Here is a brief look at some of the privately owned items from former punk rocker from late 1976 through to the early 80’s , Andy Jones of The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean Jail .
ORIGINAL CLASH TOUR POSTER
Andy was also bass player in former Gloucester punk band – Demob and then later in the 1980’s Goth Rock Band “Kiss The Blade” see the video below …. (I am the then slim bass playing geezer in sunglasses and blond hair … still a punk rocker in 1986 )
All the punk clothing items were either worn , or personally acquired by him during this period, as was all the other punk memorabilia now featured here on display .
Andy says …. “Yes both the Quadrophenia and punk rock exhibitions here on display at Littledean Jail are of a very selfish interest… In youth culture terms it was in many ways a controversial, ” sex , drugs and rock and roll” fuelled era . Whilst I never took drugs …. it was a brilliant period … AND I LOVED IT. Loads of great multi-cultural music , fashion , beautiful ladies and I travelled each and every highway from 1976 (when I was mere 14 ) through to the early eighties, jumping trains to travel to watch an endless array of punk rock bands, then having missed the last trains back to Gloucester … sleeping in cardboard boxes with tramps at London Paddington Station on endless occasions (no cardboard boxes or tramps on the platforms nowadays ) . My personal favourite punk bands were… The Sex Pistols, The Clash , UK Subs , The Damned , Siouxsie and The Banshees, 999 to name but a few. I was also a regular at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s “Seditionaries” and their rival cloth shop “Boy” … as well as Camden Market etc . The plain truth is that I WAS THERE …
So for anybody who may well wish to criticize or rubbish these personal collections, I would wish to make it clear that I was never interested in acquiring such items for monetary or investment gains and neither am I a dealer to sell items on …
As is very apparent if and when you visit Littledean Jail …I am simply an obsessive hoarder and so glad I saved these and a great many other items of interest …. hopefully for other peoples enjoyment too. LONG LIVE PUNK ” .
THE FIRST SEX PISTOLS T SHIRT ( SO SAY ????) ….
A VERY RARE AND AT THE TIME A VERY CONTROVERSIAL ….1976 MALCOLM MCLAREN DESIGNED “SMOKING BOYS” T SHIRT WHICH FEATURES AN IMAGE TAKEN BY MCLAREN FROM A PAEDOPHILE MAGAZINE ALSO THIS T SHIRT IS COMPLETE WITH IT’S UNTOUCHED ,INNER ORIGINAL SEX SHOP LABEL
WHILST NOT 100% SURE , AND I MAY BE WRONG ???? (PLEASE DO CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG ???) AS FAR AS I AM AWARE , THIS IS BELIEVED TO BE ONE OF MALCOM MCLAEN’S FIRST 50 SCREEN PRINTED RUNS OF HIS FIRST SEX PISTOLS T SHIRT IN 1976 KNOWN AS THE SMOKING BOYS T SHIRT . SEEN HERE WITH IT’S ORIGINAL SEX LABEL (SEE BELOW) . PRINTED BY THEN SEX PISTOLS BASSIST GLEN MATLOCK USING THE COLLEGE PRINTING EQUIPMENT WHILST HE WAS STUDYING AT CENTRAL ST MARTINS ART SCHOOL IN LONDON .
IF I AM WRONG IT WAS MANUFACTURED DURING THE NEXT PRINT RUN IN THE SAME YEAR SHORTLY AFTER THE FIRST PRINT RUN …1976
CLOSE-UP OF WELL WORN AND NOW WRINKLED SEX ORIGINAL INNER LABEL
BELOW: ORIGINAL 1977 … AT THE TIME (AND STILL IS ) VERY CONTROVERSIAL SEDITIONARIES T-SHIRT . ALSO SEEN HERE WORN BY ADAM ANT ( SEEN HERE WITH SIOUXSIE BACK IN 1977) AND ALSO AMERICAN PUNK ROCK SINGER JOAN JETT .
BELOW ….. CAN’T REMEMBER DATE OF PURCHASE OF THIS ORIGINAL DESTROY MUSLIN SHIRT FROM MALCOM MCLAREN AND VIVIENNE WESTWOOD’S SHOP “SEDITIONARIES” … SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 1977 AND 1979 ?? BUT DEFINATELY AN ORIGINAL ONE .
HERE BELOW IS ANOTHER VERSION OF AN ORIGINAL 1980 DESTROY MUSLIN SHIRT FOR WHICH I BELIEVE WAS AT THE TIME UNDER A SEPERATE LICENCE WITH BOY CLOTHING AS WAS AGREED WITH VIVIENNE WESTWOOD WHILST MALCOM MCLAREN WAS AWAY IN THE USA ?? … PURCHASED FROM BOY CLOTHING SHOP WITH THE UNDERGARMENT AS CAN ALSO BE SEEN HERE … ALONG WITH THE BOY CLOTHING LABEL ON THE COLLAR .
BELOW IS AN ARRAY OF VARIOUS LATE 1970’S TO EARLY 1980’S ORIGINAL PUNK ROCK SHIRTS FROM BOTH MALCOM MCLAREN & VIVIENNE WESTWOOD’S SEDITIONARIES AND THEIR THEN RIVALS BOY CLOTHING BOUTIQUE SHOPS BOTH ON THE KINGS ROAD , CHELSEA. NOW ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION, LITTLEDEAN JAIL , ALONG WITH A GALLERY OF VARIOUS OTHER PUNK ROCK MEMORABILIA INCLUDING ORIGINAL POSTERS , SIGNED MEMORABILIA…. ETC ETC ALL ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE JAIL
ALL IN ALL A GREAT YOUTH CULTURE PERIOD FOR WHICH ANDY WAS GLAD TO HAVE BEEN A PART OF ….. HENCE THIS SELFISH COLLECTION BEING HERE ON DISPLAY FROM WHAT WAS AT THE TIME A BIT OF A CONTROVERSIAL PERIOD IN IT’S OWN RIGHT TOO .
Rear view of parachute harness on original Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood black labelled Punk Rock “Parachute” shirt circa 1977
Close up of button on original Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood black labelled Punk Rock “Parachute” shirt circa 1977
Original Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood black labelled Punk Rock “Parachute” shirt circa 1977
Original Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood black labelled Punk Rock “Parachute” shirt circa 1977
Original Seditionaries product label on Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood black labelled Punk Rock “Parachute” shirt circa 1977
Face on view of parachute harness on original Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood black labelled Punk Rock “Parachute” shirt circa 1977
HERE BELOW IS AGAIN ONLY A BRIEF SLIDESHOW GALLERY OF A FEW OF THE PUNK ROCK MEMORABILIA ITEMS HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL . TO INCLUDE ORIGINAL POSTERS OF ALL SIZES , FLYERS , SIGNED ALBUMS AND PHOTO’S ETC, SID VICIOUS’S WELL WORN BOOTS AND WRIST CHAIN ETC, ETC
PLEASE NOTE … DUE TO SIZE AND QUANTITY OF IMAGES IN THE SLIDESHOW , THERE MAY BE A SLIGHT DELAY IN LOADING THEM … SO PLEASE BE PATIENT
Original UK Subs “Warhead” single poster
BELOW…. A SEEMINGLY ORIGINAL AND WELL AGED VINTAGE SEX PISTOLS POSTER SIZED 25.5 INCHES HEIGHT X 14 INCHES WIDTH?? … NOT REALLY SURE OF IT’S ORIGINS. WAS THIS A ONE-OFF BESPOKE POSTER, OR WAS IT A LATER DESIGN TO POSSIBLY INCORPERATE THE LATER USED JAMIE REID SWASTIKA SYMBOL DESIGN ON THE PISTOLS MEMORABILIA ?? I HONESTLY DO NOT KNOW BUT IT’S STILL AN INTERESTING POSTER DESIGN . ????
A BIT CONFUSING FOR ME TOO … AS THE SWASTIKA SYMBOL TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE WAS NOT PART OF THE EARLY SEX PISTOLS SYMBOLISM AT THE TIME OF THE RELEASE OF ANARCHY IN THE UK …. CAN’T SEE ANY PURPOSE OF ANYONE WISHING TO FAKE OR DEFACE THIS POSTER EITHER … SO ALL IN ALL A BIT OF AN ODDITY ???.
IF ANYBODY CAN SHED ANY LIGHT ON THE ORIGINS OF THIS POSTER PLEASE DO CONTACT US AT THE JAIL BY PRIVATE MESSAGE
Original CRASS poster
Original signed single by Gene October frontman of great early days punk rock band CHELSEA
ABOVE: FRONT COVER LINDA’S SOON TO BE RELEASED NEW BOOK, PUBLISHED AND RELEASED BY MIRROR BOOKS ON THURSDAY 11 JULY. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER THROUGH AMAZON & WILL BE AVAILABLE THROUGH ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS THEREAFTER .
ABOVE AND BELOW : Here’s a couple of pics of Linda Calvey during one of her private visits to view her exhibition here on display at Littledean Jail .
BELOW: ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN DEPICTICING INFAMOUS “GODMOTHER OF BRITISH CRIME ” aka THE BLACK WIDOW, LINDA CALVEY , ALONG WITH HER FORMER HUSBANDS MICKEY CALVEY AND DANNY REECE, ALSO FORMER LOVER RONNIE COOK . THIS PAINTING IS ON DISPLAY IN AND AMONGST THE DARK TOURIST ART GALLERY HERE AT THE JAIL.
BELOW: SIGNED COLLAGE PRINT OF LINDA CALVEY, BLACK WIDOW, PERSONALLY SIGNED BY HER. THIS BEING A PRINT OF THE ORIGINAL PAINTING BY PAUL BRIDGMAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST WHICH IS HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL .
ABOVE: ORIGINAL PERSONALLY SIGNED OIL PAINTING ENTITLED ‘TRANQUILITY’ BY LINDA CALVEY. THIS WAS PAINTED FOR LINDA’S MOTHER WHILST INCARCERATED IN HIGHPOINT PRISON, SUFFOLK IN NOVEMBER 2002 AS CAN BE SEEN ABOVE.
Above : “DEADLY WOMEN” … Here is an intriguing short American produced documentary based on the UK’s infamous Linda Calvey- “The Black Widow”
ABOVE: A PERSONALISED HANDWRITTED AND SIGNED DOODLE SKETCH FROM LINDA INCLUDING HER PRISON NUMBER, HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL.
Linda Calvey is a Londoner with stunning good looks and an attraction to gangsters . Her first husband, gangster Mickey Calvey, died in a Police shoot out after a botched armed robbery, and her second husband, Ronnie Cook, received a 16-year prison sentence for armed robbery in 1981.
While Ronnie is incarcerated, Linda fritters away his stash. Fearing her lover’s reaction on his release, she pays a hitman £10,000 to take care of Cook, but “allegedly ” ends up firing the fatal shot herself ???
Linda Calvey has always vehemently denied this claim !!!!!
ABOVE: A RATHER STRIKINGLY PERSONALLY HAND SIGNED SEXY IMAGE OF LINDA CALVEY. PICTURED HERE IN HER PRIME AGED 22 AND PRIOR TO HER ARREST . WOW WHAT A STUNNER !!!(AND STILL A REAL STUNNER TODAY )
ABOVE & BELOW … LINDA CALVEY -THE BLACK WIDOW LEAVES COURT IN A HIGH SECURITY POLICE VEHICLE DURING HER TRIAL AT THE OLD BAILEY , LONDON IN NOVEMBER 1991 . SHE SERVED 18 YEARS IN VARIOUS WOMEN’S HIGH SECURITY PRISONS FOR A MURDER THAT SHE HAS CONSISTENTLY DENIED COMMITTING
SHE WAS OFFERED A LESSER PRISON SENTENCE BY THE HOME OFFICE IF SHE CONFESSED TO THE MURDER AFTER BEING GIVEN A LIFE SENTENCE. .SHE SUBSEQUENTLY REFUSED THIS OFFER OUTRIGHT AS SHE HAS ALWAYS MAINTAINED HER INNOCENCE AND THAT SHE HAD BEEN SET-UP ….. HENCE AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE SERVED THE FULL 18 YEAR PRISON TERM .
Original painting by Gloucestershire Artist Paul Bridgman for and on display here at Littledean Jail
ABOVE: LINDA’S WEDDING DAY WORN BASQUE, WHICH SHE WORE WHEN MARRYING CO-ACCUSED MURDERER – DANNY REECE. THE WEDDING TOOK PLACE AT HMP DURHAM, AS CONFIRMED WITH HER HANDWRITTEN LETTER ABOVE, WHICH IS ON DISPLAY HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
BELOW: TABLOID SENSATIONALISM…. THE SUNDAY PEOPLE IN DECEMBER 2006 AIM TO RIDICULE LINDA CALVEY WHILST SHE IS STILL IN PRISON .
BELOW : LINDA CALVEY (THE BLACK WIDOW) …BRITAIN’S NOTORIOUS FORMER FEMALE ARMED ROBBER, GANGSTER AND ALLEGED MURDERESS….WHO SERVED OVER 20 YEARS IN PRISON (18 YEARS OF THESE FOR A MURDER SHE STILL VEHEMENTLY CLAIMS TO THIS DAY SHE DID NOT COMMIT ) ….. SEEN FILMED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL HAVING A HEAD AND HANDS CAST FOR DISPLAY ( FOR THE LINDA CALVEY – BLACK WIDOW EXHIBITION ) NOW ON PERMANENT DISPLAY AS PART OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION .
THESE CASTS HAVING BEEN MADE BY NICK REYNOLDS , SON OF THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY MASTERMIND – BRUCE REYNOLDS
BELOW: LINDA CALVEY WITH ANDY JONES OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION PRESENTING A HANDMADE CUSHION ACQUIRED FROM NOTORIOUS BRITISH SERIAL KILLER ROSE WEST WHILST IMPRISONED TOGETHER AT HMP DURHAM IN 1994 …. NOW ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ALONG WITH VARIOUS OTHER MEMORABILIA ITEMS KINDLY DONATED FOR HISTORICAL DISPLAY AT THE JAIL .
ABOVE & BELOW : IMAGES OF BOTH SIDES OF THIS CARD AS PERSONALLY DISCRIBED BY LINDA HERSELF IN THE HANDWRITEN AND SIGNED PIECE BELOW
ABOVE AND BELOW : A CHRISTMAS CARD FROM MYRA HINDLEY TO LINDA CALVEY WHILST THEY WERE BOTH IN PRISON, ALONG WITH A HANDWRITTEN AND SIGNED LETTER FROM LINDA CONFIRMING THE ABOVE.
BELOW: A FEW IMAGES TAKEN IN FEBRUARY 2018, OF A RECENT CATCH UP WITH LINDA CALVEY AND ANDY JONES OF THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION DURING A PRIVATE VISIT TO HER HOME. WHEREUPON SHE ALSO KINDLY ADDED SOME PERSONALLY HAND SIGNED ANNOTATIONS TO VARIOUS EXHIBIT FEATURES FOR DISPLAY IN HER EXHIBITION AREA HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL .
NEWSPAPER FEATURE ON LINDA CALVEY’S MARRIAGE TO GEORGE CEASAR IN 2009 .
SHE VEHEMENTLY DENIES KILLING HER FORMER LOVER RON COOK WHO WAS SHOT AT POINT BLANK RANGE WITH A SHOTGUN AT THE HOME OF LINDA CALVEY, THE CRIME FOR WHICH SHE SERVED A TOTAL OF 18 YEARS IN PRISON .
SHE CLAIMS SHE WAS AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY BY THE HOME OFFICE AUTHORITIES TO SERVE A LESSER SENTENCE OF 7 YEARS IF SHE CONFESSED TO THIS CRIME .
SHE REFUSED THIS OFFER CLAIMING THAT…. WHY SHOULD SHE CONFESS TO A CRIME SHE NEVER COMMITTED?
INSTEAD THE HOME OFFICE INCREASED THE TARIFF ON TWO OCCASIONS TO A TOTAL 18 YEAR LIFE SENTENCE WHICH SHE SERVED IN FULL AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE .
COME VISIT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES WHAT LINDA CALVEY HAS TO SAY IN HER OWN WORDS …
Calvey began her criminal career as a lookout, later becoming a getaway driver and eventually wielding guns herself during robberies.
Murder of Cook
She paid a hitmanDaniel Reece £10,000 to kill Cook. However he lost his nerve at the last minute and Calvey picked up the gun herself shooting the victim at point blank range whilst he kneeled in front of her.
At the time of her release Calvey was Britain‘s longest serving female prisoner. She spent 18 and a half years in prison for the murder of Cook and had also previously served three and a half years for an earlier robbery.
In 2002 a book by Kate Kray detailing Calvey’s life and crimes was published
BELOW ARE A NUMBER OF IMAGES OF SOME OF THE PERSONAL EXHIBIT ITEMS BELONGING TO LINDA CALVEY ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , IMAGES OF LINDA PICTURED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL AND AT VARIOUS EVENTS ETC ETC
Black Widow in freedom bid
ABOVE: Linda Calvey pictured here during a private visit to The Crime Through Time Collection at Littledean Jail in the Forest of Dean , Gloucestershire.
A woman known as the Black Widow who was jailed for life for shooting dead her lover at point-blank range launched a new High Court bid for freedom today.
Lawyers for Linda Calvey asked a judge for permission to challenge Home Secretary David Blunkett’s failure to refer her case to the Parole Board.
Her counsel Alan Newman QC accused Mr Blunkett of acting unlawfully and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Calvey, 53, who was in court to hear her case argued, has served 12 years of her life sentence and is currently held at Highpoint Prison, Suffolk.
She was convicted in November 1991 of the murder of Ronald Cook.
At her Old Bailey trial the jury was told that Calvey originally hired a hit man, Daniel Reece, for £10,000 to carry out the murder in November 1990.
But he had lost his nerve at the last minute, and she forced Cook to kneel in front of her before carrying out the killing.
Both Calvey and Reece, who was also jailed for life, denied murdering Cook at Calvey’s home in Plaistow, east London, in November 1990.
The trial jury was told Calvey was nicknamed the Black Widow because of her habit of dressing in black after her husband Mickey was shot dead by police in 1978 as he was carrying out an armed robbery.
Today Mr Newman told the court that the trial judge set the minimum period she must serve for retribution and deterrence at seven years – but the then Home Secretary more than doubled the tariff to 15 years in 1993. The tariff was reviewed and reset in 1998.
In November last year, the House of Lords ruled in the case of Anderson that it was incompatible with human rights laws for the Home Secretary to set tariffs for mandatory lifers.
Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights required minimum periods in custody to be set by “an independent and impartial tribunal”.
Following that ruling Ms Calvey asked the Home Office to refer her case to the Parole Board as a matter of urgency, but her request was turned down.
Mr Newman told Mr Justice Jackson, sitting in London, that the Home Secretary’s failure to do so was unreasonable and breached Article 5 of the convention, which guaranteed a prisoner’s right to have their case reassessed if the basis for his or her detention changed.
He said it was “irrelevant” that the Lord Chief Justice had also concluded that the tariff should be 15 years.
Mr Blunkett had taken the view that Ms Calvey would have to wait until she could take advantage of new legislation passing through Parliament dealing with the position of lifers’ tariffs.
But by then she would probably have served the full 15-year tariff, and this would amount to a “cruel punishment” contrary to the 1688 Bill of Rights, said Mr Newman.
He told the judge that the case could affect many other murderers serving life sentences.
Seeking leave to apply for judicial review, he said: “The present application raises important and difficult points of law. Whatever may be the eventual outcome, even if at the end of the day the Secretary of State’s view prevails, this case clearly should be allowed to proceed to a full hearing.”
Would you marry the black widow? Ex-gangster Linda Calvey finds a new fiance
She’s a notorious gangster’s moll and every man who’s fallen for her has ended up dead or in jail. Now she’s finished a 28-year stretch for murder – and found a rich fiance. Has he got more money than sense?
Potentially lethal things, cars. Linda Calvey had a close call with an exploding spark
plug the other day. It left her a little shaken.
‘Afterwards, the guy in the garage told me that I was very lucky the engine did not go up, because I’d have been a gonner,’ she explains, breezy as you like.
Taking a chance: Linda Calvey and husband-to-be George Ceasar, who trusts her implicitly
‘I was telling my friend and she said: “Oh goodness, Linda. It could have been even worse. What if George had been driving and he’d been blown to pieces? You’d have been back inside in no time.” She was right, too. I can see the headlines now: The Black Widow Strikes Again.’
For some reason she seems to find this funny. Even more curiously, George, the man she will marry next year, is rocking with laughter too, tears collecting in his eyes.
Why the hilarity? Surely no sane person — or, at the very least, no lawabiding person — would regard it as funny to be so closely associated with Linda Calvey, behind the wheel or not.
Linda is the stuff of legends
For Linda is the stuff of legends — East End gangster legends, mostly.
In notoriety terms, she is up there with the Krays (indeed, Reggie Kray once proposed to her, which kind of says it all). So did ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser. In glamour terms, she is in a league of her own.
For most of her adult life she has gone by the name of the Black Widow, dubbed so ever since one police officer with whom she’d had dealings pondered the fact that ‘every man she has ever been involved with is either in prison or dead’.
When Myra Hindley died a few years back, Linda — her prison hairdresser, oddly enough — assumed the title of the longest-serving female prisoner in the country.
That 18-year stint was for blasting a former lover to death with a shotgun. Another lover was her co-defendant in the case, and was sent down, too.
They later married behind bars, although — as is so often the way with Linda — it didn’t last.
Her first husband Micky (the one who taught her to be a career criminal — armed robbery to be precise) met a violent end, too, although this was at the hands of the police, who confronted him mid hold-up. That is quite some history to be trailing up the aisle with poor George, who seems like ever such a nice man.
George’s past is squeaky clean
They will marry in the spring with seven — count them! — bridesmaids in tow. Isn’t that a tad excessive for a 60-year-old grandmother getting hitched for the third time? Perhaps.
But then nothing about Linda Calvey was ever understated.
Four months ago, she was released from prison and into the arms of her new love, whom she met while she was on day release.
George Ceasar is a businessman and a part-time ski instructor, and ‘the farthest thing in the world from a gangster’, according to his future wife, who seems almost surprised by this. He drives a red Rolls-Royce (‘bought rather than nicked,’ she grins). His past is squeaky clean, literally. He used to run a successful bleach factory.
‘We were the first people to put bleach in bottles,’ he tells me, proudly.
He should really be the sort of man who would run a mile from Linda Calvey and the criminal underworld she epitomises.
So why, then, is he gazing adoringly at her and bemoaning the peculiarities of the British parole system, in the way that most men of his background would tut-tut at how you can never find a Post Office when you need one.
Gangster Reggie Kray and “Mad” Frankie Fraser both proposed to Linda Calvey
‘Can’t you poison someone in daylight hours?’
George simply cannot believe that his bride-to-be is still subject to ‘barmy’ parole conditions, which mean she cannot spend the night at his — or their, as it is now — home.
‘They have this mad idea that I am in some danger because of her,’ he says, appalled.
‘The prison officers took me aside when I went to visit her, saying: “Be careful.”
‘They implied she might try to kill me, which is nonsense. Even if it were true, do the authorities really think that they are protecting me by allowing her to be here with me only during the day. Can’t you poison someone in daylight hours?
‘It’s just ludicrous, from all angles. Does she seem dangerous to you?’
Erm, well, no. But then, didn’t Harold Shipman’s patients think he was a darling? I pitch up at George’s sprawling 13-room period house in the Kent countryside, hoping to talk to Britain’s most notorious female gangster, and am taken aback by what I find.
Her demeanour — warm, sparky, surprisingly vulnerable, endlessly entertaining — sets the tone for what will be a truly surreal interview.
‘It is the first time I’ve had a Christmas tree in 18 years. Every year I had Christmas
inside, all I could think of was: “I want my own tree.” George wanted to get an artificial one. I said: “No, George — it has to be real. That’s what I’ve dreamed of.” He said: “Well, whatever you want, my dear, you will have.”’
George was smitten from the start
While I try to get the interview under way — remember that the subject matter is murder, armed robbery and organised crime — they bicker about who will make the tea and whether they are going to see Barry Manilow that evening. She wants to go, but he doesn’t.
I feel as though I have stepped into a rather uneasy cross between a Guy Ritchie film and an Ealing comedy. So, how clever is the woman who has been billed as Britain’s most notorious female gangster? On this evidence, extremely. The other inmates called her Ma in prison, and you can see why.
She is attractive. A little brassy, yes — the lead character in Lynda La Plante’s Widows was apparently based on her — but not overly so. She is tactile, engaging and endearing.
George was smitten from the very start. They met in a Medway town when she was on day release from prison two years ago.
‘I was in a restaurant and it was very busy, so she and her friend shared the table with me. We got chatting, and I thought to myself: “Well, this is a lovely lady here”,’ says George.
‘She said she was on a day out. I said: “Oh, an outing?”
‘She said: “No, a day out from prison.”
‘I said: “Blimey. What did you do? It obviously wasn’t something that bad if you’re in an
‘She said: “The thing I went down for was bad, but the point is I didn’t do it. I am innocent.”’
‘She said she didn’t do it, and I believe her’
George — in his mid-Seventies — has had troubles of his own. He tells me that he, too, has been married twice and that his second wife ‘robbed him blind’.
‘You don’t have to be murdered by a woman to be done over by her,’ he says at one
point. He has grown-up children who he never sees. It sounds as though he was lonely when this captivating creature came into his life. Despite the horrific charge list, he brushes over the gangster stuff — even the bits Linda has admitted to.
‘Yes, she was a naughty girl, but haven’t you done anything wrong?’ he asks disingenuously.
He also claims she is the kindest person he has ever met. They decide between themselves that she’s a much nicer person than he is on the grounds that she once gave a cold stranger her own gloves, while such a thing would never occur to George.
Linda was the longest serving female prisoner in the country
It almost seems churlish to bring up more bloody matters and he sighs when I do so.
‘We’ve talked about it all,’ says George. ‘She’s told me what she did do and what she didn’t do. Yes, she did make mistakes, but she told me that on the big one — killing Ron — she didn’t do it, and I believe her. She was stitched up.
‘She has been completely honest with me. After we’d been out on our first date, I sat her down in the living room and said: “I want the truth. I don’t care whether you did
it or not, but I want to know the truth.” She swore she didn’t, and I believe her.’
Linda has always maintained that she did not kill Ronald Cook. She points out that had she professed some guilt she would have been out of jail years ago.
‘They kept me in because I refused to say I did it. But I’ve always held my hands up to what I’ve done. Armed robbery, yes. I’ve done terrible things, things so bad I can hardly believe it myself. But I did not kill Ron, and I will go to my grave saying it.’
‘Men close to me end up dead or in prison… it’s not my fault’
However, in November 1991, a jury decided that she did, and the evidence presented in court was as chilling as Linda’s current set-up is cosy.
Ron had been her lover for several years, but when he went to prison, she turned to several of his friends — also gangsters — for comfort.
Things got complicated, in the sexual and financial sense.
The court heard that, on Ron’s release, Linda was terrified that he would discover she had been unfaithful and had spent the heist money he had stashed away. She allegedly asked another lover, Daniel Reece, to kill him.
An agreement was put in place. Linda collected Ron from prison and drove him to the home they shared. Reece was waiting, but lost his nerve at the crucial moment, leaving Linda to take the shotgun off him and finish the task herself.
Surreally enough, we find ourselves in George’s kitchen when this horrific chapter is broached.
Both are standing as Linda tells her version, effectively re-enacting aspects of that day as she describes how she cowered in a corner as a gunman — the real killer, she says — fired at pointblank range.
The pair of them talk, quite matter-of-factly, about it as Linda puts the kettle on, saying that the Black Widow tag is quite unfair.
‘OK, men close to me came a cropper, but that’s because I associated with gangsters. They end up dead or in prison. That’s life. It’s not my fault.’
‘I liked the lifestyle’
What she fails to do, however, is convey any real sense of remorse — even for the fact that a man she professed to love died in such a manner. Cold-blooded? Barking mad? Or has she just been removed from law-abiding society for so long that she finds such complete moral detachment easy?
What’s interesting is that the only man she talks about with genuine affection is her first husband, Micky — shot dead by armed officers in a botched robbery.
‘I was from a respectable family, no hint of trouble there,’ she says of their meeting.
‘Micky was trouble, but oh so charming with it. Even my mother said: “I can see why you have fallen for him.” He worshipped me, my Micky. He gave me the world. I
didn’t know — honest I didn’t — that most of it was nicked.’
Micky robbed at gunpoint. His team’s jobs were mostly planned in their kitchen, with her making tea and sandwiches, listening in. Learning. She maintains that she got involved in the hard stuff only when Micky died.
‘I kind of just slid in. I started doing some of the driving, then getting more involved. I had children to feed. I liked the lifestyle. Yes. I wasn’t evil, though. I wasn’t.’
She even insists, after a moment’s hesitation, that the guns she carried weren’t even loaded.
Linda Calvey poses for a photo at a Holloway prison party
Tougher than the rest
She clearly hates the police and blames The Establishment, whatever that is, for the death of Micky. But she isn’t nearly as bitter as you might expect about her time in prison.
Again she talks dispassionately about how she survived: it seems to have boiled down to being tougher than all the rest, but never appearing to be tough. Black humour stalks every sentence.
‘When I went to Durham, I said I wouldn’t talk to anyone who had killed a child. The wardens said: “Well, you’ll not be talking to many people here then. They are all
She struck up a bizarre relationship with Myra Hindley. She says they weren’t friends, but they were close enough that Linda dyed Hindley’s hair regularly. She clearly
doesn’t put herself in the same criminal, morally deficient class, though.
‘Myra never regretted what she had done. I was often shocked by her. I remember when I was working in the prison library she came in and asked to order a book, but she wanted me to put it in the name of another girl, who never came into the library. I asked what book. It was The Devil And His Works. She got it, too.
George looks on — fascinated rather than horrified — as she chats away about somehow finding herself in the same prison wing as one of the most notorious female killers of our time.
‘I missed seeing my grandchildren grow up’
Is there remorse on her part? Yes, undoubtedly so — although mostly for herself and her loved ones.
‘I did not kill Ron and should not have done that sentence, but I know full well that it was my lifestyle that put me in prison for that murder, and that is a terrible thing to live with.
‘All my grandchildren were born when I was inside. I haven’t seen any of them grow up, and they never had a granny.
‘One day, one of them had to write in school about what they did at the weekend. My granddaughter wrote: “We went to see Granny and I got tickled by the policeman and
then we went swimming.” She meant she’d been frisked coming to the prison to see me. That floors you, you know.’
‘Mate, she saw you coming’
She seems close to tears. George pats her arm and talks about how they could put another Christmas tree in the hallway, if she wants.
I wonder if her realizes that most people will look at him and conclude that George, with his red Rolls-Royce, his big empty house and his ability to see the best in people and conclude: ‘Mate, she saw you coming.’
Have they considered a prenuptial agreement?
‘I’ve said I would sign one,’ Linda says sharply, but George shakes his head in distaste.
‘You can’t go into a marriage thinking like that. You have to trust people. Life’s a gamble, but if you lose trust, what have you got? So, she might kill me. Well, hell, I’ll
take the chance.’
Next spring — “If I last that long,” quips George — those wedding bells will ring. Linda is already thinking about flowers and cakes.
As I leave, she skips off to fetch me some of the cake decorations she learned to make in prison.
They are truly remarkable: tiny flowers, berries and leaves, made out of icing, but impossible to tell from the real thing, even up close.
The woman has a rare, impressive — and deeply disturbing — talent for leaving you wondering what is real and what is fake.
DAILY MAIL NEWS REPORT 6 SEPTEMBER 2016 ….
Has the curse of the Black Widow struck again? Notorious gangster’s moll Linda Calvey is single once more after third husband, 84, dies in Spanish hospital
George Ceasar passed away over the weekend, leaving Calvey a widow
Policeman once mused all Calvey’s husbands end up dead or behind bars
But Ceasar was confident his younger wife was not going to ‘bump him off’
Friend says Calvey is concerned people may not think she is a gold-digger
A killer known as the Black Widow is single again following the death of her third husband – but a close friend has insisted it has nothing to do with her infamous track record for losing spouses.
Linda Calvey – who was given her nickname after after one police officer mused ‘every man she has ever been involved with is either in prison or dead’ – is mourning the passing of Goerge Ceasar, 84, in a Spanish hospital this weekend.
The couple had been married five years and, despite Ceasar’s advanced age and ill-health, Calvey is said to be bracing herself for an adverse reaction from critics
PICTURED HERE ABOVE IS LINDA’S FIRST HUSBAND MICKY WHO WAS SHOT DEAD BY A POLICE MARKSMAN
The friend said: ‘She dreads imagining the wrong conclusions people will now leap to, especially as cynics warned when she married him it was for his money, which wasn’t true.
‘The reality is that despite being a tough old boy, George simply passed away from a combination of illness and old age. Linda had nothing to do with his death.
‘It’s sad but that’s life.’
Calvey’s first husband was shot dead by police marksman, and the second, who she divorced, is serving life for murder, see below
Above: Second husband : marrying Danny Reece in Durham’s prison chapel in 1995 . He is still serving a life sentence
She served 18-and-a-half years in jail – the longest time behind bars by any woman in Britain – after shooting a former lover dead.
But Ceasar, who was 17 years her senior, seemed unworried by her reputation.
At his and Calvey’s lavish white wedding five years ago, the law abiding tycoon joked of his willingness to take a chance on ‘Linda not bumping me off’.
However, it is said he recently told friends that ‘marrying Linda was the worst mistake of my life’ – while Calvey hinted at a possible divorce.
‘Unlike George she wasn’t prepared to sit around at home in God’s waiting room day in day out. She spent a third of her life locked-up and when she was released she needed to be out and about,’ said the friend.
Ceasar, who left the UK to live in Spain for health reasons last winter, had spent a month in hospital near Benidorm, Costa Blanca, surrounded by Calvey’s family and friends.
The former ski instructor – who was given the last rites by a priest last week – left instructions for his ashes to be scattered on his favourite mountainside in Switzerland.
But Calvey was not at his side when he passed away as she is still subject to parole orders including travel restrictions, lives in Basildon, Essex.
Calvey, who rejected marriage proposals from villains Reggie Kray and ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser between husbands, was immortalised in the hit TV series, apltly named ‘Widows,’ by Lynda La Plante but she scoffed at claims she had made £1million from her crimes.
Her first husband Micky was shot dead by the Flying Squad in a bungled raid on a London supermarket in 1978.
She later wed hitman Danny Reece, who helped her kill her then boyfriend, Ronnie Cook in 1990.
Then, while Reece was still in jail for the murder, she asked him for a divorce to wed George.
They had first met by chance in a crowded pub in Canterbury, Kent, close to the prison where she was being prepared for release.
Ceaser asked her if she was enjoying a shopping trip in town, to which she replied: ‘Yes, but I’m from the jail down the road.’
Above: Linda with her boyfriend Ronnie Cook who she was alleged to have shot dead in cold blood .
As their friendship blossomed, he regularly visited her at HMP East Sutton Park and she confessed to him hat while she had ‘done many bad things in life’ she was not a murderer – despite the Old Bailey’s damning verdict.
Calvey has always maintained she was innocent, but jurors heard how she snatched the shotgun from Reece after he had bungled Cook’s killing, and finished him off herself.
On jail visit before her release in 2008, a concerned prison officer took besotted George aside and warned him: ‘Beware, she kills her men, you know..’
But the friend said this week: ‘Okay, the men close to Linda always came croppers but that’s because she associates with gangsters. Yes, they end up dead or in jail but it isn’t her fault.’
The friend said that she was braced for a backlash over George’s death from doubters who claimed she had only wed him for his bank balance.
Calvey had spent so long in jail that when she left her cell, her State pension amounted to only 11p a week.
‘Despite their differences, Linda greatly respected George, who was the kindest man she had ever known. She will miss him but she was never a gold digger.
ABOVE: OIL PAINTING BY LITTLEDEAN JAIL’S IN-HOUSE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN HERE ON DISPLAY WITHIN OUR DARK TOURIST ART GALLERY .
PLEASE BE WARNED … THIS EXHIBITION ALONG WITH THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION, HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THOSE EASILY DISTURBED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE ….
With some of the scenes from the new Star Wars film ” The Force Awakens” having been filmed at Puzzlewood here in Coleford ( not too far from Littledean Jail) , we have ourselves now added an intriguing and volatile mix of myth and reality with our own insight into THE FEDAYEEN SADDAM ( Saddam Hussein’s “Men of Sacrifice”) . This was an Iraqi paramilitary militia and personal bodyguard division formed by Saddam’s equally brutal dictator son Uday, who were accountable only to Saddam and Uday .
THE FEDAYEEN SADDAM ENFORCERS wore a helmet that was designed by Uday to mirror the helmet worn by Star Wars villain Darth Vader. Also the all black uniform , though without the “Darth Vader” cape .
Both Saddam and his son Uday were keen fans of Star Wars films . Even Saddams infamous “Hands of Victory ” monuments at the gateways to Baghdad, to celebrate the defeat of Iran in the Iran – Iraq War… were based on the “Empire Strikes Back ” film poster image (see below) depicting Darth Vader holding crossed Lightsabers .
Here on display at The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean Jail , and new for 2016 … we have pieced together ” The Dark Side of the Fedayeen”exhibition, This to compliment Saddam and Uday’s fascination and interest with Star Wars phenomena . This being alongside various other Star Wars signed memorabilia , action figures and also on a more serious note, the brutal acts of the Fedayeen and the Iraqi regime .
NOT FORGETTING OF COURSE THAT AFTER THE FALL OF SADDAM’S REGIME IN 2003 , THE FEDAYEEN AND SOME 100 OR SO OF SADDAM’S CHIEF COMMANDERS BECAME THE FOUNDERS AND LEADERS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE (ISIS), FOR WHICH IS STILL VERY MUCH CONTROLLED BY SADDAM HUSSEIN’S FORMER CHIEFS SOME 13 YEARS OR SO LATER .
THE VIEW OF MANY IS THAT WE SHOULD HAVE LEFT SADDAM HUSSAIN’S IRAQI REGIME TO RULE IT’S OWN COUNTRY AS THEY FELT FIT TO DO SO . .
TO A GREAT MANY ….A SEEMINGLY COSTLY AND POINTLESS WAR AGAINST A CULTURE AND RELIGION THAT MOST OF THE WESTERN WORLD DO NOT UNDERSTAND AND YET HAVE SEEMED FIT TO INTERFERE IN.
THIS HAVING RESULTED IN A TRAGIC LOSS OF A GREAT MANY LIVES ON ALL SIDES. MANY ARGUE THAT WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE GOT INVOLVED IN THIS EQUALLY SEEMINGLY NEVER ENDING WAR?
Above from left: ORIGINAL STAR WARS FILM POSTER ADVERITISING “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” PICTURED HERE ALONGSIDE SADDAM HUSSEIN’S INFAMOUS “HANDS OF VICTORY ” MONUMENTS AT THE GATEWAYS TO BAGHDAD , IRAQ
Fedayeen Saddam (فدائيي صدام) was a paramilitary organization loyal to the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein. The name was chosen to mean “Saddam’s Men of Sacrifice”. At its height, the group had 30,000-40,000 members.
BELOW: THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS DARTH VADER HELMET ALONG SIDE AN ORIGINAL FEDAYEEN SADDAM ( SADDAM’S MEN OF SACRIFICE ) HELMET . THEY CERTAINLY MIRROR EACH OTHER AS WAS UDAY HUSSEIN’S WISH
BELOW ARE VARIOUS INFORMATIVE AND INTERACTIVE ILLUSTRATIONS AS FEATURED HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL , UK
ABOVE IS A SLIDESHOW OF SOME OF THE FEDAYEEN SADDAM ( SADDAM’S “MEN OF SACRIFCE”) UNIFORM AND OTHER ASSOCIATED EXHIBIT ITEMS ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL .
The Fedayeen Saddam was not part of Iraq‘s regular armed forces but rather operated as a paramilitary unit of irregular forces. As a result of this, the Fedayeen reported directly to the Presidential Palace, rather than through the military chain of command. Whilst paramilitary the Fedayeen were not an elite military force, often receiving just basic training and operating without heavy weapons. In this they were somewhat similar to the Basij of Iran or Shabbiha militia of Syria.
Much like other paramilitaries, the Fedayeen was volunteer based and the units were never given an official salary. As a result, most of the members resorted to extortion and theft of property from the general population, even though the members had access to sanction-evading trade and high quality services (i.e. new cars, hospitals reserved for officials, expensive electronics) and a general standard of living considerably higher than that of the average Iraqi of the time.However, they were ordered not to threaten or harm any government officials. This group wasn’t religious or anything so it had a mix of sunni and Shia minority.
ORIGINAL FEDAYEEN SADDAM UNIFORM ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL
ORIGINAL FEDAYEEN SADDAM UNIFORM ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL
The Fedayeen were among the most loyal organizations to the government of Saddam Hussein and were a politically reliable force against domestic opponents. The Fedayeen played a role in the 2003 war, resisting the American invasion.
BELOW: An original oil painting depicting notorious ISIS Executioner “Jihadi John” unmasked .
BELOW: An original oil painting depicting notorious ISIS Executioner “The Bulldozer ” unmasked .
The secret to ISIS’s success: Over 100 former Saddam Hussein-era officers run jihadi group’s military and intelligence operations in Iraq and Syria
Intelligence source said 100 to 160 former Iraqi army officers with ISIS
The 2003 US led invasion of Iraq led Saddam Hussein to allow foreign fighters to join the resistance against the invaders
ISIS’s deputy leader Abu Muslim al-Turkmani was an Iraqi army major
Once part of one of the most brutal dictator’s army in the Middle East, over 100 former members of Saddam Hussein’s military and intelligence officers are now part of ISIS.
Now they make up the complex network of ISIS’s leadership, helping to build the military strategies which have led the brutal jihadi group to their military gains in Syria and Iraq.
The officers gave ISIS the organization and discipline it needed to weld together jihadi fighters drawn from across the globe, integrating terror tactics like suicide bombings with military operations.
Self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the formation of an Islamic Caliphate in June 2014
While attending the Iraqi army’s artillery school nearly 20 years ago, Ali Omran remembers one major well. An Islamic hard-liner, he once chided Omran for wearing an Iraqi flag pin into the bathroom because it included the words ‘God is great.’
‘It is forbidden by religion to bring the name of the Almighty into a defiled place like this,’ Omran recalled being told by Maj. Taha Taher al-Ani.
Omran didn’t see al-Ani again until years later, in 2003. The Americans had invaded Iraq and were storming toward Baghdad. Saddam Hussein’s fall was imminent.
At a sprawling military base north of the capital, al-Ani was directing the loading of weapons, ammunition and ordnance into trucks to spirit away. He took those weapons with him when he joined Tawhid wa’l-Jihad, a forerunner of al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq.
Now al-Ani is a commander in the Islamic State group, said Omran, who rose to become a major general in the Iraqi army and now commands its 5th Division fighting IS.
He kept track of his former comrade through Iraq’s tribal networks and intelligence gathered by the government’s main counter terrorism service, of which he is a member.
One of the most prominent former Iraqi Army generals within ISIS was Abu Muslim al-Turkmani (left) who led the terrorists’ operations in Iraq until he was killed in an American airstrike last November. Abu Ayman al-Iraqi (right), a former colonel in Iraqi Air Force intelligence now plays a leading role in ISIS’ military council
Tyrant: Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein built his regime and cult of personality through his use of fear
Deadly: Foreign fighters have flocked from around the world, attracted by the brutal group’s propaganda
They have been put in charge of intelligence-gathering, spying on the Iraqi forces as well as maintaining and upgrading weapons and trying to develop a chemical weapons program.
Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer who has served in Iraq, said Saddam-era military and intelligence officers were a ‘necessary ingredient’ in the Islamic State group’s stunning battlefield successes last year, accounting for its transformation from a ‘terrorist organization to a proto-state.’
‘Their military successes last year were not terrorist, they were military successes,’ said Skinner, now director of special projects for The Soufan Group, a private strategic intelligence services firm.
The group’s second-in-command, al-Baghdadi’s deputy, is a former Saddam-era army major, Saud Mohsen Hassan, known by the pseudonyms Abu Mutazz and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, according to the intelligence chief.
Hassan also goes by Fadel al-Hayali, a fake name he used before the fall of Saddam, the intelligence chief, who spoke under the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.
Targeted: Abu Abdulrahman al-Bilawi (left) – who had been the head of Baghdadi’s four man military council – was killed by a coalition warplane last year. Another militant reportedly killed in an airstrike was Abu Hajar Al-Sufi (right) who had been one of Baghdadi’s most trusted advisers on the Shura Council
US soldiers and Iraqi civilians pull down a statue of Saddam Hussein at the start of the 2003 Iraq War
ISIS’s strength of ideology in vowing to maintain an Islamic state governed by Shari’ah law, has attracted considerable support from Islamists
During the 2000s, Hassan was imprisoned in the notorious U.S.-run Bucca prison camp, the main detention center for members of the Sunni insurgency, where al-Baghdadi also was held.
The prison was a significant incubator for the Islamic State group, bringing militants like al-Baghdadi into contact with former Saddam officers, including members of special forces, the elite Republican Guard and the paramilitary force called Fedayeen.
In Bucca’s Ward 6, al-Baghdadi gave sermons and Hassan emerged as an effective organizer, leading strikes by the prisoners to gain concessions from their American jailers, the intelligence chief said.
Former Bucca prisoners are now throughout the IS leadership. Among them is Abu Alaa al-Afari, a veteran Iraqi militant who was once with al-Qaida and now serves as the head of IS’s ‘Beit al-Mal,’ or treasury, according to a chart of what is believed to be the group’s hierarchy provided to the AP by the intelligence chief.
Al-Baghdadi has drawn these trusted comrades even closer after he was wounded in an airstrike earlier this year, the intelligence chief said.
He has appointed a number of them to the group’s Military Council, believed to have seven to nine members – at least four of whom are former Saddam officers. He brought other former Bucca inmates into his inner circle and personal security.
Saddam-era veterans also serve as ‘governors’ for seven of the 12 ‘provinces’ set up by the Islamic State group in the territory it holds in Iraq, the intelligence chief said.
Iraqi officials acknowledge that identifying IS leadership is an uncertain task. Besides al-Baghdadi himself, the group almost never makes public even the pseudonyms of those in its hierarchy.
When leaders are killed, it’s often not known who takes their place – and several have been reported killed multiple times, only to turn up alive. Figures are believed to take on new pseudonyms, leaving it unclear if a new one has emerged or not.
Brutal: ISIS continue to carry out horrific public executions and floggings in Syria and Iraq
Gunned down: Iraqi army recruits were executed in the Speicher massacre last summer
No mercy: The militants have targeted religious minorities, particularly the Yazidis and rebellious tribes
‘IS’s military performance has far exceeded what we expected. The running of battles by the veterans of the Saddam military came as a shock,’ a brigadier general in military intelligence told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic.
‘Security-wise, we are often left unable to know who replaces who in the leadership. We are unable to infiltrate the group. It is terrifying.’
Estimates of the number of Saddam-era veterans in IS ranks vary from 100 to 160 in mostly mid- and senior-level positions, according to the officials.
Typically, they hail from Sunni-dominated areas, with intelligence officers mostly from western Anbar province, the majority of army officers from the northern city of Mosul and members of security services exclusively from Saddam’s clan around his hometown of Tikrit, said Big. Gen. Abdul-Wahhab al-Saadi, a veteran of battles against IS north and west of Baghdad.
For example, a former brigadier general from Saddam-era special forces, Assem Mohammed Nasser, also known as Nagahy Barakat, led a bold assault in 2014 on Haditha in Anbar province, killing around 25 policemen and briefly taking over the local government building.
Many of the Saddam-era officers have close tribal links to or are the sons of tribal leaders in their regions, giving IS a vital support network as well as helping recruitment.
These tribal ties are thought to account, at least in part, for the stunning meltdown of Iraqi security forces when IS captured the Anbar capital of Ramadi in May.
Several of the officers interviewed by the AP said they believe IS commanders persuaded fellow tribesmen in the security forces to abandon their positions without a fight.
Skinner, the former CIA officer, noted the sophistication of the Saddam-era intelligence officers he met in Iraq and the intelligence capabilities of IS in Ramadi, Mosul and in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.
‘They do classic intelligence infiltration. They have stay-behind cells, they actually literally have sleeper cells,’ Skinner said.
The process of giving former Iraqi commanders senior roles was started by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi (left) who was a former Iraqi Army officer nother former member of Saddam Hussein’s army turned ISIS commander, Abu Musa al-Alwani (right), has also been killed
Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria’s northern Raqqa province in 2014
Bleek future: With their black flags and military gear, the new ISIS recruits graduate in Deir ezzor
‘And they do classic assassinations, which depends on intelligence,’ he said, citing a wave of assassinations in 2013 that targeted Iraqi police, army, hostile tribal leaders and members of a government-backed Sunni militia known as Sahwa.
In the run-up to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Saddam publicly invited foreign mujahedeen to come to Iraq to resist the invaders.
Thousands came and Iraqi officials showed them off to the media as they were trained by Iraqi instructors. Many stayed, eventually joining the insurgency against American troops and their Iraqi allies.
After the collapse of the Saddam regime, hundreds of Iraqi army officers, infuriated by the U.S. decision to disband the Iraqi army, found their calling in the Sunni insurgency. In its early stages, many insurgent groups were relatively secular.
But Islamic militants grew in prominence, particularly with the creation and increasing strength of al-Qaida in Iraq. Some Sunnis were radicalized by bitterness against the Shiite majority, which rose to power after Saddam’s fall and which the Sunnis accuse of discriminating against them.
Al-Qaida in Iraq was initially led by a Jordanian militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and had a strong foreign presence in its leadership. But after al-Zarqawi’s death in a 2006 U.S. airstrike, his Iraqi successor, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, began to bring in more Iraqis, particularly former Saddam officers. That process was accelerated when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took over after his predecessor was killed in a 2010 airstrike.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s first two deputies, who each played a major role in setting up what would become its sweep over Syria and Iraq, were both Saddam-era officers, according to those interviewed by the AP.
They were Sameer al-Khalifawy, an air force colonel killed in fighting in Syria in 2014, and Abdullah el-Bilawy, a former intelligence officer who was killed in Mosul by the Iraqi military in May 2014, a month before the city fell to the Islamic State group. He was replaced by the current deputy, Hassan.
‘It’s clear that some of these (Saddam-era officers) must have been inside the core of the jihadist movement in the Sunni triangle from the beginning,’ said Michael W.S. Ryan, a former senior executive at the State Department and Pentagon, referring to the Sunni-dominated area that was the most hostile to American forces in Iraq.
‘Their knowledge is now in the DNA of ISIS,’ he said, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group.
‘This melding of the Iraqi experience and what we might call the Afghan Arab experience became the unique ISIS brand,’ said Ryan, now a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.
‘That brand ultimately became more successful in Iraq than al-Qaida in Iraq … and, at least for now, stronger in Syria than al-Qaida.’
DEEMED TO BE A BRUTISH CRIME MUSEUM, TOUCHING UPON TRUE CRIME , MURDERABILIA, MAIMERABILIA, POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS, SLEAZE, SCANDAL, THE BIZARRE AND THE TABOO …….
WHAT ON EARTH DO VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE HERE ON DISPLAY ANYWAY?
CONTRARY TO SOME PEOPLES PERCEPTION ……THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL DOES NOT GLORIFY OR CONDONE THE MANY EVIL MONSTERS WE TOUCH UPON AND FEATURE HERE . FURTHERMORE WE HOPEFULLY PROVIDE VISITORS WITH A PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL INSIGHT INTO THE MINDS OF ALL THOSE THAT WE FEATURE HERE ON DISPLAY
THE CONTENT WE FEATURE IS IN THE MAIN HORRIFIC, GRAPHIC, AND EXPLICIT AND TOUCHES UPON A GREAT MANY SENSITIVE SUBJECT MATTERS AND AS SUCH IS NOT, AND SHOULD NOT BE PRESENTED IN A PLEASANT WAY EITHER.
AS WE REPEATEDLY SAY TO ALL POTENTIAL VISITORS …… PLEASE DO AVOID IF EASILY OFFENDED, DISTURBED OR OF A SENSITIVE NATURE .
WHILST WE DO ALLOW CHILDREN INTO OUR ESTABLISHMENT… THIS IS SOLELY AT THE DISCRETION OF THEIR PARENTS OR GUARDIANS . WE ARE AN X-RATED ATTRACTION AND DO NOT ENCOURAGE CHILDREN BUT CANNOT STOP THEIR GUARDIANS FROM BRINGING THEM WITH THEM IF THEY SO WISH
A unique original hand drawn and signed charcoal self portrait by Peter Sutcliffe – The Yorkshire Ripper , drawn whilst incarcerated at Broadmoor Hospital . It is signed PWS , which is initials for Peter William Sutcliffe . On display at The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean Jail , Gloucestershire , UK
Peter Coonan (born Peter William Sutcliffe, 2 June 1946) is an English serial killer who was dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper” by the press. In 1981, Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering thirteen women and attempting to murder seven others.Sutcliffe had regularly used the services of prostitutes in Leeds and Bradford. His outbreak of violence towards them seems to have occurred because he was swindled out of money by a prostitute and her pimp but he claimed, when interviewed by authorities, that the voice of God had sent him on a mission to kill prostitutes.Sutcliffe carried out his murder spree over five years, during which the public were especially shocked by the murders of women who were not prostitutes. After his arrest for driving with false number plates in January 1981, the police questioned him about the killings and he confessed that he was the perpetrator.At his trial, he pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of diminished responsibility, owing to a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia; but the defence was rejected by a majority of the jury. He is serving twenty concurrent sentences of life imprisonment. Following his conviction, Sutcliffe began using his mother’s maiden name and became known as Peter William Coonan
ABOVE AND BELOW … ORIGINAL PAINTING BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN
Below :A unique original oil painting on canvas dated and signed in 1993 by Peter Sutcliffe – The Yorkshire Ripper , painted by him whilst incarcerated at Broadmoor Hospital . It is signed PWS , which is initials for Peter William Sutcliffe . On display at The Crime Through Time Collection , Littledean Jail , Gloucestershire , UK
BELOW ARE VARIOUS IMAGES OF PETER SUTCLIFFE INCLUDING A RECENT 2015 IMAGE TAKEN AT BROADMOOR , WHERE HE IS STILL IMPRISONED .
Above and below: A brief psychological insight into the mind of British serial killer Peter Sutcliffe AKA ” The Yorkshire Ripper ” through his handwritten poetry
PETER SUTCLIFFE 2015
THE SUN ON SUNDAY 02ND SEPTEMBER 2012 FEATURES THE YORKSHIRE RIPPER EXHIBITION AS ON DISPLAY AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL.
AN EXHIBITION THAT SIMPLY PROVIDES A GLIMPSE INTO THE CUSHY LIFE OF LUXURY AND PASTIME PLEASURES ENJOYED BY ONE OF THE UK’S MOST EVIL MONSTERS … PETER SUTCLIFFE
—————————————————————————————————-THE DAILY MAIL ALSO FEATURES THE EXHIBITION IN THEIR ONLINE EDITION ON THE 03RD SEPTEMBER 2012
Chilling insight into the Yorkshire Ripper’s world: Never before seen prison possessions of killer Peter Sutcliffe go on public display
PUBLISHED: 00:06, 3 September 2012 | UPDATED: 10:29, 3 September 2012
They offer a chilling glimpse into the dark world of Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe – and a insight into the mind of his twisted admirer.
Unseen personal collection of prison possessions belonging to the notorious serial killer have been put on public display for the first time – including handwritten love-letters from a besotted female pen-pal.
The items present a bizarre and pathetic picture of a killer scribbling desperate love-letters to his hypnotherapist and stripper pen pal, Sandra Lester, listening to 1980’s Eurythmics songs such as ‘Better to have Lost in Love’ and ‘I Can’t Stand it’, and reggae classic love songs.
Besotted: Sandra Lester sent this photograph to Peter Sutcliffe with a handwritten note asking the killer to ‘please accept my apologies for the delay’
Smut: The personal items includes a business card of Sandra Lester that she sent to killer Peter Sutcliffe which is now on display at Littledean Jail in Gloucestershire
Sutcliffe’s letters to Lester, who was also an escort girl and glamour model, were written from May 1993 to September that year.
The correspondence only ended, according to Lester – after Sutcliffe asked her to marry him and she rejected him.
The beast referred to their correspondence as his ‘Cloud nine’ letters and Lester as his ‘Sweet Potato’.
Pen pals: The illustrated letters from Peter Sutcliffe to his friend and confident Sandra Lester for part of the collection of personal items on display
Ramblings of a serial killer: Sutcliffe started this letter ‘Dearest Sandra’ and went on to thank her for her ‘enjoyable letter, sweetheart’ in the long, rambling correspondence
Revelations: According to his letters Sutcliffe’s favourite colours were: ‘turquoise, purple, emerald green and yellow. I like red but only in small amounts…as in large quantities it can be overpowering’
Flattery: Sutcliffe was complimentary about Sandra saying in this letter how she was ‘endearingly funny’
The cold-hearted killer joked about building a helicopter and ‘weaving a magic carpet’ to fly away on.
The letters also reveal how he fantasised about Lester and him running away together and living on a desert island or flying on a balloon over Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro.
Sutcliffe told Lester that he had turned his hospital room into to a shrine to her, with pictures of her on display.
Sutcliffe appeared to encourage Lester’s attempts to introduce him to hypo-therapy via video tape recordings: ‘I played both videos (you sent me) over and over again, they’re a big help. I can feel a change for the better.’
Among the unseen items are cassette tapes showing the murderer’s feel-good musical tastes, a gloomy landscape oil painting signed with the initials PWS (Peter William Sutcliffe), a prison radio and desk lamp are all now displayed at the crime museum at Little Dean Jail, Gloucestershire.
After a 1970’s reign of terror in northern English cities including Leeds and Bradford, monster Sutcliffe was arrested and finally convicted in May 1981 of murdering 13 women, many of them sex workers, using a rope, knife and hammer – and attacking a further seven female victims.
Insight: The display includes items used by Peter Sutcliffe while at Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital
Marked by a killer: The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe clearly marks his music tapes – including Reggae Love Songs, left, and the Eurythmics’ Feminine Touch album, right – with his initial P.W.S
Mix tape of a serial killer: Cassette tapes reveal the murderer’s musical tastes
Sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Broadmoor high security hospital for Britain’s most disturbed patients where he still languishes there half-blind thanks to repeated attacks by fellow inmates – this previously unseen collection of items sheds new light on how killer Sutcliffe has spent his time in captivity.
According to his letters Sutcliffe’s favourite colours were: ‘turquoise, purple, emerald green and yellow. I like red but only in small amounts…as in large quantities it can be overpowering.’
Sutcliffe’s letters showed he had a love of wildlife programmes. The murderer and rapist revealed his fondness for bee keeping, referring to them as ‘marvellous wee creatures.’
Ostriches were ‘absolutely beautiful wonderful creatures.’ His favourite dog was a spaniel as they were: ‘a good natured dog and so very loyal.’
The nightmare images of 16th century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, which depicts people being graphically tortured in hell, were ‘weird…but fascinating’ according to Sutcliffe.
He repeatedly requested Lester to send his pictures by surrealist painter Salvador Dali.
Sutcliffe’s favourite classical music was produced by legendary German composer Wolfgang Mozart and he described the music of Mozart’s symphony 41 as ‘pure genius’.
Crude: An oil painting by Peter Sutcliffe has his signature PWS on the bottom right corner
Looking for laughter: Sutcliffe was obviously a fan of Hancokck’s Half Hour, adding some of the comedian’s BBC’s shows to his collection of tapes
Prison art: An oil painting by Sutcliffe is signed with the initials PWS (Peter William Sutcliffe)
Keeping in contact: Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe had this old Roberts radio to maintain contact with the outside world
Possessive: Sutcliffe put his initials on nearly all his belongings – including inside his prized Roberts radioDespite complaining of being ‘drugged’ by members of staff at Broadmoor Hospital, Sutcliffe showed off his physical prowess to Lester, declaring that he completed 15miles on the communal exercise bike each day and had a body, ‘as strong as stainless steel’.
He even penned a threat to one female psychiatrist when complaining of how lethargic the medicines she was prescribing for Sutcliffe’s schizophrenia, saying he would tell her about it: ‘when I seize her – tee hee (sic).’
On show: An old Roberts radio used by Peter Sutcliffe after he changed his name to Peter Coonan is now displayed at Littledean Jail, Gloucestershire
At the end of his letters to Lester, Sutcliffe would sign off by gushing his gratitude across the page: ‘Thank you dearly for your soopa doopa exquisitely utopian lovely letter.’
Other items include Sutcliffe’s radio, a cassette of radio legend Tony Hancock’s hugely popular comedy sketch show, ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’.
The Crime through Time Museum at Little Dean Jail, Gloucestershire is home to memorabilia relating to some of Britain’s most notorious murderers and criminals.
Crime through Time curator Andy Jones said: ‘We are Britain’s most politically incorrect visitor attraction.’
‘The museum contains material that is unsuitable for families, including taboo and very scandalous subjects.
‘We do not glorify crime or murder and none of the items are collected for profit through sales.
‘We take great care to inform all potential visitors of what to expect to see.
‘It is not for families and people who are easily offended, disturbed or of a sensitive nature are strongly advised not to visit.’
All items on display have been authenticated by Sutcliffe’s brother, Carl Sutcliffe.
Glimpse into Sutcliffe’s cell: An old lamp used by Peter Sutcliffe while at Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital is now displayed at Littledean Jail, Gloucestershire
Signed: The old lamp bears Sutcliffe’s initials and name, his prisoner number and ward name
THE ICONIC, TIMELESS….. THEN CONTROVERSIAL , FOUL-MOUTHED , DRUG-FUELLED AND YET STILL BRILLIANT TO WATCH …… 1979 CLASSIC CULT FILM
HERE’S SOME MORE GREAT INTERACTIVE FOOTAGE FROM THE FILM QUADROPHENIA . A GREAT BRITISH FILM THAT REMAINS AS ICONIC AS WHEN FIRST RELEASED BACK IN 1979 . A GREAT COLLECTIVE CAST LIST …. MANY OF WHOM REMAIN HOUSEHOLD NAMES TODAY …. THEY INCLUDE … RAY WINSTONE , PHIL DANIELS, STING, PHIL DAVIS, LESLIE ASH, TIMOTHY SPALL…ETC ETC…
DO COME VISIT THE QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL IN THE ROYAL FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE ,UK .
PRINT OF THE ORIGINAL PAINTING BY GLOUCESTERSHIRE ARTIST PAUL BRIDGMAN. THE ORIGINAL PAINTING IS ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
I’M ON MY WAY TO THE QUADROPHENIA EXHIBITION AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL WITH DEAN PARRISH
HERE ON DISPLAY AT THE JAIL WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL “ACE FACE” – GS VESPA SCOOTER AS WAS USED IN THE 1979 ICONIC QUADROPHENIA FILM …. ALONG WITH A 100% REPLICA “JIMMY” … LAMBRETTA SCOOTER BUILT FROM MANY OF THE ORIGINAL PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL SCOOTER AS USED IN THE FILM . CLOTHING , MEMORABILIA AND MUCH MUCH MORE
HERE IS A BRIEF LOOK AT SOME OF THE MANY ORIGINAL SIGNED FILM STILLS FROM SOME OF THE LEADING STARS OF THIS , AT THE TIME … HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL ICONIC BRITISH FILM . SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE TO SEE MORE OF THE HUNDREDS OF SIGNED FILM STILLS AND VARIOUS OTHER FILM MEMORABILIA HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL’S – QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION .
Don’t worry the original “Ace Face ” GS Vespa Scooter as used in the film and salvaged for posterity is on display here at the jail and is not the one that is seen going over the cliff face and smashed to bits on the rocks below.
Incidently for all Quadrophenia fans out there ….. a total of 5 number “Ace Face” GS Vespa Scooters were built and used in the film….. 3 of which were used for the last scene (going over the cliff) , 1 was written off during filming and destroyed and we have the only surviving scooter that was ridden and used by both the “Ace Face” and “Jimmy” during filming.
WE HAVE ALSO SINCE ADDED “A TASTE OF NORTHERN SOUL DOWN HERE IN THE SOUTH EXHIBITION ” INCLUDING VARIOUS ORIGINAL NORTHERN SOUL MEMORABILIA AND EPHEMERA .
NOT FORGETTING OF COURSE …. OUR “1960’S REVISITED” COLLECTIONS .
A MUST SEE VISITOR ATTRACTION IN IT’S OWN RIGHT FOR ALL QUADROPHENIA FANS, SCOOTER BOYS & GIRLS, MODS, NORTHERN SOUL FANS , TWO-TONE AND SKA FANS, SKINHEADS. REGGAE SKINHEADS AND TAMLA MOTOWN FANS TOO.
LIAM GALLAGHER FORMER FRONTMAN OF OASIS AND NOW BEADY EYE SEEN HERE USING THE ORIGINAL “ACE FACE” GS VESPA AND “HELPLESS DANCER” SCOOTERS FROM THE QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL FOR A PHOTO SHOOT TO LAUNCH HIS PRETTY GREEN CLOTHING RANGE . THE PHOTO SHOOT TOOK PLACE AT BEACHY HEAD , EASTBOURNE AND AT SALTASH LIDO, NEAR BRIGHTON BOTH SCOOTERS USED BEING FROM THE QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION HERE .