Iconic figures that died too young …. some say self inflicted and deservedly so , whilst others would strongly disagree….  including legendary Beatles songwriter/singer -John Lennon are all featured here on display at Littledean Jail alongside our True Crime, Murderabilia, Sleaze & Scandal, The bizarre and the Taboo subject matters .

Below a picture of John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono posing naked together

Headline news reporting the shooting of Lennon

Lennon’s assassin – Mark Chapman 


Mark Chapman seeking autograph from John Lennon shortly before shooting him

John Lennon dead picture

Death of John Lennon

John Lennon was an English musician who gained worldwide fame as one of the founders of The Beatles, for his subsequent solo career, and for his political activism and pacifism. He was shot by Mark David Chapman at the entrance of the building where he lived, The Dakota, in New York City, on Monday, 8 December 1980. Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.

Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where it was stated that nobody could have lived for more than a few minutes after sustaining such injuries. Shortly after local news stations reported Lennon’s death, crowds gathered at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota.

He was cremated on 10 December 1980, at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York; the ashes were given to Ono, who chose not to hold a funeral for him. The first report of his death to a national audience was announced by Howard Cosell, on ABC’s Monday Night Football.

Mark David Chapman

As Lennon and Ono walked to their limousine, they were approached by several people seeking autographs, and among them was Chapman. It was common for fans to wait outside the Dakota to meet Lennon and ask for his autograph. Chapman, a 25-year-old security guard from Honolulu, Hawaii, had previously travelled to New York to murder Lennon in October (before the release of Double Fantasy), but had changed his mind and returned home. On the evening in question, Chapman silently handed Lennon a copy of Double Fantasy, and Lennon obliged with an autograph  After signing the album, Lennon asked, “Is this all you want?” Chapman smiled and nodded in agreement. Photographer, and Lennon fan, Paul Goresh, took a photo of the encounter. Chapman had been waiting for Lennon outside the Dakota since mid-morning, and had even approached the Lennons’ five-year-old son, Sean, who was with the family nanny, Helen Seaman, when they returned home in the afternoon. According to Chapman, he briefly touched the boy’s hand.

The Lennons spent several hours at the Record Plant studio before returning to the Dakota, at approximately 10:50 pm. Lennon had decided against dining out so he could be home in time to say goodnight to his son, before going on to the Stage Deli restaurant with Ono. Lennon liked to oblige any fans who had been waiting for long periods of time to meet him with autographs or pictures, once saying during an interview with BBC Radio’s Andy Peebles on 5 December 1980: “People come and ask for autographs, or say ‘Hi’, but they don’t bug you”.The Lennons exited their limousine on 72nd Street instead of driving into the more secure courtyard of the Dakota.

Chapman later said he was incensed by Lennon’s “bigger than Jesus” remark, calling it blasphemy, and the songs “God“, and “Imagine“,because of the incongruity between the lyric “Imagine no possessions” and Lennon’s personal wealth. Chapman even sang the song with the altered lyric: “Imagine John Lennon dead.”

At least one source, however, has cast doubt on these details and the motive of the killer, maintaining the murder was part of a conspiracy.


ICONIC FIGURES THAT DIED TOO YOUNG – KURT COBAIN (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)

Iconic figures that died too young …. some say self inflicted and deservedly so , whilst others would strongly disagree….  including legendary American Grunge rock singer/songwriter & Nirvana frontman – Kurt Cobain are all featured here on display at Littledean Jail alongside our True Crime, Murderabilia, Sleaze & Scandal, The bizarre and the Taboo subject matters .  

brilliant track and video of Kurt and the rest of Nirvana performing  “Smells like teen spirit “

below is a crime scene picture as featured in the press coverage of the day after his suicide

below is Kurt  Cobain’s death certificate

Above Is Kurt’s suicide note and below a printed version

 Below is the crime scene illustration

Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994)[2][3] was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989.

After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from its second album Nevermind(1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled “the flagship band” of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as “the spokesman of a generation”.[4] Cobain, however, was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana’s audience with its final studio album In Utero (1993).

During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression. He also had difficulty coping with his fame and public image, and the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances ofhis death at age 27 have become a topic of public fascination and debate. Since their debut, Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, has sold over 25 million albums in the U.S., and over 50 million worldwide.[5][6]


Seattle police known to be at the scene were:
Capt. Larry Farrar
Lt. George Marberg, Lt. Al Gerdes, Lt. Ziminsky
Sgt. Don Cameron, Sgt. Jeff Getchman
Det. Jim Yoshida, Det. Steve Kirkland
Off. Joe Fewel, Off. Von Levandowski
King County Medical Examiners:
Investigator Dave Delgado
Dr. Nick Hartshorne, Dr. Donald Raey

Officers who were present made very little effort to preserve the scene and document it thoroughly; arriving at 9:50am the scene was secured by 11:55am. Perhaps this was corruption or incompetence without intent, either way its negligence. These reports of the scene are clearly based on fact but inaccuracies fill the holes; inaccuracies that paint a suicidal environment.

“Nowhere in the police handling of the scene will you find any indication that the detectives were there to do anything but write up a report on the death and then get out of there… No standard
forensics testing such as fingerprint, footprint, fiber sampling, etcetera, was done at the scene.Homicide detectives were apparently willing to entertain no notion but that this was a suicide.” –Richard Lee – “No evidence, it seems, is needed to close a case of alleged self-murder.”

From the limited visual view and description the greenhouse appears clinical and does not corroborate with what Dylan Carlson and others have said; “It’s just a dirty little room.” Along with Dylan’s other statement – “I’ve never seen the house this clean before,” these testimonies lead to the suspicion of an intently ‘swept’ crime scene, a fundamental observation in every investigation implying a more complicated scenario.

Nikolas Hartshorne: “The fact that there was a suicide note left at the scene, point one. Point two: the weapon is still at the scene and point three: the nature of the injury. This was a contact shotgun wound to the mouth that required the gun to be against the decedent’s chest and with this information makes it a classic textbook example of suicide.” (VH1 Confidential)
Point one – when the authenticity of the suicide note is later questioned, Hartshorne claims one factor he pronounced as being a reason in the conclusion of suicide is now “irrelevant.” 
Point two and three – its logical to suggest that in the reconstruction of a ‘textbook’ suicide the perpetrate[s] would manipulate the crime scene fabricating the essentials, and certainly in this scene all the artifacts are ideally placed. This is no basis at all to conclude a verdict of suicide without consideration of other variables and inconsistencies present. – ‘The perfect assassination looks like suicide’

3D Crime Scene Diagram
This model is not to scale, it is directly deduced from the information provided in the police reports documenting where items were located. Polaroid and 35mm cameras were used to document the scene. The films have never been developed, and to a much lesser extent the polaroids never released – “We don’t develop photographs on suicides.” Sgt. Cameron.
Therefore the only discernible information about the crime scene is from police reports and witness accounts.
 (Click on the diagram for an enlarged view, please discern the fact this diagram does not take into account the pitched roof).

Excerpt from the Follow Up Report:
The significance of the shotgun being inverted (trigger and magazine trap door pointing up) is that it places the ejection port (where the spent shell is ejected from when fired) to Kurt’s right(south). Yet the spent shell was documented as being found to Kurt’s left (north). Why?
Visual 3D Reference 
This scenario seems to defy the physics of when a gun is fired, the trappings of assimilation with some fundamental errors; It is to be believed the shotgun rotated 180° (while remaining in Kurt’s left hand which was found clutching the barrell, due to rigor), and also remained ideally positioned, resting parallel on Kurt’s chest directed toward his chin. Keep this in mind – “The barrel of this shotgun retracts 3” as it automatically loads the next shell into the chamber.” – (Tom Grant, p.38)

On a side related issue, in this picture it’s possible to presumably see the butt of the shotgun between Kurt’s legs as stated in the police reports.

Gary Smith, who happens to be a journeyman electrician with no alcohol or drugs or criminal record in his background, also reports that a note was clearly visible by the body, so clear that he could read: “I Love You… I Love You” through the french windows. When the details filtered out to the press it seemed as if Kurt had placed the note in a planter box with a pen stuck through it (as reflected in the police reports). In reality the police photographer moved it across the room to get a better shot of it and failed to photograph it in it’s exact original position near the body.”
A passage taken from Hank Harrison’s book, Beyond Nirvana, p54.
This apparently originates from conversation between Grant and Smith, which Grant later divulged to Harrison.
The importance being Smith’s testimony is an eye witness illustration of police tampering with material evidence.

Although these factors all seem small, they were widely proliferated around the death of Kurt and had an impact by misleading people to draw conclusions as to what had happened on false facts.

1.) Namely the positioning of a stool. It was reported at the time Kurt had barricaded himself inside the room: Police narrative: “There are stairs on the west side leading to the french door entry and another set of french doors on the east side which lead to a balcony. These doors are unlocked and closed but there is a stool with a box of gardening supplies on it in front of the door.” – “Off. Levandowski observed the french doors at the opposite end of the room were blocked by a stool; preventing access.”
This factor should have been of little relevance, the stool was only sitting infront of an unlocked set of doors that led to a balcony. Not only that, but the eastern french doors open outwards onto the balcony, this makes the notion of a barricade (suggesting nobody could leave) completely irrelevant; an assailant could exit and draw the stool up close to the door before shutting it.
The west entrance french doors were not blocked; Although locked, this was a simple twist lockwhich can be locked prior to leaving. Tom Grant’s explanation

April 15th, Grant met with Sgt. Cameron to discuss his suspicions and mentioned the lock on the western door does not qualify in concluding Kurt was alone, to which Cameron replied – “There was a stool wedged up against the door” – False. The misconstrued media myth of a barricade prevailed.

2.) A recognised mannerism in violent suicide is to leave a form of identification readily available. It was reported by the media that Kurt had infact left his wallet open displaying his drivers license. This is completely untrue, in reality the closed wallet was opened by an officer – SFD asked for I.D. from the nearby wallet, and I opened the wallet which was within a couple of feet of the victims body. Inside I found a Washington state drivers license in the name of Cobain, Kurt Donald DOB/022067″.

3.) Reports documenting a crime scene should be described factually, without bias and final conclusions. In this case it obviously wasn’t; the note left at the scene was claimed to incite suicide and was written to Courtney and Frances explaining “why he had killed himself”. These remarks were pronounced before a clear evaluation could have been made and were taken as fact.

These small points which indicate manipulation of the factual crime scene were leaked to the hungry media and deceptively confirmed this as a suicide in retrospect.


According to police reports there was “obvious trama” to the head but no exit wound, resulting in“a large drying puddle of blood to the left of the victim.” – Was the volume of blood ever seriously evaluated in relation to the nature of the injury? Gary Smith who initially mistook the body for a mannequin because it looked so neat only realised the situation when he noticed blood in the right ear. Does this picture sound feasible for a shotgun wound to the head suicide? Clearly we have no pictures that display whether the pool was sufficient or non-sufficient for the type of wound made this is merely an assumption based upon Smith’s perception.
In the case of a gunshot wound to the head the wound continues to issue copious amounts of blood for a short period due to the autonomic function of the heart. There are other factors this is reliant upon such as the angle of the shot, all of which we do not yet know, inclusive of the autospy report.
This is best demonstrated by Bud Dwyer, who committed suicide on camera during a press conference (viewer discretion is advised, this is vivid imagery). The comparative lack of blood for this type of trauma is an indication that the gunshot might have been administered post-mortem, the heart had already stopped; the result of a lethal dosage of heroin, and possibly blood coagulation already begun. The supposition that no exit wound would result in a lack of blood is false, as seen in Bud Dwyer’s case the exit wound is irrelevant to the volume of blood lost. In addition the destruction to the palette of the mouth would be comparatively larger when factoring in a shotgun.
This scenario would either assume corruption on the part of the medical examiner who performed the autospy; Nikolas Hartshorne, or severe incompetence, as the picture is very different if a wound is delivered post death. The question being could the perpetrate[s] foreshadow a non-investigation by the police unless they knew someone had the power to cover it up beforehand?

It is very possible the shotgun wound was administered while Kurt was under sedation, in this case the cause of death would be a perforating shotgun wound to the mouth.
Just something to consider…


Contents of Cigar Box
   “The cigar box contained narcotics paraphernalia    (syringes, burnt spoons, cotton, and small pieces        of what looks like black tar).”

 Featured in the picture is the open Tom Moore 
Cigar Box, along with the wallet and towels

Contents of Kurts front pant pockets:
• $63
• a piece of note paper with “Seattle Guns, 145 & Lake City” written on it. Another note which read; “Remington 20 gauge, 2 3/4 shells or shorter, set up for light load, 1088925.”
• an address book and miscellaneous papers.
• a copy of a Delta plane ticket, #788F. Dated 4/1/94, seat 2F, in the name of Cobain/Kurt.
Pocket of the brown corduroy jacket:
 Receipt for the purchase of the Remington 20 gauge shotgun dated 3/30/94.


 Brilliant mod band Missing Andy to play Westbury – on – Severn Music And Cider Festival only 3 miles away from Littledean Jail this coming weekend along with the equally Legendary chart-topping Forest of Dean band EMF.. why not come visit the jail too !!!!!!!!


After the resounding success of last year’s Inaugural event this year we have decided to host the festival over the bank holiday weekend from 25th-27th August. Set in a lovely rural setting we provide a mix of great music, great Cider (or beer etc), great company and we cater for all ages.

This year we are very proud to announce local music legends EMF as the headline act forSaturday 25th August, who will be joined by othr local favourites The Shyteds and Duke, amongst other great acts.

Sunday 26th will see the incredible Missing Andy headlining. The Essex 5 piece hit the headlines whilst performing on Sky 1’s Must be the Music, which has been followed up with a number of Top 40 hits. They will be supported by top tribute act Kings Ov Leon as well as County Based performer Vince Freeman who has had recent success on BBC1’s The Voice, as well as many other great acts.

In addition to the great line up of acts there will be wide range of great Ciders to try out and a fully stocked bar. A choice of food stalls will be available and there will be stalls and entertainment catering for the whole family.



Legendary chart-topping Forest of Dean band EMF to play Westbury – on – Severn Music And Cider Festival only 3 miles away from Littledean Jail this coming weekend along with the equally brilliant mod band Missing Andy .. why not come visit the jail too !!!!!!!!



After the resounding success of last year’s Inaugural event this year we have decided to host the festival over the bank holiday weekend from 25th-27th August. Set in a lovely rural setting we provide a mix of great music, great Cider (or beer etc), great company and we cater for all ages.

This year we are very proud to announce local music legends EMF as the headline act forSaturday 25th August, who will be joined by othr local favourites The Shyteds and Duke, amongst other great acts.

Sunday 26th will see the incredible Missing Andy headlining. The Essex 5 piece hit the headlines whilst performing on Sky 1’s Must be the Music, which has been followed up with a number of Top 40 hits. They will be supported by top tribute act Kings Ov Leon as well as County Based performer Vince Freeman who has had recent success on BBC1’s The Voice, as well as many other great acts.

In addition to the great line up of acts there will be wide range of great Ciders to try out and a fully stocked bar. A choice of food stalls will be available and there will be stalls and entertainment catering for the whole family.


Should this be censored here in the UK ?

Should the legacy of Lady Diana be revisited in this way?

Surely it is insensitive to subject her children and family to these further conspiiracy revelations?

Diana: Gagged! The movie, the conspiracy, and why you are not allowed to make up your own mind

A controversial documentary on the death of Diana – who would have been 50 on Friday – will be launched in Ireland next week. In Britain, it is banned and its director Keith Allen asks: What are they so afraid of?


Diana and Dodi Fayed at the Ritz, Paris, on the night they died

Near the beginning of Unlawful Killing, I show a clip of Princess Diana (who would have been 50 on Friday) speaking less than two years before her untimely death. Well aware that sections of the British establishment had begun to despise her (following her separation from Prince Charles) and wanted her to disappear from public life, she summarised her plight in two pithy phrases: “She won’t go quietly – that’s the problem.”

My film about the inquest into her death won’t go quietly either, despite the best efforts of sections of the British press to stifle it at birth. That’s not surprising, because journalists widely regarded the 2007-08 inquest as a complete waste of time and money, so it was inevitable that many of them would also dismiss my documentary, which was screened twice at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Yet what those screenings revealed was a yawning chasm between the perceptions of the press (several of whom did not actually see the film before writing about it) and those of the audiences who did attend. Because while the former were overwhelmingly hostile, the latter were overwhelmingly favourable, and were persuaded by the evidence that I and my production team have assembled that there was something extremely fishy about what happened in the Alma tunnel in 1997 and in the Royal Courts of Justice a decade later.

For the record, both Cannes screenings were packed from start to finish, as was an earlier test screening in Los Angeles (conducted by Nielsen NRG), and audience comments taken afterwards were almost uniformly positive. In the weeks since Cannes, the film has sold to a dozen territories worldwide, with negotiations in a further 20 still in full swing.

The veteran US investigative author and lawyer Mark Lane (who first exposed the cover-up surrounding the assassination of JFK) has endorsed the central findings of my documentary. And on 6 July, it will receive its first full public screening as a highlight of the Galway Film Festival (with many more festivals also eager to show it).

So why did much of the British press report that bored audiences walked out during the screenings at Cannes, when that was demonstrably untrue (and was flatly contradicted by the enthusiastic vox pops which were recorded outside the cinema by Reuters TV)? Why did they pretend that I had tried to conceal the financial backing I had received from Mohamed al-Fayed (whose son Dodi also died in the Alma crash), when I had written lengthy articles in The Guardian and the Daily Mail during the previous week, explaining in great detail precisely how (and by whom) the film had been funded? Why did many of them claim that I had displayed a “shocking” photograph of Diana in her death throes, when no such photograph was ever included?

Why did they claim that there was nothing new in the film, when this is the first ever reconstruction and analysis of the longest inquest in British legal history? And when (to take just one of many examples) it highlights the apparent discrepancy between evidence given under oath by Sir Robert Fellowes (the Queen’s private secretary and Diana’s brother-in-law), who said he was on holiday during the period before and after Diana’s death, and entries in the newly published diaries of Alastair Campbell which suggest that he was overseeing Diana’s funeral arrangements?

And why, three years on, is most of the UK press still unwilling to accept the verdict of the inquest jury, which decided that the Alma tunnel crash was not an accident but an “unlawful killing” (the coroner having denied them the option of “murder”), and that unidentified “following vehicles” (not the paparazzi, as was incorrectly reported) had been a principal cause?

What the British press writes does not greatly matter, because over the next few months, people all around the world will have the chance to see the film, and to form their own judgements. Everywhere except Britain, that is, because as things stand, I am legally prevented from screening the film in the UK.

That’s not primarily because of fears about libel, as has been suggested by some journalists (although much of the information that we have unearthed about Prince Philip will shock many viewers), but because my film has been deemed by lawyers to be in contempt of court, since it openly questions the impartiality of a coroner who had sworn an oath of allegiance to the Queen, yet was sitting in the Royal Courts of Justice, presiding over a case that involved the monarchy.

Furthermore, it dares to look at why he repeatedly refused to call senior members of the royal family to the inquest, despite Diana having written a sworn note explicitly stating that her husband was planning an “accident” to her car (a note, incidentally, which the Metropolitan Police did not reveal to the press and public for six years, or the French police who first investigated the crash). Saying this explicitly is, it seems, against the law.

This isn’t just a whinge from a thin-skinned director, piqued by a handful of negative reviews. We are living in a time when oppressive judges routinely prevent the British press from publishing information of genuine public interest, and my film has fallen foul of that same authoritarian repression.

Whatever journalists may think about Diana’s death, surely they should always be in favour of the disclosure of information. That way, the British public can decide for itself whether Diana was simply the victim of a drunk driver (as most of the UK press insist was the case), or whether (as is my contention) the inquest was a shameless establishment cover-up, a modern-day version of the notorious Dreyfus case, in which the British press has (until now) played a shameful and obsequious supporting role.

Either way, my film – like Diana – will not go quietly.


Winnie Johnson, born September 14 1933, died August 18 2012


Winnie Johnson

Winnie Johnson, who has died aged 78, endured a personal and public agony for nearly half a century as the mother of Keith Bennett, the only victim of the Moors murderers whose body has never been discovered.

Winnie Johnson on Saddleworth Moor clutching a picture of her son Keith, who was murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley - Winnie Johnson never gave up hope of finding Keith
Winnie Johnson on Saddleworth Moor clutching a picture of her son Keith, who was murdered by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley Photo: NB PRESS

5:56PM BST 19 Aug 2012

Throughout the baleful Moors saga, Winnie Johnson was the tormented figure that the media turned to for toxic comment on the subject of Ian Brady and his lover Myra Hindley, who had murdered four other youngsters, three of whom had been buried in shallow graves on the bleak Pennine moors above Manchester.

When Brady and Hindley failed to pinpoint her son’s grave — both perpetrators had revisited the moors with detectives when the case was reopened in 1987 — Winnie Johnson made the first of dozens of weekend visits to the area, accompanied by her family armed with shovels. But although guided by the available evidence, including information gleaned from Brady and Hindley in unpublished letters, their efforts proved physically and emotionally draining and, in the end, hopeless.

The circumstances of 12-year-old Keith Bennett’s disappearance could not have been more humdrum. At 7.45pm on Tuesday June 16 1964, a fine summer’s evening, Winnie Johnson set out with her son from their home in Eston Street in the Longsight district of Manchester. They were on their way to Morton Street, where Keith was to spend the night with his maternal grandmother, as he did every other Tuesday when his mother played bingo.

Although it was only a half-mile walk, Winnie Johnson judged it prudent to accompany him to the corner of the busy Stockport Road, from where he had only a few hundred yards to go. At the zebra crossing there she waved him off, telling him to give “love to Gran”. She carried on to bingo. Keith Bennett was never seen or heard of again.

One of the streets along which the boy would have made his solitary way was Westmoreland Street, where Ian Brady had lived with his mother. He and Hindley still called regularly at the corner off-licence nearby to buy wine for their frequent trips to the moors. Their routine was to arrive home from work, have a meal, and set out at about 8pm.

When her mother appeared next morning to ask why Keith had failed to turn up, Winnie Johnson checked at his school, panicked and called the police.

Her first concern was that her studious, short-sighted son had not been wearing his wire-framed NHS spectacles, having cracked one of the lenses at the local swimming baths. For many years afterwards she kept the broken glasses in his drawer in the back bedroom. “If I had known,” she said, “I would never have let him out of my sight.”

On four occasions over the next two years, police questioned her husband Jimmy Johnson, Keith’s stepfather, ripping out floorboards in the family house and digging up the concrete back yard.

When a wider search for bodies began following the arrest of Brady and Hindley in October 1965, Winnie Johnson realised that Keith and another missing youngster, 16-year-old Pauline Reade, might also have been among their victims and buried somewhere in the vast wilderness of Saddleworth Moor.

Police showed Winnie Johnson clothing belonging to a second 12-year-old, John Kilbride, one of Brady and Hindley’s known victims, because they thought at first that his body might be Keith’s. But confirmation that Keith had indeed been murdered came only in 1985 — 21 years after his disappearance — when Ian Brady confessed to a journalist.

Winnie Johnson spent five weeks laboriously writing an impassioned letter to his co-accused. “Dear Miss Hindley,” it began. “I am sure I am one of the last people you would have expected to receive a letter from…” It was, as Mrs Johnson was at pains to stress, no rant but a plea for help. “Please, I beg you, tell me what happened to Keith. My heart tells me you know and I am on bended knees begging you to end this torture and finally put my mind at rest…”

Winnie Johnson had not expected a positive response, or indeed any response at all. Hindley, however, not only admitted her complicity in Keith’s murder but also, in the words of Det Ch Supt Peter Topping, the officer heading the reinvestigation, “appealed to God that the bodies of the two missing youngsters should be found… ”

Hindley further agreed to help police locate the graves of Keith Bennett and Pauline Reade, and in December 1986 was taken by detectives on the first of two highly-publicised searches of Saddleworth Moor. But when finally, in July 1987, police found a body, Topping telephoned Winnie Johnson to tell her that it was that of Pauline Reade, not of her son. Winnie Johnson’s steadfast pugnacity deserted her and she broke down and wept.

Brady, too, confidently accompanied detectives to the moor, but apparently lost his bearings and was unable to find Keith’s grave; six weeks later, when Topping called off the search, a sobbing Winnie Johnson repeated over and over again that, while she did not blame the police, she felt life had “given her a raw deal”. As if to prolong the agony, six years of renewed police searches from 2003-09 were also to prove fruitless.

One of four children, Winifred Bennett was born on September 14 1933 in the Ardwick district of Manchester. Her father was a wholesale fruit dealer, her mother a domestic servant. When she was 10 she witnessed the death of her seven-year-old sister Margaret after her dress burst into flames on an electric fire. Leaving Mansfield Street school when she was 15 Winnie took a series of jobs, including working as a cinema usherette and at a rubber factory. She was 18 and unmarried when she gave birth to her first son, Keith, in June 1952. She subsequently had seven more children, including three with Jimmy Johnson, a joiner, to whom she was married from 1961 until his death 30 years later.

The family moved from Clayton to Eston Street, Longsight, in 1963, with Winnie Johnson working during the school holidays as a cleaner at the Electricity Board offices on Bax Road, five minutes’ walk from her house. Meanwhile, Keith and his siblings would spend hours at the Victoria Baths on High Street (now Hathersage Road).

Keith made strenuous attempts to teach his younger brother, Alan, to swim, but as Alan later explained “I spent most of the time gingerly sat on the edge of the pool with my feet in the water, squinting up at the sun coming through the glass roof. After Keith disappeared I rarely went there again.”

It was at the Victoria Baths that on June 15, three days after his 12th birthday, Keith broke a lens in his glasses during a swimming gala. He vanished the following day.

By the time she wrote to Myra Hindley in 1986 Winnie Johnson was working in the kitchens at the Christie Hospital, south Manchester.

When Hindley died in prison in 2002, Winnie Johnson turned her attention to Ian Brady, engaging with him in what some characterised as a series of mind games as he stalled on the question of the whereabouts of Keith Bennett’s body. Few doubted that Brady knew where to look; his persistent refusal to say was viewed as a particularly vindictive act of cruelty.

Winnie Johnson, who had long suffered from cancer, remained ignorant of the turn of events last week, when it was reported that Brady had written her a letter, to be opened only after his own death, perhaps identifying the location of Keith’s body, or perhaps merely taunting her further.

“I’ll do anything, go anywhere for him,” she said of her dead son earlier this year. “As long as I know one day, I’ll be grateful. I hope he’s found before I am dead. All I want out of life is to find him and bury him. I just wish he is found before I go.”

Despite the confessions of Hindley and Brady, no one was ever charged over her son’s disappearance, and officially the case remains unsolved. Keith Bennett would have been 60 this year.

Winnie Johnson, born September 14 1933, died August 18 2012



 Albert DeSalvo – The Boston Strangler

The Boston Strangler operated in the Boston, Mass. area during a two-year span in the early 1960s. The “Silk Stocking Murders” is another epithet given to the same series of crimes. Though Albert DeSalvo confessed to the murders, many experts and investigators have doubts as to his involvement in the crimes.




The Boston Strangler is a name attributed to the murderer (or murderers) of several women in BostonMassachusettsUnited States, in the early 1960s. Though the crimes were attributed to Albert DeSalvo after his confession to the murders was revealed in court during a separate case,[1]parties investigating the stranglings have since suggested the murders (sometimes known as the silk stocking murders) were not committed by one person.

The initial sobriquet for the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crimes was “The Mad Strangler of Boston”[2] The July 8, 1962 edition of the Sunday Herald, in an article entitled “Mad Strangler Kills Four Women in Boston,” declared in its opening paragraph, “A mad strangler is loose in Boston.”[3]The killer (or killers) also was known initially as “The Phantom Fiend”[4] or “The Phantom Strangler”[5] due to the uncanny ability of the perpetrator (or perpetrators) to get women to allow him into their apartments. By the time DeSalvo’s confession was aired in open court, the name “The Boston Strangler” had become part of crime lore.


[edit]First Stage (1962)

  • Anna E. Slesers, 55, sexually molested with unknown object and strangled with the cord on her bathrobe; found on June 14, 1962 in the third-floor apartment at 77 Gainsborough St., Back Bay (source: Boston Globe Archives)
  • Mary Mullen, 85, died from a heart attack, but in the confession was said to have collapsed as the strangler grabbed her; found on June 28, 1962
  • Nina Nichols, 68, sexually molested and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on June 30, 1962
  • Paula Lepro, 57, sexually molested with a table paddle and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on June 22, 1962 in her apartment in Stoughton, Mass.
  • Helen Blake, 65, sexually molested and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on June 30, 1962 in her apartment at 73 Newhall Street, Lynn, Mass.
  • Ida Irga, 75, sexually molested and strangled; found on August 21, 1962 at 7 Grove Street in Boston
  • Jane Sullivan, 67, sexually assaulted and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on August 30, 1962 at 435 Columbia Road, Dorchester

[edit]Second Stage (1962-1964)

  • Sophie Clark, 20, sexually assaulted and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on December 5, 1962, Boston Back Bay
  • Patricia Bissette, 23, sexually assaulted and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on December 31, 1962, Boston Back Bay
  • Mary Brown, 69, stabbed, strangled and beaten, found on March 9, 1963 in Lawrence, Mass.
  • Beverly Samans, 23, stabbed to death on May 8, 1963 at 4 University Road in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Evelyn Corbin, 58, sexually assaulted and strangled with her nylon stockings; found on September 6, 1963 in Salem, Mass.
  • Joann Graff, 23, sexually assaulted and strangled on November 23, 1963 in Lawrence, Mass.
  • Mary Sullivan, 19, sexually assaulted and strangled with dark stockings; found on January 4, 1964

Albert DeSalvo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Albert DeSalvo

DeSalvo after escaping Bridgewater State Hospital and being caught in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1967.
Background information
Birth name Albert Henry DeSalvo
Also known as The Boston Strangler
The Measuring Man
The Green Man
Born September 3, 1931
Chelsea, Massachusetts,
United States
Died November 25, 1973(aged 42)
Cause of death stabbed to death
Sentence Life imprisonment
Number of victims 13
Country United States
State(s) Massachusetts
Date apprehended October 27, 1964

Albert Henry DeSalvo (September 3, 1931 – November 25, 1973) was a criminal in Boston, Massachusetts who confessed to being the “Boston Strangler“, the murderer of 13 women in the Boston area. DeSalvo was not imprisoned for these murders, however, but for a series of rapes. His murder confession has been disputed, and debate continues regarding which crimes DeSalvo actually committed.

DeSalvo was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts to Frank and Charlotte DeSalvo. His father was of Italian ancestry and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father was a violent alcoholic who at one point beat all of his wife’s teeth out and bent her fingers back until they broke. He also forced his children to watch him have sex with prostitutes he brought home. DeSalvo tortured animals as a child and began shoplifting and stealing in early adolescence, frequently crossing paths with the law.[edit]Early life

In November 1943, the 12-year-old DeSalvo was first arrested for battery and robbery. In December of the same year he was sent to the Lyman School for Boys. In October 1944, he was paroled and started working as a delivery boy. In August 1946, he returned to the Lyman School for stealing an automobile. After completing his second sentence, DeSalvo joined the Army. He was honorably discharged after his first tour of duty. He re-enlisted and, in spite of being tried in a court-martial, DeSalvo was again honorably discharged.

[edit]Strangler murders

Between June 14, 1962, and January 4, 1964, 13 single women between the ages of 19 and 85 were murdered in the Boston area; they were eventually tied to the Boston Strangler. Most of the women were sexually assaulted in their apartments, and then strangled with articles of clothing. The eldest victim died of a heart attack. Two others were stabbed to death, one of whom was also badly beaten. Without any sign of forced entry into their dwellings, the women were assumed to have either known their killer or voluntarily allowed him into their homes.

Gainsborough Street site of the first murder attributed to The Boston Strangler

The police were not convinced all of these murders were the work of a single individual, especially because of the wide gap in the victims’ ages; much of the public believed the crimes were committed by one person, however.

On October 27, 1964, a stranger entered a young woman’s home in East Cambridge posing as a detective. He tied his victim to her bed, proceeded to sexually assault her, and suddenly left, saying “I’m sorry” as he went. The woman’s description led police to identify the assailant as DeSalvo and when his photo was published, many women identified him as the man who had assaulted them. Earlier on October 27, DeSalvo had posed as a motorist with car trouble and attempted to enter a home in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The homeowner, future BrocktonPolice Chief Richard Sproles, became suspicious and eventually fired a shotgun at DeSalvo.

DeSalvo was not initially suspected of being involved with the murders. Only after he was charged with rape did he give a detailed confession of his activities as the Boston Strangler under hypnosis induced by William Joseph Bryan and sessions not induced by hypnosis with Assistant Attorney General John Bottomly. He initially confessed to fellow inmate George Nassar; he then reported to his attorney F. Lee Bailey, who took on DeSalvo’s case. Though there were some inconsistencies, DeSalvo was able to cite details which had not been made public. However, there was no physical evidence to substantiate his confession. As such, he stood trial for earlier, unrelated crimes of robbery and sexual offenses. Bailey brought up the confession to the murders as part of his client’s history at the trial as part of an insanity defense, but it was ruled as inadmissible by the judge.

The motive for DeSalvo confessing to the crimes remains the same whether he actually committed them or not. He believed that he would be spending the rest of his life in jail for the Green Man attacks and wanted to use the confession to raise money to support his wife and children. Plus, to a braggart like DeSalvo, being the notorious Boston Strangler would make him world famous. Dr. Robey testified that “Albert so badly wanted to be the Strangler.”[1]

For the 1967 trial, DeSalvo was mentally evaluated by Dr. Harry Kozol, also of Eugene O’Neill and Patty Hearst fame.[2]

Bailey engaged a plea bargain to lock in his client’s guilt in exchange for the lack of a death penalty and a desire for an eventual insanity verdict.[3] With the jury decision of life in prison, Bailey was very angry: “My goal was to see the Strangler wind up in a hospital, where doctors could try to find out what made him kill. Society is deprived of a study that might help deter other mass killers who lived among us, waiting for the trigger to go off inside them.”[4]

[edit]Imprisonment and death

DeSalvo was sentenced to life in prison in 1967. In February of that year, he escaped with two fellow inmates from Bridgewater State Hospital, triggering a full scale manhunt. A note was found on his bunk addressed to the superintendent. In it, DeSalvo stated he had escaped to focus attention on the conditions in the hospital and his own situation. The day after the escape, he turned himself in to his lawyer in Lynn, Massachusetts.[5] Following the escape, he was transferred to the maximum security prison known at the time asWalpole where he was found murdered six years later in the infirmary. Robert Wilson, who was associated with the Winter Hill Gang was tried for the murder of DeSalvo, but the trial ended in a hung jury. No one was ever found guilty of the murder.

In 1971, the Texas legislature unanimously passed a resolution honoring DeSalvo in an April Fool’s Day joke made by Waco Representative Tom Moore, Jr.. Moore admitted to the joke–made to prove his colleagues were not putting due diligence into researching legislation they were passing–and withdrew the resolution.[6]


Lingering doubts remain as to whether DeSalvo was indeed the Boston Strangler. At the time he confessed, people who knew him personally did not believe him capable of the crimes. It was also noted the women allegedly killed by “The Strangler” were of widely varying ages, social strata and ethnicities, and that there were different modi operandi.

Susan Kelly, an author who has had access to the files of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts‘ “Strangler Bureau”, argues the murders were the work of several killers rather than a single individual.[7] Another author, former FBI profiler Robert Ressler, said “You’re putting together so many different patterns [regarding the Boston Strangler murders] that it’s inconceivable behaviorally that all these could fit one individual.”[8]

In 2000, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, an attorney specializing in forensic cases based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, represented the DeSalvo family and the family of Mary A. Sullivan. Sullivan was publicized as being the final victim in 1964, although other murders occurred after that date. Former print journalist Whitfield Sharp assisted the families in their media campaign to clear DeSalvo’s name, to assist in organizing and arranging the exhumations of Mary A. Sullivan and Albert H. DeSalvo, in filing various lawsuits in attempts to obtain information and trace evidence (e.g., DNA) from the government, and to work with various producers to create documentaries to explain the facts to the public. Whitfield Sharp pointed out various inconsistencies between DeSalvo’s confessions and the crime scene information (which she obtained). For example, Whitfield Sharp observed, contrary to DeSalvo’s confession to Sullivan’s murder, there was no semen in her vaginaand she was not strangled manually, but by ligatureForensic pathologist Michael Baden observed DeSalvo also got the time of death wrong — a common inconsistency with several of the murders pointed out by Susan Kelly. Whitfield Sharp continues to work on the case for the DeSalvo family.[9]

In the case of Mary Sullivan, murdered January 4, 1964 at age 19, DNA and other forensic evidence — and leads from Kelly’s book — were used by the victim’s nephew Casey Sherman to try to determine her killer’s identity. Sherman wrote about this in his book A Rose for Mary (2003) and stated DeSalvo was not responsible for her death. For example, DeSalvo confessed to sexually penetrating Sullivan, yet the forensic investigation revealed no evidence of sexual activity. There are also suggestions from DeSalvo himself he was covering up for another man.[citation needed]

The results of a 2001 forensic investigation has cast doubts over whether DeSalvo was the Boston Strangler. The investigation raised the possibility the real murderer could still be at large. The investigation revealed DNA evidence found on Sullivan does not match DeSalvo. James Starrs, professor of forensic science at George Washington University, told a news conference DNA evidence could not associate DeSalvo with the murder. Sullivan’s and DeSalvo’s bodies were exhumed as part of the efforts by both their families to find out who was responsible for the murders. Professor Starrs said an examination of a semen-like substance on her body did not match DeSalvo’s DNA.[10]

George Nassar, the inmate DeSalvo reportedly confessed to, is among the suspects in the case.[11] He is currently serving a life sentence for the 1967 shooting death of an Andover, Massachusetts gas station attendant. In February 2008, the Massachuetts Supreme Judicial Court denied Nassar’s appeal of his 1967 conviction.[citation needed] Claudia Bolgen, Nassar’s attorney, said Nassar, 75 at the time, denied involvement in the murders.[citation needed] In 2006, Nassar argued in court filings he could not make his case in a previous appeal because he was in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas in the 1980s and therefore did not have access to Massachusetts legal materials.[citation needed] The court noted Nassar was back in Massachusetts in late 1983 and did not inquire about the case then or for more than two decades.[citation needed] Bolgen said she was disappointed in the decision, but said Nassar had a pending motion for a new trial inEssex County that she was confident would be granted.[citation needed]

Ames Robey, a former prison psychologist who analyzed both DeSalvo and Nassar, has said Nassar was a misogynistic, psychopathic killer who was a far more likely suspect than DeSalvo.[11]Some followers of the case said Nassar was the real strangler and fed DeSalvo details of the murders so DeSalvo could confess and gain notoriety or through Nassar get the reward money to help support DeSalvo’s family of wife and two children.[11] In a 1999 interview with The Boston Globe, Nassar denied involvement in the murders, but said the speculation killed any chance he had for parole. “I had nothing to do with it,” he said. “I’m convicted under the table, behind the scenes.”[citation needed]

Nassar had previously been convicted of the May 1948 murder of a shop owner. Nassar was sentenced to life in prison in that case, but through his friendship with a Unitarian minister he was paroled in early 1961, less than a year before the Boston Strangler murders were believed to have begun.[12]

Boston Strangler Crime Scene Photo of Mary Sullivan

As his name suggests, the serial killer known as Boston Strangler operated in Boston, Massachusetts area and murdered his victims by strangulation. He is believed to have murdered as many as 13 women, even though there are still many unanswered questions and guesses. It is possible that only (if you can really use that word) 11 women were actually murdered by the Boston Strangler. The killing started with strangulation of a 55 year old Anna Slesers on June 14, 1962 who was sexually molested by vaginal insertions of foreign objects and then strangled to death with her bathrobe cord. The last victim of Boston Strangler was murdered on January 4, 1964, which means he only operated for one and half year. Her name was Mary Sullivan – she was 19 year old and she is the woman in the crime scene photo above.

Mary Sullivan was found naked, bloodied with a broom inserted up her vagina. Boston Strangler left a Happy New Year card by her feet. She was strangled with her own stocking.

Is Albert DeSalvo Boston Strangler

One year after murder of Mary Sullivan a man named Albert DeSalvo came forth and confessed that he was the murderer known as Boston Strangler. Albert DeSalvo was a convicted rapist who was serving time at Bridgewater State Hospital. His confession remains questionable and many forensic specialists doubt that he was the real Boston Strangler. While he provided many accurate details regarding all Boston Strangler murders, there were also many serious inconsistencies. For example in case of above pictured Mary Sullivan, Albert DeSalvo confessed to raping her and strangling her manually. However forensic evidence proves that Mary Sullivan was strangled by ligature and there were no signs of sexual intercourse taking place anytime before or after she was strangled to death. Albert DeSalvo also got date of her murder wrong and there was no semen, nor other DNA evidence that would link him to this murder.

Albert DeSalvo died in 1973. He was murdered by fellow inmates at Walpole State Prison. The Boston Strangler case has never been officially closed and the more evidence is brought forth, the more it becomes doubtful that Albert DeSalvo committed any of the Boston Strangler murders. Now, half century later, it is possible we will never know who the real murderer responsible for atrocious killings of 13 women, including Mary Sullivan seen in photo above was.




Russ Winstanley born October 1952 is an English DJ, originating from the Beech Hill area WiganGreater Manchester. He is best known for his championing of Northern Soul music, most famously when he founded the Wigan Casino in 1973 in his hometown. Since its closure in 1981, Russ has still been very active, both on the Northern Soul circuit and in radio. He has hosted his own show on BBC GMR and XFM in Manchester, but is now hosting a regular northern soul show on BBC Radio Lancashire on Saturdays 7pm till 8pm.

On 23 September 1973, Russ had the idea for putting on and DJing at the famous Soul Allnighters at Wigan Casino. Over 4 million people passed through the venue which ran four nights per week until 6 December 1981. Both Wigan Casino and Russ Winstanley won many awards for best venue and best DJ. In 1997, Russ compiled Telstar Records northern soul album “Soul Survivors” which has become the biggest selling northern soul compilation ever grossing over £2million. In 1998, his book “Wigan Casino Story” joined the best sellers’ list.

In 2008, Russ has been featured in BBC TV’s “Soul Britannia” and “Dance Britannia” and special Northern Soul features on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4. He has also toured with Paul Wellerand Ocean Colour Scene and worked with Paul and Dean Parrish on the singles “Left Right and Centre” and “It’ll Never Be Over For Me“.

Russ was also music consultant to the successful play, “Once Upon A Time In Wigan“.