Unsolved London Murders: The 1940s and 1950s Hardcover – 15 Oct 2009
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About the Author
Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. His books include several volumes on West London in the Images of London series as well as Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Ealing, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Lewisham and Deptford, Unsolved Murders in Victorian and Edwardian London and Unsolved London Murders: The 1920s and 1930s. He has also published a study of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 and Sweet William or The Butcher? The Duke of Cumberland and the '45.
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I became interested in this as my sister once lived near to one of the murders (Jean Townsend). Fascinating though disturbing to realise how many unsolved murders there are, despite all the efforts the Police put into their solution.
All these perpetrators walked free.
However, there are very few contemporary images, perhaps because there aren't any, so most pictures of of recent vintage. Several of the cases lack access to the original files, so newspapers of the time are used, thus limiting the information available. Finally, there are a few errors of fact; Haigh killed three women, not six. Christie did tell that he had killed Geraldine Evans, he was not in gaol for five minor offences (one was non-custodial), nor was his wife's maiden name Waddington, and there are a few more errors of fact in this chapter, sensible as the general approach to the case is. For these reasons I cannot give a 5 star rating, but on the whole it is well researched, original and interesting.
David J. Lee