Friday, 27 November 2015

The Black Panther Film - Now out on DVD

The local newspaper published a double page spread about the film made about the Black Panther - Donald Neilson - that is now being released on DVD.  I remember the headlines when it was reported that  film about the murders was being planned, and indeed, a clip was shown on Barry Norman's film show.  But the film remained virtually unseen as some authorities refused to show it.  Donald Sumpter played Neilson, though physically he was not suited.  It was reported that Ian Holm had originally agreed to play him, but upon hearing that the family of Lesley Whittle objected to the film, he backed out.  Not only is he a superb actor but physically, was closer to Neilson than Sumpter.  The film cost £100,000 to make - a low budget - and was filmed in just two weeks.  The sort of shooting schedule that Roger Corman did on many of his low budgeters!  The Whittle family reportedly said that they could not stop the film being made but they made it clear that they were unhappy about the situation.

    The scriptwriter, Michael Armstrong, pointed to films made about murderers such as Christie.  A number of reconstructions of cases are made about murders, such as Sutcliffe, Dennis Nilsen, Griffiths, The Wests, etc, so I can see Armstrong`s point.  Whether it is right or wrong, everybody will have an opinion on it.  But seeing the name of Michael Armstrong brought back certain films.  The Mark of The Devil, made in 1969 in Germany, by Armstrong, and starring Herbert Lom,  Udo Kier and Reggie Nalder.  This was banned in the UK (and I believe it still is - anybody know otherwise?) but I saw it on video around 1983.  Think of Witchfinder General, only very much nastier.  He also did a sex film called "Sex Thief" which featured a then unknown Diane Keen without her clothes!  

    A titbit about Neilson; one customer of mine, a former cop, claimed he once dated Nielson`s daughter, and when he took her out one night, Neilson warned him to have her back by a certain time, or "he would kill him!"  I have no way of knowing if this is true, it is only what he told me. Will people view the film that was largely shunned by the authorities and people?  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The "Nanny State" What a load of shit!

It is interesting to hear views on the radio or tv on the debates of dealing with crime and its perpetrators.  I previously have posted about a discussion on Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show, in which fire crews attended fires and other incidents, but were being pelted with stones and other missiles.  It was sickening to listen to some fucking dickhead carping on about "disenfranchised and marginalised youths!"  There is a simple way of explaining things: they're just fucking troublemakers.  It is pricks like these, sitting there wringing their hands and excusing thuggery, that create the mindset that these hooligans can simply do what they want.  After all, what are these dickheads going to do?  Explain to them just how bad their behaviour is?  Do me a favour!!!!!

    I recall an incident years ago, reported on Granada Reports, about an attack on a circus by a mob of hooligans.  Circus staff said that with no exaggeration, there were at least 500 yobs involved.  This happened in Liverpool.  Nowadays, they provide educational units for "special needs children."  What they really mean is troublemakers kicked out of normal school.  This is where my part comes in.  I deliver to a newly opened school for yobs, and in a week, lodged two complaints to my employer.  Pelted with stones the first time, then a gobby little twat, showing off to his buddies, gave me ten seconds to get out of the place.  No, it was not threatening but you do not have to put up with this sort of behaviour.  I stood there and let him count down to zero.  Then he threw a slow punch, just stopping it about an inch from my face.  I knew I could not react, but what was worse, a male teacher stood three feet away, and did NOTHING!  He simply said "you shouldn't dò things like that, blah, blah, blah!"  Then another behind me said "There`s two of us here"  To which I replied "It`ll fucking need the two of you!"  Then I left, getting more verbal from this mouthy little bastard.  What is incredible, is that a copper is based there. Yet, all it seems is that he tries to "talk" to them.  What he needs is a present of a boxset of "Life On Mars" and learn how to deal with shit.  Too many hand wringing wankers about making excuses for trouble.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

High Treason!

The famous cases of treason and the culprits being executed were William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) just after WW2 and Sir Roger Casement in WW1. A name not generally thrown into the mix is that of John Amery.  Is the reason because his father was a member of the Churchill War Cabinet?  However, Amery led a spoiled life due to the prominent position, and expected daddy to be there to bail him out every he ended up in financial trouble.  Amery had married whilst a young man but he ran in trouble in Paris when he could not meet his expenditure by cheque.  He was arrested by French Police and sent to prison.  After release, he was extradited back to England and taken to court by his creditors.  But his parents finally refused to clear his debts and so he was made bankrupt.  He then left the country to travel to Spain and joined the Spanish Civil War and began gunrunning for Franco`s forces.  He then became a fascist.  He moved onto France after the conflict ended and the Germans recruited him in 1940.  He began making propaganda films for the Nazis and tried to convince British prisoners of war, to fight the Russians on behalf of the Fuhrer.

    He was so well thought of by the Nazis that he was asked to go to Italy and meet Mussolini but this did not occur.  Amery was taken prisoner by Italian partisans who in turn, handed him over to the British.  He was immediately transported to England to face charges of high treason.  His defence was that he was officially a Spanish citizen and therefore could not be charged as a traitor.  Asked to produce proof, all he had was a residence permit.  He decided he was on a loser and so he put his hands up.  He pleaded guilty.  He was prosecuted by Sir Hartley Shawcross and defended by Mr Slade.  The judge, Mr Justice Humphreys passed the sentence of death.  The proceedings lasted just under ten minutes.  Amery was hanged at Pentonville Prison on December 19th 1945 by Albert Pierrepoint and Henry Critchell.

Carroll Edward Cole - Serial Killer

How often do we hear about a person detained in a psychiatric facility, or to cut the bullshit, a secure mental hospital, is released by a review board.  This is over the objections of professionals who have seen through the facades that these people can weave, and know that people in society are going to pay for the refusal of people who are "great judges of character" to listen.  One such man was Carroll Cole, a man who later admitted to murdering thirty five women.  His rampage was finally halted on December 6th 1985, when he was executed by lethal injection at Carson City Prison.  No doubt there would have been plenty of people weeping at his death, though I doubt the families and friends of his admitted near three dozen victims, would have themselves.  He told a reporter after his conviction and death sentence that if he was ever released, he would instantly kill more women.  You cannot make it clearer than that.

    Born in 1943, Cole had spent his twenties, in out of trouble with the law.  His arrest sheet carried crimes such as, assault with intent to kill, arson, pimping & car theft.  He received a two year stint in prison in Texas.  His crime?  He attempted to murder his first wife by setting a Dallas motel ablaze with her inside.  This man had done a nice little circuit of mental institutions around the USA.  Stays in hospitals in Missouri, Nevada, California and also in Dallas in 1967 after his release from prison and a suicide attempt.  One Psychiatrist who examined him, declared him to be a menace to society.  Another stated that Cole hated the female form and wanted to kill first, then rape!  Despite these serious warnings, the good and proper people of the review board let him out.  Many women were to fall foul of this decision.

    A woman was found murdered outside a bar in Dallas on November 12th 1980.  She had been seen in the company of a man that turned out to be Cole.  When questioned about the victim who had been raped as well, he started talking about a murder Police knew nothing about.  When they started to get back to the woman in the carpark, he replied "Which one?"  He then began giving details of eight murders, but said the total was much more.  One was the murder of a woman in Oklahoma City.  His story was that he woke up in bed, next to her dead body, after picking her up in a bar.  He then committed necrophilia, claimed to have cannibalised part of her body, dismembered her and put her remains in bags, before dumping them in a rubbish skip.  Cole told the reporter that the authorities should not prolong the life of a dangerous man like himself.  The authorities agreed and 42 year old Cole received the needle.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Martha Marek - Murderess

Martha Lowenstein was an orphan from Vienna and was just 15 when she met and became the constant companion of a much older and very wealthy man; Moritz Fritsch.  The year was 1919.  Fritsch died in 1924, and to be expected, Martha inherited his legacy.  Martha then went on to marry insurance agent Emil Marek, and lived the good life........ until all her money had been spent.  They hatched a plan to cheat the insurance company with an injury to Emil`s leg.  They had tried to sever his leg with an axe!  But the ceiling came down upon them when it was discovered that Martha had bribed medical staff into giving false evidence.  They were both jailed for four months.  Whilst incarcerated, Martha had shared a cell with Leopoldine Lichtenstein.  She had poisoned her husband with a rat poison, Zeliopaste.  One of the ingredients was Thallium.

    Emil died in July 1932 and soon after, their young daughter died too.  Martha upped and moved in with her aging aunt, Susanne Lowenstein.  But now a pattern started to emerge.  Susanne died, and Martha gained a home.  In order to boost income, Martha began to take in lodgers, one of was Felicitas Kittenberger, who worked as a seamstress.  She too, suddenly died.  Now she attempted another insurance fraud, but this was a failure.  Police began to take an interest in her and decided to undertake some exhumations.  Felicitas was exhumed and taken for examination.  The pathologist stated that her death was due to Thallium poisoning.

    Now the Police stepped up the investigation.  The bodies of Susanne, Emil and two children were exhumed.  All had Thallium in them.  Enquiries about Martha learned that she had purchased Zeliopaste from a chemist in the city.  Police arrested Martha and she was charged with five murders in 1938.  She was convicted of four of them and sentenced to death.  She went to the guillotine on December 6th 1938.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Is Old Murder Mystery Solved?

Recently, a newspaper report stated that a man of 91 had confessed to Canadian authorities that he was responsible for a murder way back, just after WW2.  He had emigrated to Canada in 1951.  He was now living in a care home, but had no memory of his alleged victim`s name or precisely when it had occurred.  Scotland Yard were informed and a search of unsolved murders in Soho, London, produced the case of 26 year old Margaret Cook, who had been shot by a man in an alleyway in Carnaby Street in November 1946.  The files revealed that she had argued with a man who was carrying a firearm, and shouted that he was armed.  A former Policeman approached but was told by the man that it was none of his business.  Then a shot was heard and the woman collapsed.  Some passers-by chased the man but he managed to elude them by Oxford Circus Tube Station.  A description was distributed and within days, a construction worker from Scotland was named as a possible suspect.  However, this lead fizzled out.

    Margaret Cook had been working as a dancer and singer at The Blue Lagoon nightclub but it was said by Police that in reality she was a prostitute, hailing from Bradford.  Her maiden name was Willis and had married a Bradford labourer named Joe Cook.  She had a criminal record of delinquency and had been sent to a borstal unit - in the USA, this would be called Juvenile Hall - and that she had left her husband within a year and moved down to London.

    The old man claimed that she was giving him a verbal volley and that she had also conned him out of money.  He was shown a line up of photographs and he correctly identified Margaret Cook.  He was now diagnosed with cancer and it seemed he wanted to clear his conscience.  British authorities are said to be applying for his extradition, but he has not been named, quite rightly, as he has not been charged with any crime.  Will it go through?  Only time will tell.

Friday, 13 November 2015

The Killing Spree of Jennifer Sanmarco

Jennifer Sanmarco carried out a shooting spree at the U.S. mail centre where she was formerly employed, in which she shot dead six former colleagues, before turning the gun on herself.  She had already shot her old neighbour dead.  She ran the gauntlet of extremely bizarre behaviour, bringing herself into contact with Police, but despite obvious signs of extreme delusions, she remained free.  What was the cause of her mental breakdown?  Was it an inherent trait?  Bollocks - here I go again with my "trouble stirring guesswork!"  Did everyday events totally overwhelm her and distort reality in her vision?  Who was she?

    Jenny Sanmarco was born in New York on December 6th 1961, attending Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, and later going on to Brooklyn College.  However, she did not graduate.  She then worked in a number of differing jobs, such as a guard at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe.  She quit her job just a couple of days before her probationary period ended, with no explanation.  Her work was found to be good.  In the mid 90`s, she gained work as a Police dispatcher.  She passed a background check AND a psychological evaluation!  But, as in other jobs, she left that job after some months.  She was employed as a clerk at the Galeta mail centre in Santa Barbara County in California.  But she was attracting attention as she would frequently talk and argue with somebody..... that was not there.  Her behaviour turned more bizarre and unpredictable that she had to be removed from the centre by the Police.  The company paid her a psychological disability pension.

    She now moved to Milan in New Mexico, where she attempted to obtain a license to publish a newsletter entitled "The Racist Press" - she was well known for making racist comments at the mail centre - and now believed she was the victim of a conspiracy concocted by the mail centre.  Police had been called after she continuously harassed a female worker, plus, she had been reported for going to a gas station in the nude!  She had dressed herself when cops arrived on the scene.  But things changed dramatically on January 30th 2006.  She had virtually shaved all her hair off so was not immediately recognised when she made her way to the Galeta mail centre.  She gained access to the plant by driving right behind another car.  She then took an ID card from a worker at gunpoint and then made her way inside.Employees were not know that she had already killed her former neighbour, Beverly Graham, 54.  Many shots rang out, and six people died;Ze Fairchild, 37, Maleka Higgins, 28, Nicola Grant, 42, Guadalupe Swartz, 52, Dexter Shannon, 57, & Charlotte Colton, 44.  She then turned her gun on herself and ended it all.  Numerous explanations were sought.  Rambling letters were found in her home, but they did not make much sense.  This is one of those episodes in which the perpetrator truly was disturbed.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The Murder of PC Raymond Summers

Back in the 1950`s, one period still viewed by the elderly with rose tinted glasses, was a seething mass of bloody gang fights throughout the UK.  There were confrontations between Teddy boys and other gangs in the same vein of twenty years later, with the new wave of gangs being named as "tribes."  There was one incident that resulted in the killing of a young Police Constable attempting to break up a brawl, and the assailant being executed.  Events began on December 14th 1958.  Ronnie Marwood, a scaffolder, had been having a night out drinking when he found himself with friends outside Gray`s Dancing Academy in Seven Sisters Road in the Holloway area of London.  A fight broke out between two groups of Teddy boys.  During the brawl, a small axe was swung at Marwood, who received a small wound.  Then a constable started separating people and Marwood saw him talking earnestly to one of his friends.  Marwood tried to intervene but was told by PC Sumers to move on and was pushed away.  Marwood was to later claim Summers punched him.  But he instantly struck back and the constable collapsed from a stab wound.  Marwood then made off into the night.

    Marwood was questioned the following day by Police but they had no evidence to charge any of the men questioned and was released.  But this was now a Capital Crime, that fell into one of the five categories of the 1957 Homicide Act that was a hanging offence; the murder of a Policeman.  He remained free until 22nd January 1959 that he voluntarily went into the station and admitted that it was he who stabbed PC Summers.  He was charged with Capital Murder, and went on trial at the Old Bailey in March 1959 before Mr Justice Gorman.  He maintained that he had had plenty to drink, was not aware of the knife in his hand and had no intention of killing Summers.  But he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.  He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on May 8th 1959 by Harry Allen and Harry Robinson.

    For some years afterwards, on the anniversary of his execution, wreaths were laid in memory of him by the Nash brothers, at that time, the strongest crime family in London.  The story goes that they helped keep Marwood out of sight until he decided to give himself up.  Another claim is that the "Holy Two" - Krays! - had helped hide him as well, but there is nothing to substantiate that claim.  They claimed that was why the Police went after them.  Others involved in the brawl were jailed for periods ranging from six months to fifteen months.  

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Murder of Abraham Levine

Here is a case from 1949 that took place in Leeds on November 16th.  Abraham Levine, 53, who ran a jewellers in Albion Street, was working alone when two men came into the shop, saying that they had some old watches for sale but Mr Levine was not interested and believed they may have been trying to sell stolen property.  The two young men wore raincoats but no hats, which was a familiar trait of the time, so Mr Levine would have been able to identify them.  One then hit him with a gun, but he fought back and was grappling with one of them in the shop doorway, when a shot was heard by passers-by and Mr Levine collapsed.  They scattered shoppers in the street by firing shots in the air.  Onlookers tried to give chase but more shots were fired.  Frantic calls to Police produced carloads of armed officers who proceeded to set up road blocks.  Abraham Levine died the following day.

    A driver saw the two suspects turn into a street but when they saw the car trailing them, they opened fire on him, and then ran into the Leeds College of Technology.  Police quickly surrounded the college but the gunmen had escaped.  From descriptions given by witnesses, Police were certain that the killers were 19 year old Walter Sharpe and 17 year old George Lannen.  They put out a nationwide alert and were quickly arrested in Southport.  They went on trial at Leeds Assizes in March 1950 for Capital Murder.  Sharpe admitted firing the shot that killed Abraham Levine, but claimed it was an accident that happened during the struggle.  (What about the shots fired at people giving chase?)  The jury were out for a mere twenty minutes, coming back with two guilty verdicts.  Lannen was under eighteen, so he went to prison.  For Sharpe, it was an appointment with hangman Steve Wade at Armley Prison on March 30th 1950.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Unsolved Murder of Jean Townsend

I had a communication from people at a place called Ivor Court, in regards to the 1954 unsolved murder of 21 year old Jean Townsend, who worked in the west end of London as a costumier.  Here is a summary.  She was killed on September 14th in Ruislip, after leaving South Ruislip train station at 11.45 pm and walking towards her parents home.  Her body was discovered the following morning on waste ground.  She had been strangled with her own scarf.  Some of her clothing had been removed but the post mortem did not reveal any signs of rape.  One witness told Police of hearing a scream and two men talking.  The witness described one voice as American.  The was an air station nearby manned by U.S. personnel.  Claims were later made that the authorities at the base refused to cooperate with the Police.  Then some women came forward to speak of encounters with men in the immediate vicinity of where Jean was found.  One woman described an American with a high forehead.  Another woman reported an attack by a strange man, days before the murder, on the road Jean was walking on after leaving the station.  The description reported the man had a high forehead.

    People were now asking if the murder of a woman in Pimlico, just before Jean`s, were connected.  She had been seen with a US airman.  She too, had been strangled.  Were they linked?  Police never said.  Then there was another attack on a woman who left a train.  He followed the woman off the train at North Harrow, so she confronted him and a struggle ensued, in which she managed to tear one or two buttons off his overcoat.  She described him as having a high forehead.  Three years later, Muriel Maitland was murdered a couple of miles away from Ruislip, in Cranford Woods.  Connected?

    The case came under review in 1982 following a series of telephone calls, but Police refused to disclose any details.  They were confident enough to believe that no US servicemen were involved and there were no connections to any other murders and assaults, which included the 1971 murder of Gloria Booth, murdered a mile away from where Jean was murdered.  Then, more than twenty years later, an attempt was made via the Freedom of Information Act, to gain access to the case files, now held at the National Archives.  But the application was denied.  They are to remain closed until 2031.  However, a suspect was named during the hearing, a Count Francesco Carlo Dalatri, a man of mixed English and Italian parentage and lived in London at the time.  Why did this man`s name crop up?  Due to allegations made on a radio show hosted by the late John Peel, in which he interviewed the now deceased Count's landlady.  The claims made, but never substantiated, were that the mysterious Count had a habit of commuting on trains, simply to stare at other people.  Late at night.  He allegedly vanished, presumably to Italy, shortly after the murder.  The landlady claimed that she and a friend forced open a locked door in his now vacated room and found an army great coat with buttons torn off.  Cynics would say "Why was this coat not handed to Police?"  His habits being known should have been brought to their attention.  But this could also spark suggestions of a cover up.  His family used influence or bought the cops off.  The tribunal ruled there was no connection with the Count, and rumours and reports of a button found in Jean's hand, torn from a coat, did not match the case file.  Therefore it had no basis in truth.  But stories have surfaced that a woman was attacked just before Jean, as she left Ruislip Station but she managed to escape and hide.  Due to the closure on the case files, it is not known if she reported it to Police.  So it cannot be said for certain if this actually happened.

    So, was there a cover up?  There is an explanation for alleged reluctance for the US Air Force to assist Police.  During WW2, acts of rape and murder were Capital Crimes in the US military, and eighteen soldiers were hanged at Shepton Mallet.  During a time of war, strict discipline was called for.  But in 1954, we were not at war, and possibly it was decided to refuse to cooperate with Police when some member of their forces could face the hangman.  Executions took place months after conviction, not many years later, as in the US.  As for the "Count", we need to have some sort of bogeyman in a mystery.  Was there actual evidence to back up the allegations against this man?  Scottish serial killer has been put forward as a suspect.  It is thought that he resided in the South Ruislip area at the time of the murder, and did he commit some murders in England?  Manuel piled up the bodies in Scotland, so it IS possible.  But as for the closure on files at the National Archives, there is no conspiracy there.  I have found that obscure murder cases have closure for up to one hundred years.  It is usually newspapers who whip up the conspiracy theories, simply to spark attention and rumour.  Those are the rules.  There is nothing special about murder cases that demand secrecy, it is simply the rules.  The daughter of a murder victim contacted me to tell of her battle with the Archives to have the files opened on her mother`s killer.  But this case has an eighty three year closure.  It did not matter that the killer then went on to commit a second and premeditated murder, for which he served less than twenty years.  What do I think?  It is possible that the killer was the man harassing and attacking other women.  Was he a military man?  Wearing a great coat was not positive proof, as they were fine for keeping warm and dry.  He could have been a former military man who had decided to stay over here.  But the thorn in the side, is that the reports from women of attacks and harassment, were only made after the murder.  There was a claim that Police were fairly certain who the killer was but could not find the proof to exact an arrest.  A mystery that will never go away.


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Escape From Alcatraz

Alcatraz.  The island prison located in San Francisco Bay, that was deemed escape proof.  The Rock was a mile away from land and it would be thought of as reachable by swimming.   Until you saw the very strong and treacherous currents that could tire out any swimmer and drag them under.  Could a powerful swimmer overcome these currents?  There were in total, fourteen escape attempts by thirty six convicts.  Guards had shot six of them, two had drowned, five were listed as missing, and were pronounced drowned, and the rest were captured.  But of the five "missing" three were Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin.  A film was made about this incident starring a certain Mr Eastwood, and Patrick McGoohan as the Warden.

    The plan was put into operation in June 1962, with them climbing through holes they had made in their cells over a period of months, using old sharpened spoons, blades and anything else that chipped away the stone.  They had placed paper-mache heads that had real hair on them, courtesy of the barber shop, on their bunks, and put towels under the blankets to replicate their bodies.  The trio had made a makeshift raft out of dozens of stolen raincoats.  But after they escaped, there was no sign of them ever again.  Until recently.  There is the claim that the brothers managed to escape and made it to Brazil, and a photograph has emerged allegedly depicting them.  The man responsible for the photo was criminal Fred Brizzi, who claimed he met the brothers in Brazil and snapped the picture in 1975.  He said that they had managed to reach a ferry in mid-bay and attached a very long piece of stolen cord they had with them, to the ferry rudder and were pulled along until they met up with a boat waiting for them.

    Is it the brothers?  Family members presented postcards with their writing on, postmarked after the escape.  Cynics would point out that the two men in the photo were wearing sunglasses, and cannot be clearly identified.  The story by Brizzi is that he was asked to give the photo to their family, but was strangely, unable to, for seventeen years.  It could also be made that a criminal would say anything to "stick it to the feds" and is any villain a reliable witness?  There was no mention of Frank Morris, or what became of him.  But it is possible that a successful break was made from The Rock in 1962.  The prison ran from 1934 until 1963.  The most famous inmate was Big Al - Capone, that is.  Anybody out there with their theories?

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Ghost Squad

Back in the days when a great number of Scotland Yard detectives were household names and some even had tv series made of their exploits, such as Superintendent Robert Fabian, Police had intelligence gathering squads such as the Special Duties Squad.  Because of their habit of appearing and then disappearing, they became known to the Underworld as "The Ghost Squad."  Set up at the beginning of 1946, under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner Sir Ronald Howe, the new squad was put under the command of DI John Capstick, a dedicated cop known throughout the criminal fraternity as "Charlie Artful."  The only other well known officer in the ranks was DS John Gosling, who rose to the rank of Chief Superintendent.  The squad operated for over three and a half years, until September 1949, and Gosling was the sole officer served with the team throughout it`s tenure.  

    The team mingled with the criminals and their haunts, gathering intelligence, which was immediately passed on and they then melted into the background.  At the time, regulations forbade any officer associating with criminals, and would be subject to disciplinary procedures.  Officers did everything to look as less like cops back then as drug squad cops did in the seventies.  Some were seen by the public as nothing more than down and outs, which was perfect.  Many villains liked to dress the part and show well they were doing, so looking like criminal failures or the dregs of society worked in their favour.  They cultivated informers and had many villains talking to them about their thefts they had done or who was doing what.  A shabby looking fellow in the pub could not be a cop.  So they thought.

    The information gathered brought hundreds of arrests for thefts of every conceivable type of commodity, but one of their biggest cases was the Cricklewood Whisky Robbery on September 19th 1948.  A couple of lorries parked up near a railway embankment in the early hours of the morning, and a number of men left the lorries and disappeared amongst some railway trucks.  Soon they reappeared carrying cases of whisky which were slid down the embankment and were put into the waiting lorries.  The haul was worth £15,000, a huge haul equivalent to £300,000 in today's terms.  But as soon as they finished loading, lights went on and members of the Flying Squad poured out of a nearby yard.  The villains tried to make a fight of it but were outnumbered by the "Heavy Mob" though one lorry took off with some men inside.  It did not get far before The Sweeney had them all in custody.

    The Ghost Squad were responsible for nearly 800 arrests, the solving of over 1,500 crimes and the recovery of more than a quarter of a million pounds worth of stolen goods - five million plus today.  Nowadays, undercover is so much different, with  operatives not just consorting with criminals but with political groups and individuals with claims of some being Agent Provocateurs.  How times have changed.