Crime case histories

You are viewing the category Crime case histories. This category contains 22 articles and the sub-categories:

Hilda Murrell

Nurse Beverly Allitt

Sicilian mafia in the UK

Dikko kidnap

The kings of crime escape jail - but only to bury their mother

The Guardian, August 12 1982

The Kray twins said farewell to their mother yesterday with a short poem, two hymns, more than 300 wreaths, 1,000 spectators and a lot of large men in dark suits. Then they went back to prison.

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The rise of disorganised crime

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, February 15 1988

When the end finally came in a dark and dowdy courtroom in Brooklyn last week, Joseph Gallo was just an old man with silver hair and a weak heart. Once he had been a big shot, one of the biggest in the New York mob - consigliere of the Gambino crime family - striking all the deals, running the rackets and making the pay-offs. His criminal roots went right back to the prohibition years.

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The kidnapper's revenge

The Scotsman and The New Zealand Dominion, August 29 1988

The whole state of Mississippi is agog at the goings-on in Jackson, the state capital, which lies in the pine woods and prairie a couple of hundred miles north of New Orleans, a town which has remained an outpost of the old southern way of life, where wealthy families live in genteel comfort while the less fortunate are not encouraged to complain.

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The decline of the English criminal

The Guardian, August 11 1990

The decline of the English criminal was most obvious in the violent end of Colin Grindley.

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Allegations of war crimes - committed by the Allies

The Guardian, May 1 1991

It is a familiar scene from the Nazi invasion of Western Europe: the captors with their heavy guns, casually cruel as they herd their ragged prisoners into the woods; the stronger victims given shovels and ordered to break the leafy soil; the machine guns made ready; the helpless captives with their heads bowed and their hands tied; and the eye witness who survives to tell the tale...

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Florence Siddons and the missing murderer

The Guardian, September 28 1991

There is only a handful of ways in which an ordinary life can suddenly become flooded by limelight. One of them is murder. Another is scandal. Florence Siddons' family has suffered both.

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The IRA show up on the edge of a tantalising murder mystery

The Guardian, June 27 1992

Real mysteries are rare, but there are occasions when ordinary life is violated by an incident which is so bizarre and so unexpected that even when time has passed and all the little fragments of fact have been swept up and fitted together, the truth still defies the most ingenious imagination. And it is invariably the most ordinary of lives which produce the most baffling mysteries.

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Portrait of a thief as a poor boy

The Guardian, January 2 1993

One day last summer, when Joey had been arrested yet again for yet another burglary, his solicitor went down to the police station to see him and he sat down opposite him in the interview room with all the graffiti on the wall, and he sighed and he asked him straight: "Joey, why do you do it?"

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Meeting the man who kills coppers

The Guardian, February 2 1993

Harry Roberts was once the most famous man in Britain. It was the summer of 1966: England had just beaten Germany in the World Cup; Harold Wilson was talking to the TUC about a wage freeze; Francis Chichester was getting ready to sail round the world; and at 3.15 on a Friday afternoon, on a street in Shepherd's Bush, three London policemen were shot down dead in the sun.

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Kidnap, murder and justice in the Algarve

The Guardian, August 14 1993

Rachel Charles was nine years old when she went missing one warm November day in 1990 as she walked home after school, and when her body was found four days later, tucked under a pine tree a couple of miles along the coast, local people who had never even known her were terrified by the needless brutality of it all.

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The new pursuit of profit rots the old bonds of trust

The Guardian, September 18 1993

Until a few years ago, there used to be a gigantic old elm tree in the middle of Ramsbury. It was so big that it held an umbrella of branches over the whole village square and, according to Wiltshire legend, the hollow cleft in its centre had once been the home of a witch called Maud Toogood who warned that if the old elm ever fell, the village would fall with it.

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Murder among children

Options magazine, December 1 1993

Every evening in Watton is more or less the same. Around six, the children start to gather in the cafe in the High Street, sitting at the moulded plastic tables, pushing butt ends round the ash trays, until the cafe closes at seven and they move across the road to the pavement outside the Gateway supermarket, where they slump together in the doorway and watch the town go dark.

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The death of a material boy

The Guardian, February 6 1994

Several months before he disappeared, Andrew Elphick sat down with his friend, Sasha Westcourt, in the house they shared on the edge of a neat little village in Surrey, and the two of them wrote out their ambitions in life. Westcourt jotted down a few lines about health and happiness and a steady income, but Elphick filled a whole page with his plans, which he spelled out step by step in capital...

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Death of an ordinary girl

The Guardian, May 14 1994

For most of her life, Natalie Pearman was a walking portrait of an ordinary girl. She lived with her four brothers and sisters and her cat called Lucy in a neat little council house on the edge of a peaceful village in Norfolk. She liked ballet and horses and watching Neighbours after tea, she was good at drawing and painting and she had the idea that when she grew up, she would like to go into...

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Killing to be cool - the case of Elsey and Petrolini

The Observer magazine, December 4 1994

Jamie Petrolini sits alone in his prison cell. Last year, he was a schoolboy cramming for his A levels at a sixth form college in Oxford, striding around in baggy purple jeans and a big white tee-shirt with No Fear scrawled across the front. Now, he is a notorious killer, aged 19, serving life for murder in a young offenders institution outside Doncaster.

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The mugging that robbed the law of its credibility

The Guardian, December 21 1995

One quiet summer's night this year, there was an incident in north London which captured, with almost perfect symbolism, not only the violence which has now be come a routine part of British life but also the paralysis of policy which has become a routine reaction to its occurrence.

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The mysterious death of a Norfolk schoolboy

The Guardian, December 8 1997

Most murders are easily solved. They are unplanned, barely concealed, frequently witnessed and often confessed. But then there are the others, the ones whose solutions are deeply buried, the real-life murder mysteries.

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The lost skills of Victorian crime

The Times, March 12 1998

Review of The Victorian Underworld by Donald Thomas

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The hidden history of the little girl who killed

The Daily Express, May 9 1998
Written as Gitta Sereny was attacked by tabloids for upsetting the families of Mary Bell's victims

Review of 'Cries Unheard: The Story of Mary Bell.' By Gitta Sereny.

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The boy who vanished - and the imposter who brought him back

The Guardian, October 17 1998

Just over four years ago, on the afternoon of Monday June 13 1994, a 13-year-old American boy named Nicholas Barclay vanished on his way home from playing basketball near his home in San Antonio, Texas.

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The judge who was betrayed by justice

December 13 2003

Andrew Chubb devoted most of his working life to justice, first as a lawyer in the merchant navy, then as a barrister (he appeared, for example, at the Rosemary West murder trial) and finally as a crown court judge on the western circuit - nearly 30 years of service to this country's system of civil and criminal justice. Then he died. And justice deserted him.

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Murder is easy (if you kill the right people)

The Guardian, June 7 2008

When finally they caught him, it was a fluke. He had parked his lorry outside a football stadium in a small town in north-eastern Spain and he was waiting for dark to throw away the body of his latest victim. By sheer chance, a technician was installing a CCTV camera on the wall of a neighbouring factory and, while he was adjusting it to focus on the factory gate, the technician accidentally...

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