not need to.  Views included that they were dinosaurs who could not stop themselves, and that they wanted to show that they were still at the top.

    During the seventies, the armed robbers were the elite of criminals, in that they had the nerve to carry a gun and run into a bank, or lay a trap for a security van, something essentially that most gangsters did not have the nerve for.  They dressed more flashily than the conservative sixties look, and listened to rock music and modern music in their cars, rather than the crooners that were popular with gangsters in the sixties. 

    One shooting that was national was the shooting of a senior Police Officer in Blackpool.  It was in 1971, and some London villains travelled to Blackpool to rob a jewellry store.  However, things did not go according to plan, and they fled, pursued by a couple of Police Officers.  Superintendent Gerald Richardson closed in on Freddie Sewell who shot him dead.  Sewell escaped and this set off a nationwide hunt, that eventually brought him into custody.  Convicted for the murder, Sewell went to prison for a very long time.

The Murder of Doreen Reynolds

Doreen Reynolds.  Not a name that stands out in the long history of murder in this country, and in particular, unsolved murders.  Doreen was a 24 year old prostitiute in the small port of North Shields, on Tyneside, in the north east of England.  However, her murder happened to fall in the worst possible time, in 1940 during World War 11.  So who was Doreen Reynolds?

    Doreen was born illegitimate in 1916 in Glasgow, and had a troubled childhood.  At the age of 18 she had moved to Liverpool and bore a son.  The son was taken into care and a year later she moved to North Shields, where she continued her profession as a sex worker, a trade she atarted as a teenager in Glasgow.  She inhabited a very small room just off Clive Street, which she shared with Charles Said, a Maltese man.  The immediate area was considered a place to be avoided by respectable citizens due to it`s very rough pubs, slums, prostitutes and "undesireables."

    December 10th 1940, Doreen was seen in the Northumberland Arms and then in the Crane House Hotel, first with two sailors and then some Chinese men.  Later she went back to her room with a man, but let out a scream that brought her neighbour, Molly White, who lived beneath her, to her door, banging on it. She heard a man shout to open the door but as she did she was roughly shoved out of the way and the man bolted down the stairs.  She found Doreen stabbed multiple times.  Police were called, and took a description of the man from Molly White.  The room had items removed and sent for forensic testing, but this brought nothing evidential. Molly was shown photos of local criminals but she did not identify anybody.  Police made appeals through the newspapers for any information.  A number of men  were interviewed.

    The first real break came when a man took a jacket for cleaning with blood on it.  The man was arrested and questioned.  He had injuries to a hand that he claimed to have sustained during an air raid in London.  He named a hospital he claimed to have visited but this turned out to be untrue.  His alibi that he was with family, fell apart.  He then changed his story giving a different account, but this too, fell apart.  He was not picked out of an identification parade by Molly White and released.  The investigation stalled.  Doreen was buried on December 14th but nobody turned up.  Her Maltese lover took off right after the murder and could not be traced.

    Questions were asked as to why the lover ran away, the men she was seen with on the night of her death and the man with the bloody jacket.  First off, he may have been a pimp, and the Maltese at that time, were big in the prostitution business.  He was also a foreigner and that weighed against people accused or suspected of crime.  The men seen with her may have been clients, the sailors probably were.  The Chinese?  Well, Miss White said the killer was white and had a local accent.  Two weeks before, Doreen had said she robbed a Chinaman of £50.  If they were after retribution, surely they would have done that themselves.  What was strange was that the man arrested, the Police never fully investigated him.  He gave two different alibis that were false, he had blood on his jacket, injuries to his hand that he claimed was inspected at a hospital.  This proved to be false.  This should have made him a prime suspect, despite the failed identification.  Doreen Reynolds was buried and ultimately forgotten about. 

    A war was raging in Europe but at the end of the day, murder is murder.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Justice for George Davis

The older readers of this blog will remember the relentless campaign by supporters of George Davis to have his conviction for armed robbery overturned.  Their most famous protest was digging up the wicket at the Headingley Cricket Ground, stopping a test match between England and Australia.  I remember turning on the TV to watch the match and seeing the damage done.  Who was George Davis?  He was a man convicted for a robbery at the London Electricity Board in Ilford, London in April 1974.  He was convicted on unreliable police identification evidence.  There was no forensics linking him to the robbery. 

    Davis was some time later released from prison but he was never officially cleared of the crime, until 2011 when an appeal court quashed his conviction.  However, Davis did not stay away from villainy.  In September 1977, a robbery was foiled at the Bank of Cyprus, in Seven Sisters Road in London, by the Flying Squad.  An American tourist who happened to on the scene when the ambush went down, took some dramatic photos which appeared in the newspapers.  Davis was arrested, and jailed, and this time there was no mistake, he was caught in the act.

    Davis was released in 1984, but still he could not stop any criminality.  He was arrested again in 1987, caught in possession of valuable items.  He received three years.  His first wife, who was at the forefront of his campaign, divorced him and he remarried.

Murder In The Red Barn

The murder in the red barn has become a classic tale of lust and murder that is enshrined in memory as part of the old melodramas that played through out music halls for decades well into the twentieth century.  The reality was that it was a notorious murder for real. The two central characters were William Corder and Maria Marten. This story unfolded in 1827, in Polstead, Suffolk, when Corder started an affair with a young local lady, Maria Marten.  All was well until she told Corder that she was pregnant.  This put Corder in a difficult situation as he was satisfied with the affair as it was.  Maria understandably put pressure on Corder to stand by her.

    Corder put a plan into action and told Maria that he was planning a move to Ipswich for both of them to start a life togethr, and arranged for her to meet him at a barn, known as "The Red Barn" owing to a part of it`s roof being a reddish colour.  Corder moved to London, but Maria was not with him.  Letters arrived reputedly from Maria, to her family saying she was fine.  However, her body was discovered buried in the barn, and so a hunt went on for Corder.  Eventually, he was found and arrested for her murder.  Whilst in London, Corder had put a personal advert in a newspaper, and received over one hundred responses.  He married one of these women, who of course, knew nothing of his past.

    Corder was put on trial and convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  His execution took place at Bury St. Edmonds in 1828, attracting a huge crowd.  Corders body was used for medical and anatomical research, his skeleton being in medical colleges and copies made of his death mask.  The most famous TV or film version of this tale was made in 1935 with the king of the melodramas, Tod Slaughter as the wicked squire William Corder.  In actuality, Corder was not a squire but it suited Tods` portrayal perfectly.  Evidently, some scenes in it had to be cut for American audiences and British censors ordered the removal of the execution scene.  Apparently, it was filmed but left out of the finished film.