When the Second World War ended, England was bombed-out and starving, with practically every saleable commodity rationed. It was the age of austerity and criminal opportunity. Thieves broke into warehouses, hi-jacked lorries and ransacked railway yards to feed the black market; others stole, recycled or forged ration coupons. Scotland Yard was 6,000 men under strength but something dramatic had to be done – and it was. Four of the Yard's best informed detectives were summoned to form the Special Duties Squad and were told: "Go out into the underworld. Gather your informants. Do whatever is necessary to ensure that the gangs are smashed up. We will never ask you to divulge your sources of information. But remember – you must succeed." They did. Divisional Detective Inspector Jack Capstick, a brilliant thief-taker and informant runner, Detective Inspector Henry Clark, who knew the south London villains as few other detectives did and in addition, possessed a punch 'like the kick of a mule' and Detective Sergeants Matt Brinnand and John Gosling, who topped the Flying Squad war-time arrests, both individually and collectively, went out and with their informants, undercover officers and their own, unsurpassed ability, and in under four years, they arrested 789 criminals, solved 1,506 cases and recovered stolen property valued at £250,000 – or £10 million by today's standards. The Special Duties Squad was a one-off. How the four officers accomplished their task is divulged in this thrilling book, using hitherto unseen official documents and conversations from people who were there.
Author: Graeme McLagan
Publisher: Hachette UK
The inside story of a secret unit that has worked under cover to expose corruption in the Metropolitan Police since the early 1990s. Shocked by the extent of corruption within its ranks, Scotland Yard set up a new anti-corruption unit in the early 1990s. Its members had to operate in conditions of unprecedented secrecy and they became known as the 'Ghost Squad'. Bent Coppers really did believe they were untouchable: they stole cash and property, fitted-up innocent people and sold secret information to cripple court cases. Many of the bent coppers are now in jail or awaiting trial but the battle against corruption is not over. only now can the story of the 'Ghost Squad' be revealed. Award-winning BBC home affairs correspondent Graeme McLagan had followed the investigation since the beginning. He has interviewed undercover officers and many of the bent coppers they have exposed. this is the inside story of the 'Ghost Squad' and how it broke into the secret world of police corruption.
Author: Dick Kirby
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION & DETECTION. The story of sixty years of Scotland Yard s top crime-busting department has been written over a twenty year period by a former detective who spent over eight years with the Flying Squad The Sweeney. The meticulous research by the author has uncovered files never before released by the Yard and he has amassed the tales of bravery and top-notch investigations, carried out by the Squad officers of yesteryear. The Flying Squad was formed to stem the tide of lawlessness, following the First World War; from humble beginnings using horse-drawn wagons, they swiftly progressed to high-speed cars. The war years, the secret post-war Ghost Squad, the horse-doping scandals, the Great Train Robbery, the Bank of America robbery, Supergrasses and corruption are recounted with its scrupulous attention to detail. The book is filled with thrilling, amusing and always compelling anecdotes from the men who were there.
The 1950s and 1960s saw a changing of the guard in Londons gangland. A new and even more ruthless breed of criminal emerged to replace the aging generation of likes of Sabini, Mullins and Hayes. Protection rackets on bookies, club owners and shops were commonplace. Prostitution and drugs offered rich pickings. Police corruption was all too commonplace. Thanks to media interest the names of Charlie Richardson, Mad Frankie Fraser, Scarface Smithson and the Nichols became as widely known as they were feared. And then there were the Kray Twins, whose notoriety and brutality became watchwords. But as this insider book reveals they did not have it all their own way. For a thrilling and shocking story London's Gangs at War is in a class of its own. What makes it so chilling is that the murders, torture and mayhem actually happened.
Death on the Beat
Author: Dick Kirby
Little shocks the British public more than learning of the killing of policemen and women whilst tackling criminals. Even the vast majority of hardened crooks baulk at what is seen as the ultimate crime _ the mandatory death sentence in days of capital punishment reflected public disgust at such a crime, particularly when the police were largely unarmed. This book spans fifty years of crime enforcement and describes in detail the ever present danger to the police who patrolled LondonÍs streets and who lost their lives in the line of duty. Many of the police officers died carrying out run-of-the-mill police duties; from PC Nat Edgar, shot in 1948 by a burglar to PC Patrick Dunne, the home beat officer murdered while investigating a domestic incident in 1993; it took 13 years for his killer to be brought to justice. WPC Yvonne Fletcher was mercilessly gunned-down policing a demonstration in Central London in 1984, as was Detective Sergeant Ray Purdy, whilst arresting a cheap blackmailer. PC Ray Summers, an officer with less than two years service, stabbed to death as he broke up a gang fight, and the three-man crew of the ïQÍ car wiped out by gunmen in 1966, all feature in these pages. There are the thrilling stories of the investigations into the IRA after the murder of PC Stephen Tibble and the horrific bombing of Harrods store which cost three brave police officers their lives. Retired detective Dick Kirby has drawn deep on his knowledge and contacts within and outside the Metropolitan Police to track down those people who were there, who were involved in the investigations and those who were left behind; and how the trauma of losing a colleague or a loved one affected them. Written in his trademark gripping authoritative style, Death on the Beat, Dick KirbyÍs ninth book, promises to be the best yet.
In the late 1960s the Richardson Torture Gang and the Kray Twins were removed from the London scene by ACC Gerry McArthur and DS Nipper Read respectively. Predictably it was not long before the vacuum this left was being filled. With McArthur retired and Read moved on, who was to sort out the new gangland threat. Step forward Detective Chief Superintendent Bert Wickstead. Having cut his teeth on young desperadoes and neo-Nazis in North London and solved London's biggest post war bank robbery, Wickstead was well qualified to head up the Yard's Serious Crime Squad. First to fall were the Dixon brothers, followed by the Tibbs family. As his fame spread he took on the West End Maltese Syndicate specialising in prostitution and extortion. When he broke up the Norma Levy call ring, two cabinet peers had to resign. Inevitably Wickstead's career was dogged by unproved allegations of malpractice but, as this riveting 'insider' account conclusively proves, he more than earned his sobriquet 'The Gangbuster'.
Author: Dick Kirby
Publisher: Pen and Sword True Crime
In the summer of 1978, rumors emerged from the underworld that huge sums of money had been paid to the City of London Police to water-down evidence and arrange bail in cases of armed robbery. Then it was suggested that Scotland Yard's Flying Squad was also involved. The Home Secretary appointed the Dorset Police to investigate but it became clear to the criminals upon whom they relied to provide evidence that they were completely out of their depth. One line of inquiry after another became hopelessly compromised. While the investigation was known officially as Operation COUNTRYMAN, things were so bad that the team were variously nicknamed 'The Swedey' and 'Malice in Blunderland'. Despite a four year inquiry costing £4,000,000, eight Metropolitan police officers were acquitted and just two City of London officers were imprisoned. Operation COUNTRYMAN had little to do with that success; the convictions resulted from the fearlessness of a City of London policeman. The Author, a former Metropolitan police officer has used his knowledge and contacts to lift the lid on the shambolic COUNTRYMAN inquiry. He pulls no punches.
The entertainment world lost many notable talents in 2016, among them pop icons David Bowie and Prince, country music legend Merle Haggard, actors Gene Wilder, George Kennedy and Alan Rickman, novelist Harper Lee, television producer Gary Marshall and playwright Edward Albee. Obituaries of actors, filmmakers, musicians, producers, dancers, composers, writers and others associated with the performing arts who died in 2016 are included. Date, place and cause of death are provided for each, along with a career recap and a photograph. Filmographies are given for film and television performers. Books in this annual series are available dating to 1994, and a subscription plan is available for future volumes.
Author: Michael Gillard, Laurie Flynn
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
With Scotland Yard in the dock, now more than ever the public needs to know why the police cannot be trusted to investigate their own corruption. Untouchables, a five year investigation which the Yard tried to stop, provides the essential context to the phone hacking and other scandals currently engulfing Britain's most powerful police force. Republished after seven years, it was the first book to question the cosy relationship between the Yard and sections of the media, to explain why cops are incapable of investigating themselves and to expose the lack of independence in the new police watchdog. From the 1983 Brinks Matt robbery, through the murders of Daniel Morgan, David Norris, Stephen Lawrence, Jill Dando and Damilola Taylor to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, Untouchables reveals the cover ups, double standards and miscarriages of justice during the Yard's phoney war on corruption. Sunday Times journalist Michael Gillard and TV producer Laurie Flynn expose how the discredited use of supergrasses in the war on corruption has re-emerged in the new wars on terror and crime, with the same disastrous effects: prosecution misconduct, collapsed trials, huge bills for the taxpayer, victims left without justice and the guilty walking free.
The Scourge of Soho
Author: Dick Kirby
Publisher: Pen and Sword
The Scourge of Soho describes the dramatic and eventful life of Detective Sergeant Harry Challenor MM and at the same time lifts the lid on front-line policing and the murky world of Soho criminals in the 1950s and 1960s.??Born into grinding poverty in 1922, Challenor fought with the Special Air Service during the Second World War, being parachuted behind enemy lines, captured twice, escaping twice. He was awarded the Military Medal.??Joining the post-war Metropolitan Police, challenor spent four years with the elite Flying Squad, before being sent to clear up crime in Soho. Pimps, racketeers and crooks were rounded-up and often found themselves in possession of a bewildering assortment of armaments of which they denied all knowledge. More sensible gangsters, like Reg and Ron Kray, took off as soon as his name was mentioned.??Challenor could not be frightened or bought-off, so the gang leaders put up a £1,000 reward to anyone who could frame him. In the end, it was not needed. During a political demonstration in 1963, half-bricks were planted on innocent protesters and three young policemen were imprisoned and Challenor certified as a paranoid schizophrenic and sent to a succession of psychiatric hospitals and care homes. Policeman-turned-author, Dick Kirby has interviewed former friends and colleagues of this determined but flawed character and has meticulously studied court records and official documents. The result is a sensational and gripping account of the man who became The Scourge of Soho.??As featured in the East Anglian Daily Times, Bury Mercury and Wolverhampton Magazine.
Author: Sam Eastland
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Sam Eastland's Archive 17. Deep in the Russian countryside, a thirty-ton killing machine known officially as T-34 is being developed in total secrecy. Its inventor is a rogue genius whose macabre death is considered an accident only by the innocent. Suspecting assassins everywhere, Stalin brings in his best—if least obedient—detective to solve a murder that’s tantamount to treason. Answerable to no one, Inspector Pekkala has the dictator’s permission to go anywhere and interrogate anyone. But the closer Pekkala gets to answers, the more questions he uncovers—first and foremost, why is the state’s most dreaded female operative, Commissar Major Lysenkova, investigating the case when she’s only assigned to internal affairs? In the shadows of one of history’s most notorious regimes, Pekkala is on a collision course with not only the Soviet secret police but the USSR’s deadliest military secrets. For what he’s about to unearth could put Stalin and his Communist state under for good—and bury Pekkala with them.
From the files of Scotland Yard’s “Black Museum” (open only to police officers) come true crime stories of some of the most infamous murder cases of the 19th and 20th centuries—the Lambeth Poisoner, “baby farmer” Amelia Elizabeth Dyer, the Gentleman Vampire of Bournemouth, the Brides in the Bath Murders, the Rillington Place murders and many others. Along the way, investigators pass a number of crime-solving milestones, included the first use of fingerprint technology, the early use of photography and the first time “The Yard” enlisted the press to help hunt down a killer.
The first study devoted to the genesis of domestic TV/Film production, this project presents an industrial and cultural history of the transformation of the lower reaches of Britain's film industry during the period 1946-1964.
“Bold, daring, graceful, and engrossing.” —Bobbie Ann Mason “This book will knock your socks off….A first novel that sings with talent.” —Clyde Edgerton In his phenomenal debut novel—a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town—author Wiley Cash displays a remarkable talent for lyrical, powerfully emotional storytelling. A Land More Kind than Home is a modern masterwork of Southern fiction, reminiscent of the writings of John Hart (Down River), Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter), Ron Rash (Serena), and Pete Dexter (Paris Trout)—one that is likely to be held in the same enduring esteem as such American classics as To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and A Separate Peace. A brilliant evocation of a place, a heart-rending family story, a gripping and suspenseful mystery—with A Land More Kind than Home, a major American novelist enthusiastically announces his arrival.
The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: A&C Black
When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?