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One Bloody Afternoon - The Hungerford Massacre [Kindle Edition]

Jeremy Josephs
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £1.94 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Nothing has ever happened like Hungerford. The years do not lessen the shock the nation felt at the news of Michael Ryan’s massacre of innocent people on the streets of this picture-postcard town.

What, on Wednesday 19th August 1987, made this loner put on paramilitary kit, arm himself with a Beretta pistol, an M1 carbine and a high-velocity Kalashnikov rifle, and drive to the beautiful Savernake Forest to find his first victim? Here he shot dead an ebullient, attractive mother of two young children, as they picnicked in the sunshine. Why did sixteen men and women, including Ryan’s own mother, have to die on that stiflingly hot summer’s day?
We follow Ryan on his journey of motiveless killings as he drives from Savernake Forest to his local filling station, where he tries to shoot the cashier, then on to his Hungerford home, which he burns to a shell. Now on foot and armed, he kills several people in his own road, rampages across a recreation ground where children are playing on swings and slides, and swimmers are in the pool. As the panic grows, he is back on the streets shooting randomly at drivers of passing cars and anyone else unfortunate enough to be there. Finally, he holes up in a nearby school, concerned only whether his mother and his beloved black Labrador dog have survived his shots, before he puts a bullet through his own head with a handgun.
Jeremy Josephs unfolds the harrowing story through first-hand testimony and personal interviews. Ryan’s family, neighbours, teachers, fellow workers and members of his rifle club, all contribute to the portrait of a man, spoiled by his mother, obsessed by knives and firearms, and living in an elaborately constructed fantasy world. Victims’ loved ones relate their tragic stories and how they cope with the trauma today. Local policemen and the Tactical Firearms Team on duty that day describe the steps they took to take control, not least Sergeant Paul Brightwell, the man who for one hour tried to talk Ryan into giving himself up.
One Bloody Afternoon - the Hungerford Massacre is the first book on Michael Ryan and is unlikely to be displaced as the definitive account of the day a man went berserk in a quiet English town.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6920 KB
  • Publisher: Simba Books (21 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BJP4UQA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,144 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering a terrible day. 7 Aug. 2013
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I grew up in the 80's and looking back it seems to be a decade with much tragedy: the fire at Bradford football ground, the Zeebrugge ferry sinking, the massacre at Hungerford, the Piper Alpha disaster, Hillsborough and the Marchioness crash on the Thames. Not to mention all the IRA atrocities perpetuated on UK soil.

The word Hungerford will stay in many memories as the day a quiet market town was turned upside down by one man's violent rampage.

This book doesn't seek answers as to why Michael Ryan gunned down so many people that day, if he had kept diaries or any such record of his feelings they were all destroyed in the fire he started in his own home, so there is nothing to pin his actions to, no 'straw that broke the camels back' which could have triggered his behaviour. Maybe his first action that day was to rape an unknown woman picnicking with her children in Savernake Forest but when that went wrong he unravelled and the following events were the result. Who knows?

What this book does give us is a detailed account of what happened that day and what happened in the aftermath, it is very easy to read; although there are a number of irritating typos this doesn't detract from the ease of reading. Jeremy Josephs' writes about those affected and what they were doing that day and how they came to be in the path of Michael Ryan. He also explains the difficulties the police forces faced, the gun laws of that time and how this event changed us as a country for ever.

For me, the accounts of those who lost loved ones is heartbreaking, especially reading this book twenty-six years after the event.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Hungerford and who, like me, remembers it happening but has forgotten the facts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 5 Sept. 2013
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I didn't pay much attention to the Hungerford Massacre at the time but this book was very informative and I can understand how the people of the town will be affected by the events for the rest of their lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read. 22 Jun. 2013
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I read this book not knowing how the subject would be approached.It turned out to be a mixture of fact and the thoughts and memories of those who were there or directly involved.It was a difficult subject to write about I'm sure for the author.But he managed to do it with the correct mix of sympathy and use of facts.This was an awful event in our history.But we need to be reminded of these sorts of events in order that we try to prevent them being allowed to happen again,I feel.All in all a very interesting book ,well written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good factual book 7 May 2013
By slugboy
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Always knew of Hungerford,but never knew all the details of the masscre,this book puts it all in perspective,very well written with good factual detail,must have been terrifying for those involved as he was obviously a complete madman,a loner who eventually cracked,explains the lot,maybe the policing should have had a better response,but probably would be different now.Good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensitively written. Such an interesting book 27 July 2014
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This book was gripping from start to finish. It has clearly be written to continue to protect the victims families of this terrible tragedy. The book contains many facts that is still surprising to this day. Really interesting read. A very sad sorry but gripping from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, comprehensive account. 31 Mar. 2013
By Jacqui
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Well written,clear details of the event as it unfolded. Victims 'humanized' too, each is afforded a background and a description of their lives at the time of the time of the shootings.
Some very annoying typos, but didn't spoil a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very well written 27 April 2013
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A well written perspective of terrible tragedy . Thoughtful and thought provoking. Respectful to the town and people involved without being sensationalist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One bloody afternoon 28 Nov. 2013
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Came from down that way, you hear all sorts of stories relating to what happened I feel this book was the nearest to the truth,
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Very sad story of a little town who's life have changed so much shocking story with shocking outcome recommend to anyone who likes real crime stories
Published 4 months ago by Mikki
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good but sad.. ***
Published 9 months ago by Rodney
3.0 out of 5 stars Well told and informative
This book is about the forgotten outrage of recent times, the Hungerford Massacre. Its well told, outlining the events of that sad day as they happened, and gives a background to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Graeme Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Good account of the build up and exactly what happened on that tragic...
A good account through the eyes of the actual people who were effected by the tragic events that happened on that fateful day.
Published 14 months ago by jane gabrielli
4.0 out of 5 stars One bloody afternoon
I was 14 when Michael Ryan went on his shooting spree. I found this book interesting as it gave a clearer picture of what actually happened that day without trying to be... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Martyn Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars A sad reminder.
I remember this tragedy so clearly. This book was very well , and sensitively written. May all the victims rest in peace.
Published 21 months ago by Joanne Horn
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
There's not much available regarding the Hungerford massacre. I found this book to be informative and go as far as I think anyone could into explaining the type of person Michael... Read more
Published 22 months ago by ash333
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing
With such a horrid story to tell you would think the writewr would have tried to make it interesting but he fails miserably as you dont care about anyone in this book the way he... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mr. Roy F. Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Very sad should not have happened
I live not very far from Hungerford.We visit there sometimes and have stayed overnight.This book has highlighted the tragedy of that day.
Published on 22 July 2013 by Isabel berrelly
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