Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Supercops in the UK

Just as Lou Smit was a supercop in the USA, so we had ours in the UK.  Of course there were the legendary Scotland Yard detectives such as Walter Dew, Berrett, Fabian (Fabian of the Yard), Cherrill, Du Rose et al.  Dew is famous for arresting Crippen in New York and bringing him back to Britain to face trial.  The biggest case for Berrett was arresting the killers of PC George Gutteridge in 1927.  However, there is a dispute over the guilt of one of the men subsequently hanged for the crime, Guy Browne.

    John Du Rose was the head of the Murder Squad, and he acquired a reputation for solving murders very quickly.  One huge case of the 60`s was the unsolved murders known as the "Jack the Stripper" murders.  Six prostitutes were killed over a two year period, and Du Rose believed that the killer was a night watchman for an industrial estate.  But before Du Rose could arrest him, the watchman committed suicide, depriving Du Rose of the chance to interrogate him and hopefully ascertain the truth.  The conspiracy theorists have long made out that the killer was none other than legendary boxer, Freddie Mills.  Indeed, one author has put forward the suggestion that Mills was having a homosexual relationship with singer Michael Holliday and Mills liked having rough sex with a prostitute before sex with Holliday and Mills ended up beating the prostitute and then killing her.  However, as both men are long dead, these theories can be aired without threat of legal action.  True to say, these allegations have been rubbished.

    Later on in years, in the 70`s and 80`s, famous Glasgow cop Les Brown helped investigate two hundred and forty nine murders, resulting in a ninety eight percent conviction rate.  Donald Craig, a former Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, investigated seventy three murders and solved the lot.  Another man with an equally impressive record was Bob Booth, who had investigated seventy murders and solved the lot.  But his enquiry into the kidnap of a teenage girl and her subsequent murder, destroyed a glittering career.  

    This was the Lesley Whittle case, and as it emerged, the kidnapper was a triple killer and armed robber.  These crimes were committed in different jurisdictions and so were being investigated by different forces.  The killer was none other than Donald Neilson, alias "The Black Panther."  Neilson had carried dozens of burglaries and armed robberies, and after killing one man, he then almost beat the victims` wife to death with a gun.  During his arrest, Neilson attempted to shoot two Police officers and with help from two members of the public, they had to give Neilson a beating in order to subdue him.  After losing his gun, he tried to reach for a bayonet, but the officers managed to cuff him.  At the Inquest into the girls` death, Bob Booth was expected to be economical with the truth, in order to "spare the blushes" of Scotland Yard, whom had been called in to help the enquiry, and had made some blunders.  Booth stood before the Coroner and told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as you expect the Police to do.  But because he embarrassed the Yard, he was brought up on disciplinary charges and kicked out of the CID and back into uniform.  Because he did not toady to the Yard, like his superiors, his career was destroyed, and he was made the public scapegoat.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for this man.