Category: True crime

Top 10 true-crime books

Great research, vivid writing, historical context – the best true crime can give compelling insight into the kind of personalities that commit notorious crimes. In no particular order, here are 10 true-crime books that I particularly admire… Oswald’s Tale by Norman Mailer 1995 Forget the grassy knoll, mafia hitmen, Castro malcontents, CIA plotters – it…




Victim’s son encouraged by new focus on Nude Murders case

I was surprised and delighted to be contacted recently by Frank Quinn, the son of one of victims in the Hammersmith Nude Murders case. This was, of course, the unsolved serial-killer investigation from the 1960s that I cover occasionally on this blog, having first written about it in The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper. Frank…




Murder by the Sea: Louisa Merrifield

Of the six cases featured in the latest Murder by the Sea series, Louisa May Merrifield’s is the one I would most like to research further. The Blackpool Poisoner was the final episode on CBS Reality’s British series last week, and it is fascinating. In 1953 Louisa went to work as a housekeeper for a…




Murder by the Sea: Barry Rogers and Penelope John

It is hard not to feel great sympathy for Rhianne Morris, who appeared on this week’s Murder by the Sea. She was the girlfriend of Barry Rogers, who, with his mother Penelope John, went to jail in 2018 for murdering his grandmother, Betty Guy. Barry Rogers and Penelope John It is clear Rhianne is still…




Hatton Garden ITV

ITV’s Hatton Garden drama has been engrossing. The language is ripe and the cast – including Timothy Spall and Kenneth Cranham – is excellent. The Diamond Wheezers who burgled the underground safe-deposit company in London’s jewellery district in 2015 is a fascinating true-crime story. While pulling off this shocking theft, the veteran lags are also…




Murder by the Sea: David Ellis

The CBS Reality series continued to rake through the dark side of our seaside towns this week. This time it was the sad case of Swansea landlord Alec Warburton, who was murdered by his callous tenant, David Ellis. Ellis had a number of grubby convictions behind him, including sexual offences against a girl. He was…




Murder by the Sea – John Cooper

The trailer for season two of Murder by the Sea John Cooper was a man with a powerful streak of badness in him. A bully, a psychopath and a vicious killer, he terrorised an area of Pembrokeshire for two decades. He is the subject of a forthcoming episode of CBS Reality’s Murder by the Sea…




Voice of a Killer – January 3

Voice of a Killer returns with David Wilson This new series about how police question suspected killers begins on CBS Reality on Thursday 3 January.  I am a contributor to it and had to do a lot of research on the six cases included. Watching or listening to lengthy questioning sessions was tedious at times….




Guesswork and the release of murderer Harold Jones

Harold Jones in jail in 1921 Thanks goodness deference to authority largely gets the middle finger today. This means we can give short shrift to claptrap like this: ‘Sadistic crime is probably more rare in England than in any other country in the world. Curiously enough, even the few known exponents in our English records…




Murder in Soho: Who Killed Freddie Mills?

Originally posted on robinjarossi.com 31 7 18 ‘To this day, the case has puzzled me.’ These are the words of Professor Brian J Ford during BBC4’s Murder in Soho: Who Killed Freddie Mills? And the death of Britain’s former boxing hero has certainly attracted rumour, legend and some wacky theories since his apparent suicide in 1965….