Friday, 15 March 2013

The Legal & General Murders

The so-called Legal & General Murders became a bitterly fought campaign to have the convictions of Reg Dudley & Bob Maynard for the murders of Billy Moseley and Micky Cornwall, two lower level robbers.  Dudley had carved a reputation as a hard man in North London and he had started a lucrative career as a fence, or receiver of stolen goods. Maynard, or "Fat Bob" as he was known as, was not known as a man of violence.

    The chain of events began when Moseley set off for a meeting with a man named Ronnie Fright.  Moseley had been bedding Fright`s wife whilst he was in prison.  Moseley was never seen again and soon parts of his body started popping up in the River Thames, minus his head & hands.  Micky Cornwall was planning a big job so he could "retire" from crime but told some people his plans.  One of these persons was John Moriarty, a man who was soon to turn supergrass.  Cornwall left his apartment before two men called to see him.  They were later identified as Dudley & Maynard.  Cornwall later turned up in a shallow grave, shot through the head.

    Legendary Scotland Yard detective Bert Wickstead arrested a number of people, including Fright, Dudley, Maynard and four others.  It was alleged in court that Dudley & Maynard made incriminating remarks to Wickstead and his detectives.  This was strenuously denied in court.  All but Dudley & Maynard were cleared or given suspended sentences. The two were given life sentences.  Then, a glitch appeared.  The head of Moseley was found in a public lavatory, wrapped in a plastic bag.  The head had been missing for three years but was remarkably preserved, indicating it had been in a freezer.  A long campaign began that saw the sentences finally quashed in 2002, 25 years after their conviction.  Numerous scenarios had been put forward by the prosecution for the motive for the killings.  The legal & General tag came after they walked into a pub wearing overcoats that reminded people of a popular advert on TV at the time.  Nobody else has been arrested for the crime.