ODD MAN OUT - A Motiveless Murder? Paperback – 27 Jan 2018
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I kept wondering how on earth Denise Beddows found out all that she did about this 1948 Lancashire mill town murder. It is timely with gender fluidity being discussed.
Odd Man Out is the true and sad story of transgendered bus conductress Margaret 'Bill' Allen who barely knew the victim, and who was executed for the seemingly motiveless murder of an elderly woman. A woman who was described, even by her family, as abnormal.
It's a book that wonders whether the verdict of guilty was right, but if it was , why would she do this? It is a painstaking investigation, and threads are discovered, followed, and interwoven into some sort of an explanation.
Well written, absorbing, thought provoking.
This is different than her novels and local histories, as it is true crime but it is every bit as well written and engrossing. I like how she begins each chapter with a quote which gives a flavor of what is to come in that chapter and really draws you in. This book explores a little known and surprisingly under reported case of a transgendered person who murdered someone (s)he barely knew and for no apparent motive. The author has undertaken a commendable amount of research and has uncovered significant evidence which, had it not been suppressed by the police at the time, might have led to a different outcome. As it was, poor 'Bill' was hanged. Although I am an American living in England, I was able to visualise the dark and impoverished post-war Lancashire town and the tough and deprived life poor 'Bill' led. The murder scene is well set, and I could barely hold back a tear as the author took us right to the gallows, even though the outcome was known from the start. I also appreciated learning 'what happened next' to all those involved - a technique also used in 'Running with Crows'.
Having so enjoyed the British films 'Pierrepoint' and 'Vera Drake', I can visualise 'Odd Man Out' as an equally moving film - moviemakers take note. Can't wait for this author's next book.
Yes, I had heard about this murder before, but didn't know very many details. I've always thought that Margaret Allen probably did not have a very fair trial. The trial only lasted 5 hours and the jury deliberation took a mere 15 minutes to reach a verdict.
This is an excellent read looking at the murder of Nancy Chadwick in 1948 and the subsequent trial and execution of Margaret Allen. The author presents all her research and investigations in chronological order, taking the reader through Allen's journey. New evidence that was suppressed at the time, makes you question many things. Was this a miscarriage of justice and given Allen's sexuality was the investigation, trial etc., free from prejudice and homophobia?
I did notice a couple of errors in the book, but hopefully these will be addressed in the next edition.
Definitely a read worthy of 5*