THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LIBYAN TYRANT – COLONEL MUAMMAR GADDAFI …HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

MANY SAY “WHAT GOES ROUND COMES AROUND ” AND LET US NOT FORGET GADDAFI’S APPARENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE DEATH OF BRITISH WPC YVONNE FLETCHER .

AN HISTORIC MOMENT IN WORLD HISTORY – THE BARBARIC DEATH OF A BARBARIC DICTATOR !!

HERE’S AN IMAGE OF AN INSCRIBED AND  SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF GADDAFI FROM 1987 SENT FROM HIS LIBYAN OFFICE TO THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AND NOW HERE ON DISPLAY ALONG WITH A MONTAGE COVERING HIS  LIFE AND GRUESOME DEATH  BY HIS OWN PEOPLE ON THE 20TH OCTOBER 2011.

Gaddafi dead: ‘Colonel Gaddafi captured but died of injuries’, Libya transitional council official claims

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: AFP /Philippe Desmazes)

FUGITIVE Colonel Muhammar Gaddafi was killed today during a final rebel attack on his birthplace.

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The toppled Libyan leader was badly wounded in both legs and shot in the head as rebels backed by NATO attacked a convoy fleeing the coastal town of Sirte, it was claimed.

Libya Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril later announced to the world Gaddafi had died.

He said: “We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Gaddafi has been killed.”

Gaddafi was executed in cold blood in a drainage ditch desperately begging for his life, it emerged this afternoon.

The toppled despot is thought to have fled his car after his speeding convoy fleeing his Sirte stronghold was attacked in a NATO airstrike at 6am UK time.

Two fighter jets attacked the vehicles as they fled the Sirte assault, although neither of the planes that struck the convoy was flown by the RAF.

Another two-plane formation of British Tornado ground attack aircraft were on surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Libya at the time.

As the NATO strike on Gaddafi’s convoy hit the lead vehicles his aides started trying to exit from cars and escape on foot, realising the game was up.

Then as Gaddafi and several aides tried to run into the safety of a drainage ditch they were shot dead by rebel fighters pursuing them on foot.

Libyan National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said this morning Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn today as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.

“He was also hit in his head.” the official said. “There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”

A mobile phone picture was later released by AFP which apparently showed the Libya leader’s arrest.

Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam says he has confirmed that Gaddafi is dead after talking to fighters who said they saw the body.

He says he expects the prime minister to confirm the death soon, noting that past reports emerged “before making 100% confirmation’.

NTC vice-chairman Abdul Hafiz Ghoga told a news conference later: “We announce to the world that Muammar Gaddafi  has been killed at the hands of the revolutionaries.

“We will announce the liberation of Libya within hours, maybe sooner.”

An image reported to be Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: Reuters)

An image reported to be of Colonel Gaddafi

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: Reuters)

Colonel Gaddafi’s reign has ended

Fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte

A man holds up Colonel Gaddafi golden gun (Pic: Getty Images)

A man holds up what is thought to be Gaddafi’s golden gun

A large concrete pipe where Colonel Gaddafi was allegedly captured (Pic: Getty Images)

A large concrete pipe where Gaddafi is thought to have been hiding

A large concrete pipe where Colonel Gaddafi was allegedly captured (Pic: Getty Images)

The area where Gaddafi was captured

Television broadcasts showed footage of NTC troops celebrating the fall of Sirte and the apparent capture of Gaddafi, who was wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

There were fierce gun battles on the streets of the coastal city in the morning, bringing an end to a siege which has lasted almost two months since the fall of capital Tripoli to rebel troops in August.

“Our forces control the last neighbourhood in Sirte,” NTC member Hassan Draoua said.  “The city has been liberated.”

Shortly afterwards senior National Transitional Council commanders claimed Gaddafi had died from wounds sustained in the final assault.

NATO said it was checking reports of the capture of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and said they could take some time to confirm.

‘’We are checking and assessing the situation.’’ a NATO official said. ‘’Clearly these are very significant developments, which will take time to confirm. “

Gaddafi has been rumoured to be hiding in Sirte for many weeks, although it was also believed he may be in his desert stronghold of Bani Walid, to the south.

A Libyan transitional forces commander said Moussa Ibrahim, former spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi’s fallen government, was captured near the city of Sirte this afternoon.

Abdul Hakim Al Jalil, commander of the 11th brigade, also said he had seen the body of the chief of Gaddafi’s armed forces, Abu Bakr Younus Jabr.

“I’ve seen him with my own eyes.” he said and displayed a picture of Jabr’s body.

“Moussa Ibrahim was also captured and both of them were transferred to our operations room.”

Libya’s son Mo’tassim was reported to have been captured alive.

Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for Nato’s operational headquarters in Naples, said its aircraft today struck two vehicles of pro-Gaddafi forces “which were part of a larger group manoeuvring in the vicinity of Sirte”.

The Ministry of Defence in London confirmed that Nato warplanes today attacked a convoy of vehicles fleeing Sirte.

It is not known whether Gaddafi was in any of vehicles.

“It was targeted on the basis that this was the last of the pro-Gaddafi forces fleeing Sirte,” a spokesman said.

RAF fighters were not involved in the attack, although RAF reconnaissance aircraft were in the area.

The ecstatic former rebels celebrated the fall of Sirte after weeks of bloody siege by firing endless rounds into the sky, pumping their guns, knives and even a meat cleaver in the air and singing the national anthem.

In the central quarter where the final battle took place, the fighters looking like the same ragtag force that started the uprising eight months ago, jumped up and down with joy and flashed V-for-victory signs.

Some burned the green Gaddafi flag, then stepped on it with their boots.

They chanted “Allah akbar” or “God is great”, while one fighter climbed a traffic light pole to unfurl the revolution’s flag, which he first kissed.

Discarded military uniforms of Gaddafi’s fighters littered the streets. One revolutionary fighter waved a silver trophy in the air while another held up a box of firecrackers, then set them off.

A Libyan fighter claimed Gaddafi was hiding in a hole in his hometown of Sirte shouting: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot.”

In a statement on NTC-controlled state television, a presenter draped in the flag of liberated Libya said: “Gaddafi is in the hands of the rebels. Gaddafi personally is in the hands of the rebels.

“We have captured Gaddafi. Libya is joyous, Libya is celebrating, Libya has given a lesson to all those who want to learn.

“I salute you, rebels. I salute you, revolutionaries. You have captured this criminal who has killed the mothers of the martyrs.”

Libyan fighters had earlier overrun the last positions of Gaddafi loyalists holding out in his hometown Sirte.

Map showing Sirte, Libya

Sirte has been taken by the National Transitional Council

Colonel Gaddafi (Pic: Reuters)

Colonel Gaddafi pictured in March

Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte (Pic: AP)

Revolutionary fighters celebrate the capture of Sirte

An anti-Gaddafi fighter prepares ammunition in the center of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

An anti-Gaddafi fighter prepares ammunition in the centre of Sirte

Image of deposed Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi sits next to a copy of the magazine The Economist in the study room in a house belonging to one of Gaddafi's family members (Pic: Reuters)

An image of Gaddafi next to a copy of the Economist among belongings in a Sirte house

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrated the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate

Anti-Gaddafi fighters hug as they celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters hug after the capture of Sirte

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Fighters are jubilant

The final push to capture the remaining pro-Gaddafi positions began around 8 am and was over after about 90 minutes.

Just before the assault, about five carloads of loyalists tried to flee the enclave down the coastal highway but were killed by revolutionaries.

Revolutionaries began searching homes and buildings looking for any Gaddafi fighters who may be hiding there.

“Our forces control the last neighbourhood in Sirte,” said Hassan Draoua, a member of Libya’s interim National Transitional Council.

“The city has been liberated.”

After the battle, revolutionaries began searching homes and buildings looking for any Gaddafi fighters who may be hiding there. At least 16 pro-Gaddafi fighters were captured, with multiple cases of ammunition and trucks loaded with weapons.

Reporters saw revolutionaries beating captured Gaddafi men in the back of trucks and officers intervening to stop them.

Celebratory gunfire echoed through Sirte, which fell into the hands of revolutionaries almost two full months after they overrun Tripoli and many other parts of the country.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter takes a break during clashes with pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

An anti-Gaddafi fighter takes a break during clashes with pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

A fighter shoots into the air in celebration

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

A group of fighters celebrate

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate the fall of Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters celebrate in the back of a pick-up

Despite the fall of Tripoli on August 21, Gaddafi loyalists mounted fierce resistance in several areas, including Sirte, preventing Libya’s new leaders from declaring full victory in the eight-month civil war.

Earlier this week, revolutionary fighters gained control of one stronghold, Bani Walid, and by Tuesday said they had squeezed Gaddafi ‘s forces in Sirte into a residential area of about 700 square metres but were still coming under heavy fire from surrounding buildings.

Deputy defence minister Fawzi Abu Katif said on Wednesday that authorities still believe Gaddafi’s son Muatassim is among the ex-regime figures holed up in the diminishing area in Sirte. He was not seen on the ground after the final battle today.

In an illustration of how difficult and slow the fighting for Sirte was, it took the anti-Gaddafi fighters two days to capture a single residential building.

It is unclear whether Gaddafi loyalists who have escaped might continue the fight and attempt to organise an insurgency using the vast amount of weapons Gaddafi was believed to have stored in hideouts in the remote southern desert.

Unlike Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi had no well-organised political party that could form the basis of an insurgent leadership. However, regional and ethnic differences have already appeared among the ranks of the revolutionaries, possibly laying the foundation for civil strife.

Gaddafi issued several audio recordings trying to rally supporters. Libyan officials have previously said they believe he is hiding somewhere in the vast south-western desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria.

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Celebrations in Martyrs Square

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Libyans welcome the news

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Martyrs Square is packed

Libyans celebrate at Martyrs square in Tripoli after hearing the news that Libyan leader Gaddafi was killed in Sirte (Pic: Reuters)

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/10/20/gaddafi-dead-colonel-gaddafi-captured-but-died-of-injuries-libya-transitional-council-official-claims-115875-23502371/#ixzz1bsu0B2jt

Muammar Gaddafi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Gaddafi” redirects here. For other people named Gaddafi, see Gaddafi (name).
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Muammar Gaddafi
مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي
Gaddafi at an African Union summit (2009)
Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya
In office
2 March 1977 – 23 August 2011
President
Prime Minister
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya
In office
1 September 1969 – 2 March 1977
Prime Minister Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Abdessalam Jalloud
Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Preceded by Idris (King)
Succeeded by Himself (Secretary General of the General People’s Congress)
Secretary General of the General People’s Congress of Libya
In office
2 March 1977 – 2 March 1979
Prime Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Preceded by Himself (Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council)
Succeeded by Abdul Ati al-Obeidi
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
16 January 1970 – 16 July 1972
Preceded by Mahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Succeeded by Abdessalam Jalloud
Chairperson of the African Union
In office
2 February 2009 – 31 January 2010
Preceded by Jakaya Kikwete
Succeeded by Bingu wa Mutharika
Personal details
Born June 1942[nb 1]
SirteItalian Libya
(now Libya)
Died 20 October 2011 (aged 69)
Sirte or between Sirte andMisrata, Libya
Political party Arab Socialist Union (1971–1977)
Spouse(s) Fatiha al-Nuri (1969–1970)
Safia el-Brasai (1971–2011)
Children
Alma mater Benghazi Military University Academy
Religion Islam
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Libya Kingdom of Libya (1961–1969)
Libya Libyan Arab Republic(1969–1977)
Libya Libyan Arab Jamahiriya(1977–2011)
Service/branch Libyan Army
Years of service 1961–2011
Rank Colonel
Commands Libyan Armed Forces
Battles/wars Libyan-Egyptian War
Chadian-Libyan conflict
Uganda-Tanzania War
2011 Libyan civil war
Awards Order of the Yugoslav Star
Order of Good Hope

Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi[1] (Arabic: مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي‎ Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī About this sound audio (help·info);[variations] (June 1942[nb 1] – 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi play /ˈm.əmɑr ɡəˈdɑːfi/ or Colonel Gaddafi, was Libya’s head of state from 1969, when he seized power in a bloodless military coup, until 1977, when he stepped down from his official executive role as Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Libya, and claimed subsequently to be merely a symbolic figurehead.[2][3][4][5] Critics have often described him as Libya‘s de facto autocrat,[6][7] a claim his Libyan regime officially denied.[2][3] In 2011, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya regime he established was overthrown in a civil war which consisted of an uprising aided by a NATO intervention. His 42-year leadership prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-serving non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-serving Arab leader.[8] He variously styled himself as “the Brother Leader” and “Guide of the Revolution”; in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title “King of Kings”.[9]

After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951. He established laws based on the political ideology[10] he had formulated, called the Third International Theory and published in The Green Book.[11][12] After establishing the jamahiriya (“state of the masses”) system in 1977, he officially stepped down from power and had since then held a largely symbolic role within the country’s offical governance structure.[2][3][4][5] Rising oil prices and extraction in Libya led to increasing revenues. By exporting as much oil per capita as Saudi Arabia and through various welfare programs, Libya achieved the highest living standards in Africa; though not as high as several similarly oil-rich Gulf countries,[13][14] Libya remained debt-free under his regime.[15]Gaddafi started several wars and acquired chemical weapons.[16] The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state.[17][18] In the 1980s, countries around the world imposed sanctions against Gaddafi.[19] Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 by United States troops,[20] Gaddafi renounced Tripoli’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment.[21] A leading advocate for a United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.

In February 2011, following revolutions in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia, protests against Gaddafi’s rule began. These escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council (NTC). This led to the 2011 Libyan Civil War, which included a military intervention by a NATO-led coalition to enforce a UN Security Council Resolution 1973calling for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians in Libya. The assets of Gaddafi and his family were frozen, and both Interpol and the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on 27 June for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, concerning crimes against humanity.[1][22][23][24] Gaddafi and his forces lost the Battle of Tripoli in August, and on 16 September 2011 the NTC took Libya’s seat at the UN, replacing Gaddafi.[25] He retained control over parts of Libya, most notably the city of Sirte, to which it was presumed that he had fled.[26] Although Gaddafi’s forces initially held out against the NTC’s advances, Gaddafi was captured alive as Sirte fell to the rebel forces on 20 October 2011 and died the same day under unclear circumstances.[27][28][29]

Early life and military academy

Muammar Gaddafi was born in Qasr Abu Hadi, a large, rural farming area located just outside Sirte.[30] He was raised in a Bedouin tent in the desert near Sirte. According to many biographies, his family belongs to a small tribe of Arabs, the Qadhadhfa. They are mostly herders that live in the Hun Oasis. According to Gaddafi, his paternal grandfather, Abdessalam Bouminyar, fought against the Italian occupation of Libya and died as the “first martyr in Khoms, in the first battle of 1911”.[31] Gaddafi attended a Muslim elementary school far from home in Sabha, during which time he was profoundly influenced by major events in the Arab world. He was passionate about the success of the Palestinians and was deeply disappointed by their defeat by Israeli forces in 1948.[citation needed] He admired Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and looked to him as a hero during his rise to power in 1952. In 1956 Gaddafi took part in anti-Israeli protests during the Suez Crisis.[32] In Sabha he was briefly a member of Scouting.[33] He finished his secondary school studies under a private tutor in Misrata, concentrating on the study of history.

Gaddafi entered the Royal Libyan Military Academy at Benghazi in 1961, and graduated in 1966. Both towards the end of his course and after graduation, Gaddafi pursued further studies in Europe. False rumours have been propagated with regards to this part of his life, for example, that he attended the United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[34] He did in fact receive four months’ further military training in the United Kingdom, and spent some time in London.[35][36] After this, as a commissioned officer he joined the Signal Corps.[37] Although often referred to as “Colonel Gaddafi”, he was in fact only a Lieutenant when he seized power in 1969.[38] He was, nonetheless, a holder of the honorary rank of Major General, conferred upon him in 1976 by his ownArab Socialist Union‘s National Congress. Gaddafi accepted the honorary rank, but stated that he would continue to be known as “Colonel” and to wear the rank insignia of a Colonel when in uniform.[39]

Libyan revolution of 1969

In Libya, as in a number of other Arab countries, admission to a military academy and a career as an army officer only became available to members of the lower economic strata after independence. A military career offered an opportunity for higher education, for upward economic and social mobility, and was for many the only available means of political action. For Gaddafi and many of his fellow officers, who were inspired by Nasser’s brand of Arab nationalism, a military career was a revolutionary vocation.

As a cadet, Gaddafi associated with the Free Officers Movement. Most of his future colleagues on the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) were fellow members of his graduating class at the military academy. The frustration and shame felt by Libyan officers by Israel’s massive defeat of the Arab armies on three fronts in 1967 fuelled their determination to contribute to Arab unity by overthrowing the Libyan monarchy. An early conspirator, Gaddafi first started planning the overthrow of the monarchy while a cadet.

On 1 September 1969 a small group of junior military officers led by Gaddafi staged a bloodless coup d’état against King Idris of Libya while the king was inTurkey for medical treatment. Idris’s nephew, Crown Prince Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi as-Sanussi, was formally deposed by the revolutionary army officers and put under house arrest; they abolished the monarchy and proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic.[40]

Internal affairs

Gaddafi (left) with Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1969

On gaining power he immediately ordered the shutdown of American and British military bases, including Wheelus Air Base. He told Western officials that he would expel their companies from Libya’s oil fields unless they shared more revenue. In his warning, he alluded to consultation with Nasser. The oil companies complied with the demand, increasing Libya’s share from 50 to 79 percent.[41] In December 1969, Egyptian intelligence thwarted a planned coup against Gaddafi from high-ranking members of his leadership. Many of the dissenters had grown uneasy with his growing relationship to Egypt.[42] In response to the failed coup, Gaddafi criminalized all political dissent and shared power only with his family and closest associates.[citation needed]

Gaddafi expelled Italian settlers in Libya in 1970.[43] Despising the Christian calendar, he replaced it as the country’s official with an Islamic calendar.[44] He renamed the months of the calendar. August, named for Augustus Caesar, was renamed Hannibal, and July, after Julius Caesar, was renamed Nasser, for Gamal Abdel Nasser. From 1971 to 1977, Gaddafi approved the Arab Socialist Union, modeled on Egypt’s Arab Socialist Union (Egypt), to function as a political party in Libya.[45]

Gaddafi increasingly devoted himself to “contemplative exile” over the next months,[10] caught up in apocalyptic visions of revolutionary pan-Arabism and Islam locked in a mortal struggle with what he termed the encircling, demonic forces of reaction, imperialism, and Zionism. As a result, routine administrative tasks fell to Major Jallud who became prime minister in place of Gaddafi in 1972. Two years later Jallud assumed Gaddafi’s remaining administrative and protocol duties to allow Gaddafi to devote his time to revolutionary theorizing. Gaddafi remained the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the effective head of state. The foreign press speculated about an eclipse of his authority within the RCC, but Gaddafi soon dispelled such theories by imposing measures to restructure Libyan society.

Elimination of dissent

In 1969, Gaddafi created Revolutionary committees to keep tight control over internal dissent. Ten to twenty percent of Libyans worked as informants for these committees. Surveillance took place in the government, in factories, and in the education sector.[46] People who formed a political party were executed, and talking about politics with foreigners was punishable by up to 3 years in jail.[citation needed] Arbitrary arrests were common and Libyans were hesitant to speak with foreigners.[47] The government conducted executions and mutilations of political opponents in public and broadcast recordings of the proceedings on state television. Dissent was illegal under Law 75 of 1973, which denied freedom of expression.[46][48] In 2010, Libya’s press was rated as 160th out of 178 nations in the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.[49]

During the 1970s, Libya executed members of the Islamist fundamentalist Hizb-ut Tahrir faction, and Gaddafi often personally presided over the executions.[50][51] Libya faced internal opposition during the 1980s because of the highly unpopular war with Chad. Numerous young men cut off a fingertip to avoid conscription at the time.[52] A mutiny by the Libyan Army in Tobruk was violently suppressed in August 1980.[53]

From time to time Gaddafi responded to external opposition with violence. Between 1980 and 1987, Gaddafi employed his network of diplomats and recruits to assassinate at least 25 critics living abroad.[46][54] His revolutionary committees called for the assassination of Libyan dissidents living abroad in April 1980, sending Libyan hit squads abroad to murder them. On 26 April 1980 Gaddafi set a deadline of 11 June 1980 for dissidents to return home or be “in the hands of the revolutionary committees”.[55] Gaddafi stated explicitly in 1982 that “It is the Libyan people’s responsibility to liquidate such scums who are distorting Libya’s image abroad.”[56] Libyan agents have assassinated dissidents in the United States,[57] Europe,[58] and the Middle East.[46][56][59] As of 2004 Libya still provided bounties on critics, including $1 million for one journalist.[60] During the 2005 civil unrest in France, Gaddafi called Chirac and offered him his help in quelling the resistors, who were largely North African.[61] There are growing indications that Libya’s Gaddafi-era intelligence service had a cozy relationship with western spy organizations including the CIA, who voluntarily provided information on Libyan dissidents to the regime in exchange for using Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions.[62][63][64]

Following an abortive 1986 attempt to replace English with Russian as the primary foreign language in education,[65] English has been taught in recent years in Libyan schools from primary level, and students have access to English-language media.[66]

Campaign against Berber culture

Gaddafi often expressed an overt contempt for the Berbers, a non-Arab people of North Africa, and for their language, maintaining that the very existence of Berbers in North Africa is a myth created by colonialists. He adopted new names for Berber towns, and on official Libyan maps, referred to the Nafusa Mountains as the “Western mountains”.[67] In a 1985 speech, he said of the Berber language, “If your mother transmits you this language, she nourishes you with the milk of the colonialist, she feeds you their poison” (1985).[68] The Berber language was banned from schools and up until 2009, it was illegal for parents to name their children with Berber names.[69] Berbers living in ancient mud-brick caravan towns such as Ghadames were forced out and moved into modern government-constructed apartments in the 1980s.[10] During the 2011 civil war, Berber towns rebelled against Gaddafi’s rule and sought to reaffirm their ancient identity as Berbers.[70][71][72] Gaddafi’s government strengthened anti-Berber sentiment among Libyan Arabs, weakening their opposition.[73]

Economy

Libya enjoys large natural resources,[74] which Gaddafi utilized to help develop the country. Under Gaddafi’s jamahiriya direct democracy system,[75] the country’s literacy rate rose from 10% to 90%, life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 years, equal rights were established for women and black peopleemployment opportunities were established for migrant workers, and welfare systems were introduced that allowed access to free education, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing. The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country.[76] In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs.[77] The country was developed without taking any foreign loans. As a result, Libya wasdebt-free under Gaddafi’s regime.[15]

Despite his role in developing the country,[76][15] critics have accused Gaddafi of concentrating a large part of the country’s high gross domestic product on his family and his elites, who allegedly amassed vast fortunes.[74] Many of the business enterprises were allegedly controlled by Gaddafi and his family.[78] Despite the regime providing financial assistance for housing,[76] segments of the population continued to live in poverty, particularly in the eastern parts of the country.[79][80]

When the rising international oil prices began to raise Gaddafi’s revenues in the 1970s, Gaddafi spent much of the revenues on arms purchases and on sponsoring his political projects abroad.[81]Gaddafi’s relatives adopted lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars.[82][83]

The Economy of Libya was centrally planned and followed Gaddafi’s socialist ideals. It benefited greatly from revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributed most export earnings and 30% of its GDP. These oil revenues, combined with a small population and by far Africa’s highest Education Index gave Libya the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa. Between 2000 and 2011, Libya recorded favourable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP in 2010, the highest of any state in Africa. Gaddafi had promised “a home for all Libyans” and during his rule, new residential areas rose in empty Saharan regions. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite TV.[10] A leaked diplomatic cable describes Libyan economy as “a kleptocracy in which the government – either the al-Gaddafi family itself or its close political allies – has a direct stake in anything worth buying, selling or owning”.[24]

At the time Gaddafi died, some of the worst economic conditions were in the eastern parts of the state.[79][80] The sewage facilities in Banghazi were over 40 years old, and untreated sewage flowed into ground and coast.[14] 97% of urban dwellers have access to “improved sanitation facilities” in Libya, this was 2% points lower than the OECD average, or 21% points above the world average.[84] In the first 15 years of Gaddafi rule, the number of doctors per 1000/citizens increased by seven times, with the number of hospital beds increasing by three times.[85] During Gaddafi’s rule, infant mortality rates went from 125 per 1000 live births, about average for Africa at the time, to 15 per 1000, the best rate in Africa.[86] Libyans who could afford it often had to seek medical care in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt because of lack of decent medical care in Libya.[80][87]

Libyans have described the Great Manmade River, built under Gaddafi’s regime, as the “Eighth Wonder of the World“.[88] Gaddafi also initiated the Libyan National Telescope Project, costing about 10 million euros.[89]

On 4 March 2008 Gaddafi announced his intention to dissolve the country’s existing administrative structure and disburse oil revenue directly to the people. The plan included abolishing all ministries; except those of defence, internal security, and foreign affairs, and departments implementing strategic projects.[90] In 2009, Gaddafi personally told government officials that Libya would soon experience a “new political period” and would have elections for important positions such as minister-level roles and the National Security Advisor position (a Prime Minister equivalent). He also promised to include international monitors to ensure fair elections. His speech was said to have caused quite a stir.[91]

Purification laws

Libya’s society became increasingly Islamic during Gaddafi’s rule. His “purification laws” were put into effect in 1994, punishing theft by the amputation of limbs, and fornication and adultery by flogging.[92] Under the Libyan constitution, homosexual relations are punishable by up to 5 years in jail.[93]

Foreign affairs

Activities in Sudan and Chad

Gaddafi, Algerian President Houari Boumediene, and Syrian President Assadattending the Summit in Libya in December 1977.

After Nasser’s death, Gaddafi attempted to become the leader of Arab nationalism. He wanted to create a “Great Islamic State of the Sahel”, unifying the Arab states of North Africa into one. As early as 1969, Gaddafi contributed to the Islamization of Sudan and Chad, granting military bases and support to theFROLINAT revolutionary forces.[94] In 1971, when Muslims took power in Sudan, he offered to merge Libya with Sudan.[95] Gaafar Nimeiry, the President of Sudan, turned him down and angered Gaddafi by signing a peace settlement with the Sudanese Christians.[96] Gaddafi took matters into his own hands in 1972, organizing the Islamic Legion, a paramilitary group, to arabize the region.[97] He dispatched The Islamic Legion to Lebanon, Syria, Uganda, and Palestine to take active measures to ensure Islamic control. The Islamic Legion was highly active in Sudan and Chad, and nearly removed the Touboupopulation of southern Libya through violence.[98] Through the 1970s and 1980s, Gaddafi led an armed conflict against Chad, and occupied the Aouzou strip. During the 1970s, two Muslim leaders, Goukouni Oueddei and Habre, were fighting against the Christian southerners for control of Chad. Gaddafi supported them, and when they seized control in 1979, he offered to merge with Chad. Goukouni turned him down, and Gaddafi withdrew Libyan troops in 1981 because of growing opposition from France and neighboring African nations. Gaddafi’s withdrawal left Goukouni vulnerable in Chad, and in 1982, his former partner, Habre, led a coup to remove him from Chad. Gaddafi helped Goukouni regain territory in Chad, and fought with Habre’s forces.[99] As a side note, Gaddafi’s occupation of Chad led to the liberation of French archeologist Françoise Claustre in 1977.[100] In 1987, Gaddafi engaged in a full-out war with Chad, suffering a humiliating loss in 1987 during the Toyota War. Libya took heavy casualties, losing one tenth of its army (7,500 troops) and 1.5 billion dollars worth of military equipment.[101] Chad lost 1,000 troops, and was supported by both the United States and France.[102] During the war, Gaddafi lost his long-time ally, Goukouni Oueddei, who repaired his relationship with Habre in 1987. Gaddafi gave Habre an offer to make complete peace, and promised to return all Chadian prisoners in Libya. He also promised to pay reparations for the damage done to Chad, and promised financial support to fight poverty. He also announced that he would push to end the death penalty in Libya, end “revolutionary” courts, free hundreds of political prisoners, and warmed relations with African leaders concerned about his “Green revolution.”[103] Former Libyan soldiers and rebel groups supported by Libya continued to fight the Chadian government independent of Gaddafi. Their organization, the Arab Gathering, was an Arab supremacist group that also contributing to violence in Sudan. Members of this group later developed into leaders of the Janjaweed.[104]

War against Egypt

Main article: Libyan–Egyptian War

The disappointment and failure Nasser faced for his lost Six-Day War motivated Gaddafi to better coordinate Arab attacks on Israel.[105] Beginning in 1972, Gaddafi granted financial support and military training to Palestinian militant groups against Israel.[106][107][108] He also strengthened his unity with Egypt, and in 1972, convinced Anwar Sadat to share the same flag and join a partial union with Libya. Gaddafi had offered a fully unified state where Sadat would be president and he would be defense minister. Sadat distrusted Gaddafi and refused. Gaddafi was further disappointed with Egypt’s political system, as he spoke to Egypt’s Arab Socialist Union and was suggested “a partial merger, in order to allow time for thorough and careful study”. Gaddafi quipped back, saying “There’s no such thing as a partial merger”.[109] In 1973, Gaddafi secretly sent Libyan military planes to join the Egyptian Air Force. The outbreak of the Yom Kippur War surprised Gaddafi, as Egypt and Syria planned it without his knowledge.[110] Gaddafi felt that the war wasted resources and manpower to chase limited objectives, and accused Sadat of trying to weaken the FAR by launching the War. According to Gaddafi, Assad and Sadat were foolish to fight for small areas of Israeli-occupied territory when the entire land could be returned to the Palestinians outright. He said, “I will participate only in a war if the aim is to oust the usurpers and send the Jews back to Europe from where they have come since 1948 to colonize an Arab land.”[111] Gaddafi’s relationship with Egypt further weakened because he opposed a cease-fire with Israel and called Sadat a coward for giving up after one Israeli counteroffensive. Gaddafi also believed that the Soviet Union and the United States would join forces with Israel, and would deploy troops on the demarcation lines to invade and “colonize” the Arab nations.[86] Anwar Sadat was equally angry with Gaddafi and revealed that he was responsible for foiling a 1973 submarine attack Libya planned for sinking the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 during an Israeli cruise. Gaddafi fired back, saying the Arabs could have destroyed Israel within 12 hours if they had adopted a sound strategy. Gaddafi charged Egyptian reporters with the breakdown of Libyan-Egyptian relations in 1973, and said Sadat was in-part to blame because he had “no control” of Egyptian information media.[112] Egypt’s peace talks in 1977 led to the Steadfastness and Confrontation Front, a group Gaddafi formed to reject the recognition of the Israeli state. Libya’s relations with Egypt broke down entirely that year, leading to the short-lived Libyan–Egyptian War. During the war, Libya sent its military across the border, but Egyptian forces fought back and forced them to retreat. Gaddafi’s animosity with Sadat was so high that in 1981, Gaddafi declared his death a national holiday.[113] He called it a just “punishment” for his role in the Camp David Accords.[112]

Maghreb countries

Gaddafi signed an agreement with Tunisian president Habib Bourguiba to merge nations in 1974.[114] The pact came as a surprise because Bouguiba had rebuked similar offers for over two years previously.[115] Weeks after the agreement, he postponed a referendum on the issue, effectively ending it weeks later. The idea of merging states was highly unpopular in Tunisia, and cost Bourguiba much of his people’s respect. The agreement was said to allow Bourguiba the presidency while Gaddafi would be defense minister. A later treaty with Morocco‘s Hassan II in 1984 broke down in two years when Hassan II met with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.[116] Gaddafi said recognition of Israel was “an act of treason”.[117] In 1989, Gaddafi was overjoyed by the Maghreb Pact between Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya. Gaddafi saw the Pact as a first step towards the formation of “one invincible Arab nation” and shouted for a state “from Marrakesh to Bahrain”, pumping his fists in the air.[118]

Palestinians

Gaddafi’s image in the Arab world was damaged severely in 1978 when Shia imam Musa al-Sadr disappeared en route to Libya.[119] The Libyan government consistently denied responsibility, but Lebanon held Gaddafi responsible, and continues to do so. Allegedly, Yasser Arafat asked Gaddafi to eliminate al-Sadr because of his opposition to Palestinians in the Lebanese Civil War.[61][119] Shia Lebanese vigilantes hijacked two Libyan aircraft in 1981, demanding information on al-Sadr’s whereabouts. Shia Muslims across the Arab world continue to view Gaddafi negatively since this incident. His relations with Shia-populated Lebanon and Iran soured as a result.[110] Lebanon formally indicted Gaddafi in 2008 for al-Sadr’s disappearance.[120][121] Some reports claim that al-Sadr still lives and secretly remains in jail in Libya.

In 1995 Gaddafi expelled some 30,000 Palestinians living in Libya, a response to the peace negotiations that had commenced between Israel and the PLO.[122]

Weapons of mass destruction programs

Gaddafi’s attempts to procure weapons of mass destruction began in 1972, when Gaddafi tried to get the People’s Republic of China to sell him a nuclear bomb.[123]

In 1977, he tried to get a bomb from Pakistan, but Pakistan severed ties before Libya succeeded in building a weapon.[123] After ties were restored, Gaddafi tried to buy a nuclear weapon from India, but instead, India and Libya agreed for a peaceful use of nuclear energy, in line with India’s “atoms for peace” policy.[124]

Several people around the world were indicted for assisting Gaddafi in his chemical weapons programs. Thailand reported its citizens had helped build a storage facility for nerve gas. Germany sentenced a businessman, Jürgen Hippenstiel-Imhausen, to five years in prison for involvement in Libyan chemical weapons.[123][16]

Inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) verified in 2004 that Libya owned a stockpile of 23 metric tons of mustard gas and more than 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals. Disposing of such large quantities of chemical weapons was expected to be expensive.[125] Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US forces in 2003, Gaddafi announced that his nation had an active weapons of mass destruction program, but was willing to allow international inspectors into his country to observe and dismantle them. US President George W. Bush and other supporters of theIraq War portrayed Gaddafi’s announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a supporter of the Iraq War, was quoted as saying that Gaddafi had privately phoned him, admitting as much. Many foreign policy experts, however, contend that Gaddafi’s announcement was merely a continuation of his prior attempts at normalizing relations with the West and getting the sanctions removed. To support this, they point to the fact that Libya had already made similar offers starting four years before one was finally accepted.[126][127] International inspectors turned up several tons of chemical weaponry in Libya, as well as an active nuclear weapons program.

OPEC

From the beginning of his leadership, Gaddafi confronted foreign oil companies for increases in revenues. Immediately after assuming office, he demanded that oil companies pay 10 percent more taxes and an increased royalty of 44 cents per barrel. Gaddafi argued that Libyan oil was closer to Europe, and was cheaper to ship than oil from the Persian Gulf. Western companies refused his demands, and Gaddafi asserted himself by cutting the production of Occidental Petroleum, an American company in Libya, from 800,000 to 500,000 that year.[128] Occidental Petroleum’s President, Armand Hammer, met with Gaddafi in Tripoli and had difficulty understanding exactly what he wanted at first. He said at one meeting, Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud finally took out his gun belt and left the loaded revolver in full view. Later, Hammer recalled that moment and said he felt then “that Gaddafi was ready to negotiate”.[129][130] In The Age of Oil, historians considered Gaddafi’s success in 1970 to be the “decisive spark that set off an unprecedented chain reaction” in oil-producing nations.[131] Libya continued a winning streak against the oil companies throughout the 1970s energy crisis; Later that year, the Shah of Iran raised his demands to match those of Gaddafi. OPEC nations began a game of “leap frogging” to win further concessions from the oil companies after following Gaddafi’s lead.[128]

Gaddafi and the Shah of Iran both argued for quadrupling the cost of oil in 1975.[132] In 1975, Gaddafi allegedly organized the hostage incident at OPEC in Vienna, Austria.[133]

Alliances with other authoritarian national leaders

See also: Idi Amin and Uganda-Tanzania War

Gaddafi had a close relationship with Idi Amin, whom he sponsored and gave some of the key ideas, such as expulsions of Indian-Ugandans.[134] When Amin’s government began to crumble, Gaddafi sent troops to fight against Tanzania on behalf of Amin and 600 Libyan soldiers lost their lives.[135] Gaddafi also financed Mengistu Haile Mariam‘s military junta in Ethiopia, which was later convicted of one of the deadliest genocides in modern history.[136]

Gaddafi ran a school near Benghazi called the World Revolutionary Center (WRC). A notable number of its graduates have seized power in African countries.[137] Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso andIdriss Déby of Chad were graduates of this school, and are currently in power in their respective countries.[138] Gaddafi trained and supported Charles Taylor of LiberiaFoday Sankoh, the founder ofRevolutionary United Front, and Jean-Bédel Bokassa, the Emperor of the Central African Empire.[135][136]

Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, embraces Gaddafi during theAfrican Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2 Feb. 2009.

In Europe, Gaddafi had close ties with Slobodan Milošević and Jörg Haider. According to the Daily Mail, Jörg Haider received tens of millions of dollars from both Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.[139] Gaddafi also aligned himself with the Orthodox Serbs against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, supporting Milošević even when he was charged with large-scale ethnic cleansing against Albanians in Kosovo.[140][141][142]

Gaddafi developed a friendship with Hugo Chávez and in March 2009 a stadium was named after the Venezuelan leader.[143] Documents seized during a 2008 raid on FARC showed that both Chavez and Gaddafi backed the group.[138] Gaddafi developed an ongoing relationship with FARC, becoming acquainted with its leaders at meetings of revolutionary groups which were regularly hosted in Libya.[137][138] In September 2009, at the Second Africa-South America Summiton Isla Margarita, Venezuela, Gaddafi joined Chávez in calling for an “anti-imperialist” front across Africa and Latin America. Gaddafi proposed the establishment of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization to rival NATO, saying: “The world’s powers want to continue to hold on to their power. Now we have to fight to build our own power.”[144]

Focus on activities in Africa

In 1998, Gaddafi turned his attention away from Arab nationalism. He eliminated a government office in charge of promoting pan-Arab ideas and told reporters “I had been crying slogans of Arab Unity and brandishing standard of Arab nationalism for 40 years, but it was not realised. That means that I was talking in the desert. I have no more time to lose talking with Arabs…I am returning back to realism…I now talk about Pan-Africanism and African Unity. The Arab world is finished…Africa is a paradise…and it is full of natural resources like water, uranium, cobalt, iron, manganese.”[145] Gaddafi’s state-run television networks switched from middle eastern soap operas to African themes involving slavery. The background of a unified Arab League that had been a staple of Libyan television for over two decades was replaced by a map of Africa. Gaddafi sported a map of Africa on his outfits from then forward. He also stated that, “I would like Libya to become a black country. Hence, I recommend to Libyan men to marry only black women and to Libyan women to marry black men.”[146][147][148]

Gaddafi’s support frequently went to leaders recognized by the United Nations as dictators and warlords. Gaddafi used anti-Western rhetoric against the UN, and complained that the International Criminal Court was a “new form of world terrorism” that wanted to recolonize developing countries.[149] Gaddafi opposed the ICC’s arrest warrant for Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir and personally gave refuge to Idi Amin in Libya after his fall from rule in 1979.[150]

According to the Special Court for Sierra LeoneCharles Taylor‘s orders for “The amputation of the arms and legs of men, women, and children as part of a scorched-earth campaign was designed to take over the region’s rich diamond fields and was backed by Gaddafi, who routinely reviewed their progress and supplied weapons”.[138][151]

Gaddafi intervened militarily in the Central African Republic in 2001 to protect his ally Ange-Félix Patassé from overthrow. Patassé signed a deal giving Libya a 99-year lease to exploit all of that country’s natural resources, including uranium, copper, diamonds, and oil.[137]

Gaddafi acquired at least 20 luxurious properties after he went to rescue Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.[137]

Gaddafi’s strong military support and finances gained him several allies across the continent. He was bestowed with the title “King of Kings of Africa” in 2008, as he had remained in power longer than any African king. Gaddafi was celebrated in the presence of over 200 African traditional rulers and kings, although his views on African political and military unification received a lukewarm response from their governments.[9] His 2009 forum for African kings was canceled by the Ugandan hosts, who believed that traditional rulers discussing politics would lead to instability.[152] On 1 February 2009, a ‘coronation ceremony’ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was held to coincide with the 53rd African Union Summit, at which he was elected head of the African Union for the year.[153] When his election was opposed by an African leader, Gaddafi arranged with Silvio Berlusconi to have two escorts sent to that leader to have him change his mind. It worked, and he was elected Chairman of the African Union from 2009 to 2010.[154] Gaddafi told the assembled African leaders: “I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa.”[155]

State-sponsored terrorism

Gaddafi supported militant organizations that held anti-Western sympathies around the world.[156] The Foreign Minister of Libya called the massacres “heroic acts”.[157] Gaddafi fueled a number of Islamist and communist militant groups in the Philippines, including the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The country still struggles with their murders and kidnappings.[46][158][159] In Indonesia, the Organisasi Papua Merdeka was a Libyan backed militant group. Vanuatu‘s ruling party also enjoyed Libyan support. In Australia he attempted to radicalize Australian Aborigines, left-wing unions,[160] Arab Australians,[160] against the “imperialist” government of Australia.[54][54] In New Zealand he financed the Workers Revolutionary Party[160][161] and attempted to radicalize Maoris.

In 1979, Gaddafi said he supported the Iranian Revolution, and hoped that “…he (the Shah) ends up in the hands of the Iranian people, where he deserves.”[162]

Gaddafi explicitly stated that he would kill Libyan dissidents that had escaped from Libya, raising tensions with refugee countries and European governments. In 1985 he stated that he would continue to support the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades, and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) as long as European countries supported anti-Gaddafi Libyans.[106] In 1976, after a series of attacks by the IRA, Gaddafi announced that “the bombs which are convulsing Britain and breaking its spirit are the bombs of Libyan people. We have sent them to the Irish revolutionaries so that the British will pay the price for their past deeds”.[106] In April 1984 some Libyan refugees in London protested the execution of two dissidents. Libyan diplomats shot at 11 people and killed Yvonne Fletcher, a British policewoman. The incident led to the cessation of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Libya for over a decade.[163] In June 1984 Gaddafi asserted that he wanted his agents to assassinate dissident refugees even when they were on pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca and, in August that year, a Libyan plot in Mecca was thwarted by Saudi Arabian police.[56]

On 5 April 1986 Libyan agents bombed “La Belle” nightclub in West Berlin, killing three and injuring 229. Gaddafi’s plan was intercepted by Western intelligence and more detailed information was retrieved some years later from Stasi archives. Libyan agents who had carried out the operation, from the Libyan embassy in East Germany, were prosecuted by the reunited Germany in the 1990s.[164]

Following the 1986 bombing of Libya, Gaddafi intensified his support for anti-American government organizations. He financed the Nation of Islam, which emerged as one of the leading organizations receiving assistance from Libya; and Al-Rukn, in their emergence as an indigenous anti-American armed revolutionary movement.[165] Members of Al-Rukn were arrested in 1986 for preparing to conduct strikes on behalf of Libya, including blowing up U.S. government buildings and bringing down an airplane; the Al-Rukn defendants were convicted in 1987 of “offering to commit bombings and assassinations on U.S. soil for Libyan payment.”[165] In 1986, Libyan state television announced that Libya was training suicide squads to attack American and European interests. He began financing the IRA again in 1986, to retaliate against the British for harboring American fighter planes.[166]

Gaddafi also sought close relations with the Soviet Union and purchased arms from the Soviet bloc.

Seeking international acceptance

Gaddafi with then-President of RussiaVladimir Putin in 2008

Gaddafi (at far right) attending the G-8 Summit in 2009. Barack Obama is visible just below the globe-emblem. Most web-circulated photos captioned as “Obama / Gaddafi meeting” actually just show the handshake from this event.

Gaddafi with Spanish President of the Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapateroat the third EU-Africa Summit in Tripoli in November 2010.

Main article: Lockerbie bombing

As early as 1981, Gaddafi feared that the Reagan Administration would combat his leadership and sought to reduce his maverick image. He and his cabinet talked frequently about the pullout of American citizens from Libya. Gaddafi feared that the United States would be plotting economic sanctions or military action against his government. In 1981, he publicly announced that he would not send any more hit teams to kill citizens in Europe, and quickly obeyed a 1981 armistice with Chad.[167] In 1987, Gaddafi proposed an easing of relations between the United States and Libya. Speaking of the 1986 bombing of Libya, he said, “They trained people to assassinate me and they failed. They tried all the secret action against us and they failed. They have not succeeded in defeating us. They should look for other alternatives to have some kind of rapprochement.”[168]

After the fall of Soviet client states in eastern Europe, Libya appeared to reassess its position in world affairs and began a long process of improving its image in the West.[169]

In 1994, Gaddafi eased his relationship with the Western world, beginning with his atonement for the Lockerbie bombings. For three years, he had refused toextradite two Libyan intelligence agents indicted for planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103. South African president Nelson Mandela, who took special interest in the issue, negotiated with the United States on Gaddafi’s behalf. Mandela and Gaddafi had forged a close friendship starting with his release from prison in 1990. Mandela persuaded Gaddafi to hand over the defendants to the Scottish Court in the Netherlands, where they faced trial in 1999. One was found not guilty and the other, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was given a life sentence.[170] For Gaddafi’s cooperation, the UN suspended its sanctions against Libya in 2001. Two years later, Libya wrote to the UN Security Council formally accepting “responsibility for the actions of its officials” in respect to the Lockerbie bombing. It was later claimed by Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem and his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi that they did not believe they were responsible and that they simply wrote the letter to remove UN sanctions.[171] Gaddafi agreed to pay up to US$2.7 billion to the victims’ families, and completed most of the payout in 2003. Later that year, Britain and Bulgaria co-sponsored a UN resolution to remove the UN sanctions entirely.[172] In 2004, Shukri Ghanem, then-Libyan Prime Minister, openly told a Western reporter that Gaddafi was “paying for peace” with the West, and that there was never any evidence or guilt for the Lockerbie bombing.[173]

Gaddafi’s government faced growing opposition from Islamic extremists during the 1990s, particularly the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which nearly assassinated him in 1996. Gaddafi began giving counter-terrorism intelligence to MI6 and the CIA in the 1990s, and issued the first arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden in 1998, after he was linked to the killing of German anti-terrorism agents in Libya.[174] Gaddafi also accused the United States of training and supporting bin Laden for war against the Soviet Union. He said the United States was bombing al-Qaeda camps that they had supported and built for him in the past. Gaddafi also claimed that the bombing attempts by Bill Clinton were done to divert attention from his sex scandal.[175]

Intelligence links from Gaddafi’s regime to the U.S. and the U.K. deepened during the George W. Bush administration; the CIA began bringing alleged terrorists to Libya for torture under the “extraordinary rendition” program. Some of those renditioned were Gaddafi’s political enemies, including one current rebel leader in the 2011 NATO-backed war in Libya. The relationship was so close that the CIA provided “talking points for Gaddafi, logistical details for [rendition] flights, and what seems to have been the bartering of Gaddafi’s opponents, some of whom had ties to Islamist groups, for his cooperation.”[176]

He offered to dismantle his active weapons of mass destruction program in 1999. Gaddafi denounced the al-Qaeda bombers for the 11 September attacks and appeared on American television for an interview with George Stephanopoulos.[citation needed] In 2002, Saddam Hussein paid Gaddafi $3.5 billion to save him should he have an internal coup or war with America.[177] In 2003, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by U.S. forces, Gaddafi again admitted to having an active weapons of mass destruction program, and was willing to dismantle it. His announcement was well-publicized and during interviews, Gaddafi confessed that the Iraq War “may have influenced him”, but he would rather “focus on the positive”, and hoped that other nations would follow his example.[178] Gaddafi’s commitment to the War against Terror attracted support from the United States and Britain. Prime minister Tony Blair publicly met with Gaddafi in 2004, commending him as a new ally in the War on Terror. During his visit, Blair lobbied for the Royal Dutch Shell oil company, which secured a deal in Libya worth $500 million.[179][180] The United States restored its diplomatic relations with Libya during the Bush administration, removing Libya from its list of nations supporting terrorism.[181]President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney portrayed Gaddafi’s announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War. Hans Blix, then UN chief weapons inspector, speculated that Gaddafi feared being removed like Saddam Hussein: “I can only speculate, but I would imagine that Gaddafi could have been scared by what he saw happen in Iraq. While the Americans would have difficulty in doing the same in Iran and in North Korea as they have done in Iraq, Libya would be more exposed, so maybe he will have reasons to be worried.”[182] Historians have speculated that Gaddafi was merely continuing his attempts at normalizing relations with the West to get oil sanctions removed.[126][183][184][127] There is also evidence that his government was weakened by falling gas prices during the 1990s and 2000s,[185] and his rule was facing significant challenges from its high unemployment rate.[186] The offer was accepted and international inspectors in Libya were led to chemical weaponry as well as an active nuclear weapons program.[16][187] In 2004, inspectors from the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) verified that Libya had owned a stockpile of 23 metric tons of mustard gas and more than 1,300 metric tons of precursor chemicals. By 2006, Libya had nearly finished construction of its Rabta Chemical Destruction facility, which cost $25 million,[125][188] and Libyan officials were angered by the fact that their nuclear centrifuges were given to the United States rather than the United Nations. British officials were allowed to tour the site in 2006.[180]

In 2007, the Bulgarian medics were returned to Bulgaria, where they were released. Representatives of the European Union made it clear that their release was key to normalizing relations between Libya and the EU. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, visited Libya in 2007 and signed a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements with Gaddafi, including a deal to build a nuclear-powered facility in Libya to desalinate ocean water for drinking.[189] Gaddafi and Vladimir Putin reportedly discussed establishing a Russian military base in Libya.[190] In August 2008, Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a landmark cooperation treaty in Benghazi.[191][192]

Gaddafi met with then U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice in September 2008,[193] where she pressed him to complete his payout for the Lockerbie bombings. Libya and the United States finalized their 20-year standoff over the Lockerbie bombings in 2008 when Libya paid into a compensation fund for victims of the Lockerbie bombing1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, and to American victims of the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing. In exchange, President Bush signed Executive Order 13477 restoring the Libyan government’s immunity from terrorism-related lawsuits and dismissing all of the pending compensation cases in the United States.[194]

In June 2009, Gaddafi made his first visit to Rome, where he again met Berlusconi, president Giorgio Napolitano and senate president Renato SchifaniChamber president Gianfranco Fini cancelled the meeting because of Gaddafi’s delay.[195] The Democratic Party and Italy of Values opposed the visit[196][197] and many protests were staged throughout Italy by human rights non-governmental organizations and Italian Radicals.[198] Gaddafi also took part in the G8 summit in L’Aquila in July as Chairman of the African Union.[199] During the summit a handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama[199] and Muammar Gaddafi marked the first time the Libyan leader had been greeted by a serving U.S. President.[199] Italian President Giorgio Napolitano hosted a dinner where Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister and G8 host, overturned protocol at the last moment by having Gaddafi sit next to him, just two places away from president Obama who was seated on Berlusconi’s right-hand side.[200][201][202][203]

He also met Senators John McCain[204] and Joe Lieberman[citation needed] in 2009. In August 2009, convicted bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released to Libya on compassionate grounds and was received with a large celebration. Gaddafi and his government were criticized by Western leaders for his participation in this celebration.[205][206][207] On 23 September 2009, Muammar Gaddafi addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York.[208] In 2010, Gaddafi agreed to pay US$3.5 billion to the victims of IRA attacks he assisted during the 1980s.[209]

2011 Libyan civil war

People protesting against Gaddafi inDublin, March 2011.

See also: LSE Libya Links

On 17 February 2011, major political protests began in Libya against Gaddafi’s government. During the following week these protests gained significant momentum and size, despite stiff resistance from the Gaddafi government. By late February the country appeared to be rapidly descending into chaos,[210]and the government lost control of most of Eastern Libya. Gaddafi fought back, accusing the rebels of being “drugged” and linked to al-Qaeda.[211] His military forces killed rebelling civilians, and relied heavily on the Khamis Brigade, led by one of his sons Khamis Gaddafi, and on tribal leaders loyal to him.[212] He imported foreign mercenaries to defend his government,[213] reportedly paying Ghanaian mercenaries as much as US$2,500 per day for their services.[212]Reports from Libya also confirmed involvement with Belarus,[214][215] and the presence of Ukrainian and Serbian mercenaries.[216][217][217][218]

Gaddafi’s violent response to the protesters prompted defections from his government.[210][nb 2][219] Gaddafi’s “number two” man, Abdul Fatah Younis, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and several key ambassadors and diplomats resigned from their posts in protest.[212] Other government officials refused to follow orders from Gaddafi, and were jailed for insubordination.

At the beginning of March 2011, Gaddafi returned from a hideout, relying on considerable amounts of Libyan and US cash that had apparently been stored in the capital.[220] Gaddafi’s forces had retaken momentum and were in shooting range of Benghazi by March 2011 when the UN declared a no fly zone to protect the civilian population of Libya.[221] On 30 April the Libyan government claimed that a NATO airstrike killed Gaddafi’s sixth son and three of his grandsons at his son’s home in Tripoli. Government officials said that Muammar Gaddafi and his wife were visiting the home when it was struck, but both were unharmed. Gaddafi son’s death came one day after the Libyan leader appeared on state television calling for talks with NATO to end the airstrikes which have been hitting Tripoli and other Gaddafi strongholds since the previous month. Gaddafi suggested there was room for negotiation, but he vowed to stay in Libya. Western officials remained divided over whether Gaddafi was a legitimate military target under the United Nations Security Council resolution that authorized the air campaign. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that NATO was “not targeting Gaddafi specifically” but that his command-and-control facilities were legitimate targets—including a facility inside his sprawling Tripoli compound that was hit with airstrikes 25 April.[222]

Crimes against humanity arrest warrant

The UN referred the massacres of unarmed civilians to the International Criminal Court.[223] Among the crimes being investigated by the prosecution was whether Gaddafi purchased and authorized the use of Viagra-like drugs among soldiers for the purpose of raping women and instilling fear.[224] His government’s heavy-handed approach to quelling the protests was characterized by the International Federation for Human Rights as a strategy of scorched earth. The acts of “indiscriminate killings of civilians” was charged as crimes against humanity, as defined in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.[225]

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants on 27 June 2011 for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, head of state security for charges, concerning crimes against humanity.[1][226][227] According to Matt Steinglass of The Financial Times the charges call for Gaddafi, and his two co-conspirators, to “stand trial for the murder and persecution of demonstrators by Libyan security forces since the uprising based in the country’s east that began in February.”

Libyan officials rejected the ICC’s authority, saying that the ICC has “no legitimacy whatsoever” and that “all of its activities are directed at African leaders”.[228] A Libyan government representative, justice minister Mohammed al-Qamoodi, responded by saying, “The leader of the revolution and his son do not hold any official position in the Libyan government and therefore they have no connection to the claims of the ICC against them …”[226] This makes Gaddafi the second still-serving state-leader to have warrants issued against them, the first being Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.[227]

Russia and other countries, including China and Germany, abstained from voting in the UN[229] and have not joined the NATO coalition, which has taken action in Libya by bombing the government’s forces. Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin special representative for Africa, speaking in an interview for Russian newspaper Izvestia, said that the “Kremlin accepted that Col Gaddafi [sic] had no political future and that his family would have to relinquish its vice-like grip on the Libyan economy.”[230] He also said that “It is quite possible to solve the situation without the colonel.”[230]

Loss of international recognition

In connection with the Libyan uprising, Gaddafi’s attempts to influence public opinion in Europe and the United States came under increased scrutiny. Since the beginning of the 2011 conflict a number of countries pushed for the international isolation of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. On 15 July 2011, at a meeting in Istanbul, more than 30 governments recognised the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate government of Libya.[231][232]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The United States views the Gaddafi regime as no longer having any legitimate authority in Libya … And so I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya, and we will deal with it on that basis.”[231] Gaddafi responded to the announcement with a speech on Libyan national television, in which he said “Trample on those recognitions, trample on them under your feet … They are worthless”.[231]

On 25 August 2011, with most of Tripoli having fallen out of Gaddafi’s control, the Arab League proclaimed the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council to be “the legitimate representative of the Libyan state”, on which basis Libya would resume its membership of the League.[233]

Battle of Tripoli

During the Battle of Tripoli, Gaddafi lost effective political and military control of Tripoli after his compound was captured by rebel forces. Rebel forces entered Green Square in the city center, tearing down posters of Gaddafi and flying flags of the rebellion. He continued to give addresses through radio, calling upon his supporters to crush the rebels.

On 24 August 2011, after the capture of his stronghold of Bab al-Azizia by loyalist forces, a photo album filled with pages of pictures of Condoleezza Rice was discovered inside the compound; the discovery was confirmed by an AP reporter, though it could not be confirmed that the album had belonged to Gaddafi. In a 2007 television interview, Gaddafi had previously praised Rice, saying “I support my darling black African woman. I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders… Leezza, Leezza, Leezza… I love her very much.”[234][235] During Rice’s visit to Libya as Secretary of State, the wealthy Gaddafi showered her with gifts, including a diamond ring in a wood box, a locket with his photograph and a DVD with a musical instrument, with a total value of $212,225 (2008 value).[236][237][238] During the visit, Gaddafi also showed the photo album to Rice, who described it then as “not standard diplomatic practice.”[239]

In September, an underground chamber was discovered beneath Tripoli’s Al Fatah University, the largest university in the city, containing (among other things) a bedroom, a Jacuzzi, and a fully equipped gynecological operating chamber. Only Gaddafi and his top associates had been allowed access to it in the past.[240][241] In the 1980s, several students were allegedly hanged in public on the university campus premises. On at least one of these occasions, young high school students were apparently brought by the bus loads to witness the hanging. The victims were typically accused of pursuing activities against the Al Fatah Revolution and the Libyan People.[citation needed]

Capture and death

On 20 September 2011, Gaddafi made a final speech, declaring that “Anyone who says Qaddafi’s government has fallen is nothing but ridiculous and a joke. Qaddafi doesn’t have a government, therefore that government can’t fall. Qaddafi is out of power since 1977 when I have passed the power to the People’s Committees of the Jamahiriya. When 2,000 tribes meet and declare that only the Libyan people represent Libya, doesn’t that say enough? This is the answer to NATO which has said the National Transitional Council from Benghazi represents the Libyan people. The Libyan people are here and they are with me, nobody can represent us. So no legitimacy to anything else or anyone else, the power belongs to the people. All Libyans are members of the People’s Committees. Anything else is false.”[4][5]

On 20 October 2011, a National Transitional Council (NTC) official told Al Jazeera that Gaddafi had been captured that day by Libyan forces near his hometown of Sirte.[242][243] He had been in a convoy of vehicles that was targeted by a French air strike on a road about 3 kilometres (2 mi) west of Sirte, killing dozens of loyalist fighters. Gaddafi survived but was wounded and took refuge with several of his bodyguards in a drain underneath the road west of the city. Around noon[244] NTC fighters found the group and took Gaddafi prisoner. Shortly afterward, he was shot dead. At least four mobile phone videos showed rebels beating Gaddafi and manhandling him on the back of a utility vehicle before his death. One video suggested a Libyan fighter sodomized him “with some kind of stick or knife” after his capture.[245] In another video, he was seen being rolled around on the ground as rebels pulled off his shirt, though it was unclear if he was already dead. Later pictures of his body showed that he had wounds in the abdomen, chest, and head.[246][247] A rebel fighter who identified himself as Senad el-Sadik el-Ureybi later claimed to have shot and killed Gaddafi. He claimed to have shot Gaddafi in the head and chest, and that it took half an hour for him to die.[248] Gaddafi’s body was subsequently flown to Misrata[249] and was placed in the freezer of a local market alongside the bodies of Defense Minister Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr and his son and national security adviser Moatassem Gaddafi. The bodies were put on public display, with Libyans from all over the country coming to view them. Many took pictures on their cell phones.

Libya’s Prime Minister[250] and several NTC figures confirmed Gaddafi’s death, claiming he died of wounds suffered during his capture.[251][252][253] News channels aired a graphic video claiming to be of Gaddafi’s bloodied body after capture.[254][255]

Ideology

Gaddafi’s Green Book, English and Russian editions

On the Muslim prophet Muhammad‘s birthday in 1973, Gaddafi delivered his famous “Five-Point Address” which officially implemented Sharia.[46] Gaddafi’s ideology was largely based on Nasserism, blending Arab nationalism,[42][256] aspects of the welfare state,[257][258][259] and what Gaddafi termed “popular democracy”,[260] or more commonly “direct, popular democracy“. He called this system “Islamic socialism“, as he disfavored the atheistic quality of communism. While he permitted private control over small companies, the government controlled the larger ones. Welfare, “liberation” (or “emancipation” depending on the translation),[261] and education[262] was emphasized. He also imposed a system of Islamic morals[263][264] and outlawed alcohol and gambling. School vacations were canceled to allow the teaching of Gaddafi’s ideology in the summer of 1973.[46]

Gaddafi was known for erratic statements, and commentators often expressed uncertainty about what was sarcasm and what was simply incoherent. Over the course of his four-decade rule, he accumulated a wide variety of eccentric and often contradictory statements.[265] He once said that HIV was “a peace virus, not an aggressive virus” and assured attendees at the African Union that “if you are straight you have nothing to fear from AIDS”.[266] He also said that the H1N1 virus was a biological weapon manufactured by a foreign military, and assured Africans that the tsetse fly and mosquito were “God’s armies which will protect us against colonialists”. Should these ‘enemies’ come to Africa, “they will get malaria and sleeping sickness”.[266]

Gaddafi was an unabashed proponent of Islam, often with blatant disregard for religious tolerance. He said that Islam is the one true faith and that those who do not follow Islam are “losers”. On another instance, he said that the Christian Bible was a “forgery” and that Jesus Christ was a messenger for the sons of Israel only.[267] In 2006, he predicted Europe would become a Muslim continent within a few decades as a result of its growing Arab population.[268][269] He endorsed the concept of a peaceful Muslim nation-state. Gaddafi expressed violent hostility towards Israel and the Jewish people throughout his career. At first, he expelled Jews from Libya and sided with Arab states for the elimination of the state of Israel. He funded and supported governments and paramilitary organizations that fought Israel. He said Arab nations that negotiate with Israel are “cowardly”, and on multiple occasions, he encouraged Palestinians to rise up against Israel. He believed in conspiracy theories that Israeli agents had assassinated John F. Kennedy and that Barack Obama’s foreign policy was influenced by fears of being assassinated by Israel.[270][271]In 2007, he suggested a single-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, at first saying “This is the fundamental solution, or else the Jews will be annihilated in the future, because the Palestinians have [strategic] depth”. In 2009, he moderated his proposal in a New York Times commentary, saying a single-state solution would “move beyond old conflicts and look to a unified future based on shared culture and respect.”[272]

During Gaddafi’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September 2009,[273] he blamed the United Nations for failing to prevent 65 wars[274] and claimed that the Security Council had too much power and should be abolished.[275][276][277] He demanded that Europe pay its former colonies $7.77 trillion dollars to pay for past imperialism or face “mass immigration”.[278] He opposed the War in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban‘s religious state was peaceful and not linked to bin Laden.[citation needed] He also defended Somali pirates, claiming they protected Somali waters from foreigners.[citation needed]

Despite his ongoing hostility to Jews, rumors arose that he had Jewish heritage. Two Israeli women came forth on Israel’s Channel 2 News to claim that they were close blood relations with Gaddafi. Guita Brown claimed that she was Gaddafi’s second cousin. Brown’s daughter, Rachel Saada, elaborated that Gaddafi’s grandmother was Jewish, and that she left her first husband and married a Muslim man in her second marriage.[279] The older woman also spoke with Israel National News (which identified her as Gita Boaron), and repeated the same claim.[280]

Assassination attempts and plots

  • In 1969, the British Special Air Service (S.A.S.) was contacted by the Libyan Royal Family and planned an assassination attempt to restore the Libyan monarchy. The plan was dubbed the “Hilton Assignment”, named after a Libyan jail. The plan was to release 150 political prisoners from a jail in Tripoli as a catalyst for a general uprising. The prisoners would be recruited for a coup attempt, and the British agents would leave them to take over the nation. The plan was called off at a late stage by the British Secret Intelligence Service because the United States government decided that Gaddafi was anti-Marxist and therefore acceptable.[281][282]
  • In 1976, Tunisia’s state television reported that Gaddafi had been fired at by a lone assailant. None of the shots hit him.[283]
  • In 1981, French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing plotted an assassination attempt with Egypt. His administration spoke with the Reagan administration for approval, but the United States did not support the measure. The plot was abandoned after Giscard’s term in office.[284][285]
  • In 1986, the United States bombed Libya, including Gaddafi’s family compound in the vast Bab al-Azizia Barracks in southern Tripoli. The U.S. Government consistently said that the bombings were “surgical strikes” and were not intended to kill Gaddafi. However, Oliver North did devise a plot at the time to lure Gaddafi into his compound using Terry Waite. The plot violated US law, which prohibited assassinations, and was never put into action.[286] On 15 April, Gaddafi and his family had fled his compound in the Bab al-Azizia Barracks moments before it was bombed. He received a phone call the night of 15 April, warning him about an attack. The origin of the phone call remains under speculation, but Maltese Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and Italian politician Bettino Craxi have been primary suspects.
  • In 1993, over 2,000 Libyan soldiers plotted to assassinate Gaddafi.[287] The soldiers were members of the Warfalla tribe, which rebelled because it was not well-represented in the upper ranks of the Libyan Army. The coup attempt was crushed by the Libyan Air Force, which was entirely made of members of the Qadhadhfa tribe, which Gaddafi belongs to. The tribal tensions that resulted with the Warfalla and the Magariha caused Gaddafi to place his second-in-command, Abdessalam Jalloud, a Magariha, under house arrest, and led to oppression of the Warfalla.[288] The rebellion was largest in the city of Misrata. Libyan media did not cover any reports on the rebellion, but European diplomats saw large numbers of wounded and casualties in the hospitals.[289]
  • In February 1996, Islamic extremists attacked Gaddafi’s motorcade near the city of Sirte.[290] Allegedly, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service was involved, which was denied by future foreign secretary Robin Cook. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office later stated: “We have never denied that we knew of plots against Gaddafi.”[291] In August 1998, former British MI5 officer David Shayler renewed his attacks on the secret services, claiming that MI6 had invested GB£100,000 in a plot to assassinate Gaddafi.[292]
  • In June 1998, Islamic militants opened fire on Gaddafi’s motorcade near the town of Dirnah. One of his Amazonian Guards sacrificed herself to save his life. He was injured in the elbow according to witnesses.[293]

Marriages and children

His sons, Moatassem (pictured) and Saif, were prominent in government politics. There was speculation about a succession struggle between the two. Moatassem withHillary Clinton, Treaty Room, Washington, DC, 21 April 2009.

Gaddafi’s first wife was Fatiha al-Nuri (1969–1970). His second wife was Safia Farkash, née el-Brasai, a former nurse from Obeidat tribe born inBayda.[294][295] He met her in 1969,[citation needed] following the revolt, when he was hospitalized with appendicitis; the couple remained married until his death. Gaddafi had eight biological children, seven of them sons.

  • Muhammad al-Gaddafi (born 1970), his eldest son, was the only child born to Gaddafi’s first wife, and ran the Libyan Olympic Committee.[294] On 21 August 2011, during the Battle of Tripoli, rebel forces of the National Transitional Council claimed to have accepted Muhammad’s surrender as they overtook the city.[296] This was later confirmed when he gave a phone interview to Al Jazeera, saying that he had surrendered to the rebels and had been treated well.[297] He reportedly escaped the next day with the aid of remaining loyalist forces, fleeing to neighboring Algeria with his mother, another brother and his sister.[298]
  • Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (born 25 June 1972), his second son, is an architect who was long-rumoured to be Gaddafi’s successor. He was a spokesman to the Western world, and he has negotiated treaties with Italy and the United States. He was viewed as politically moderate, and in 2006, after criticizing his father’s government, he briefly left Libya. In 2007, Gaddafi exchanged angry letters with his son regarding his son’s statements admitting the Bulgarian nurses had been tortured.[299] During the Battle of Sirte on 20 October 2011, he tried to escape and it has been reported that he was captured by rebel forces and was flown to a hospital but this has not been confirmed.[300]
  • Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi (born 25 May 1973), is a professional football player. On 22 August 2011, he was reported to have been arrested by the National Liberation Army.[301] However, this turned out to be incorrect. In the late evening of 22 August 2011 he spoke with members of the international press.[302]On 30 August, a senior NTC official claimed that Al-Saadi al-Gaddafi had made contact to discuss the terms of his surrender, indicating also that he would wish to remain in Libya.[303]
  • Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi (born 20 September 1975),[304] is a former employee of the General National Maritime Transport Company, a company that specialized in oil exports. He is best-known for his violent incidents in Europe, attacking police officers in Italy (2001), drunk driving (2004), and for assaulting a girlfriend in Paris (2005).[305] In 2008, he was charged with assaulting two of staff in Switzerland, and was imprisoned by Swiss police. The arrest created a strong standoff between Libya and Switzerland.[306] He fled to neighboring Algeria with his mother, another brother and his sister.
  • Ayesha Gaddafi (born 1976), Gaddafi’s only biological daughter, is a lawyer who joined the defense teams of executed former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi.[294]She is married to her father’s cousin. She fled to neighboring Algeria with her mother and two of her brothers, where she gave birth to her fourth child.
  • Moatassem Gaddafi (1977 – 20 October 2011), Gaddafi’s fifth son, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Libyan Army. He later served as Libya’s National Security Advisor. He was seen as a possible successor to his father, after Saif Al-Islam. Moatassem was killed along with his father during the battle of Sirte.[307]
  • Saif al-Arab al-Gaddafi (1982 – 30 April 2011) was appointed a military commander in the Libyan Army during the 2011 Libyan civil war. Saif al-Arab and three of Gaddafi’s grandchildren were reported killed by a NATO bombing in April 2011. This is disputed by the organizations alleged to be responsible.[308]
  • Khamis Gaddafi (27 May 1983 – 29 August 2011), his seventh son, was serving as the commander of the Libyan Army’s elite Khamis Brigade. On 30 August 2011, a spokesman for the NTC said it was “almost certain” Khamis Gaddafi had been killed in Tarhuna two days earlier, during clashes with units of the National Liberation Army.[309]

He is also said to have adopted two children, Hanna and Milad.[310][311]

  • Hana Moammar Gadafi[312] (claimed by Gaddafi to be his adopted daughter, but most facts surrounding this claim are disputed) was apparently killed at the age of four, during the retaliatory USbombing raids in 1986.[313][314] She may not have died; the adoption may have been posthumous; or he may have adopted a second daughter and given her the same name after the first one died.[315] Following the taking by rebels of the family residence in the Bab al-Azizia compound in Tripoli, The New York Times reported evidence (complete with photographs) of Hana’s life after her declared death, when she became a doctor and worked in a Tripoli hospital. Her passport was reported as showing a birth date of 11 November 1985, making her six months old at the time of the US raid.[316] However, a Libyan official told the Daily Telegraph that Gaddafi adopted a second daughter and named her Hana in honor of the first one who was killed.[317]

Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, Abdullah Senussi, is believed to head military intelligence.[318]

Flight to Algeria

As the Battle for Tripoli reached a climax in mid-August 2011, the family was forced to abandon their fortified compound. With the National Transitional Council in almost complete control of the country, on 27 August it was reported by the Egyptian news agency Mena that Libyan rebel fighters had seen six armoured Mercedes-Benz sedans, possibly carrying top Gaddafi regime figures, cross the border at the south-western Libyan town of Ghadames towards Algeria,[319] which at the time was denied by the Algerian authorities.

On 29 August, the Algerian government officially announced that Safia together with daughter Ayesha and sons Muhammad and Hannibal, had crossed into Algeria early on Monday 29 August.[319][320]An Algerian Foreign Ministry official said all the people in the convoy were now in Algiers, and that none of them had been named in warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes charges. Mourad Benmehidi, the Algerian permanent representative to the United Nations, later confirmed the details of the statement. The family had arrived at a Sahara desert entry point, in a Mercedes and a bus at 8:45 am local time. The exact number of people in the party was unconfirmed, but there were “many children” and they did not include Colonel Gaddafi. Resultantly the group was allowed in on humanitarian grounds, and the Algerian government had since informed the head of the Libyan National Transitional Council, who had made no official request for their return.[321]

Honorary qualifications

Gaddafi held an honorary degree from Megatrend University in Belgrade, conferred on him by former Yugoslavian president Zoran Lilić.[322]

Personal wealth

Italian companies had a strong foothold in Libya. Italy buys a quarter of Libya’s oil and 15% of its natural gas. The LIA owned significant shares in Italy’s Eni oil corporation, FiatUniCredit bank, andFinmeccanica.[323] In January 2002 Gaddafi purchased a 7.5% share of Italian football club Juventus for US$21 million, through the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company.[324] This followed a long-standing association with Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli and car manufacturer Fiat.[325]

On 25 February 2011 Britain’s Treasury set up a specialised unit to trace Gaddafi’s assets in Britain.[323] Gaddafi allegedly worked for years with Swiss banks to launder international banking transactions.[74]

Gaddafi had an Airbus A340 private jet, which he bought from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $120 million in 2003.[326] Operated by Tripoli based Afriqiyah Airways, and decorated externally in their colours, it was used in 2009 to repatriate Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, on his licensed release from prison in Scotland. The plane was captured at Tripoli airport in August 2011 as a result of the Libyan civil war, and found by BBC News reporter John Simpson to contain various luxuries including a jacuzzi.[327][328]

Titles

A Revolutionary Command Council was formed to rule the country, with Gaddafi as chairman. He added the title of prime minister in 1970, but gave up this title in 1972. Unlike some other military revolutionaries, Gaddafi did not promote himself to the rank of general upon seizing power, but rather accepted a ceremonial promotion from lieutenant to colonel[329] and remained at this rank. While at odds with Western military ranking, where a colonel would not rule a country or serve as commander-in-chief of its military, in Gaddafi’s own words Libya’s society is “ruled by the people”, so he did not need a more grandiose title or supreme military rank.[10]

Public image

Shown in Damascus in 2009, Gaddafi traveled with hisAmazonian Guards, an armed all-female military troupe

Gaddafi was frequently portrayed as erratic, conceited, and mercurial in nature. During the Reagan administration, the United States regarded him as “public enemy number one”[330] and Reagan dubbed him the “mad dog of the Middle East”.[331] Western media[who?] have since speculated that Gaddafi suffered from manic depressionschizophrenia, and megalomania. Among those who worked with Gaddafi, Anwar Sadat called him “unbalanced and immature” and “a vicious criminal.”Gaafar Nimeiry called him an “evil” person, however Yasser Arafat, who aligned himself with Gaddafi for much of his career, said Gaddafi was the “knight of revolutionary phrases”. On Gaddafi’s resistance to the 2011 uprising, Cuba‘s Fidel Castro commented that, “If he resists and does not yield to their demands, he will enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations.”[332] During a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, he was said to be highly curious, asking a lot of questions and being especially interested in Malaysia’s economic success.[333] The attacks on Gaddafi’s image became less common as his relations with the West improved. He modeled many of his political ideals from the likes of Kwame NkrumahGamal Abdul Nasser and Mao Zedong.

In his own estimation, Gaddafi considered himself an intellectual and philosopher.[334] His former aides said he was “obsessive” about his image. He gave gold watches with images of his face to his staff as gifts. In 2011, a Brazilian plastic surgeon told the Associated Press that Gaddafi had been his patient in 1995 to avoid appearing old to the Libyan people.[335] He was known for a flamboyant dress sense, ranging from safari suits and sunglasses to more outlandish outfits apparently influenced by Liberace or Hollywood film characters.[336] He changed his clothing several times each day, and according to his former nurses, “enjoy[ed] surrounding himself with beautiful things and people.”

He hired several Ukrainian nurses to care for his and his family’s health.[337] Beginning in the 1980s he traveled with his Amazonian Guard, which was all-female, and reportedly was sworn to a life of celibacy. (However Dr Seham Sergheva reported in 2011 that some of them were subjected to rape and sexual abuse by Gaddafi, his sons and senior officials.[338]) In 2009, it was revealed that he did not travel without his trusted Ukrainian nurse Halyna Kolotnytska, noted as a “voluptuous blonde”.[339] Kolotnytska’s daughter denied the suggestion that the relationship was anything but professional.[340] Gaddafi frequently made sexual advances on female journalists, and successfully bedded a few in exchange for interviews.[341][342]

Gaddafi made very particular requests when traveling to foreign nations. During his trips to Rome, Paris, Moscow, and New York,[343][344][345][346][347] he resided in a tent, following his Bedouin traditions.[348][349] While in Italy, he paid a modeling agency to find 200 young Italian women for a lecture he gave urging them to convert to Islam.[350] According to a 2009 document release by WikiLeaks,[351] Gaddafi disliked flying over waters and refused to take airplane trips longer than 8 hours. His inner circle stated that he could only stay on the ground floor of buildings, and that he could not climb more than 35 steps.

The Libyan postal service, General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC), has issued numerous stamps, souvenir sheetspostal stationery, booklets, etc. relating to Gaddafi.[352][353]

Transliteration of his Arabic name

Because of the lack of standardization of transliterating written and regionally pronounced Arabic, Gaddafi’s name has been romanized in many different ways. Even though the Arabic spelling of a word does not change, the pronunciation may vary in different varieties of Arabic, which may suggest a different romanization. In Literary Arabic, the name مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي can be pronounced /muˈʕammaru lqaðˈðaːfiː/. Geminated consonants can be simplified. In Libyan Arabic, /q/ (ق) is replaced with [ɡ]; and /ð/ (ذ), as “th” in “this”, is replaced with [d]. Vowel [u] often alternates with [o] in pronunciation in other regions. Thus, /muˈʕammar alqaðˈðaːfiː/ is normally pronounced in Libyan Arabic [muˈʕæmmɑrˤ əlɡædˈdæːfi]. The definite article al- (ال) is often omitted.

“Muammar Gaddafi” is the spelling used by TimeNewsweekReutersBBC News, the majority of the British press, and the English service of Al-Jazeera[354]. The Associated PressMSNBCCNN,NPRPBS, and the majority of the Canadian press use “Moammar Gadhafi”. The Library of Congress uses “Qaddafi, Muammar” as the primary name. The Edinburgh Middle East Report uses “Mu’ammar Qaddafi” and the U.S. Department of State uses “Mu’ammar Al-Qadhafi”, although the White House chooses to use “Muammar el-Qaddafi”.[355] The Xinhua News Agency uses “Muammar Khaddafi” in its English reports.[356] The New York Times uses “Muammar el-Qaddafi”. The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times of the Tribune Company, and Agence France-Presse use “Moammar Kadafi”.[357][358]

In 1986, Gaddafi reportedly responded to a Minnesota school’s letter in English using the spelling “Moammar El-Gadhafi”.[359] Until that point, his name had been pronounced with an initial ‘k’ in English.

The title of the homepage of algathafi.org reads “Welcome to the official site of Muammar Al Gathafi”.[360] A 2007 interview with Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi confirms that he uses the spelling “Qadhafi”,[361] and Muhammad Gaddafi‘s official passport uses the spelling “Al-Gathafi”.[362]

An article published in the London Evening Standard in 2004 lists a total of 37 spellings of his name, while a 1986 column by The Straight Dope quotes a list of 32 spellings known from the Library of Congress.[363] ABC and MSNBC identified 112 possible spellings.[364][365] This extensive confusion of naming was used as the subject of a segment of Saturday Night LiveWeekend Update on 12 December 1981.[366] In short, the alternative spellings for each part of his name are shown in brackets:

{\color{OliveGreen}\text{M}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{u}\\\text{o}\\\text{ou}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\varnothing\\\text{'}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\varnothing\\\text{a}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{mm}\\\text{m}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\text{a}<br /><br /><br />
\text{r}}<br /><br /><br />
~~~~<br /><br /><br />
{\color{MidnightBlue}\begin{cases}\text{Al}\\\text{al}\\\text{El}\\\text{el}\\\varnothing\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{-}\\\textvisiblespace\\\varnothing\end{cases}}<br /><br /><br />
{\color{RedViolet}\begin{cases}\text{Q}\\\text{G}\\\text{K}\\\text{Kh}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\text{a}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{d}\\\text{dh}\\\text{dd}\\\text{dhdh}\\\text{th}\\\text{zz}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\text{a}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{f}\\\text{ff}\end{cases}<br /><br /><br />
\begin{cases}\text{i}\\\text{y}\end{cases}}Not all are possible, as some alternatives are most probably combined with others, or even impossible with others (for example, simplification of geminated /mm/ usually implies simplification of /aː/).

The Arabic verb قَذَفَ qaðafa has various meanings centering on “he threw”.

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DEATH OF A BARBARIC TYRANT BY EQUALLY BARBARIC MOB …WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING !!!!!!!!


A HISTORIC MOMENT IN HISTORY AS THE BARBARIC TYRANT AND LIBYAN DICTATOR – COLONEL MUAMMUR GADDAFI IS KILLED BY HIS OWN PEOPLE AND HIS BODY IS PUT ON DISPLAY FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE .

RIGHT OR WRONG??? ….. YOU DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES !!!!!

BELOW IS A SLIDESHOW OF VARIOUS IMAGES , SOME GROTESQUE , SHOWING GADDAFI  AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS POWER AND ALSO  HIS SLAIN   BODY  FOR ALL TO SEE AND PHOTOGRAPH..

.WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND GRUESOME  !!!!!!!!!

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.WARNING VERY GRAPHIC AND GRUESOME  !!!!!!!!!

BELOW IS A SEQUENCE OF VERY GRAPHIC, DISTURBING AND GRUESOME VIDEO FOOTAGE ON THE DEATH OF GADDAFI 

1960’s SLEAZE AND SCANDAL REVISITED HERE AT THE JAIL-THE PROFUMO AFFAIR

‎1960’S REVISITED AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL – CHRISTINE KEELER & THE PROFUMO AFFAIR
Our many diverse collections here also includes an insight into our endless array of Politicians behaving badly, caught with their trousers down and of course as always …apparently on the fiddle with their expenses etc.
On display here we have various personally signed ephemera , memorabilia etc pieced together within an intriguing montage from the likes of John Profumo, Christine Keeler , Mandy Rice-Davies and Stephan Ward .

See more interactive video footage below relating to one of Britain’s most infamous scandals

Profumo Affair

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Profumo Affair was a 1963 British political scandal named after John ProfumoSecretary of State for War. His affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian spy, followed by lying in the House of Commons when he was questioned about it, forced the resignation of Profumo and damaged the reputation of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan‘s government. Macmillan himself resigned a few months later due to ill health.

Profumo’s relationship with Keeler

Christine Keeler—the iconic Lewis Morley image, taken in May 1963, became an instant national talking point when a stolen copy was published by the Sunday Mirror, adding yet more fuel to the fire under Profumo. As the scandal intensified, it was endlessly republished.[1]

In the early 1960s, Profumo was the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan‘s Conservative government and was married to actress Valerie Hobson. In 1961, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a London call girl,[2] at a house party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by Lord Astor. Many years later Profumo would claim, in discussion with his son, David, that he had met Keeler previously at a night club in London called Murray’s and “probably had a drink with her.”[3] Also present at the Cliveden party were Profumo’s wife and the fashionable osteopath, Dr Stephen Ward, a long-standing acquaintance of Keeler. The relationship with Keeler lasted only a few weeks before Profumo ended it. However, rumours about the affair became public in 1962, as did the allegation that Keeler had also had a relationship with Yevgeny “Eugene” Ivanov, a senior naval attaché at the Soviet embassy in London. Given Profumo’s position in the government and with the Cold War at its height, the potential ramifications in terms of national security were grave, and this, along with the adulterous nature of Profumo’s relationship with Keeler, quickly elevated the affair into a public scandal.

Exposure of the affair

In 1962, Keeler became involved in an altercation with her former live-in lover Johnny Edgecombe. When she announced the end of their relationship, a confrontation followed 10 days before Christmas 1962. Edgecombe attempted to force his way into Stephen Ward’s flat where Keeler was staying and fired several shots at the doorlock. Meanwhile, Keeler had become involved with a Jamaican drug dealer named Aloysius “Lucky” Gordon. When that relationship ended Gordon attacked her with an axe and held her hostage for two days. Keeler turned to Edgecombe for help and in the ensuing fight between him and Gordon, the latter received a knife wound to his face. Fearful of reprisals from Gordon, Edgecombe asked Keeler to help him find a solicitor so that he could turn himself in. She refused and instead told him that she intended to give evidence against Edgecombe in court for wounding Gordon. As a result of her refusal, Edgecombe hatched a plot to murder Keeler. Three months later, when she failed to turn up in court for Edgecombe’s trial, previous press suspicions boiled over and the affair became front page news with headlines like “WAR MINISTER SHOCK”.[4]

Announcement in Parliament

In March 1963, Profumo stated to the House of Commons that there was “no impropriety whatever” in his relationship with Keeler and that he would issue writs for libel and slander if the allegations were repeated outside the House.[5] (Within the House, such allegations are protected by Parliamentary privilege.) However, in June, Profumo confessed that he had misled the House and lied in his testimony and on 5 June, he resigned his Cabinet position, as well as his Privy Council and Parliamentary membership.

Peter Wright, in his autobiography Spycatcher,[6] relates that he was working at the British counter-intelligence agency MI5 at the time and was assigned to question Keeler on security matters. He conducted a fairly lengthy interview and found Keeler to be poorly educated and not well informed on current events, very much the “party girl” described in the press at the time. However, in the course of questioning her, the subject of nuclear missiles came up, and Keeler, on her own, used the term “nuclear payload” in relation to the missiles. This alerted Wright’s suspicions. According to Wright, in the very early 1960s in Britain, the term “nuclear payload” was not in general use by the public, and even among those who kept up with such things, the term was not commonly heard. For a young woman with such limited knowledge to casually use the term was more than suspicious. In fact, Wright came away convinced that at the very least there had been an attempt by the Soviet attaché (perhaps through Stephen Ward) to use Keeler to get classified information from Profumo.

Lord Denning released the government’s official report on 25 September 1963, and, one month later, the prime ministerHarold Macmillan, resigned on the grounds of ill health, which had apparently been exacerbated by the scandal. He was replaced by the Foreign Secretary, the Earl of Home, who renounced his title to become Sir Alec Douglas-Home. However, the change of leader failed to save the Conservative Party’s place in government; they lost the general election to Harold Wilson’s Labour a year later.

Stephen Ward was prosecuted for living on the immoral earnings of prostitution and he committed suicide in August. He was defended by James Burge QC (who was later the basis for John Mortimer‘s character Rumpole of the Bailey). Keeler was found guilty on unrelated perjury charges and was sentenced to nine months in prison.[7] Profumo died on 9 March 2006.

The Profumo Affair in film and theatre

The relationship between a senior politician and a prostitute[2] caught the public imagination and led to the release of a number of films and documentaries detailing the event. The Danish film The Keeler Affair[8] was released in 1963 followed in 1989 by the British film Scandal. The musical A Model Girl premiered at The Greenwich Theatre on 30 January 2007.[9] In theatre Hugh Whitemore‘s playA Letter of Resignation, first staged at the Comedy Theatre in October 1997, dramatises the occasion when Harold Macmillan, staying with friends in Scotland, received a political bombshell, a letter of resignation from Profumo, his war minister. Edward Fox portrayed Macmillan. [10][11]

The Profumo Affair in popular music

INTRIGUING DOCUMENTARY INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE NOTORIOUS KRAYS

TRUE CRIME AND MUCH MORE HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION  AT  LITTLEDEAN JAIL , ROYAL FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE , UK ……

INCLUDES PERSONAL ITEMS , ARTWORK, HANDWRITTEN LETTERS AND TOOLS OF THE TRADE FROM THE KRAY TWINS AND THEIR FIRM

DO COME VISIT AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES THE UK’S ONLY BLACK MUSEUM OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

RONNIE AND REGGIE KRAY

Kray twins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kray Twins:
Ronald & Reginald Kray

The Kray twins, Reginald (left) and Ronald (right), photographed by David Bailey
Born 24 October 1933 (both)
Hoxton, London, England
Died Ronnie:
17 March 1995 (aged 61)
Broadmoor Hospital, Slough, England
Reggie:
1 October 2000 (aged 66)
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Alias(es) Ronnie & Reggie
Charge(s) Murders of George Cornell and Jack “The Hat” McVitie
Penalty In 1969 both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of thirty years.
Status Both deceased
Occupation Gangsters and club owners
Spouse Reggie:
Frances Shea (m. 1965–1967)
(her death)
Roberta Jones (m. 1997–2000)
(his death)[1][2]
Ronnie:
Elaine Mildener (m. 1985–1989)
(divorced)[3]
Kate Howard (m. 1989–1994)
(divorced)[4]
Parents Charles Kray and Violet Lee-Kray

Reginald “Reggie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 1 October 2000) and his twin brother Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 17 March 1995) were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in London’s East End during the 1950s and 1960s. Ronald, commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie, most likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.[5] The Krays were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent assaults including tortureand the murders of Jack “The Hat” McVitie and George Cornell. As West End nightclub owners, they mixed with prominent entertainers including Diana DorsFrank SinatraJudy Garland and politicians. The Krays were highly feared within their social environment, and in the 1960s they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by David Bailey and interviewed on television. They were arrested on 9 May 1968 and convicted in 1969 by the efforts of a squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard “Nipper” Read, and were both sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995, but Reggie was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, eight weeks before his death in October from cancer.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were born on 24 October 1933 in Hoxton, East London, to Charles David “Charlie” Kray, Sr, (10 March 1907 – 8 March 1983), a scrap gold dealer, and Violet Lee (5 August 1909 – 4 August 1982).[6] Reggie was born roughly 10 minutes before twin Ronnie. Charlie and Violet already had a six-year old son, Charlie Jr, (9 July 1926 – 4 Apr 2000).[7] A sister, Violet, born 1929, died in infancy. When the twins were three years old, they were struck down with diphtheria and recovered. Ron almost died from a head injury suffered in a fight with his twin brother in 1942.[edit]Early life

In 1938, having previously lived in Stene Street, Hoxton, the Kray family moved to 178 Vallance Road, Bethnal Green. At the start of the Second World War, Charlie Kray Senior was called up into the army, but went into hiding travelling the country as a trader and avoiding the law.

The twins first attended Wood Close School in Brick Lane and then Daniel Street School.[8] They were always trouble; people who knew them were too scared to say anything.

The influence of their grandfather, Jimmy “Cannonball” Lee,[9] led both boys into amateur boxing, which was at that time a popular pursuit for working-class boys in the East End. An element of rivalry between them spurred them on, and they achieved some success. They are said never to have lost a bout before turning professional at the age of 19.

[edit]National Service

The Kray twins became famous locally for their gang and the mayhem they caused. They narrowly avoided prison several times and in early 1952 they were called up for National Service with the Royal Fusiliers. They deserted several times, each time being recaptured.

While absent without leave, the twins assaulted a police officer who had spotted them and was trying to arrest them. They were initially held at the Tower of London (they were among the very last prisoners ever kept there) before being sent to Shepton Mallet military prison in Somerset and gaoled for a month awaiting court-martial. They ended up being gaoled in the Home Counties Brigade Depot gaol in Canterbury, Kent. Their behaviour there was so bad that in the end they were given a dishonourable discharge from the service; for the last few weeks of their imprisonment, when their fate was a certainty anyway, they tried to dominate the exercise area immediately outside their one man cells. They threw tantrums, upended their latrine bucket over a sergeant, similarly dumped a dixie (a large camp kettle[10]) full of hot tea on a guard, handcuffed another guard to the prison bars with a pair of stolen cuffs, and burned their bedding. Eventually they were discharged, but not before escaping from the guardhouse and being recaptured by the army one last time. The escape was executed when they were moved from a one man cell to a communal cell and they assaulted their guard with a china vase. Still, once recaptured and while awaiting transfer to civilian authority for crimes committed during their most recent period at large, they spent their last night in Canterbury drinking cider, eating crisps, and smoking cigarillos courtesy of the young National Servicemen who were acting as their guards.

[edit]Criminal careers

[edit]Nightclub owners

Their criminal record and dishonourable discharge ended their boxing careers. As a result, the twins turned to crime. They bought a run down local snooker club in Bethnal Green, where they started several protection rackets. By the end of the 1950s, the Krays were involved in hijackingarmed robbery and arson, through which they acquired a few clubs and other properties. In 1960 Ronnie Kray was incarcerated for 18 months on charges of running a protection racket and related threats, and while he was in prison, Peter Rachman, the head of a violent landlord operation, gave Reggie the Esmeralda’s Barn, a nightclub in Knightsbridge. This increased the Krays’ influence in the West End of London, with celebrities and famous people rather than East End criminals. They were assisted by banker Alan Cooper who wanted protection from the Krays’ rivals, the Richardsons, who were based in South London.[11]

The twins then had a turf war with Islington’s then infamous criminal twins, Brendan and Daniel Gallagher.

[edit]Celebrity status

In the 1960s, they were widely seen as prosperous and charming celebrity nightclub owners and were part of the Swinging London scene. A large part of their fame was due to their non-criminal activities as popular figures on the celebrity circuit, being photographed by David Bailey on more than one occasion; and socialised with lordsMPs, socialites and show business characters such as the actors George RaftJudy GarlandDiana DorsBarbara Windsor and singer Frank Sinatra.

“They were the best years of our lives. They called them the swinging sixties. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world… and me and my brother ruled London. We were fucking untouchable…” – Ronnie Kray, in his autobiographical book, My Story.[12]

[edit]Lord Boothby and Tom Driberg

The Krays also came into the public eye when an exposé in the tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror alleged that Ron had had a sexual relationship with Lord Boothby, a UK Conservative Partypolitician.[13] Although no names were printed, Boothby threatened to sue, the newspaper backed down, sacked its editor, apologised, and paid Boothby £40,000 in an out of court settlement.[14] As a result, other newspapers were less willing to uncover the Krays’ connections and criminal activities.

The police investigated the Krays on several occasions, but the twins’ reputation for violence meant witnesses were afraid to come forward to testify. There was also a political problem for both main parties. It was neither in the interests of the Conservative Party to press the police to end the Krays’ power lest the Boothby connection was again publicised and demonstrated, or those of the Labour Party because their MP Tom Driberg was also rumoured to have had a relationship with Ronnie.[15]

[edit]Frank Mitchell

The Blind Beggar pub in 2005

On 12 December 1966 the Krays assisted Frank Mitchell (nicknamed “The Mad Axeman”)[16] (not to be confused with Frankie Fraser – known as “Mad” Frankie Fraser, and contemporaneous, but allied with the rival Richardson gang) in escaping from Dartmoor Prison. Ronnie Kray had befriended Mitchell while they served time together in Wandsworth prison. Mitchell felt the authorities should review his case for parole, so Ronnie felt he would be doing him a favour by getting him out ofDartmoor, highlighting his case in the media and forcing the authorities to act. Once Mitchell was out of Dartmoor, the Krays held him at a friend’s flat in Barking Road. However, as a large man with a mental disorder, he was difficult to deal with and the only course of action was to get rid of him. His body has never been found and the Krays were acquitted of his murder.[16] Freddie Foreman, a former member of The Firm, in his autobiography Respect claimed that Mitchell was shot and the body disposed of at sea.

[edit]George Cornell

Ronnie Kray shot and killed George Cornell in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel on 9 March 1966. Ronnie was drinking in another pub when he heard that Cornell was in the Blind Beggar. Taking Reggie’s driver John “Scotch Jack” Dickson and Ian Barrie, his right-hand man, he then killed Cornell. Just before Cornell died, he remarked “Well look who’s here.” There had been a confrontation at Christmas 1965 between the Krays and the Richardsons at the Astor Club, when Cornell, an associate of the Richardsons, referred to Ronnie as a “fat poof“. However, Ronnie denied this and said that the reason for the killing was because he gave him and Reggie threats. The result was a gang war between the two, and Kray associate Richard Hart was murdered at Mr. Smith’s Club in Catford on 8 March 1966. Ronnie avenged Hart’s death by shooting Cornell. “Mad” Frankie Fraser was taken to court for Hart’s murder but was found not guilty. A member of the Richardsons claimed that he saw him kicking Hart. Cornell was the only one to escape from the brawl in top condition so it is likely that Ronnie thought that he was involved in the murder. Owing to intimidation, witnesses would not co-operate with the police.[17]

[edit]Jack “the Hat” McVitie

The Krays’ criminal activities continued hidden behind their celebrity status and “legitimate” businesses. In October 1967, four months after the suicide of his wife Frances, Reggie was alleged to have been encouraged by his brother to kill Jack “the Hat” McVitie, a minor member of the Kray gang who had failed to fulfil a £1,500 contract paid to him in advance by the Krays to kill Leslie Payne. McVitie was lured to a basement flat in Evering Road, Stoke Newington on the pretence of a party. As he entered, Reggie Kray pointed a handgun at his head and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun failed to discharge. Ronnie Kray then held McVitie in a bearhug and Reggie Kray was handed a carving knife. He stabbed McVitie in the face and stomach, driving it deep into his neck, twisting the blade, continuing as McVitie lay on the floor dying.[18] Several other members of The Firm including the Lambrianou brothers (Tony and Chris) were convicted of this. In Tony’s biography, he claims that when Reggie was stabbing Jack, his liver came out and he had to flush it down the toilet. McVitie’s body has never been recovered.

[edit]Arrest and trial

When Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read of Scotland Yard was promoted to the Murder Squad, his first assignment was to bring down the Kray twins. It was not his first involvement with Reg and Ron; during the first half of 1964 Read had been investigating their activities, but publicity and official denials surrounding allegations of Ron’s relationship with Boothby had made the evidence he collected useless. Read tackled the problem of convicting the twins with renewed activity in 1967, but frequently came up against the East End “wall of silence”, which discouraged anyone from providing information to the police.[citation needed]

Nevertheless, by the end of 1967 Read had built up evidence against the Krays. There were witness statements incriminating them, as well as other evidence, but none added up to a convincing case on any one charge.

Early in 1968 the twins used a man named Alan Bruce Cooper who hired and sent Paul Elvey to Glasgow to buy explosives for rigging a car bomb. Elvey was the radio engineer who put Radio Sutch, later renamed Radio City on the air in 1964. Police detained him in Scotland and he confessed he had been involved in three botched murder attempts. However, this evidence was weakened by Cooper, who claimed to be an agent for the United States Treasury Department investigating links between the American mafia and the Kray gang. The botched murders were his work, in an attempt to pin something on the Krays. Read tried using Cooper, who was also being employed as a source by one of Read’s superior officers, as a trap for Ron and Reg, but they stayed away from him. See pages 215–222 and pages 250 and 279 of ‘Nipper Read, the man who Nicked the Krays’, by Leonard Read with James Morton. Time-Warner paperbacks, London, 1992. ISBN 0-7515-3175-8.

[edit]Conviction and imprisonment

Eventually, a Scotland Yard conference decided to arrest the Krays on the evidence already collected, in the hope that other witnesses would be forthcoming once the Krays were in custody. On 8 May 1968,[19] the Krays and 15 other members of their “firm” were arrested. Many witnesses came forward now that the Krays’ reign of intimidation was over, and it was relatively easy to gain a conviction. The Krays and 14 others were convicted, with one member of the firm being acquitted. One of the firm members that provided a lot of the information to the police was arrested yet only for a short period. Out of the 17 official firm members, 16 were arrested and convicted. The twins’ defence, under their counsel John Platts-MillsQC, consisted of flat denials of all charges and the discrediting of witnesses by pointing out their criminal past. The judge, Mr Justice Melford Stevenson said: “In my view, society has earned a rest from your activities.”[20] Both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 30 years for the murders of Cornell and McVitie, the longest sentences ever passed at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court, London) for murder.[21] Their brother Charlie was jailed for 10 years for his part in the murders.

[edit]Imprisonment

On 11 August 1982, under tight security, Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed to attend the funeral of their mother Violet, who had died of cancer the week before, but they were not allowed to attend the graveside service at Chingford Mount cemetery in East London where their mother was interred in the Kray family plot. The service was attended by celebrities including Diana Dors and underworld figures known to the Krays.[22] The twins did not ask to attend their father’s funeral when he died seven months later in March 1983: this was to avoid the publicity that had surrounded their mother’s funeral.

Ronnie was eventually once more certified insane and lived the remainder of his life in Broadmoor HospitalCrowthorne, dying on 17 March 1995 of a massive heart attack, aged 61. His funeral on 29 March 1995 was a huge event with people lining the streets.

Reggie Kray was a Category A prisoner, denied almost all liberties and not allowed to mix with other prisoners. However, in his later years, he was downgraded to Category C and transferred toNorfolk‘s Wayland Prison.

In 1985, officials at Broadmoor Hospital discovered a business card of Ron’s, which prompted an investigation that revealed the twins – incarcerated at separate institutions – along with their older brother, Charlie, and another accomplice who was not in prison, were operating a “lucrative bodyguard and ‘protection’ business for Hollywood stars”. Documents released under Freedom of Information laws revealed that officials were concerned about this operation, called Krayleigh Enterprises, but believed there was no legal basis to shut it down. Documentation of the investigation reveals Frank Sinatra hired 18 bodyguards from Krayleigh Enterprises in 1985.[23]

During incarceration, Reggie became a born again Christian. After serving more than the recommended 30 years he was sentenced to in March 1969, he was finally freed from Wayland on 26 August 2000, at almost 67-years-old. He was released on compassionate grounds as a result of having inoperable bladder cancer.[24] The final weeks of his life were spent with his wife Roberta, whom he had married while in Maidstone prison in July 1997, in a suite at the Townhouse Hotel at Norwich, having left Norwich hospital on 22 September 2000. On 1 October 2000, Reggie Kray died in his sleep. Ten days later, he was buried alongside his brother Ronnie, in Chingford cemetery.

Elder brother Charlie Kray was released in 1975 after serving seven years, but returned to prison in 1997 for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine worth £69m in an undercover drugs sting. He died of natural causes in prison on 4 April 2000, six months before Reggie’s death.[25]

[edit]Personal lives

Despite negative cultural attitudes of the time, Ronnie was openly bisexual, evidenced by his book My Story and a confession to writer Robin McGibbon on The Kray Tapes where he states, “I’m bisexual, not gay. Bisexual.” He also planned on marrying a lady called Monica in the 1960s but was arrested before he had the chance. This is mentioned in Reggie’s book Born Fighter.[26] Reggie once had a one night stand with Barbara Windsor,[27][28] whose EastEnders character Peggy Mitchell was reputedly based on Violet Kray (e.g. her matriarchy over two thuggish sons)[citation needed].

In an interview with author John Pearson, Ronnie indicated a strong identification with Gordon of Khartoum, explaining: “Gordon was like me, ‘omosexual, and he met his death like a man. When it’s time for me to go, I hope I do the same.”[29]

[edit]Controversies

This section contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed(January 2011)

Some[who?] believe the Krays’ sentences were harsher than deserved and that they were made an example of.[30] The Kray twins were tried as separate, responsible adults, although it was argued[by whom?] that Ronnie dominated his brother and was a paranoid schizophrenic.[5]

There was a long-running campaign, with some minor celebrity support, to have the twins released from prison, but successive Home Secretaries vetoed the idea, largely on the grounds that the Krays’ prison records were both marred by violence towards other inmates. The campaign gathered momentum after the release of a film based on their lives called The Krays in 1990. Produced by Ray Burdis, it starred ex-members of Spandau Ballet brothers Martin Kemp, who played the role of Reggie, and Gary Kemp, who played Ronnie.

Some[who?] argue that Reggie’s several attempted murders, and the murder of Jack McVitie, were carried out as a result of Ronnie’s prompting, and to show that he was equal to Ronnie’s earlier murders. Reggie wrote: “I seem to have walked a double path most of my life. Perhaps an extra step in one of those directions might have seen me celebrated rather than notorious.”[31] Others, however, point to Reggie’s violent prison record when he was being detained separately from Ronnie and argue that in reality, the twins’ temperaments were little different.

Reggie’s marriage to Frances Shea in 1965 lasted eight weeks, although the marriage was never formally dissolved. An inquest came to the conclusion that she committed suicide in 1967,[32] but in 2002 an ex lover of Reggie Kray came forward to allege that Frances was actually murdered by a jealous Ronnie. Bradley Allardyce spent three years in Maidstone prison with Reggie and explained, “I was sitting in my cell with Reg and it was one of those nights where we turned the lights down low and put some nice music on and sometimes he would reminisce. He would get really deep and open up to me. He suddenly broke down and said ‘I’m going to tell you something I’ve only ever told two people and something I’ve carried around with me’ – something that had been a black hole since the day he found out. He put his head on my shoulder and told me Ronnie killed Frances. He told Reggie what he had done two days after.”[33]

When Ronnie spent three years in prison, Reggie is said to have turned the “firm” around, putting it on a sound financial footing, and removing many of the more violent and less appealing aspects, if not actually turning it legal. Some[who?] speculate that without his brother, Reggie could have turned the “firm” into one of the largest and most successful criminal organisations in Europe; however, the Kray business was always built on their reputation for savage violence, and it was Ronnie who was principally responsible. The twins were never able to cope well apart.[citation needed]

In 2009 a British television documentary, the Gangster and the Pervert Peer, was aired which revealed that Ronnie Kray was in fact a male rapist (commonly referred to in criminal circles as a “nonce case”). The programme also went on to detail his relationship with Tory Lord Bob Boothby as well as an ongoing Daily Mirror investigation into Lord Boothby’s dealings with the Kray brothers. [2]

[edit]In popular culture

This “In popular culture” section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject’s impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (August 2011)

[edit]In film

  • Performance (1970), directed by Nicolas Roeg, featured a London gangster named Harry Flowers (played by Johnny Shannon) who surrounded himself with muscle magazines and rent boys; the character and his milieu were inspired by Ronnie Kray.
  • Villain (1971) starred Richard Burton as sadistic, homosexual London gang leader Vic Dakin, a character modelled on Ronnie Kray.
  • The Long Good Friday (1980) used the Kray Twins as inspiration for the protagonist Harold ShandBob Hoskins, who played Shand, reportedly received a letter from the Krays in prison congratulating him on his presentation of a London gangster in the film.

[edit]In literature

Many books address the Kray brothers’ reign including several written by one or both twins. Those most critically acclaimed include:

[edit]Books by the Kray brothers

[edit]Books by other authors

  • The Kray twins are mentioned frequently in Jake Arnott‘s first novel, The Long Firm (1999), wherein the main character, Harry Starks, is a fictional homosexual East End gangster in the 1960s who has a criminal career similar to the Krays’.
  • Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem entitled “The Kray Sisters”, in which she changes the story of the Kray twins into a women’s format. There are clear links to the original story, with characters in the poem such as “Cannonball Vi”, a clear mix of the twins’ grandfather and mother.
  • The Balvak Twins, who like the Krays, run organised crime in the West End, are recurring antagonists for Detective Sergeant Suzie Mountford in a series of police procedural novels by John Gardner. However, the Balvaks’ activities take place during World War II rather than the 1960s.
  • The Kray twins are mentioned in the second part of Tu Rostro Mañana, a novel by Javier Marías. One of the characters refers to them in order to explain why he carries a sword in his overcoat.
  • The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays, by John Pearson (2002) – ISBN 0752847-94-5
  • The Profession of Violence: Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, by John Pearson – First published in 1972 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson
  • In J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, the main villain, Lord Voldemort is so feared that most wizards and witches refer to him as “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. According to Rowling, this was inspired by the Kray twins’ very names being taboo.[35]
  • The Kray twins feature many times in Addict by Stephen Smith, a book about Smith’s struggle with drugs.
  • Charlie Bronson, “Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner”, became a trusted friend of the Kray twins in prison and wrote The Krays and Me: Blood, Honour and Respect. Doing Porridge With the Krays. He also included a poem about the Krays on the last page of his workout book Solitary Fitness.
  • Ghoul by Michael Slade makes many references to the Kray twins as British police officers struggle to solve a slew of homocides in London.

[edit]In music

A number of artists mention the Kray twins in songs:

[edit]In radio

  • In episode 3 of the sixth series of Old Harry’s Game, titled “Murderers”, the Kray twins are part of a symposium of murderers called together by Satan in order to get some insight into a murderer’s mindset. In an unwise moment of anger, Thomas Crimp calls Ronnie a “big Cockney poof”, which begins an attack on Crimp by the Krays and turns into a free-for-all fight forcing Satan to call for back-up.

[edit]In television

  • Ronnie Kray had a mention in series 2, episode 6 of The Armstrong and Miller Show in the song, “When You’re Gay”.
  • The Comic Strip team did their take on the Krays with Alexei Sayle in the role of both twins as the Moss Brothers, Carl and Sterling, in Didn’t You Kill My Brother?
  • The long-running TV drama EastEnders has featured a gangland organisation called The Firm. The characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell are modelled on The Krays, hence their names. As Reggie is a male name, it was changed to Roxy for the EastEnders role of one of the Mitchell sisters.
  • Kate Kray – the ex-wife of Ronnie Kray – showed the glamorous yet restricted lives of women who married gangsters in the documentary Gangsters’ Wives.
  • The time-travelling hero of Goodnight Sweetheart has several passing encounters with the Kray twins as children in East-End London of the 1940s.
  • In episode 3 of the second series of the BBC programme Monkey Dust, a minor character who frequently marries criminals, has her surnames read out in a marriage ceremony to Ivan Dobsky. Two of these surnames are “Kray” (among surnames of other infamous criminals).
  • The Krays were the inspiration behind the Monty Python “Piranha Brothers” sketch. This sketch was rooted in fact; even the tale of nailing someone to the floor is based on the murder of Jack “the Hat” McVitie, who was pinned to the floor with a long knife. Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read became “Superintendent Harry ‘Snapper’ Organs”.
  • In the TV series Top Gear, during a challenge to decide the best van, each presenter was timed to see how long he would take to be caught by a police car driven by The Stig. Here, James Maywas called James Kray in light of the comical criminal challenge.
  • The British TV series, Waking the Dead, featured a two-parter called “Deathwatch” in which the cold-case detectives investigated a murder related to a pair of East-End gangster brothers from the early 60s called the Suttons, who were clearly based on the Krays: one was described as psychotic and the photos used to depict them were similar to those of the Krays.
  • In 1991, a children’s TV puppet show called The Winjin Pom featured two crow siblings called Ronnie and Reggie (the “Crows”) who were always after the goodies to steal their magical camper van named after the show title, but always failed.
  • Association with (or former association with) the Krays is also seen as a sign of prestige in many social circles, or an indication of Cockney authenticity. This attitude was spoofed in the British television series The Young Ones with Robbie Coltrane as a bouncer claiming “…and I was at Violet’s funeral”, a reference to the twins’ mother.
  • Whitechapel II, a 2010 ITV drama series in which supposed descendants of the Kray twins copy their crimes.[38]
  • Hale and Pace, a UK comedy double act, regularly performs as ‘The Management’ where they dress in the black suit and tie style of bouncers. Their conversations are delivered in a monotone stereotypical East London gangster accent. Throughout the dialogue they both refer to each other as ‘Ron’.
  • On the Final episode of The Inbetweeners, Jay tells simon that his dad is playing Poker with Danny Dyer and The Krays, which Will says Aren’t The Krays dead.
  • Reginald Kray was mentioned in “Russell Brand’s Ponderland S02E03 Education” in a joke as comparison to a school truant’s mother.
  • In Only Fools And Horses the Driscall brothers are portraited as the Kray twins.

[edit]In theatre

  • Peter Straughan‘s play, Bones, features a character who claims to be Reggie Kray and begins to heavily influence the actions of the other characters.

[edit]In video games

  • In The Getaway, a gangster named Charlie Jolson says that he used to run London “with real men like Ronnie and Reggie”.
  • In The Getaway: Black Monday Danny introduces Arthur, the cleaner of the operation, saying “He used to work for the Krays ya know.”
  • Grand Theft Auto Mission Pack #1: London, 1969 features a pair of twin gangsters named Albert and Archie Crisp who are a reference to the Kray twins.
  • Privateer 2: The Darkening features a mission in which the player has to deal with a pair of gangsters named the Bray Twins.

[edit]In science and engineering

For many years the British Met Office in Bracknell ran a pair of Cray-1 supercomputers named Ronnie and Reggie.[39]

FOR GOODNESS SAKE …LET MICHAEL JACKSON REST IN PEACE

MICHAEL JACKSON BEING RUSHED FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HOSPITAL  ON JUNE 25TH 2009 AFTER COLLAPSING

He didn’t even have time to close his eyes: The final indignity for Jacko as jury at doctor’s trial sees shocking deathbed picture

 

  • Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • Prosecutor shows jury photo of singer on gurney after his death and plays disturbing audio of him slurring a month before death
  • Accuses Dr Murray of delaying call to 911 as he tries to revive Jackson
  • Defence claims that Jackson killed himself
  • First witness, choreographer Kenny Ortega, says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ during rehearsals
  • Tour manager Paul Gongaware says Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to care for performer
  • Jackson’s parents and siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine in court
  • Woman stopped as she rushes towards Dr Murray in courthouse corridor
  • Millions around the world expected to watch trial

 

 

The highly anticipated trial into the death of Michael Jackson opened with an extraordinary moment yesterday as the prosecutor started his opening remarks by displaying a photo of the singer’s dead body.

As Dr Conrad Murray appeared before the jury charged with involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death more than two years ago, deputy district attorney David Walgren displayed the picture that appeared to show tape or tubing over Jackson’s face.

But the doctor’s attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury it was the singer who caused his own death by swallowing a ‘perfect storm’ of drugs.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ he said.

Outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans of the King of Pop faced supporters of Dr Murray waving placards and banners at each other and passers-by. Inside, the whole Jackson family made their way into court for what has been billed as the trial of the century.

 

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson
Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

The trial of Dr Murray, right, will be followed by millions around the globe and TV bosses are expecting the biggest ever ratings for a court hearing

Later, the prosecution played a tape of a healthy-looking Jackson giving his last ever performance – a rehearsal of his hit Earth Song – recorded a day before he died.

The lights in the courtroom were turned off and the singer was shown on a screen performing the track at rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, just hours before he passed away.

Jackson’s mother appeared to be in tears watching the clip.

 

‘Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide,’ Los Angeles deputy district attorney David Walgren told the jury in opening statements.

‘The evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray… Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray.

‘The evidence will show that misplaced trust had far too high a price to pay… it cost Michael Jackson his life.’

But Dr Murray’s defence attorney Mr Chernoff told the jury that the singer caused his own death.

Dr Murray wiped tears from his eyes as Mr Chernoff said that the evidence will show that the singer swallowed eight, 2mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson, who was frustrated because he could not sleep and frustrated because his doctor refused to give him a drug that he wanted, ‘did an act that caused his own death’.

Emotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson's last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tearsEmotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson’s last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tears

Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009

Visibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaksVisibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaks

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial
Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears the evidence put forward in his trial

Disturbing audio: The prosecutor played Michael Jackson slurring and rambling over a month before his deathDisturbing audio: The prosecutor played a recording taken from Dr Murray’s iPhone of the singer slurring and rambling over a month before his death

DR MURRAY’S DEFENCE MISSPELL MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME

Enlarge Michael JacksonAs Dr Murray’s defence attorney presented his opening statement, he put up a poster board with Michael Jackson’s name misspelt.

‘How did Micheal Jackson get to this point?’ read the first question on the chart shown behind Ed Chernoff.

The prosecution also made their own spelling mistake on the opening day of the trial. On a slide the word ‘pronounced’ was spelt without the second ‘n’.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ Mr Chernoff said.

Jackson’s parents, his siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine were all at the courthouse in LA for the opening statements in the trial of the singer’s personal physician, who was the last person to see him alive.

In the prosecution’s opening statements, Mr Walgren insisted that the evidence will show that the ‘acts and omissions of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at the age of 50’.

Murray ‘repeatedly acted with gross negilience, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient Michael Jackson and that is was Dr Murray’s repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009,’ Mr Walgren said.

The prosecutor played disturbing audio recorded on Dr Murray’s iPhone of Jackson apparently under the influence of propofol a month before his death.

On the tape, Jackson sounded slurred and confused as he mumbled: ‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go.”‘

Mr Walgren said the audio was evidence that Dr Murray knew what was happening to Jackson and should have discontinued ordering propofol.

Resting place: The bed where the singer was found deadResting place: The bed where the singer was found dead

Protests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael JacksonProtests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Murray’s trial in the death of the pop star

Mr Walgren attempted to paint a picture of the days leading up to the singer’s death.

On June 19 ‘Michael showed up for his rehearsal and he was not in good shape, he was not in good shape at all,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘He had chills, he was trembling… he was rambling.’

Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of Jackson’s proposed This Is It tour, expressed concerns about Jackson, but Dr Murray allegedly told him and others that Jackson was ‘physically and emotionally fine’.

‘Don’t let it be your concern, I am the doctor,’ Dr Murray allegedly said.

The prosecutor also laid out the order of events from inside Jackson’s house on the night that he died.

Mr Walgren accused Dr Murray of failing to call 911 as soon as he realised that there was something wrong with Jackson.

Dr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under wayDr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under way

He said that an emergency call was not made until 12:20pm, at least 24 minutes after Dr Murray is believed to have discovered Jackson unconscious.

The prosecutors claimed that phone records showed that Jackson was left unattended for too long.

‘It will be clear that Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘It was Conrad Murray’s gross negligence, it was Conrad Murray’s unskilled hands and his desire to obtain this lucrative contract of $150,000 a month that led Dr Murray to not only abandon his patient, but to abandon all principles of medical care.’

Singer Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding handsSinger Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding hands

On trial: Conrad Murray arrives at court in Los Angeles for the first day of his manslaughter trialOn trial: Dr Murray arriving for the first day of the LA hearing

MEDIC WAS ‘ADORED BY JACKSON CHILDREN PRINCE AND PARIS’

He is the man accused of neglecting and killing their father. But Prince Michael and Paris Jackson actually thought that Conrad Murray was a ‘godsend’ who really cared for him, it has been claimed.

It is thought Prince could be called to the stand to give evidence. Sources quoted by U.S. gossip website RadarOnline said the 14 and 13 year-old had a high opinion of Murray before he alleged killed Michael Jackson.

Only later did they change their mind and come to the conclusion he was a bad man. If there is evidence to back this up it could hamper the testimony that the boys reportedly want to give.

‘Prince and Paris adored Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father,’ the source said. ‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

Should Prince give evidence he will tell the jury of the moment he saw his father lying dead on his bed as Murray tried to revive him. But he will also be open to cross examination by the doctor’s defence team who could seek to look back at instances in the past where they got on.

Mr Walgren also showed images of Jackson’s bedroom to show how medical monitoring devices typically used when someone is under anesthesia were not there or appeared unused.

A blood pressure cuff was still in a box and an oxygen tank had no oxygen, Mr Walgren said.

But as the defence made their opening statements, Murray wiped away tears as Mr Chernoff described the doctor and Jackson as ‘friends first’.

‘Dr Murray is no celebrity doctor. He is a cardiologist. He literally saves lives. That’s who he is,’ Mr Chernoff said.

He said that on the day he died, Jackson had told Murray that he not slept for 10 hours and that if he did not sleep he would not be able to rehearse and would disappoint his fans.

Dr Murray agreed to give him a 25 mg injection of propofol mixed with lidocaine.

Mr Chernoff said that such a small dose would ‘dissipate in ten minutes’.

He said that the amount found in Jackson’s body, more than 100 mgs, was consistent with major invasive surgery and was administered by Jackson himself.

Jackson ‘self-administered an additional dose of propofol and it killed him like that, there was no way to save him,’ said Mr Chernoff.

His death was a tragedy, he added, but Murray is not responsible. Murray is ‘not perfect… but in this criminal court, we believe he is not guilty,’ he added.

The evidence:

  • Choreographer Kenny Ortega says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ at rehearsals
'Not stable': Choreographer Kenny Ortega said Jackson was not right physically or mentally‘Not stable’: Choreographer Kenny Ortega told the court Jackson was not right physically or mentally a week before his death

Jackson’s choreographer and friend Kenny Ortega, the first witness called, testified that the singer was in bad shape physically and mentally less than a week before his death.

He said he sent an email to Randy Phillips, producer of the ‘This Is It’ concert, telling him that Jackson was ill, should probably have a psychological evaluation and was not ready to perform.

‘It’s important for everyone to know he really wants this,’ he wrote. ‘It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away.’

In response to the email, said Ortega, a meeting was called at Jackson’s house where Ortega clashed with Murray, who told him to stop playing amateur psychiatrist and doctor.

‘He [Murray] said Michael was physically and emotionally capable of handling all his responsibilities for the show,’ said Ortega. ‘I was shocked. Michael didn’t seem to be physically or emotionally stable.’

Within a few days, he said, Jackson had recouped his energy and was full of enthusiasm for the show.

On June 25, Ortega received a phone call from producer Paul Gongaware saying an ambulance had taken Michael to the hospital.

Gongaware called later and told Ortega: ‘We lost him.’

  • Dr Murray demanded $5million a year to be Jackson’s physician

Paul Gongaware, who was managing Jackson’s This Is It tour, said Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to be the singer’s personal physician.

Gongaware, who worked with Jackson on his Dangerous and History tours, told prosecutors the singer made the specific request to have Dr Murray brought on board.

‘He wanted to hire Dr Murray,’ said Gongaware who is AEG Live’s Co-CEO, adding that Jackson called his body a ‘machine’ that needed to be taken care of.

Demands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson's physicianDemands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson’s physician

Gongaware told the court: ‘I didn’t know Dr Murray at all – and we were going to London. My preference would have been to hire someone who was licensed there. Who knew what was going on.

‘I called Dr Murray – to try to make a deal with him. He wanted to do it. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he had four clinics that he had to close, in Houston, Las Vegas, San Diego and Hawaii; that he would have to lay off people – so he said he needed $5million a year to do that.

‘I told him there was no way that was going to happen. Michael couldn’t afford it. I ended the negotiations.’

Jackson then brought up the issue again. His assistant, Michael Amir Williams, called Gongaware to tell him.

‘I heard Michael Jackson in the car saying, “Offer him 150, offer him 150.”‘ Gongaware took that to mean $150,000 a month.

‘I called Dr Murray. I said to him I’m authorised to offer you 150 a month,’ Gongaware said. ‘He said, “No I really couldn’t do it for that”. I cut him off mid-sentence and said, “That offer comes directly from the artist.” Without missing a beat he said, “I’ll take it.”‘

Gongaware also revealed that there were so many fans clamouring for O2 tickets that Jackson could have sold out his 50-concerts in London twice over.

Gongaware said Jackson was initially contracted to play 31 dates at the arena, a number chosen because of his long-time rivalry with the artist Prince.

‘Prince did 21 shows at the O2 and Michael wanted to do ten more,’ said Gongaware.

He said 10 shows were initially put on sale and they ‘sold out instantly.’ The number of concerts was eventually re-contracted for 50.

‘More than  250,000 people were still in the queue after the 50 shows sold out. That would have been enough to sell out another 50 shows.’

  • Tape of Jackson’s slurred and confused words

Prosecutors played an audio recording of the pop superstar slurring his words and talking about his upcoming concerts.

Prosecutor David Walgren told jurors the audio from May 10 2009, over a month before Jackson’s death, was retrieved from Dr Conrad Murray’s cell phone.

Jackson’s voice was unrecognisable on the recording. He was speaking slowly and Walgren described the singer as highly under the influence during the conversation.

It was the first time the audio was disclosed or played in public.

‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go,”‘ Jackson is heard saying.

‘”It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world. I’m taking the money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital,”‘ the singer is heard rambling.

Walgren used the audio to bolster his point that Murray should have known better than to continue giving Jackson the powerful anaesthetic propofol, which was cited as a cause of Jackson’s death.

  • Propofol: ‘The drug that killed Jacko’

Central to the prosecution’s case is that Dr Conrad Murray administered a lethal dose of the drug propofol to Michael Jackson on the night he died and then left the room, during which time the singer stopped breathing.

They charge that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ‘milk’ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia. But prosecutor David Walgren told the jury that propofol is ‘not a sleep aid or a sleep agent, it is a general anaesthetic’.

He continued: ‘It’s a wonderful drug if used by someone who knows what he is doing, who knows the dangers as well as the benefits.’ It should under no circumstances be given outside a hospital setting.

Dr Conrad Murray did not mention propofol to emergency room doctors at UCLA Medical Centre when asked what pop star Michael Jackson had been given, according to the prosecution.

Drug: Dr Conrad Murray today starts his trial for the wrongful death of Michael Jackson who died of Acute Propofol intoxicationProsecutors allege that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ¿milk¿ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia

In his opening statement, Mr Walgren told the jury that between 6 April, 2009, and the day of Jackson’s death on June 25, Murray ordered enough propofol to give Jackson 1,937 milligrams a day.

The prosecution then focused on the uses and settings for which propoful should be used, noting that it is an ‘improper treatment of insomnia’. Mr Walgren mentions the correct equipment that should be utilised when administering propofol – which is done intravenously – and the complications that can arise when this does not happen.

Testimony: District deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecutionDistrict deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecution

Defence lawyers claim Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol and gave him only a minimal dosage.

They claim the singer, desperate for sleep, swallowed an additional dose of the drug when his doctor was out of the room.

Their theory is based on evidence that a trace amount of propofol was found in Jackson’s stomach.

Medical witnesses may be asked to explain how it could have been found in his stomach, as ingesting it orally is almost unheard of.

The drug is used to reduce anxiety and tension, and promotes relaxation and sleep or loss of consciousness. Propofol provides loss of awareness for short diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, sleep at the beginning of surgery, and supplements other types of general anaesthetics. Long-term use of the drug can result in addiction. The steep dose-response curve of the drug makes potential misuse very dangerous without proper monitoring.

Side effects of the drug include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast heartbeat, palpitations, seizures, uncontrollable muscle spasm and swelling or extreme pain at the injection site.

  • Jackson’s final hours

Prosecutors say that Murray made a number of phone calls between 10:20 and 11:51am the morning of Jackson’s death. He is believed to have discovered the star unconscious at about 11.56am but he did not tell anyone to call 911 until 12.20pm.

During his last phone call – to a cocktail waitress who Murray regarded as his girlfriend – he suddenly became silent and the phone went dead.

‘This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson’s lifeless body,’ prosecutor David Walgren said.

The cocktail waitress made a statement that Murray stopped responding to her and then five minutes later the phone went dead.

Revealed: The court was shown pictures from inside Jackson's home. The centre images shows the last jacket he wore on his bathroom floorThe court was shown pictures from inside Jackson’s home. The central image shows the last jacket he wore lying on his bathroom floor

It was not until 12.12pm that Murray called Jackson’s personal assistant Michael Williams and left a message saying: ‘Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you.’ When Mr Williams immediately called Murray back he told him: ‘Get here right away Mr Jackson had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction’, according to prosecutors.

He had yet to call 911 at this point.

Mr Williams then called security guard Albert Alvarez to go and investigate and he said that when he entered Jackson’s room, he was lying on the bed and Dr Murray was administering CPR.

According to the prosecution, Murray then ordered the security guard to grab a bag while he started grabbing vials and a saline bag hanging from the IV stand to put inside the bag.

That bag was later found inside Jackson’s home.

The rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconsciousThe rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconscious

Prosecutors also say the doctor ordered someone to clean up signs that Jackson had been receiving a variety of medications, including propofol, and that he improperly monitored Jackson’s vital signs, performed inadequate CPR and did not inform emergency medical personnel that he had given the singer propofol.

A recorded conversation that Murray had two days after Jackson’s death was played where Murray can be heard saying that he gave his patient a small dose of propofol and then left him for 15 minutes to go to the bathroom.

‘Then I came back to his bedside and was shocked because he wasn’t breathing,’ he says in the audio recorded on June 27. Prosecutors allege that he was gone for a lot longer.

At 12.30, paramedics arrived at his home and treated Jackson for 42 minutes before transporting him to nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

He arrived at 1.14pm and a team of doctors tried for more than an hour to resuscitate him. He was declared dead at 2.26pm with members of his family by his side.

  • Jackson ‘killed himself after doctor tried to wean him off drugs’
Accusation: Dr Murray's attorney said that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him (file picture)Dr Murray’s attorney alleges that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him

Dr Murray’s defence attorney said that Michael Jackson gave himself the drugs that killed him because the doctor refused.

Ed Chernoff told the jury that Jackson did not die because of Murray’s treatment, but because ‘Dr Murray stopped’ giving him the drugs he demanded.

He said that when Murray started working for Jackson, the singer was already using propofol and said he could only sleep if he was given it.

Jackson said he had always taken what he called ‘his milk’ while on tour.

The defence attorney said that Murray had administered the drug because he was concerned about the drug and believed that the singer would find a way to get it anyway.

He said that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off propofol at the time of he death and that he had refused to give it to the singer on the day he died because it was the third day of the weaning off process.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol, while Murray was out of the room.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles
Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Fans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouseFans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouse

Millions of people around the world are expected to watch as the trial gives a glimpse into final days of the King of Pop.

Crowds of people gathered at the Los Angeles Superior Court where there was a lottery drawn for seats for the opening statements.

Supporters of both Dr Murray, 57, and Jackson are outside the courthouse with signs including, ‘Fair trial for Dr Murray’ and ‘Doctors are expected to heal not kill’.

A woman had to be stopped by court officers as she rushed towards Dr Murray as he walked in a courthouse corridor. She reportedly said she just wanted to speak to the doctor, it is not clear if she has been detained.

The list of potential witnesses includes his eldest children Prince Michael and Paris, who have reportedly said that they want to take to the stand to testify.

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles
In court: Michael Jackson's father Joe arrives for opening statements in the trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles

Brother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trialBrother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

RATINGS WINNER: MILLIONS TO WATCH TRIAL ACROSS GLOBE

People around the world are expected to watch as the public hears for the first time from Dr Murray what happened in the events leading to Michael Jackson’s death.

The trial is expected to be attended by Jackson’s high-profile family, including his parents and sisters Janet and La Toya, and stars such as High School Musical choreographer Kenny Ortega, who is expected to be the first witness to be called.

Cable news networks are hoping that the court proceedings will be a repeat of the Casey Anthony trial, which proved a ratings success.

News network HLN, which saw record ratings during the trial of the Florida mother, is planning similarly exhaustive coverage of the case, including analysis from Nancy Grace, who has been thrust into the spotlight.

Medical examiners have determined Jackson’s death at the age of 50 on June 25 2009, at his rented Los Angeles mansion was due to an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol and sedatives.

Prosecutors say Murray caused Jackson’s death by giving him propofol as a sleep aid, and failing to monitor him properly.

Murray denies the charge of involuntary manslaughter but faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted.

His defence team is expected to argue that Jackson was addicted to various painkillers and sedatives and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol, possibly by swallowing it.

Ed Chernoff, the lead attorney for Murray, said in closed-door arguments on Monday that Jackson, 50, was ‘desperate’ around the time of his death.

‘We think that Michael Jackson was involved in certain acts that ended his own life,’ Chernoff said, according to a court transcript.

The trial is expected to hear testimony from the paramedics who transported Jackson to the hospital, medical experts, Jackson’s choreographer and Murray’s girlfriends.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who once represented Jackson and has closely watched the criminal case against Murray, said that Jackson’s 13-year-old daughter Paris might also be called to testify, in what would likely be one of the most dramatic moments of the trial.

Defence: Dr Conrad Murray's attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray's trialDefence: Dr Conrad Murray’s attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray’s trial

Their say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father's memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father diedTheir say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father’s memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father died

Trial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior CourtTrial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior Court

WHO IS DR CONRAD MURRAY?

Dr Conrad MurrayThe 57-year old physician, who was the last person to see Michael Jackson alive, has been charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the singer on June 25 2009.

The doctor was hired by Jackson for a reported fee of $150,000 as he prepared for his 50 date concert series in London.

The Grenada-born cardiologist, who was educated in the U.S., first met Jackson in 2006 when he treated one of the singer’s children in Las Vegas.

In May 2009, he took leave from his practice and wrote a letter to his patients saying he was leaving ‘because of a once in a lifetime opportunity’.

Murray declined to offer public comment following the death of Jackson, but in August last year posted a YouTube video in which he said ‘truth will prevail’.

‘She not only has things to say, but she can say it in a compelling way,’ Mr Geragos said. Paris Jackson was at the house when the singer stopped breathing.

Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, 14, and Paris, 13, have both reportedly told their grandmother Katherine of their desire to want to testify.

But a source close to the Jackson family revealed to RadarOnline that the children have warm recollections of the medic, which could help the jury clear the doctor.

They wrote: ‘Prince and Paris adored Dr Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father.

‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

What could be even more damaging to prosecutors, however, is if the children are cross-examined about their father’s long-term drug use.

‘Prince and Paris knew their dad relied on Dr Murray to survive and knew their father adored him,’ the source said.

‘Their comments could save him from jail because it would work well in the eyes of a jury.’

The insider told RadarOnline that Prince, if he testifies, will tell the court what he saw when he walked into his father’s bedroom in the middle of his doctor’s doomed attempts to revive him.

Worldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los AngelesWorldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los Angeles

Crowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad MurrayCrowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad Murray

Murray has insisted Prince Michael and Paris were bundled from the room after the star’s daughter burst into tears and screamed ‘Daddy’.

Their aunt LaToya, who believes her brother was unlawfully killed, has said it would be good for the children to, ‘Get what is inside them, out of them.’

‘She feels it is a way for them to release the hurt,’ the source told RadarOnline. ‘She believes her brother was murdered and what Prince Michael and Paris could tell the jury, would inevitably help convict the doctor.’

Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket were all included on a potential witness list passed out to the jurors in an attempt to ascertain their familiarity with the family.

Death: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he diedDeath: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he died

Home: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LAHome: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LA

First on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson's 'This is it' tour is expected to be called todayFirst on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson’s ‘This is it’ tour is expected to be called today

Also listed were siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Marlon, Rebbie, Tito and Randy as well as parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.

The case is one of a small but growing number of U.S. criminal prosecutions of doctors for alleged malpractice.

Mr Geragos said he believes prosecutors could have a difficult time winning a conviction – and that a hung jury with no conviction or acquittal is more likely.

‘Jurors are loathe to convict doctors in this type of a situation,’ Mr Geragos said, adding that many times jurors don’t want to second-guess doctors.

The responses of the 12-person jury to written questionnaires made public last week shows that none of them reported having a negative experience with doctors.

At the time of his death, Jackson was readying himself for 50 planned shows in London called ‘This Is It.’

The first prosecution witness is expected to be High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, the choreographer who was hired to stage the London shows and who was conducting rehearsals with Jackson in Los Angeles.

THE 12 PEOPLE THAT WILL DECIDE WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO JACKSON

Juror No. 1: Mexican male, 51, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, married father-of-five. A Michael Jackson fan who said he finds law enforcement officers, firefighters and doctors ‘always believable’.

Juror No. 2: Spanish female, 57, unemployed. Has served on five previous juries and closely followed the O.J. Simpson trial but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system. She does not consider herself a Jackson fan.

Juror No. 3: American male, 45, a partner in a management consulting firm. His wife is a former registered nurse, and both his brother-in-law and cousin are physicians. He has served on two previous juries, including a murder case in 1994.

Juror No. 4: American male, 32,  part-time bookseller and cashier. He served as a U.S. Army National Guard specialist as a telecom operator. His primary source of news is the Internet.

Juror No. 5: American female, 48, paralegal.  She watched the Casey Anthony murder trial ‘on and off’ because family members were interested was very interested but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system.

Juror No. 6: Cuban/Mexican male, 39, associate director of product management. He is an occasional reader of various Internet news and gossip sites. He considers himself a Jackson fan and owns various Michael Jackson, Jackson 5 and Janet Jackson CDs.

Juror No. 7: Mexican American female, 57, relocation representative in office management/customer service. She followed the Casey Anthony case and believes people of wealth or fame are treated differently in the court system.

Juror No. 8: Mexican male, 42, school bus driver. He believes Hollywood celebrities get away with crimes because of their status. He does not consider himself a fan of Michael Jackson but has a positive opinion of him.

Juror  No. 9: African American male, 54, television technical director. A Michael Jackson fan, he has served on two criminal juries and one civil jury.

Juror No. 10: English female, 43, international marketer but previously worked as a pathology/medical technician in a biochemistry lab.

Juror No. 11: Hispanic female, 36, customer service representative. She reads People magazine and TMZ.com and watches reality television. She was shot in a drive-by shooting in 1993.

Juror No. 12: American male, 54, retired animator now working as a teacher. He considers Michael Jackson a ‘gifted performer’ and has owned Jackson CDs and albums since he was a teenager.

Key players: The figures at the centre of the trial

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

Dr Conrad Murray, defendant

A 58 year-old cardiologist who practiced in Las Vegas and Houston, Murray was hired as Jackson’s $150,000 a month personal physician roughly a month before the pop superstar’s death in June 2009.

Authorities contend Murray, who had financial difficulties before the singer’s death, administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol mixed with other sedatives.

The doctor, who was never paid, has pleaded not guilty and faces up to four years in prison and will lose his medical license if convicted.

Chernoff

Ed Chernoff, defence attorney

A Houston-based defense attorney working his first high-profile case, Chernoff has been Murray’s primary defense attorney since shortly after Jackson’s death. He represented the doctor during a meeting with police during which Murray disclosed that he had given Jackson propofol. Prosecutors plan to use the statements against Murray during trial.

Chernoff has maintained that Murray did not administer anything to Jackson that should have killed him.

Walgren

David Walgren, prosecutor

A deputy district attorney in the major crimes division, Walgren is the lead prosecutor in the Murray case.

He has painted Murray as an incompetent doctor who initially tried to conceal that he had been giving the singer the anesthetic propofol without proper lifesaving equipment.

He was previously responsible for the district attorney’s effort to return director Roman Polanski to Los Angeles for sentencing in a three-decades old rape case. Switzerland eventually refused to extradite Polanski, which placed the case on hold.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Jackson’s death at age 50 in June 2009 stunned the world and gave the entertainer, posthumously, what he wanted – a comeback.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in debt at the time of his death and his reputation still tarnished by unproven child molestation accusations, Jackson’s estate has gone on to earn more than $310 million.

Jurors won’t hear about his shaky finances or references to his alleged drug abuse, but they will see footage of some of the singer’s final rehearsals and hear from some of the people were with him in his final days.

Flanagan

J Michael Flanagan, defence attorney

A Los Angeles criminal defence attorney who specialises in drunk driving cases, Flanagan also has the distinction of winning an acquittal for a nurse accused of improperly giving propofol to a patient who died.

He represented Britney Spears in a driver’s license case that was dropped after a jury deadlocked on the case, and has dealt with numerous scientific and testing issues related to Murray’s defense.

Pastor

Judge Michael Pastor

A well-respected Los Angeles Superior Court Judge since 1983, Pastor is one of several judges who presides over the most serious criminal cases in Los Angeles.

He has previously handled a drunken driving case against actor Jason Priestly and a case against a man accused of stalking Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

He has consistently that Murray’s trial will focus on Jackson’s final days and hours and has prohibited the doctor’s lawyers from introducing evidence about the singer’s addiction or financial woes.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042463/Conrad-Murray-trial-Michael-Jackson-dead-body-picture-shown-jury.html#ixzz1ZFG5hoGp

ROBBERIES OF THE CENTURY -THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY AND BEYOND

Here are some great documentary videos looking at 4 major heists of the 20th Centuary. The Great Train Robbery, Loomis Fargo, Security Express and the $200 million Gardner Museum art theft….

SCENE OF THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 1963

LOOMIS FARGO ROBBERY SCENE – USA

FUGITIVE ROBBER – RONNIE KNIGHT SEEN HERE WITH FORMER LOVER BARBARA WINDSOR (ACTRESS)

HEADLINE NEWS REFERENCE THE $200 MILLION GARDER MUSEUM ART THEFT

THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY -1963

The Great Train Robbery is the name given to a £2.6 million train robbery committed on 8 August 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in BuckinghamshireEngland.[1] The bulk of the stolen money was not recovered. It was probably the largest robbery by value in British history.

The train robbers gang consisted of 17 full members who were to receive an equal share, including 15 people who were at the actual robbery and two key informants.[edit]The Train Robbers, Their Informants and Associates

The gang of 15 men from London was led by Bruce Reynolds, who was ably assisted by Gordon Goody, Charlie Wilson and Ronald “Buster” Edwards, with Roger Cordrey their key electronics expert who was an accomplished train robber already. The two key informants who brought the idea to robbers’ attention were Solicitor’s Clerk Brian Field and the unknown “Ulsterman” who was never identified or caught. The most famous member of the gang, Ronnie Biggs, had only a minor role, which was to bring the replacement train driver (who, it turned out, failed at his task).

Bruce Reynolds

The unofficial leader of the gang and the undoubted brains behind the strategy to rob the train, Bruce Richard Reynolds was born on 7 September 1931 at Charing Cross Hospital, the Strand, London, to Thomas Richard and Dorothy Margaret (née Keen). His mother died in 1935, and he had trouble living with his dad and stepmother, so he often stayed with either of his grandmothers. He was jailed for three years for several counts of breaking and entering, and upon his release quickly started re-offending. He quickly joined a gang with future best friend Harry Booth and future brother-in-law John Daly. Later on he did some work with Jimmy White and met Buster Edwards at Charlie Richardson’s club. Richardson in turn introduced him to Gordon Goody.[2]

[edit]Douglas Gordon Goody

Douglas Gordon Goody is often described as the gang’s deputy leader, and he was definitely a key organiser. He was born in Putney in March 1930, and was of Irish descent, and in the early sixties he joined Buster Edward’s gang and helped rob various easy targets.[3]

[edit]Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson

The most dangerous of the Great Train Robbers, ‘the Silent Man’ Charlie Wilson, was also the most popular. A biography has been written of Wilson: Killing Charlie (2004) by Wensley Clarkson, first published by Mainstream Publishing Co (Edinburgh) Ltd (ISBN 9781845960353).

With a heavy build and handsome appearance with piercing blue eyes, Charlie was an intimidating presence at an early age. He was born on 30 June 1932 to Bill and Mabel Wilson in Battersea. He was childhood friends with Jimmy Hussey and Tommy Wisbey and also with Bruce Reynolds and Gordon Goody. Later on he met Ronald ‘Buster’ Edwards and youthful driving enthusiasts and car thieves Mickey Ball and Roy James. From 1948 to 1950 he was called up for National Service, and in 1955 he married Patricia (Pat) Osbourne, with whom he had three children. From an early age he turned to crime and spurned his father’s legitimate but low-income wage. While he did have legitimate work in his in-laws’ grocer’s shop, he also was a thief and his criminal proceeds went into buying shares in various gambling enterprises. He went to jail for short spells for numerous offences, and on one occasion befriended Jimmy Rose who became a lifelong friend. In 1960 he began to team up with Bruce Reynolds and plan to make the criminal big league.[4]

[edit]Ronald “Buster” Edwards

Ronald Christopher Edwards was born in 27 January 1932 at Lambeth, the son of a barman. After leaving school he worked in a sausage factory, where he began his criminal career by stealing meat to sell on the post-war black market. During his National Service in the RAF he was detained for stealing cigarettes. When he returned to south London, he ran a drinking club and became a professional criminal.

He married June Rose in 1952. They had a daughter, Nicky.[5]

[edit]Brian Field

Brian Arthur Field was a solicitor’s managing clerk for John Wheater & Co. Although he was only 28 at the time of the robbery, he was already much more successful than his boss, John Wheater. Field drove a new Jaguar and had a house, “Kabri” (an amalgam of Karin and Brian Field), with his wife in PangbourneWest Berkshire, while his boss owned a battered Ford and lived in a run down neighbourhood. Part of the reason for Field’s success was not that he was not averse to giving Goody and Edwards information about what his clients had in their country houses, making them prime targets for the thieves.[6] On one occasion he described the contents and layout of a house near Weybridge where wife Karin had once been a nanny.[7]

Prior to the robbery Field had represented Buster Edwards and Gordon Goody. He had arranged Buster’s defence when he had been caught with a stolen car, and had met Goody at a nightclub in Soho. Field was called upon to assist in Goody’s defence in the aftermath of the “Airport Job”, which was a robbery carried out on 27 November 1962 at a branch of Barclays Bank at London Airport. This was the big practice robbery that the South West Gang had done before the Great Train Robbery.[6] Field was successful in arranging bail for Goody and Charlie Wilson.

Field was born on 15 December 1934 and was immediately put up for adoption. He served two years in the Royal Army Service Corps, seeing service in Korea. When discharged from the military it was with ‘a very good character’.[8] The Korean War lasted from 25 June 1950 until an Armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, with 63,000 British troops involved (part of over a million troops on the South Korean side). Field was 18 when the war was over. While the Service Corps were considered combat personnel, they were primarily associated with transport and logistics.

[edit]The Robbers

Name (Nickname) Role in the Gang Association
Bruce Richard Reynolds Leader of the Gang Leader of the South West Gang
Douglas Gordon (Gordon) Goody Deputy and Organiser Member of the South West Gang
Charles Frederick (Charlie) Wilson “Treasurer” and Organiser Member of the South West Gang
Ronald Christopher (Buster) Edwards Organiser Member of the South West Gang
Brian Arthur Field Key Informant and Organised the mock purchase of Leatherslade Farm, the gang’s hideout Solicitor’s Clark and organised the defense of Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards in previous court cases.
The Ulsterman Key Informant and Organiser Contact with Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards arranged through another man who contacted Brian Field.
Roy James Getaway Driver and Carriage Uncoupler Example
John Daly Train Stopper and Getaway Driver Brother in Law of Reynolds and associate of South West Gang.
Bill “Flossy” Jennings Carriage Uncoupler Associate of South West Gang
James Edward (Jimmy) White Quartermaster and Carriage Uncoupler Generally solitary thief who knew Reynolds
Alf Thomas Muscle Associate of Jimmy White.
Roger John Cordrey Electronics Expert and Train Stopper South Coast Raiders
Bob Welch Organising and Muscle South Coast Raiders
Thomas (Tommy) Wisbey Muscle South Coast Raiders
James (Big Jim) Hussey Muscle South Coast Raiders
Frank Monroe Muscle South Coast Raiders
Ronald Biggs Contact for Replacement Train Driver Associate of Reynolds

The Great Train Robbery

The robbery was planned by several parties with no overall mastermind, although the robbery operation itself was planned and executed by Bruce Reynolds, the target and the information came from an unknown individual dubbed the “Ulsterman”. The key field organisers were Gordon Goody, Buster Edwards, and Charlie Wilson, with Brian Field being the key link between the robbers and the informant.[edit]Planning the robbery

According to one account by Piers Paul Read (1978), in January 1963, shortly after the furore of the Airport Job had died down, Brian Field called Gordon Goody to a meeting at the Old Bailey and asked him whether he was interested in a large sum of money that only a large gang could steal. The following day, Goody and Edwards met with Field at his office at James and Wheater (New Qubec Street near Marble Arch). There they met with Field and another man called “Mark” who was well dressed, aged around 50, with hair turned silvery grey and who spoke with a smooth accent. “Mark” then convinced them to meet the actual informant and drove Edwards and Goody to Finsbury Park where they met another man they nicknamed the “Ulsterman”, who was a slightly balding middle aged man, who spoke with a Northern Irish lilt (where Goody had grown up). The “Ulsterman” told them about the night mail trains doing runs between London and Glasgow with large amounts of money. Edwards and Goody then went and discussed the matter with Reynolds and Wilson and it was agreed that they should make a serious attempt. In the meantime they would recruit others and do practice train robberies. On 31 July, Goody and Edwards met with the “Ulsterman” for one last strategy meeting in Hyde Park. They agreed that his share of the loot would be delivered at Brian Field’s house. It is at this meeting that Gordon Goody claimed that when he was in the toilet, Goody checked the pockets of his suit jacket and saw the name and address of the owner, presumably the “Ulsterman”.

[edit]The Royal Mail train

At 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday 7 August 1963 the travelling post office (TPO) “Up Special” train set off from Glasgow Central StationScotland en-route to Euston Station in London. The train was hauled by an English Electric Type 4 (later Class 40) diesel-electric locomotive numbered at the time as D326 (later renumbered 40126). The train consisted of 12 carriages and carried 72 Post Office staff who sorted mail.

The mail was loaded on the train at Glasgow and also during station stops en-route, as well as from line side collection points where local post office staff would hang mail sacks on elevated trackside hooks which were caught by nets deployed by the onboard staff. Sorted mail on the train could also be dropped-off at the same time. This process of exchange allowed mail to be distributed locally without delaying the train with more frequent station stops.

The second carriage behind the engine was known as the HVP (High Value Package) coach where registered mail was sorted and this contained valuables including large quantities of money, registered parcels and packages. Usually the value of these items would have been in the region of £300,000, but because there had been a Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland, the total on the day of the robbery was £2.6 million—worth a little over £40 million in 2010.[9]

View towards ‘Sears Crossing’ where the robbers took control of the train

Bridego Bridge, the scene of the robbery

[edit]Stopping the train

At just after 3 a.m. the driver Jack Mills from Crewe stopped the train on West Coast Main Line at a red signal light in Ledburn, at a place known as ‘Sears Crossing’ between Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire and Cheddington in Buckinghamshire. However, unknown to him, the signal equipment had been tampered with by the robbers. The robbers had covered the green signal light and connected a six-volt Ever Ready battery to power the red signal light. The locomotive’s second man, 26-year-old David Whitby (also from Crewe), climbed down from the cab to call the signalman from a railway trackside telephone, only to find the cables had been cut. Upon returning to the train, he was thrown down the embankment of the railway track by one of the robbers.

The robbers now encountered a problem. They needed to move the train to a location where they could load their ex-army dropside truck with the money and had decided to do so at bridge No.127 (known as ‘Bridego Bridge’) approximately half a mile (about 800m) further along the track. One of the robbers had spent months befriending railway staff and familiarising himself with the layout and operation, but it was decided instead to use an experienced train driver to move the train from the signals to the bridge after uncoupling the unnecessary carriages. However, the person they selected (later referred to as “Stan Agate”) was unable to operate the English Electric Class 40 mainline diesel-electric locomotive, because he was only experienced with shunting (switching) type locomotives on the Southern Region. It was quickly decided that the original locomotive driver Jack Mills should move the train to the stopping point near the bridge which was indicated by a white sheet stretched between poles on the track. Mills was initially reluctant to move the train so one of the gang struck him on the head. Since Ronnie Biggs‘ only task was to supervise “Stan Agate’s” participation in the robbery, when it became obvious that Stan was not needed to drive the train, he and Ronnie were banished to the waiting truck to help load the mail bags.

[edit]The robbery

At Bridego bridge the train was stopped and the robbers’ assault force attacked the High Value Packages (HVP) carriage. Frank Dewhurst was in charge of the three other postal workers (Leslie Penn, Joseph Ware and John O’Connor) in the HVP carriage. Thomas Kett, Assistant Inspector in charge of the train from Carlisle to London Euston was also in the carriage. Both Dewhurst and Kett were hit with various coshes when they made a vain attempt to stop the robbers’ storming the carriage. Once the robbers entered the carriage, the postal workers were quickly detained in a corner of the carriage and made to lie face down on the floor. There was no real violent resistance however and there was not a single police officer or security guard in charge of securing nearly £3M pounds. Mills and Whitby were then brought into the carriage, handcuffed together and dropped beside the sorters.[10]

The robbers removed all but 7 of the 128 sacks from the HVP carriage, which they transferred quickly in about 25 minutes to the waiting truck by forming a human chain. The gang departed 30 minutes after the robbery had begun and in an effort to mislead any potential witnesses, in addition to their Austin Loadstar truck, they used two Land Rover vehicles both of which had the registration plates BMG 757 A.

[edit]The getaway and the clean up

They then headed along back roads listening for police broadcasts on a VHF radio and arrived at Leatherslade Farm between Oakley and Brill in Buckinghamshire, which was a run down farm 27 miles from the crime scene that they had bought two months earlier as their hideout.

At the farm they counted the proceeds of the robbery and divided it into 17 full shares and several ‘drinks’. The precise amounts differs according to the source, but the full shares were around 150,000 pounds.

It quickly became apparent that the police believed that they were still in the area rather than fled to London, so the plans changed from leaving on Sunday to leaving on Friday, and the vehicles they had at the farm could no longer be used because they had been seen by the train staff. Brian Field came on Thursday and took Roy to London to pick up his share of the loot and to take Roy James to London to find an extra vehicle. Bruce Reynolds and John Daly picked up cars, one for Jimmy White and the other for Bruce, John, Ronnie Biggs and the replacement train driver. Brian, wife Karin and his associate “Mark” brought the vans and drove the rest of the gang that remained to ‘Kabri’ to recover. This was far from ideal as he had not planned to get this involved, but his pretty wife Karin cooly accepted the change in plans.

The clean-up of the farm had been arranged with “Mark” by Brian Field to be carried out after the robbers had left (although the robbers spent much time wiping the place down to be free of prints). According to Buster Edwards, he nicked 10,000 pounds in ten shilling notes to help pay “Marks” drink. On Monday however, Charlie Wilson rang Brian Field to check whether the farm had been cleaned, and did not believe Field’s assurances. He called a meeting with Edwards, Reynolds, Daly and James and they agreed that they needed to be sure. They called Brian Field to a meeting on Tuesday where he admitted he could not be sure that the farm had been cleaned. Wilson would have killed him there and then but was restrained by the others. By the time they got ready to go back to the farm however, they heard some bad news.

[edit]The loot

£2,631,684 was stolen from the train. The bulk of the haul was in £1 notes and £5 notes (both the older white note and the newer blue note which was half its size). There were also 10 shilling notes and Irish and Scottish money.

[edit]Raising The Alarm

The robbers had cut all the telephone lines in the vicinity, but one of the trainmen caught a slow train to Cheddington, which he reached at 4:30 a.m. to raise the alarm.

[edit]The Aylesbury investigation

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At 5 a.m., Chief Superintendent Malcolm Fewtrell (1909–2005), head of the Buckinghamshire Police Crime Investigation Department (CID), arrived at the abandoned postal carriages, the crime scene, where he supervised evidence-gathering. He then went to Cheddington Station where statements were taken from the driver and postal workers. One member of the gang had made the mistake of telling the postal staff not to move for half an hour and this suggested to the police that their hideout could not be more than 35 miles away. Upon interviewing the witnesses, it appeared that about 15 hooded men dressed in blue boiler suits were involved, but there was little extra that could be gleaned.

By lunchtime of the following day, it became obvious to Fewtrell that extra resources were needed to cope with the scale of the investigation and the Buckinghamshire Chief Constable referred the case to Scotland Yard. George Hatherill, Commander of the C Department and Earnest (Ernie) Millen, Detective Chief Superintendent, and Head of the Flying Squad were initially in charge of the London side of the investigation. They sent Detective Superintendent Gerald McArthur and Detective Sergeant John Pritchard to assist the Buckinghamshire Police.

The police then undertook a major search, fanning out from the crime scene after having failed to find any forensic evidence there. A watch was put on the seaports. The Postmaster General Reginald Bevins offered a £10,000 reward to “the first person giving information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the persons responsible for the robbery”.

[edit]Discovery of Leatherslade Farm

Following a tip-off from a herdsman who used a field adjacent to Leatherslade Farm, a police sergeant and constable called there five days after the robbery. The farm was deserted but they found the truck used by the robbers which had been hastily painted yellow, the Land Rovers, a large quantity of food, bedding, sleeping bags, Post Office sacks, registered mail packages, bank note wrappers and a monopoly set.

It was determined that while the farm had been cleaned for fingerprints, there were some finger and palm prints found (presumably of the robbers), including those on a ketchup bottle and a Monopoly board game (which was used after the robbery but with real money).

[edit]The London investigation

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The London side of the investigation then continued under Detective Chief Superintendent Tommy Butler who replaced Ernest (Ernie) Millen as the head of the flying squad shortly after Millen became promoted to Deputy Commander to George Hatherill. On Monday, 12 August 1963 Butler was appointed to head the Police investigation of the London connection and quickly formed a six man Train Robbery Squad.

With Leatherslade Farm finally found on 13 August 1963, the day after Tommy Butler was appointed to the head the London investigation, the police were confident of a breakthrough. Unfortunately the decision to publish photos of the wanted suspects was already made by Hatherill and Millen, despite strong protests from Tommy Butler and Frank Williams. This resulted in most of the robbers going to ground.

[edit]Tommy Butler the Thief Taker

Tommy Butler was a shrewd choice to take over the Flying Squad and in particular the Train Robbery Squad, and became arguably the most renowned head of the flying squad in its history. He was known variously as “Mr Flying Squad”, as “One Day Tommy” for the speed with which he apprehended criminals and as the “Grey Fox” for his shrewdness. He was Scotland Yard’s most formidable thief taker, and as an unmarried man who still lived with his mother, he had a fanatical dedication to the job. Butler worked long hours and expected all members of the squad to do the same. The squad later had to work out rotations whereby one member would go home to rest as otherwise they were getting only 3 hours of sleep per night and no time to eat healthily or see their families. When the squad tried to get him to ease off on the working conditions, Butler was enraged and threatened to send them back to their normal roles. Butler was very secretive, with Jack Slipper claiming in his book ‘Slipper of the Yard’ (1981) that “he wouldn’t even tell his own left hand what the right one was doing”. This meant that often the Train Robbery Squad were dispatched on specific errands with no knowledge of how they fitted in with the overall investigation.

[edit]The Train Robbery Squad

The six man Train Robbery Squad was: Detective Inspector Frank Williams, Detective Sergeant Steve Moore, Detective Sergeant Jack Slipper, Detective Sergeant Jim Nevill, Detective Sergeant Lou Van Dyck and Detective Constable Tommy Thorburn. Frank Williams, a quiet man, was the senior officer and his specialty was dealing with informants, and had the best working knowledge of the South London criminal fraternity in the force. One of the squad, Jack Slipper would later became Head of the Flying Squad, and would still be involved in the case many years into the future.

[edit]Capture of Roger Cordrey

The first gang member to be caught was Roger Cordrey, who was with his friend, William Boal, who was helping him lie low, in return for the payment of old debts. They were living in a rented fully furnished flat above a florist’s shop in Wimborne Road, Moordown, Bournemouth. The Bournemouth police were tipped off by police widow Ethel Clark, when Boal and Cordrey paid rent for a garage, three months up-front, all in used 10 shilling notes in Tweedale Road off Castle Lane West.

Their arrests were made by Sgt. Stan Davis and Probationary Constable Gordon ‘Charlie’ Case.[11]

[edit]Capture of the Others

Other arrests soon followed and eight of the gang members and several associates were caught.

On 16 August 1963, two people who had decided to take a morning stroll in Dorking woods discoved a brief case, a hold all and a camel skin bag, all containing money. They called police, who also discovered another brief case full of money in the woods. All up there was 100,900 pounds. They also found a camel skin bag with a receipt made out in favour of Herr and Frau Field by the Cafe Pension Restaurant, Sonnenbichel, Hindeland, Prov. Allagaen. The Surrey police delivered the money and the receipt to Fewtrell and McArthur in Aylesbury, who knew by then that Brian Field was a clerk at James and Wheater who had acted in the purchase of Leatherslade Farm. They quickly confirmed through Interpol that Brian and Karin Field had stayed at the Pension Sonnebichel in February that year. In addition they knew that Field had acted for Gordon Goody and other criminals.

Several weeks later, the police went to “Kabri” to interview Field who calmly (for someone whose relatives had dumped a large part at least of the loot) provided a cover story that implicated Lennie Field as the purchaser of the farm and his boss John Wheater as the conveyancer. He admitted to visiting the farm once with Lennie Field, but assumed it was an investment of his brother (Alexander Field) who Brian Field had unsuccessfully defended in a recent court case. Field, not knowing of the receipt, readily confirmed that he and his wife had been to Germany on a holiday and gave them the details of the place they stayed. On 15 September 1963 Brian Field was arrested, with his boss John Wheater arrested on 17 September. Lennie Field had already been arrested on 14 September.[5]

  1. Charlie Wilson (22 August 1963)
  2. Ronnie Biggs (4 September 1963)
  3. Jimmy Hussey (7 September 1963)
  4. Tommy Wisbey (11 September 1963)
  5. Brian Field (15 September 1963)
  6. Gordon Goody (10 October 1963)
  7. Bob Welch (25 October 1963)
  8. John Daly (3 December 1963)
  9. Roy James (10 December 1963)

Jack Slipper (who later became Head of the Flying Squad), was involved in the capture of Roy James, Ronald Biggs, Jimmy Hussey, and John Daly which he describes in detail in his autobiography.

[edit]1964 Aylesbury Trial of the Great Train Robbers

The trial of the robbers began at Aylesbury Assizes, Buckinghamshire on 20 January 1964. Because it was necessary to accommodate a large number of lawyers and journalists, the existing court was deemed too small and the offices of Aylesbury Rural District Council were specially converted for the event. The defendants were brought to the court each day from Aylesbury Prison in a compartmentalised van, out of view of the large crowd of spectators. Mr Justice Edmund Davis presided over the trial which lasted 51 days and included 613 exhibits and 240 witnesses. The jury retired to the Grange Youth Centre in Aylesbury to consider their verdict.[12]

On 11 February 1964, there was a sensation, when John Daly was found to have no case to answer when his councel, Mr. W. Raeburn QC claimed that the evidence against his client was limited to his fingerprints being on the monopoly set found at Leatherslade Farm and that he went underground after the robbery. He went on to say that Daly had played the Monopoly game with his brother in law Bruce Reynolds earlier in 1963, and that he had gone underground because he was associated with people publicly sought by the police. This was not proof of involvement in a conspiracy. The judge agreed, and the jury were directed to acquit him.[13] Frank Williams was shocked when this occurred, because due to Tommy Butler’s refusal to share information, he had no knowledge of the fact that his prints were only on the monopoly set. If he had of known this, he could have asked Daly questions about the monopoly set and robbed him of his very effective alibi. Daly was also clever however, in avoiding having a photo taken when he was arrested until he could shave his beard. This meant that there was no photo to show the lengths he had gone to, in order to change his appearance. No action was taken against Butler however, for his mistake in not ensuring the case against Daly was more thorough.[14]

On 15 April 1964 the proceedings ended with the judge describing the robbery as “a crime of sordid violence inspired by vast greed” and passing sentences of 30 years imprisonment on seven of the robbers.[15]

[edit]Sentencing

The eleven men sentenced all felt aggrieved at the lengthy jail time, particularly Bill Boal and Lennie Field who were innocent of the charges against them. The other men (aside from Wheater) were aggrieved at the excessive nature of the sentences, which were worse than what many murderers were given. At that stage there was no parole system in place and so sentences tended to be shorter, but the prisoners served 100% of the sentence.

Name Age Occupation Sentence
John DALY  ?  ? N/A – No Case To Answer
Ronald Arthur BIGGS 34 Carpenter 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
Douglas Gordon GOODY 34 Hairdresser 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
Charles Frederick WILSON 31 Market Trader 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
Thomas William WISBEY 34 Bookmaker 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
Robert WELCH 34 Club Proprietor 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
James HUSSEY 34 Painter 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
Roy John JAMES 28 Racing Motorist and Silversmith 30 years (25 years for Conspiracy to rob and 30 years for Armed Robbery)
Roger John CORDREY 42 Florist 20 years (20 years for Conspiracy to rob and various receiving stolen goods charges)
Brian Arthur FIELD 29 Solicitor’s Clerk 25 years (20 years for Conspiracy to rob and 5 years for obstructing justice)
Leonard Denis FIELD 31 Merchant Seaman 25 years (20 years for Conspiracy to rob and 5 years for obstructing justice)
John Denby WHEATER 41 Solicitor 3 years
William Gerald BOAL 50 Engineer 24 years

[edit]July 1964 Appeals

On 13 July 1964, the appeals by Lennie Field and Brian Field (no relation) against the charges of Conspiracy to Rob were allowed. This meant that their sentences were effectively reduced to 5 years only. On the 14th July 1964, the appeals by Roger Cordrey and Bill Boal were allowed, with the convictions for Conspiracy to Rob quashed, leaving only the receiving charges. Justice Fenton Atkinson concluded that a miscarriage of justice would result if Boal’s charges were upheld, given that his age, physique and temperament made him an unlikely train robber. Luckily as the oldest robber, Cordrey was also deemed to be innocent of the conspiracy as his prints had not been found at Leatherslade. Brian Field on the other hand was only reluctantly acquitted of the robbery with Justice Atkinson stating that he was not surprised if he was not only part of the conspiracy, but also one of the robbers. The charges against the other men were all upheld. In the end Lennie Field and Bill Boal got some measure of justice, but it was not enough – Boal died in prison in 1970 after a long illness.[16]

[edit]Escape of the Great Train Robbers

Immediately after the trial, two of the Great Train Robbers, Charlie Wilson and Ronnie Biggs escaped from captivity.

On 12 August 1964, Charlie Wilson escaped from Winson Green Prison in Birmingham in under 3 minutes, with the escape being unprecedented in that a 3 man team broke into the prison to extricate him. His escape team were never caught, and the leader nicknamed “Frenchy” disappeared from the London criminal scene by the late 60s. Two weeks after his escape Wilson was in Paris for plastic surgery and to grow out his prison haircut. By November 1965, Wilson was in Mexico City visiting old friends Bruce Reynolds and Buster Edwards.[17] Wilson’s escape was yet another dramatic twist in the train robbery saga.[18]

Eleven months after Wilson’s escape, in July 1965, Ronnie Biggs escaped from Wandsworth Prison, only 15 months into his sentence, with a furniture van parking alongside the prison walls and a ladder dropped over the 30 foot wall into the prison during outside exercise time, to allow four prisoners to escape, including Biggs. The escape was planned by recently released prisoner Paul Seaborne, with the assistance of two other ex-convicts Ronnie Leslie and Ronnie Black and support from Charmian Biggs. The plot saw two other prisoners interfere with the warders, and allow Biggs and friend Eric Flower to escape. Seaborne was later caught by Butler and sentenced to 4 and 1/2 years and Ronnie Leslie 3 years for being the getaway driver. The two other prisoners who took advantage of the Biggs escape were captured after 3 months. Biggs and Flower paid significant money to get smuggled to Paris for plastic surgery. Biggs said he had to escape because of the length of the sentence and the severity of the prison conditions.[19]

The escape of Wilson and Biggs meant that five of the robbers were now on the run, with Tommy Butler in hot pursuit.

[edit]On The Trail of the Great Train Robbers

With the other four robbers on the run fled out of the country, only Jimmy White was left in the United Kingdom.

Jimmy White was a renowned locksmith/thief and had already been on the run for ten years before the robbery, and had “a remarkable ability to be invisible, to merge with his surroundings and become the ultimate Mr Nobody.” He was a wartime paratrooper and a veteran of Arnhem.[20] According to Piers Paul Read in his 1978 book “The Train Robbers”, Jimmy White was a solitary thief, not known to work with either firm, he should have had a good chance of remaining undetected altogether, yet was known to be one of the Train Robbers almost at once – first by other criminals and then by the police. He was unfortunate in that Brian Field’s relatives dumped luggage containing 100,000 pounds only a mile from a site where White had bought a caravan and hidden 30,000 pounds in the paneling. In addition, a group of men claiming to be the Flying Squad, broke into his flat and took a brief case with 8,500 pounds in it. Throughout his 3 years on the run with wife Sheree, and baby son Stephen he was taken advantage of or let down by his friends and associates. On 10 April 1966 a new friend recognised him from photos in a newspaper and informed police. They arrested him at Littlestone while he was at home. He only had 8,000 pounds to hand back to them, with the rest long gone. He was tried in June 1966 at Leicester Assizes and Justice Nield only sentenced him to 18 years jail (far less than the original terms of 30 years).

Charlie Wilson took up residence outside Montreal, Canada on Rigaud Mountain in the upper-middle-class neighbourhood where the large, secluded properties are surrounded by trees. Wilson lived under the name Ronald Alloway, a name borrowed from a Fulham shopkeeper. He joined an exclusive golf club and participated in his local community activities. It was only when he invited his brother-in-law over from the UK for Christmas that Scotland Yard was able to track him down and recapture him. They waited three months before making their move, in hopes that Wilson would lead them to Reynolds, the last suspect still to be apprenhended. Wilson was arrested on 25 January 1968 by Tommy Butler. Many in Rigaud petitioned to allow his wife and five daughters to stay in the Montreal area.[21]

The last of the robbers to be caught was the mastermind, Bruce Reynolds.

[edit]Aftermath

[edit]Bruce Reynolds

Bruce Reynolds was released from jail on 6 June 1978 after serving 10 years. Reynolds, then aged 47, was helped by Gordon Goody to get back on his feet, before Goody departed for Spain. By October 1978, day release ended and he had to report to a parole officer. Frank Monroe, one of the three robbers who was never caught, temporarily gave Reynolds a job, but did not want to attract undue attention by keeping him on for long. Reynolds later got back together with his wife, Angela and son Nicholas. He was arrested in 1983 for drug related offenses (Reynold denies having any involvement) and was released again in March 1985, and dedicated himself to helping his wife recover from a mental breakdown. In 2001, with son Nicholas travelled with The Sun to take Ronnie Biggs back to Britain.[22] In 2010 he wrote the afterward for Signal Red, a novel based on the Great Train Robbery and he regularly comments on the robbery.

[edit]Douglas (Gordon) Goody

He was released from prison on 23 December 1975, aged 46 years old and went to live with his ill mother in her small cottage in Putney. Unlike the other robbers, Goody was exceptionally lucky in that the man he left in charge of his affairs was exceptionally loyal and successful so he was able to live a relatively well-off life.[23] He later moved to Majorca, Spain, where[24] Goody bought property and a bar and settled down, believing it safer to be out of the United Kingdom.[25]

[edit]Charlie Wilson

He was released from prison in 1978 and was found shot dead at his villa in MarbellaSpain on 24 April 1990.

[edit]Ronald “Buster” Edwards

Edwards was released from prison in 1975 and became a flower seller outside Waterloo Station. He committed suicide in November 1994, perhaps fearing arrest for alleged involvement in a crime. His family continued to run the flower stall after his death. The story of Ronald “Buster” Edwards was dramatised in the 1988 film, Buster, which starred Phil Collins in the title role.

[edit]Brian Field

After being sentenced on 16 April 1964, Field served 4 years of his 5 year sentence until being released in 1967.

While Brian Field was in prison, his wife Karin divorced him and married a German journalist.[26] Karin wrote an article for the German magazine Stern. She confirmed that she took Roy James to Thames Train Station so he could go to London and that she led a convoy of two vans back to Kabri, where the gang were joined by wives and girlfriends to have a big party.[27]

When Bruce Reynolds returned to Great Britain in 1968, he tried to get in contact with Field who was the only way he could get in touch with the Ulsterman. It seems that Field was ambushed upon his release from prison by a recently released convict “Scotch Jack Buggy” who presumably roughed up or even tortured Field with an eye on getting some of the loot from the robbery. Subsequently Field went to ground and “Buggy” was killed shortly after. Reynolds gave up trying to find him.[28]

Field changed his name to Brian Carlton, in order to disappear. He died aged 44 years, in a car crash on a motorway in May 1979, a year after the last of the robbers had completed their sentence.

[edit]The Rest of the Robbers

Roy James (born August 1935), following his release on 15 August 1975 went back to motor racing, however he soon crashed his cars and his chances of becoming a driver quickly faded. After the failure of his Formula One career, he went back to being a silversmith. He produced trophies for the Formula One World Championship due to his acquaintance with Bernie Ecclestone. In 1982, he married a younger woman, but the marriage soon broke down.[29] By 1983, James with Charlie Wilson had become involved in an attempt to import gold without paying the excise. Roy was acquitted in January 1984 of his part in the scam.[30] In 1993, he shot and wounded his father in-law and pistol whipped and partially strangled his ex-wife, after they had returned their kids for a day’s outing. He was sentenced to 6 years in jail.

In 1996, James underwent triple bypass surgery, and was subsequently released from prison in 1997, only to die almost immediately afterwards on 21 August after another heart attack.[31] When James died he was the fifth of the Train Robbers to do so, despite being the youngest.[32][citation needed]

The South Coast Raiders did not fare too well in general. Bob Welch (born March 1929) was released on 14 June 1976 (the last of those convicted in Aylesbury to be released). Bob moved back in with his wife June and his son. He had to threaten the man left in charge of his money to retrieve the remainder of his share of the robbery loot. A leg injury sustained in prison saw him undergo several operations until he was left semi-crippled as a result.[33] Frank Monroe, who was never caught, worked as a film stunt man for a while before starting a paper and scrap metal recycling business.[25] Jim Hussey was released on 17 November 1975 and married girlfriend Gill (who had met just before the robbery). His share of the loot had been entrusted with a friend of Frank Monroe and had been squandered despite Monroe periodically checking on its keeper. Roger Cordrey (born May 1922) was the first of the robbers released, but his share of the money had almost entirely been taken by the police. He went back to being a florist at his sister’s business upon his release.

Tommy Wisbey (born April 1930) was luckier than most of the others, in that his share had been entrusted to his brothers, and when he emerged, he had a house in South London and a few other investments to keep him going. Unfortunately during his prison stint, his daughter Lorraine had died in a car accident and his stint in prison was the most traumatic of the robbers. He took a while to learn how to live harmoniously with his wife Rene (his daughter Marilyn moved out upon his return). Shortly after his release Wisbey was imprisoned on remand over a travellers’ cheques scam, where the judge acknowledged the minor nature of the role.[34]

Thomas Wisbey and James Hussey fell back into crime and were jailed in 1989 for cocaine dealing, with Wisbey sentenced to ten years and Hussey for 7 years. In her book Gangster’s Moll, Marilyn Wisbey recounts that on 8 June 1988, after returning home from a visit to the abortion clinic and lying down for a nap they got raided by the Drugs Squad. Her parents were staying with her and her son Jonathan while their tenants moved out of their house (they had been away on a long trip to the USA). The raid uncovered 1 kg of cocaine, and Rene and Marilyn Wisbey were arrested along with Jimmy Hussey who had been spotted accepting a package from Tommy Wisbey in a park. Wisbey himself was captured a year later in Wilmslow, Cheshire (allegedly staying with another woman to the shock of his wife and daughter). In return for Hussey and Wisbey pleading guilty the two woman were unconditionally freed.[35] Upon their release from prison, both retired from work.[36]

Tommy Wisbey later explained: We were against drugs all our lives, but as the years went on, towards the end of the ’70s, it became more and more the ‘in’ thing. Being involved in the Great Train Robbery, our name was good. They knew we had never grassed anyone, we had done our time without putting anyone else in the frame.[37] On 26 July 1989, the two men pleaded guilty and admitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court, London that they were a part of a £500,000 cocaine trafficking ring.[38] Wisbey’s grandson has also had trouble with the law in Cyprus.[39]

In later years, the Robbers generally came together only for the funerals of their colleagues. At Wilson’s funeral on 10 May 1990, Reynolds saw Roy James (who got into a verbal stoush with the press), Buster Edwards, Bob Welch (hobbling on crutches) and Jimmy White (who went unnoticed by most due to his ability to blend into the background). At Edward’s funeral in 1994, Reynolds only saw Bob Welch there, with Hussey, Wisbey and James all in prison.

[edit]The Associates

John Wheater was released from prison in February 1966, and managed his family’s laundry business in Harrogate. He later wrote two articles in the Sunday Telegraph.[40]

Lenny Field was released in 1967 and went to live in North London. He disappeared from the public eye.

The replacement train driver was never found. He had no criminal record and in the end Mills drove the train anyway, with police having no reason to suspect the other’s involvement.

[edit]Ronnie Biggs

Biggs fled to Paris, where he acquired new identity papers and underwent plastic surgery. In 1970, he quietly moved to Adelaide, Australia, where he worked as a builder and lived a relatively normal life. He was tipped off by persons unknown and moved to Melbourne, later escaping to Rio de JaneiroBrazil, after police discovered his Melbourne address. Biggs could not be extradited because there was no reciprocal extradition treaty between Britain and Brazil, a condition for the Brazilian process of extradition. Additionally, he became father to a Brazilian son, which afforded him greater legal immunity (which a daughter would not have conferred). As a result he lived openly in Rio for many years, untouchable by British authorities. In 1981, Biggs’s Brazilian son became a member of the successful band Turma do Balão Mágico, bringing a new source of income to his father. In a short time, however, the band faded into obscurity and dissolved, leaving father and son in relatively dire straits again. In May 2001, aged 71 and having suffered three strokes, Biggs voluntarily returned to England. His son, Michael Biggs, said in a press release[41] that, contrary to some press reports, Biggs had not returned to the UK simply to receive free health care. According to Michael, health care was available in Brazil and he had many friends and supporters who would certainly have contributed to any such expenses. Biggs’s stated desire was to “walk into a Margate pub as an Englishman and buy a pint of bitter“.[42] Biggs was aware that he would be arrested and jailed. After detention and a short court hearing he was sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. On 2 July 2009, Ronnie Biggs was denied parole by British Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who considered Biggs to be still “wholly unrepentant.”[43] Biggs himself has stated that the thirty-year term was “out of order”[44] for the crime committed, and that is why he planned an escape.

On 6 August 2009, Ronnie Biggs was granted release from prison on “compassionate grounds” due to a severe case of pneumonia, after serving only part of the sentence imposed at trial.[45] Ronnie Biggs’ son has said publicly that his father expressed remorse for the robbery, but not for his life on the run.

[edit]Legacy of the Great Train Robbery

The legacy of the Great Train Robbery of 1963 is in many ways a sad one. Very little of the money was ever recovered and the driver Jack Mills suffered greatly as a result of the robbery. While his death in 1970 was nothing to do with the head injury he sustained, he got very little compensation for putting up a fight and was often accused of exaggerating the severity of the injury.

Very few of the robbers got to enjoy their share of the money with most of it either lost, stolen, spent on lawyers, or on escaping justice. Once most of the gang were sentenced in 1963, their associates stopped paying their expenses with the stolen loot. Many of the robbers re-offended when they were released, and Reynolds, Wilson, James, Hussey and Wisbey were all jailed later on in life.

The robbery and the aftermath were yet another scandal for an already scandal-plagued Macmillan government.

[edit]Jack Mills – Victim of the Robbery

Mills had constant trauma headaches the rest of his life. He died in 1970 from leukaemia. Mills’ assailant was one of three members of the gang who was never identified. Frank Williams (at the time a Detective Inspector) claims that at least three men who were directly involved are still at liberty and enjoying to the full their share of the money stolen and the profits from the way they invested it. One of them is the man responsible for the attack on the train driver. The train driver’s assailant is not some phantom figure lurking in the criminal underworld. Williams traced him, identified him and took him to Scotland Yard where, with Tommy Butler, Williams questioned him. They were certain of their facts but he could not be charged because of lack of evidence suitable for presentation in a court; he had left no fingerprints or identifiable marks anywhere. None of those arrested informed on him although he had completely disobeyed instructions and used violence during the robbery.

[edit]The Cops

After his success in securing White and Edwards, Tommy Butler got Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Joseph Simpson to suspend his retirement on his 55th birthday so he could continue to hunt the robbers which paid off with the arrests of first Wilson, then Reynolds. When asked by a reporter after the sentencing of Reynolds whether that was the end of it, Butler replied that it was not over until Biggs was caught. In 1969 he was finally forced to accept compulsory retirement, and later died in 1970, aged 57 years (ironically on the same days, Biggs’ memoirs were published in the Sun).

Frank Williams, Butler’s deputy was overlooked to be his replacement as head of the Flying Squad because of his deal with Edwards (which he thought would seal his promotion) and his deal with another of the robbers who was never caught. Following being overlooked for Butler’s position he left the force to become head of security for QANTAS. He wrote his autobiography “No Fixed Address” which was published in 1973.

Jack Slipper of the Metropolitan Police was promoted to Detective Chief Superintendent (known in the press as “Slipper of the Yard“), became so involved that he continued to hunt many of the escaped robbers in retirement. He believed Biggs should not be released after returning to the UK in 2001 and he often appeared in the media to comment on any news item connected with the robbery before his death on 24 August 2005 at the age of 81.

Detective Chief Superintendent Ernest Malcolm Fewtrell, Head of the Buckinghamshire Crime Investigation Department (CID) was born on 29 September 1909, and died on 28 November 2005, aged 96 years. He retired on the last day of the trial after the verdicts were handed down (at the then compulsory retirement age of 55).[46] This allowed him (with Ronald Payne of The Sunday Telegraph who was involved in the paper’s coverage of the case) to be the first of the investigators to write a book ‘The Train Robbers’ on the robbery investigation in 1964. In the book he expressed some frustrations with some of the Flying Squad although he mostly had praise for individual officers. His one regret is that he had the search for the hideout done from the scene of the robbery outwards rather than an inwards search from a 35 mile perimeter.[47] He worked as an Accommodation Officer for Portsmouth Polytechnic before retiring to live near Swanage by the sea. He continued to express disgust at any film that he felt glamourised the robbers. It has been said that he bore a striking resemblance to John Thaw who was the star of Inspector Morse, which, perhaps coincidentally was a television series about a detective in the Thames Valley Police Force (the modern day successor to Buckinghamshire Constabulary).

George Hatherill (1898–1986) had his service extended by one year because of the need to complete the investigation of the Great Train Robbery. He visited Canada and the USA as a lecturer on police matters. He died on the 17th June 1986 at the age of 87.[48]

Gerald MacArthur died aged 70 years on 21 July 1996. He was famous for breaking up the Richardson Gang at a time when many London based detectives were known to be corrupt.

Ernest (Ernie) Millen (1911–1988) was regarded as one of the finest detectives from Scotland Yard ever by the time of his retirement.

[edit]The Crime Scene

One of the Post Office carriages involved is preserved at the Nene Valley Railway at Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and is being restored. The locomotive was no. D326 (later no. 40126). It was involved in a number of serious operating incidents throughout its operational life.[49] The retrieved Monopoly board used by the robbers at their Leatherslade Farm hideout, as well as a genuine £5 note from the robbery, are on display at the Thames Valley Police museum in SulhamsteadBerkshire.

[edit]The Government

The audacity and scale of the robbery was yet another controversy that the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan had to cope with. Macmillan resigned in October 1963, claiming poor health. He did not re-contest his seat at the next election in September 1964, where the Labour Party claimed victory under Harold Wilson.

[edit]Ronnie Biggs

Ronnie Biggs was twice made example of, largely for embarrassing the authorities. He got 30 years for being a minor player in the robbery and despite living a crime free life after his escape from prison he served another 8 years upon his return to the United Kingdom. By the time he was released he had served more jail time than any of the robbers, despite his relatively minor role.

[edit]What Happened to the Money ?

£2,631,684 pounds was stolen from the train (although the police report claims that £2,595,997 was the actual amount stolen). The bulk of the haul was in £1 notes and £5 notes (both the older white note and the newer blue note which was half its size). There were also 10 shilling notes and Irish and Scottish money. The five pound notes were in stacks of £2,500 and the one pound notes were in stacks of £500 and the ten shilling notes in stacks of £250. With the exception of a few ‘drinks’ for associates, the loot was split into 17 equal shares of around £150,000 each (George Hatherill claims that there were 18 shares).

While within 6 months of the robbery, 10 of the robbers were locked up awaiting trial and 3 others were wanted criminals on the run, very little of the money had actually been recovered. This has caused speculation that there is a great fortune of robbery loot still out there. While it was a fortune in today’s terms (the approximate equivalent of £40M pounds or $63M), the money was quickly spent and stolen by predatory gangsters and greedy associates, relatives and lawyers. So the proceeds of the greatest cash robbery in British history were quickly used up, with few robbers actually benefitting in the long run from the stolen money to any great degree.

[edit]How Much Was Recovered ?

Less than £400,000 pounds was eventually recovered with bulk of the money being the shares of Roger Cordrey (£141,017 pounds) and (allegedly) Brian Field (£100,900 pounds). A further £36,000 was recovered from Jimmy White’s caravan. Roy James was carrying £12,041 when captured. The final major sum recovered was £47,245 that was found in a telephone box, in Great Dover St, Newington, South London.

[edit]The Telephone Box Controversy

The £47,245 recovered from a telephone box, included 57 notes whose serial numbers had been recorded by the bank in Scotland. This money was allegedly as part of a deal struck with Frank Williams by ‘Alf Thomas’. In the Train Robbers by Piers Paul Read, he claimed that the police were feeling the pressure because while they had caught many of the robbers, they had failed to recover much of the money. While no evidence had been found against Alf, who only had a reputation as a minor thief, some of the identifiable bank notes had been traced back to him through his friends who were charged with receiving. Given they had no evidence against Thomas, either at Leatherslade Farm or connections with either of the two gangs, Butler was prepared to let him go. Williams convinced Butler to pull “Alf” in for questioning and in return for releasing him and not charging his friends with more serious crimes, £50,000 was to be returned. On 3 December 1963, which happened to be the same day that Roy James was taken into custody, the police received an anonymous tip directing them to the money in the phone box. The money was driven up to Aylesbury and taken into custody by Detective Superintendent Fewtrell who wondered how his London colleagues could know how much money there was. He had to bring in bank clerks to count the damp and musty money to determine the final sum.[50]

Williams however made no admission to the money being a result of a deal with “Alf Thomas“. Despite claiming that his negotiations were responsible for the return of this money, Williams in his book ‘No Fixed Address’ (1973) claimed not to know the identity of who had returned the money, although he made mention of several robbers that he had offered deals to through intermediaries. He did note that it seemed that Butler was sceptical of his efforts and that at the press conference Hatherill and Millen did not reveal the circumstances behind the find and that he was never asked to talk with them about it. Despite Alf Thomas being the man identified as the assailant of the Train Driver by Bruce Reynolds (albeit indirectly), Williams only makes mention of the assailant once in his book. In this section (often quoted by other sources), he confirms that with Tommy Butler he questioned the man they knew to be the assailant but that they had no evidence to convict him. Strangely however, he makes no further mention of him, which seem to lend credence to the claim that a deal done with “Alf Thomas” was done which caused outrage amongst the hierarchy later on.[51] It is hinted in several of the books that the deals done by Williams were responsible for him being overlooked for promotion and Williams was aggrieved that his efforts were not being openly recognised by Butler who he claimed hid them from superiors.

For his part George Hatherill, in his book “A Detective’s Tale”, states that the motive behind the return of the money was not known for sure but that his theory was that the money was returned by “one about whom extensive inquiries had been made and who in fact was interrogated at length. But in spite of our strong suspicions, nothing could be proved against him and so no charge could be brought. My belief is that he thought we knew more about him than we did, and thinking things were getting hot, he decided to get rid of the money to avoid being found in possession with it”[52]Hatherill does not mention Williams at all in his book, and retired on the last day of the Trial at Aylesbury.

[edit]How Easily Traceable Was the Actual Money ?

The money was quickly laundered or divided by friends, family and associates of the robbers with a few notable exceptions. A great deal was laundered through bookmakers (Wilson and Wisbey were themselves bookmakers), although in fact astonishingly only a few hundred pounds were identifiable by serial number so the robbers could have spent the money without fear of being traced.[53] There were 1,579 notes whose serial numbers were known and the rest of the fortune was completely untraceable.

The five pound notes on the train were of two different kinds, because in 1957 the British Government had begun to replace the extra large white notes with smaller blue ones, with the final changeover not yet complete at the time of the robbery. The white notes quickly became far more conspicuous to use, making it harder for them to be spent.

[edit]The Legal Fees

For the 17 principal gang members, the ten who were arrested within three or four months after the robbery, each had to spend a fortune on legal fees (approximately £30,000). This meant that one-fifth of their shares was spent on lawyers shortly before nine of them were sentenced to lengthy jail terms. Ironically several associates of the robbers were charged with receiving several hundred pounds of the money, when the lawyers defending the robbers got many times more money.

[edit]Money Spent on the Run

The robbers who spent much time on the run overseas – Reynolds, Wilson and Edwards had very little left when finally arrested, having spent the money to avoid capture and having to fund lavish lifestyles without having to find paying jobs while on the run. Much of Jimmy White’s money was stolen.

[edit]Money Spent by Friends and Relatives

According to Marilyn Wisbey, her father’s share was hidden by his father Tommy Wisbey Snr in the panels in the doors of his home. Butler raided them three times but he never found the train money. The majority of the money was reputedly entrusted to Wisbey’s father and also his younger brother Ron who coincidentally had saved some money of his own that was confiscated by the police although it was returned 3 months later. By the time Wisbey was released from jail all of his share had either been spent or invested. Marilyn agrees with Piers Paul Read’s assessment of how her father’s share of approximately £150,000 pounds was spent. Although the Wisbey share was one that was not stolen again by other criminals, Marilyn Wisbey is still bitter that her relatives got to spend a fair amount of the loot while the overall sum dwindled away. Her grandfather used some of the money to buy them a house in Upper Norwood, however.[54]

[edit]Money Spent by Those That Got Away

There were six of the robbers who got away in one form or another – the mysterious “Ulsterman” whose fate is unknown, three robbers who were never caught, John Daly who was lucky enough to get his charges dismissed at the trial and Ronnie Biggs who escaped jail and managed to avoid being taken back to the UK. John Daly had entrusted his money to another crook who had betrayed him to the police and had absconded with the money and died before Daly could recover his money. Upon the release of the others in the mid 70s, “Bill Jennings” got in touch with Buster and “Frank Monroe” got in touch with the South Coast Raiders both to say that they had no money left. “Alf Thomas” had disappeared and John Daly at the time was said to be living on the dole in West Country.[55]Ronnie Biggs quickly spent his share getting a new life (the ultimate goal of some criminals) and loved his new life in Australia, although by the time his family got to Australia in 1966, all but £7,000 had been spent, with £55,000 having been paid as a package deal to get him out of the UK, and the rest having gone on legal fees and expenses.[56]

[edit]Details of the Great Train Robbery and the Robbers

[edit]Early Books of the Great Train Robbery

These books were written in the immediate aftermath of the 1964 trial and before the capture of several of the gang.

  • The Robbers’ Tale (1965) by Peta Fordham and first published by Hodder & Stoughton, London (ISBN ). It told the story of the robbery only shortly after the conclusion of the initial trial. The author was the wife of one of the lawyers involved in the case. The book mostly involves a description of the trial. The author constantly hints that she knew more than she was prepared to write, yet it was written before most of the facts emerged.

[edit]Autobiographies and Biographies of the Investigators

These are predominantly the books written by the senior police in the early 1970s after they had just retired from the force, which are largely confined to the story of the investigation, trial and capture of the robbers.

  • The Train Robbers (1964) by Malcolm Fewtrell (with Ronald Payne), first published in London by Arthur Barker Limited (ISBN 9B64173210).
  • A Detective’s Story (1971) by George Hatherill, first published in London by Andre Deutsch Limited (ISBN 0-2339-6322-7) is part autobiography and part description on what makes a detective. Chapter 14, the last chapter of the book is dedicated to the Great Train Robbery the final major investigation before Hatherill’s retirement.
  • Specialist in Crime (1972) by Ernest Millen , first published by George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd (ISBN 0245505075). An Autobiography. When he retired, Millen was Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard and Commander of the CID. A unique inside story of his career as a detective.
  • No Fixed Address (1973) by Frank Williams, first published by W.H. Allen & Co Ltd (ISBN 0-4910-0524-5). It tells the story of the aftermath of the robbery from Williams point of view, in particular describing the mistakes made in the early days by senior officers, and the autocratic nature of Tommy Butler. The book is targeted at Ronnie Biggs in the hope that he will contact Williams for a deal, similar to the one arranged by Buster Edwards. The book mistakenly identifies Bill Boal as a robber (although it concedes his role was a support role), and it also mistakenly identifies Biggs as one of the leaders.
  • Slipper of the Yard (1981) by Jack Slipper, first published by Sidgwick and Jackson Ltd (ISBN 0-2839-8702-2). This book is an autobiography of the police career of Jack Slipper, who had retired the year before as one of the most decorated and well known detectives in the Metropolitan Police Force. It includes a chapter on his participation in the Train Robbery Squad hunting for the robbers and has details on the arrests of Roy James, John Daly and Jimmy Hussey. It also has a chapter on the mission to recover Ronnie Biggs from Brazil and denounces the press version of events.

[edit]Autobiographies and Biographies of the Robbers

  • Slip Up (1975) by Anthony Delano and first published by Quadrangle / The New York Times Book Co. (ISBN 0-8129-0576-8).
  • The Train Robbers (1978) by Piers Paul Read and first published by W.H. Allen and Company (ISBN 0-397-01283-7). This book recounts a very detailed version of the story based on an exclusive account given by eight of the then-paroled robbers (Edwards, Goody, Hussey, Wisby, Welch, James, White and Cordrey with contradictory versions by Reynolds and Biggs). Despite revealing more than previous accounts, the book is flawed in that it includes outright lies that the funding source for the heist was former SS officer Otto Skorzeny. As the story unfolds in the book, however, the German connection was proved to be false.
  • Crossing The Line: Autobiography of a Thief (1995) by Bruce Reynolds, first published by Bantam Press (ISBN 1-8522-7929-X).
  • Odd Man Out (1994) by Ronald Biggs, first published by Bloomsbury Publishing Limited (ISBN 0-7475-1683-9). This book is an autobiography of the life of Ronald Biggs, particularly his life on the run after the Great Train Robbery.
  • Keep On Running (1996) by Ronald Biggs and Christopher Pickard, first published by Bloomsbury Publishing Limited (ISBN 0-7475-2188-3). This book is a novel that strongly draws on the events of the Great Train Robbery and identifies what may have happened to the three men who were never caught.
  • Gangster’s Moll – Living with a life of crime – from the Great Train Robbery to ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser. (2001) by Marilyn Wisbey, first published by Little Brown and Company (ISBN 0-3168-5208-2). This is an autobiography of the daughter of Tommy Wisbey, and includes details on how his share was hidden and later spent, and the effect of the life of crime on the family of the criminals.
  • Killing Charlie (2004) by Wensley Clarkson, first published by Mainstream Publishing Co (Edinburgh) Ltd (ISBN 9781845960353). This book serves as a biography for the great train robber, Charlie Wilson.

[edit]Modern Books of the Great Train Robbery

These books are mostly literature reviews of the earlier books, combined with some research of the archival material.

  • The Great British Train Robbery (2003) by Tim Coates, first published by Tim Coates in 2003, (ISBN 1843810220). Contains the extracts from the report of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, which was submitted to the Home Office in 1964.
  • The Great Train Robbery (2008) by Peter Guttridge (ISBN 9781905615322). Looks at the big questions: were there three other robbers that were never identified, and what became of all the crooks and the bulk of the money?
  • Signal Red (2010) by Robert Ryan, first published by Headline Review (ISBN 9780755358182). A novel based on the Great Train Robbery with a postscript by Bruce Reynolds.
  • The Great Train Robbery – History Making Heist (2011) by Brenda Haugen, first published by Compass Point Books, a Capstone Imprint (ISBN 9780756543600). A novel based on the Great Train Robbery with a postscript by Bruce Reynolds.

[edit]Movies of the Great Train Robbery and the Robbers

  • The 1966 German 3-part TV mini series Die Gentlemen bitten zur Kasse tells a fictionalised version of the story more or less close to the facts, but changes the names of those involved and of locations.[57]
  • The 1967 film, Robbery, is a heavily fictionalised version based on the events of 1963 directed by Peter Yates. The movie launched Yates’ Hollywood career after it attracted the interest of Steve McQueen who got the British director to make his next feature Bullitt.
  • The 1969 French film The Brain stars David Niven as a British master criminal who perpetrates in France a heist based on the Train Robbery. The script implies him to be the real planner of the 1963 robbery.
  • In 1988, Buster Edwards’ experiences were made into the comedy-drama Buster, starring Phil Collins.

[edit]In popular culture

  • In the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, a SPECTRE officer states that the criminal organization earned £250,000 as a consultation fee for the robbery.
  • A comedy version was staged in the film The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery
  • In the 1965 film, Help!John Lennon makes a snide reference to The Great Train Robbery in Scotland Yard. “Great Train Robbery, how’s that going?”
  • Singer Phil Collins starred in the title role of Buster, a comedy-drama movie loosely based on the life of Buster Edwards.
  • Supposedly, Biggs returned to England several times during the making of a documentary about the Great Train Robbery, always in disguise.[citation needed]
  • Ronald Biggs recorded vocals on two songs for The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll SwindleJulien Temple‘s film about the Sex Pistols. The basic tracks for “No One is Innocent” (aka “The Biggest Blow (A Punk Prayer)”) and “Belsen Was a Gas” were recorded with guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook at a studio in Brazil shortly after the Sex Pistols’ final performance, with overdubs being added in an English studio at a later date. “No One is Innocent” was released as a single in the UK and reached #6 on the British singles charts, with the sleeve showing Martin Bormann playing bass with the group (in actuality this was American actor James Jeter).
  • Paul Hardcastle released a song in 1985 titled “Just For Money” which is about the robbery.
  • In 1991, Ronald Biggs sang vocals for the song “Carnival In Rio (Punk Was)” by German punk band Die Toten Hosen.
  • A popular skit from the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore deals with the efforts to catch the criminals behind the robbery.
  • Following the extradition attempt, Biggs collaborated with Bruce Henry (an American double-bass player), Jaime Shields, and Aureo de Souza to record Mailbag Blues, a musical narrative of his life that he intended to use a movie soundtrack. This album was re-released in 2004 by whatmusic.com.[58]
  • British group, Alabama 3, recorded a tribute to Bruce Reynolds about the robbery, “Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds” (originally recorded by The Fylde Folk) on which he appears, on their 2005 album, Outlaw.
  • In February 2006, Channel 4 aired a documentary about the 1981 plot to kidnap Biggs and take him to Barbados. The programme featured a dramatisation of the attempt and an interview with ex-soldier John Miller, one of the men responsible. In the programme, security consultant Patrick King, who led the team, claimed that the kidnapping may have in fact been a deniable operation.[59]
  • American rock band, Mountain, recorded the song “The Great Train Robbery” on their Nantucket Sleighride album, circa 1971.
  • In several 1963 episodes of The Navy Lark, the robbery was referred to via expressions of surprise – by various characters – of seeing Chief Petty Officer Pertwee free, and not in police custody for committing the robbery.
  • In the online mulitplayer game RuneScape, there is a quest called “The Great Brain Robbery”, with similar plot elements.
  • In the computer video game, Starcraft 2, there is a mission that is entitled “The Great Train Robbery”.

BRUCE REYNOLDS- MASTERMIND OF THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY 1963- WITH ANDY JONES OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT A PRIVATE FAMILY GATHERING BACK IN JAN 2011