Friday, 8 March 2013

A Liverpool Thug

I have put information on this particular man in an earlier posting and this is an update on info that I have come across.  The sources include newspapers, personal stories and from a few autobiographies.  The man in question was former boxer Eddie Palmer, a man described by Charlie Siega as "One of the biggest headaches in the city", and a prosecutor as "The most feared man in the city."  Palmer had made his mark in Liverpool as a bouncer with a notorious reputation for ultra-violence, working on the doors of various nightspots.  He was a bear of a man.  A friend told me, at the time of the murder trial, that his dad said Palmer was marked for death, fifteen years before.

    Ricky Tomlinson recalled Palmer working the door at a club he was appearing at, and getting into a dispute with a guy at the door.  Palmer went to get a metal pole with some concrete on the end, and was going to lay into the guy with it.  Tomlinson said that he and a few others had to wrestle the pole from Palmer's hands.  He called Palmer "A Psychopath!"`  Another person recalled Palmer giving repeated savage kicks to the groin of a lad.  

    Palmer later became the head of the "Stanley Boys" so called because their favourite weapon was Stanley knives, razor sharp blades that inflicted appalling injuries.  This gang comprised of two families.  Bouncer Eddie Bean told of how Palmer would walk into a pub with a couple of his mob, order drinks and refuse to pay for them.  Publicans were absolutely terrified of him.  Bean told of troubles at the doors of clubs with Palmer and company, stating how he and other doormen had taken lethal knives off them, and even guns.  He took off his shirt and showed the mass of scars across his chest and back from slashings.  One very tough doorman who had a fight with Palmer was Gary Spiers, and he had to be careful as gang members were watching with their hands in their pockets, clutching knives.  The fight fizzled out.

    Siega had a dangerous run-in with Palmer, at a club where he was bullying a young girl.  In his book, Siega said that Palmer turned nasty so he decided to do him.  He was asked to intervene by the club manager, who was clearly frightened, as was his two huge doormen.  Were they genuinely afraid of him or were they afraid of Palmer and his mob going after their families?  Siega has told this tale in detail in his book, "Killer."

    The downfall came when Palmer upset Joe Keatley or "Beech Doherty" as he was also known as.  Palmer was allegedly the driver of a car that run him down some years before, and animosity between them brewed over the years.  Keatley stabbed Palmer to death, and was tried for murder.  A petition was handed to the court in support of Keatley, from many people glad to see the back of Palmer.  The prosecutor said Palmer was the most feared man in Liverpool.  Keatley was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.  He received three years, and the judge said "Good luck" to Keatley as he was taken down.  

    Palmer was a man who never paid for taxis as the drivers were too scared to ask for money and it has been said that on learning that Palmer was dead, the Police ordered a crate of champagne.  Another claim was that Palmer enjoyed using knives on victims, rather than use his fists.  Like McLean and Sykes, nothing but a violent bully.