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True CrimeCold-blooded Killing Of A Rochdale Policeman
If you’re travelling alone, motorway service stations are best avoided in the early hours of the morning. Some then become the haunt of petty criminals on the lookout for lone motorists to mug; and in the 1980s Birch Services, on the M62 near Rochdale, was a known rendezvous for small-time crooks. But the crime committed there in the early hours of September 14th, 1989, was almost in a league of its own.
On routine patrol, two policemen were keeping an eye open for a distinctive dark blue motorcycle with gold wheels. Its owner was wanted for armed robbery, and just before 2 a.m. the officers spotted his machine at Birch Services.
They were Inspector Ray Codling, a 49-year-old father of five, and Sergeant James Bowden, 45. Leaving their car in the service station’s westbound parking area, they headed for the cafeteria. Their crash-helmeted suspect was standing near a telephone kiosk. On spotting them, he approached them, asking for directions to the restaurant.
Once he was out of sight, they checked his motorcycle. He reappeared while they were examining it, and on seeing he was wearing a sheath knife they called him over.
Without a word of warning, he pulled down his visor, whipped out a pistol from his black leather jacket, and shot Inspector Codling in the chest. Then as the officer fell, the gunman stood over him and shot him in the eye.
Before Sergeant Bowden could move to intervene, a bullet struck his leg. Another shot, aimed at his chest, was deflected by his police notebook.
Frozen with horror, 20 or more truckers then saw the gunman mount his powerful Yamaha and roar off into the night…Even hardened career criminals usually drew the line somewhere. Not Anthony Hughes – without provocation he shot unarmed police officers, killing one in cold blood…Read the complete report in True Crime August - out now... 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 FoulBride Pushed Her Husband Off A Cliff
Attractive Jordan Linn Graham, 22, was having second thoughts about her marriage to 25-year-old Cody Lee Johnson. She texted a friend on July 7th, 2012, to let her know she was going to tell her husband about her reservations.
“Oh, well, I’m about to talk to him,” Jordan said.
“I’ll pray for you guys,” the friend replied.
Jordan wrote back, “But dead serious – if you don’t hear from me at all again tonight, something happened.”
Jordan and Cody argued until they were tired of arguing, then they decided to go for a hike through the Loop Trail area of the Glacier National Park in Montana – they were newly-weds remember and were meant to be enjoying themselves.
It was around 9 p.m. when they arrived at the park in their Audi. The twilight made the vast expanse of mountains and gorges a magical place.
As they climbed the peaks and took in the breathtaking views of the wilderness, their pleasure was tainted by the argument that never seemed to stop – you know how it works – the same points regurgitated over and over again, nothing ever being resolved, until you both stop from sheer exhaustion and the need to get on with other things.
As they neared the crest of a peak, Cody grabbed Jordan’s arms. According to Jordan, she pushed his arm away then pushed him with both hands in the back. Jordan wouldn’t have seen the look on his face – surprise, fear and horror...
For Cody stumbled over the edge of the peak and began to fly face-downwards into the deep canyon. He would have been conscious perhaps for about half that time.
When the body was finally found Medical Examiner Gary Dale determined that Cody Johnson had died of blunt force trauma – he’d bounced off a rock outcrop about 200 metres down and landed face down in water. His ribs were crushed, his heart had torn open, he had a seven-inch skull fracture and his right eye socket had collapsed.
The honeymoon was over…but what happened next? The answer is inside Murder Most Foul 93…in newsagents and online now....
 more »
Murder Most Foul
Murder Most No. 93
In UK shops July 24th, 2014

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