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True CrimeThe Beast Of Cannock Chase Is Dead
On March 11th, 2014, an elderly man from Walsall passed away aged 84 at HM Prison, Preston. His name was Raymond Leslie Morris but to the British public he was once better known as "The Beast (or Monster) of Cannock Chase," or even the A34 Killer.
Although he had always maintained his innocence, and as recently as 2010 had been attempting to have his one murder conviction overturned, his fate was to die of natural causes without ever tasting freedom again. And for those convinced that Morris was indeed the notorious sex killer guilty of the heinous Cannock Chase Murders, which claimed the lives of three young girls in the late 1960s and sparked one of the biggest manhunts in British criminal history, a life spent in prison was the very least he deserved...
The judge at his trial wasted no words on Morris, simply passing a life sentence upon him for Christine’s murder, three years for the attempted abduction, and 12 months for the indecent assaults.
He had been shown to be a pervert, a sadist and a killer, yet he appeared so normal to those around him. He was a hard worker, a non-smoker, intelligent, vain, played the piano and wrote poetry.
After the trial, the grey Austin Cambridge used in the abductions was returned to its new owner, but he didn’t want to drive it ever again. It was sold at auction and was bought by a car dealer for one purpose only: to destroy it. On March 29th, 1969, the car was soaked in petrol and set on fire for a ritual cremation.
Morris was sent to the maximum-security wing at Durham Prison, which housed another child-killer, Moors Murderer Ian Brady.
Depriving little children of life for sheer sexual gratification is the vilest crime in the criminal catalogue, and this is reflected by the attitude of ordinary prisoners to sex offenders. From common burglars to violent thugs, other inmates abhor having such individuals among them, and guarantee these men savage treatment in prison...where Raymond Morris remained until his death, classified as a psychopath who it would be too dangerous ever to release…Read the complete account in True Crime July… more »
Master Detective'Why I Chopped My Wife's Head Off'
Hurtling along the A38 south of Exeter on September 3rd, 1983, the motorist had a problem. He needed to relieve himself, and he suddenly saw the ideal place not far ahead.
He had reached Haldon Hill, on the edge of Haldon Forest. Pushing through the gorse and bracken, he came to a small clearing away from the main road. And there he attended to the calls of nature while surveying the vista of the Exe Estuary below.
Then a droning sound began to puzzle him. He inclined his head to hear it better, but then stiffened in alarm on seeing something white and pink contrasting with the greenery.
A closer look told him where the buzzing sound was coming from.
The corpse had no head and blowflies were guzzling industriously on the rotting stem of the neck…
Some hours later, after the motorist had gasped out his story to the police, files on missing females up and down Britain were being scanned in an attempt to identify the headless corpse of a slim woman, around 5 feet tall and aged between 20 and 30. She had been in the glade only a few days, but had clearly been dead a lot longer than that, judging by her advanced state of decomposition. Although that made the task of Home Office pathologist Dr. Robert Kellett no easy one, he was nevertheless able to establish that she had not been sexually assaulted.
A specially-trained police dog commenced a search for the missing head, while officers accompanying the dog looked for a potential murder weapon, but neither was to be found there. A few teeth were discovered, however, together with some wisps of human hair and bone chips.
Could it be a gangland slaying, the victim a moll of some underworld czar? A hooker, perhaps, who had disobeyed her pimp and been paid off with a topping? There was also support for the theory that the victim might be a drug courier, as her body was clad in a white “Souvenir du Maroc” T-shirt and a skimpy pair of salmon-pink Thai silk shorts.
One thing was certain: but for the motorist’s involuntary intervention in that clearing, the corpse might never have been found until decomposition and forest predators had reduced it to slime and bone…Discover where the remains would lead in Master Detective August... more »
True DetectiveCumberland Killers Were Last To Hang
Alan West lay at the foot of the stairs near the front door. He and the stair carpet were heavily bloodstained, and a quick check told Police Constable Clarke that the laundry worker had been dead since the early hours of April 7th, 1964. He radioed for assistance, and by four o’clock King’s Avenue, a cul-de-sac in the Workington suburb of Seaton, was teeming with officers led by Detective Inspector Leslie Gibson.
There was blood on West’s stairs from top to bottom, Gibson noted. In the living-room doorway he found a length of metal tubing encased in rubber and half-wrapped in a pair of pyjama trousers.
The Carlisle pathologist Dr. J.S. Faulds arrived as dawn was breaking. He had the body removed for an autopsy, and found that Alan West had suffered multiple head injuries and had died from a stab wound in the heart.
By now Gibson’s clues consisted of the cosh and a fingerprint which wasn’t West’s, and had been found on a door. A search of the house and garden had failed to find the murder weapon.
Then at 1.30 p.m. a raincoat which did not belong to West was found in his bedroom. In one of the pockets there was a key-wallet containing a key and a medallion inscribed “G.O. Evans, July, 1961.” There was also a scrap of paper with the name Norma O’Brien and an address scribbled on it.
Miss O’Brien turned out to be a 17-year-old Liverpool factory worker. Shown the medallion, she said she had seen it hanging from the neck of Gwynne Evans, a man she had met at her sister’s home in 1963. She had gone out with him once or twice, and she said he was known as “Sandy.” He lodged with a friend, Peter Allen, at 2 Clarendon Street, Preston.
Meanwhile in Ormskirk, 18 miles south of Preston, the police had found an abandoned car. Its Preston owner, James Cook, had reported it stolen, and it bore the fingerprints of two dairymen known to the police. They were Peter Anthony Allen, 21, and Gwynne Owen Evans, 24…Read the full case – and see the cases that escaped the noose – in True Detective August...
 more »
Murder Most FoulCleveland’s Torso Murders
It began on September 5th, 1934, when a 21-year-old carpenter strolling along Euclid Beach on the shore of Lake Erie found the lower half of a female torso, severed at the waist. The thighs were still attached but the lower legs had been cut off at the knees. The woman had been dead for about six months, and in the water for three to four months.
Next day another shoreline stroller 30 miles away found the top half of the torso, minus the head and the arms.
Cleveland was a city infested with crime, and The Flats and Kingsbury Run formed its evil epicentre. It was here on September 23rd – a little more than two weeks after the discovery of the Lady in the Lake – that two schoolboys were scampering along a weed-covered slope known as Jackass Hill. They decided to race each other to the gully 60 feet below.
The older boy – he was 16 – won, so he was first to see what he shouted out was “a dead man with no head down there.” They called the police.
What they had found was the remains of a young white male, naked except for a pair of black socks. The body was both headless and emasculated. The victim was lanky, five feet 11, and had been dead only two or three days.
The police began searching the area. One called to another: “You find the head?”
“No," his companion replied. “I’ve found another body.”
This second body, that of a shorter, older man of about 45, who had also been decapitated and emasculated, was completely naked and more decomposed. This man had been dead for two or three weeks. His skin was unusually reddish and tough like leather, caused by the application of a preservative. The advanced decomposition of the body prevented fingerprinting.
A little farther away the officers discovered the genitalia of both victims. The head of the first man was buried just below the surface of the ground, and 75 feet away from it the second head was similarly buried.
The two bodies had been neatly laid out, arranged with arms tucked at the sides and legs and heels together. There was no blood on the ground, giving rise to the idea that the killer had washed the bodies carefully before leaving them in Kingsbury Run.
In the wider search area detectives found some bloodstained clothing that fitted the older victim. There was also a rusty bucket containing used motor oil that contained traces of blood and hair. Detectives theorised that the killer intended to burn the bodies but had been interrupted.
The head of the younger man had been cleanly and skilfully removed between the third and fourth cervical vertebrae, with a large, heavy, very sharp knife. The absence of blood in the heart and the retracted muscles in the neck led to the astonishing conclusion that the act of decapitation itself had been the cause of death....
It was thought the older man had died in the same way, but experts were not so certain...Do not miss this issue – Murder Most Foul 92... more »
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True Crime August 2014
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