"Internet Law Book Reviews", Provided by Rob Jerrard LLB LLM (London)

Pen & Sword Books Reviewed in 2012


Murder and Mayhem in Sheffield
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Author: Geoffrey Howse
ISBN: 9781845631543
Publishers: Imprint: Wharncliffe True Crime
Found in: True Crime Books
Price: RRP 12.99
Publication Date: 5th Nov 2012

Publisher's Title Information

Sheffield born actor and author Geoffrey Howse delves into his files covering over 200 years of Sheffield's criminality. In Murder & Mayhem in Sheffield he takes a look at some of the events that took place during a period of enormous growth within Sheffield; including a failed plot to murder some of Sheffield's officials, take control of the Town Hall and set fire to the homes of prominent citizens; the series of incidents known as the Sheffield Outrages are also mentioned, as are the notorious Sheffield Gang Wars of the 1920's. Murders from the eighteenth century through to 1947 are covered, including he fascinating case of one of Britain's most notorious murderers, Charlie Peace. The gruesome Shelf Street Hatchet Murder of 1881, is also included as are the Woodhouse Murder of 1893 and the Chinese Laundry Murder of 1922. Two Sheffield murderers who bore the same name, William Smedley, and who were both hanged for their crimes, committed murder in 1875 and 1947 respectively, are also featured. Although not for the feint-hearted, this book is sure to capture the curiosity of all individuals with an interest in the social and criminal history of Sheffield.

The Author

Geoffrey Howse is well known for his books on South Yorkshire history. A specialist true crime author, Geoffrey has also published several books relating to London, including an A-Z of London Murder.
 
Born in Sheffield and brought up in Elsecar and Hoyland, Geoffrey, an actor/writer by profession, has lived in London for over 35 years.


John Christie of Rillington Place
Biography of a Serial Killer
Found in: True Crime Books
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Dr Jonathan Oates
ISBN: 9781845631413
Publishers: Pen & Sword
Price: Introductory Offer
15.99
RRP 19.99
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Publisher's Title Information

Sixty years ago, the discovery of bodies at 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill, London, led to one of the most sensational, shocking and controversial serial murder cases in British criminal history - the case of John Christie. Much has been written about the Christie killings and the fate of Timothy Evans who was executed for murders Christie later confessed to - the story still provokes strong feeling and speculation.
 
But most of the books on the case have been compiled without the benefit of all the sources that are open to researchers, and they tend to focus on Evans in an attempt to clear him of guilt. And many simply repeat what has been said before. Accounts neglect Christie's early life and crimes and the lives of his victims, and even witness statements about the Christies have been overlooked. So a painstaking, scholarly reassessment of the evidence - and of Christie's life - is overdue, and that is what Jonathan Oates provides in this gripping biography of a serial killer.
 
He relies on contemporary primary sources, files from the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police and the Public Prosecutor, as well as press and official reports. And he trawls through genealogical sources - electoral registers, the census, wills, military and police records and civil registration records. As a result, his account throws more light on the background, personalities and motivations of the key players in the drama - Christie, Evans, the victims and the courts.
In particular Jonathan Oates's reinvestigation seeks to present the widest possible range of facts relevant to the case. As he does so, he gives a compelling insight into Christie's life and how he was perceived before he was exposed as a serial killer.

The Author

Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. His books include Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Ealing, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Lewisham and Deptford, Unsolved Murders in Victorian and Edwardian London, Unsolved London Murders: The 1920s and 1930s, Unsolved London Murders: The 1940s and 1950s and Attack on London. He is also an authority on the Jacobite rebellions of 1714 and 1745 and recently published "Sweet William or The Butcher? The Duke of Cumberland and the '45".


Ripper Hunter, Abberline and the Whitechapel Murders
London Book
Found in: True Crime Books
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: M J Trow
ISBN: 9781848847637
Publishers: Pen & Sword
Price: Introductory Offer
15.99
RRP 19.99
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Publication Date: 2012

Publisher's Title Information

Who was Inspector Frederick Abberline, the lead detective in the Jack the Ripper case? Why did he and his fellow policemen fail to catch the most notorious serial killer of Victorian England? What was he like as a man, as a professional policeman, one of the best detectives of his generation? And how did he investigate the sequence of squalid, bloody murders that repelled - and fascinated - contemporaries and has been the subject of keen controversy ever since? Here at last in M.J. Trow's compelling biography of this pre-eminent Victorian policeman are the answers to these intriguing questions. Abberline's story gives us insight into his remarkable career, into the routines of Victorian policing, and into the Ripper case as it was seen by the best police minds of the day.

The Author

M.J. Trow has written highly praised historical biographies as well as studies of true crime. He is also a very successful novelist.
Among his recent publications are lives of Boudicca, Vlad the Impaler, Kit Marlowe, the hero of the Charge of the Light Brigade, Captain William Morris, War Crimes: Underworld Britain in the Second World War and The Cato Street Conspiracy.
He has produced several best-selling accounts of criminal cases, in particular volumes on Derek Bentley, the Wigwam Murder and Jack the Ripper, but he is perhaps best known for his many novels which include the Lestrade and Maxwell series.


History of London's Prisons
Found in: True Crime Books
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Geoffrey Howse
ISBN: 9781845631345
Publishers: Pen & Sword
Price: RRP 19.99 Introductory Offer 15.00
Publication Date: 3 July 2012
 

Publisher's Title Information

London has had more prisons than any other British city. The City's 'gates' once contained prisons, but probably the most notorious of all was Newgate, which stood for over 700 years. The eleventh century Tower of London was used as a prison for a variety of high profile prisoners from Sir Thomas More to the Krays.
 
Discover the background of a variety of historic places of incarceration such as The Clink, the King's Bench Prison; and debtors prisons such as the Fleet Prison and the Marshalsea. 'Lost' prisons such as the Gatehouse in Westminster, Millbank Penitentiary, Surrey County Gaol in Horsemonger Row, The House of Detention, Coldbath Fields Prison and Tothill Fields Prison are also described in detail; as are more familiar gaols: Holloway, Pentonville, Brixton, Wandsworth and Wormwood Scrubs. In his A History of London's Prisons Geoffrey Howse delves not only into the intricate web of historical facts detailing the origins of the capital's prisons but also includes fascinating detail concerning the day-to-day life of prisoners - from the highly born to the most despicable human specimens imaginable - as well as those less fortunate individuals who found themselves through no fault of their own 'in the clink', some soon becoming clients of the hangman or executioner.

The Author

Geoffrey Howse is well known for his books on South Yorkshire history. A specialist true crime author, Geoffrey has also published several books relating to London, including an A-Z of London Murder.
 
Born in Sheffield and brought up in Elsecar and Hoyland, Geoffrey, an actor/writer by profession, has lived in London for over 35 years.

Review

A book worth having if you are a true Crime buff. We are told that 'among the last prisoners to be held in the Tower were the notorious gangster brothers, the Kray Twins. Ronald and Reginald Kray were serving in the Royal Fusiliers during their National Service. Being absent without leave, they were spotted by a policeman, whom they assaulted as he attempted to arrest them. They were subsequently imprisoned in the Tower, before being taken to a military prison.' I am certain this may have been a matter of convenience since troops are always stationed at the Tower.

Newgate hasn't all vanished, remains of a cell of this prison are still visible in the cellars of the Viaduct Tavern, Old Bailey. I remember being shown the area when stationed at Snow Hill Police Station.

There were of course so very many prisons in and around London; many you will be familiar with. This book will give the reader a comprehensive coverage of all the smaller lesser known watch houses and lock-ups.

Rob Jerrard


Death on the Beat - Police Officers Killed in the line of Duty
Found in: True Crime Books
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Dick Kirby
ISBN: 9781848846203
Publishers: Pen & Sword
Price: RRP 19.99, Introductory Offer 15.99
Publication Date: 3rd July 2012

Publisher's Title Information

There is little that shocks the British public more than the killing of policemen and women whilst tackling criminals. Even hardened crooks baulk at what is seen as the ultimate crime particularly in the days when the police were largely unarmed.
 
Death on the Beat looks at fifty years of crime enforcement through case studies to demonstrate the ever present danger to those who patrolled London's streets and paid with their lives. Many who died were carrying out routine duties. PC Nat Edgar was shot in 1948 by a burglar and PC Patrick Dunne was murdered investigating a domestic incident in 1993; it took thirteen years to bring his killer to justice. Detective Sergeant Ray Purdy was shot arresting a cheap blackmailer and PC Ray Summers stabbed to death breaking up a gang fight. Particularly shocking was the gunning down of the three-man crew of the 'Q' car in 1966.
 
Terrorism brought more deaths. The IRA were responsible for the murder of PC Stephen Tibble and the horrific bombing of Harrods which cost three brave police officers their lives. The case of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, shot from inside the Libyan Embassy in 1984, remains highly contentious.
 
Acclaimed crime writer and former Met detective, Dick Kirby has drawn deep on his knowledge and contacts within and outside the Metropolitan Police to get first-hand accounts of these crimes, the ensuing investigations and the aftermath for those affected directly.
 
Written in his no-holds-barred and authoritative style, Death on the Beat, Dick's ninth book, promises to be the best yet.

The Author

Dick Kirby was born in the East End of London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967. Half of his twenty-six years' service was spent with Scotland Yard's Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad.
 
Kirby contributes to newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Guv'nors was also published by Warncliffe Books and he has further other published works to his credit.
 
In retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Author's Note

PC Yvonne Fletcher was senselessly, brutally murdered on 17 April 1984 while she was on duty outside the Libyan Embassy in London. Those responsible were Middle Eastern terrorists who masqueraded as diplomats, and they were permitted to return home to Libya, where a hero's welcome awaited them.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world was profoundly shocked by this cruel killing. While politicians whimpered platitudes, Yvonne's loved ones and her close colleagues grieved and wept, and there was a sense of rage and injustice that her killers had walked away scot-free. The Metropolitan Police was utterly demoralized. One man did more than any other to raise their morale, and his name is Michael Winner.
Commencing his career as a newspaper columnist, later an acclaimed director of films on both sides of the Atlantic, Winner is a no-nonsense character, sometimes rude, often abrasive; restaurateurs have been known to tremble at the thought of receiving a savaging in his Winner's Dinners column in The Sunday Times. But what he wants, he gets, and the Metropolitan Police rank and file adore him; within four days of Yvonne's murder, The Times published a letter from him suggesting that memorials should be erected to police officers killed in the line of duty. In part, the letter read:
It would serve to indicate that not everyone in this country takes seeming pleasure in attacking the police in the execution of their difficult duties, but that most of us regard their conduct and bravery under a whole series of endless and varied provocations as demonstrably noble and worthy of our thanks.
Letters of support and donations poured in, and within two weeks of the murder Michael Winner formed the Police Memorial Trust on 3 May 1984. These were its aims:
The promotion of good citizenship through the provision of memorials to police officers killed in the execution of their hazardous duty, and through these memorials also to honour the Police Service in general and subject thereto to relieve the need of police officers or their dependants arising from the special hazards of police duty.
It was intended that these memorials should be erected as close as possible to the spot where the officers had met their death; the concept caught the imagination of the great and the good, the heads of large corporations and the general public, and now the money poured in to the Trust. Since that time, memorials have been unveiled as tributes to almost fifty officers killed in the line of duty. The Police Roll of Honour Trust was formed in 2000 and it provided details of Metropolitan Police officers killed in the line of duty; it was opened by Her Majesty the Queen at Peel Training Centre in 2001. A National Police Memorial was similarly dedicated by Her Majesty in 2005.
What follows are the stories of some of those police officers, men and women, who died in the line of duty. I have described the investigations into their deaths and how their murder affected their colleagues and loved ones; I hope I have done them proud.

Dick Kirby


Foreword

When Yvonne Fletcher was killed it dawned on my rather befuddled mind that it was grossly unfair there should be memorials to services who fight and die on our behalf the army, the navy and the air force but none to the police who also fight and die for us. Theirs is a war with no beginning and no end. Brave men and women go forward unarmed and not infrequently pay the price by being shot, beaten to death, knifed, thrown from roofs, run down by cars etc.
My letter to The Times about this follow-up article in the Daily Mail produced a number of donations from the public. I had not the slightest intention of doing anything about it. I was simply writing. So I wrote to the Charity Commissioners, asking how to start a charity for police memorials. I intended to send their reply to the people who sent money, saying, "You form the charity, count me in for 5,000!" A charity commissioner, Mr Rao, rang me and said, "I have your letter in front of me, Mr Winner. Are you seriously telling me you want to put up memorials to mere policemen?" When he said that I put my hand over the phone and said to my assistant, "Fuck it, I'll have to do this." Thus the Police Memorial Trust was rather unceremoniously born.
We have some 43 memorials up all over the land. After ten years of frustration, hard work and massive energy I managed to get the first memorial placed in the Mall for over 100 years. The National Police Memorial is on the corner of Horse Guards and the Mall. It was unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen and represents what, I firmly believe, the police deserve. Namely, recognition. It is a national pastime to attack the police. It's about time somebody dealt with appreciating their valour and service.
I am delighted that Dick Kirby has written this book. I am sure those who read it will realize how very hazardous the life of a policeman is. One day they may be giving advice to citizens on road directions, another filling in forms, another attempting to contain riots, and on other days they will quite simply be killed. Such heroes should be remembered.

Michael Winner MA (Cantab), OBE (offered but rejected) Chairman and Founder, the Police Memorial Trust.

Review

"Death on the Beat" covers Metropolitan Police Officers Killed in the line of Duty. Some were technically not 'on the beat' but as in the case covered in chapter 6, ( Operation Shepherd) manning a 'Q' car, something I did myself as a young detective in London. It makes sad but interesting reading. Albeit the events in Shepherd's Bush occurred two years before I joined the police I remember it clearly as events unfolded on the news. It is interesting to note that the driver of the 'Q' car was like me , ex Royal Navy and the youngest member of the car crew was a Temporary Detective Constable (TDC). When I manned a 'Q' car I was a TDC. It was a fact of life that the older more experienced Detectives made sure you got that duty.

The author makes it clear that whatever your duty you never knew what the day might bring forth. I hope this book gets wide publicity and is read by very many people because it deserves to be.

It does cover, inter alia, the killing of PC Sidney George Miles and WPC Yvonne Fletcher. Regarding PC Miles Ancestry.co.uk records a death of a Sidney George Miles age 42 at Croydon Surrey, reference 5g 208, 42. Also on 2nd Dec 1952 probate was granted to Catherine Elizabeth Miles regarding the death of Sidney George Miles who died 2nd Nov 1952 in Croydon, Surrey.

I discuss the Bentley case at http://www.rjerrard.co.uk/law/cases/bentley.htm. This book discusses some, but not all London Police officers killed on duty. Also serving within the London area are the City of London Police and British Transport Police. If you want to know the full picture much information can be found online.

Rob Jerrard