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4.0 out of 5 stars More questions than answers
The author obviously did a lot of research in to Christie's background and that of his victims using source material, and even going so far as to study electorial rolls to establish who was living where and when. Not only was this a great bit of detective work but it also vividly brought to life the backdrop of the murders, the seediness of Nottinghill Gate multiple...
Published 1 month ago by dalgleish

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted opportunity
The author has obviuosly carried out a lot of research on the main characters in this sordid tale, but presents it in the style of a factual report and icludes a lot of extraneous detail, which adds nothing to the story. From the additional quotations from witnesses and newspaper reports you can get some idea of the background to the crimes and what life was like during...
Published 16 months ago by Jennie H


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 1 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
Nonesense! Timothy Evans was innocent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 25 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
I have been fascinated by the story of Rillington Place since my mum told me a bit about it when we were passing a building site on the site of the former Rillington Place in 1979.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far fetched, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
Not being critical of the author - just the premise - that there were 2 sex murderers living in Rillington Place. Mr Oates argues unconvincingly that Timothy Evans murdered Beryl and the baby whilst Christie was killing other women. Worth reading if just for the opposing point of view that hanged Timothy Evans
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3.0 out of 5 stars this book is excellent for background history on Christie, 31 Oct. 2014
By 
Michael Gargrave "Mike" (Edinburgh UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
LIttle new revealed about an already well known case. However, this book is excellent for background history on Christie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ... this case from the 1950s - the book is good - factual \nd not leaning towards sensationalism, 7 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
I remember this case from the 1950s - the book is good - factual \nd not leaning towards sensationalism.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Autopsy on 10 Rillington Place, 29 May 2013
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Christie was the last British serial killer to face the gallows, but was he also responsible for the deaths of lodger Beryl Evans and baby Geraldine? Most people's perceptions of the goings-on at Rillington Place come from the famous movie starring Richard Attenborough, based on the book by anti-hanging campaigner Ludovic Kennedy. There, the naive simpleton Evans is manipulated by the arch-villain Christie from beginning to end.
Mr Oates has written an overdue revisionist account based on a fresh appraisal of primary and secondary sources, some of which are tapped here for the first time. Thus there is a fascinating review of the family history of both families which the author, an archivist by profession, has culled perceptively from local records.
The author's overall conclusion is that whilst Christie certainly murdered several prostitutes and his own wife (who knew too much), Evans was the likely killer of his own wife and child. Evans was indeed a violent and moody man who, after all, admitted both murders in three out of four confessions he made to the police. He also knew details that only the killer could know, for example that Geraldine had been strangled with a tie, before that information had been publicly disclosed.
The evidence against Christie for those particular murders was weak, according to Mr Oates. His chosen method of murder was the use of a homemade gassing contraption prior to some sort of sexual activity and strangulation by ligature. But two autopsies on Beryl failed to show the presence of gas or any sexual penetration. The book is particularly convincing on the post-exhumation autopsy.
To be fair, the author has not definitely proved his case and he knows that. There is too much contradictory detail in the entire saga. It's certainly possible that the police, anxious to secure a conviction, gave the semi-literate Evans a lot of "help" in his initial interviews although Mr Oates plays down this possibility. To those who say that it's an odd coincidence that there were two stranglers living at 10 Rillington Place, the author stresses that the whole case is full of such remote possibilities. The devil is in the detail.
Incidentally the book sheds a lot of new light on Christie "the man". He disliked eating sandwiches and fish but followed cricket test matches and was attached to domestic animals. He did not murder every prostitute he met and enjoyed posing in the nude with them at a make-shift studio he rented. Mercifully, none of those particular photographs appear to have survived in the public domain.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Christie Of Rillington Place, 21 Dec. 2013
By 
Mr. A. Baron "a_baron" (England) - See all my reviews
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As Thomas Huxley observed, the great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. There is nothing beautiful about the case of serial killer John Reginald Halliday Christie, and by the same token there was nothing innocent about Timothy Evans, the man who today is widely believed to have been hanged for the crimes of the former.

This erroneous belief is due largely to the one-sided propaganda campaign waged by Ludovic Kennedy, the author of the book "10 Rillington Place" on which a film dramatisation was based, and through which the world knows of the horror that went on there.

What are the chances of two murderers living under the same roof, killing independently, each being unaware of the other, and one blaming the other for his crimes? Incredible though it may seem, that is what the facts of this case support, and in this first ever dedicated biography of John Reginald Halliday Christie, Jonathan Oates brings the discipline of a trained historian to focus on those facts and much more.

There have been many other works about Evans & Christie, two men whose names are locked together for infinity, but no one has covered the case of the latter in such depth. Research at the Public Record Office - or The National Archives as we are now to call it - and in other archives has yielded fantastic detail and insight into a man who has been portrayed as the embodiment of evil. Yet although he murdered at least six women including his own wife, Christie couldn't bring himself to kill his agéd dog, and took the animal to the vet to have it put down.

Fascinating though Christie's life story may be, most attention will continue to be focused on the events of November 1949. The inconvenient facts are that Evans was the first person to raise the alarm about his wife being dead, feeding the police a cock and bull story before implicating Christie, and then when confronted with the evidence, confessing to both murders. In spite of attempts by Kennedy, Michael Eddowes before him, and others to blame the police, it is clear even from his own mouth that at no point did they mistreat Evans, nor did they twist the evidence to support his entirely voluntary confession. It was only when Evans realised the enormity of his crimes and of his own position that he did a total about-face.

There are one or two minor criticisms that can be made of this book, principally the mass of split infinitives and some casual errors, for example on one page Stanley Setty is referred to as Samuel Setty. It is incidentally the Setty case the authorities believed at the time to have inspired Evans, and incredibly Evans met Setty's murderer - the enigmatic Donald Hume - while on remand in Brixton.

Minor flaws or not, this is the definitive work on Evans & Christie, and even more so on Christie the man as well as the sexually depraved serial killer. Whether or not a second edition is published, this is the one book on the case everyone should read, now and for the next hundred years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars appalling events clearly described, 27 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
These sad, tragic, appalling events are clearly described here. Certainly, not a light read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting read., 31 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer (Kindle Edition)
This book reveals a lot about Christie and also suggests that Evans really was guilty!
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A never ending old story, 12 Nov. 2012
The Author has taken a host of information from the Archives and other various sources in order to write this book. But we have to be realistic nothing will change as to what Christie did and what happened at 10 Rillington Place, and so is it not the time to lay this worn out story to rest. However, if you are a fanatic about this evil man then I'm afraid this is not going to happen. The book is not to my taste at all for various reasons. There was no reason for the Author's comments regarding the brilliant film "10 Rillington Place" and also the work of other Authors'
What is he trying to prove? The writer sees Christie in a more pleasing light, a human being with virtues and fond of children and he has every right to his opinion.
Here we have a diabolical fiend who killed six women including his wife whom he lied about her death saying she took an overdose. He abused their dead bodies by taking pubic hair and keeping it in a tin. Take the case of Rita Nelson six months pregnant, her ordeal must have been horrendous when he savagely strangled her being so advanced in her pregnancy and her unborn child died at the hands of this infamous killer.
Christies life was abhorrent with his past of stealing, violent behaviour, a known liar etc. The smell of death all around him at 10 Rillington Place which it seems did not bother him at all.
With due respect it is my opinion the Author should take stock of his style of writing, it is full of self importance.
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