Ruth Ellis 1926 – 1955
Today, 9th October 2016, Ruth Ellis would have been 90 years old.
‘Murder Casebook: Ruth Ellis’ – this tv documentary presented by Fred Dinenage (click on link below) was repeated, yet again, within the last week.
It is an example that if something is repeated often enough and with authority, we tend to believe it. This can be very dangerous.
1.59 minutes into the documentary comes the first inaccurate statement: we are told in 1926, when Ruth Ellis was born, her father was a jobbing musician. This is not true. Arthur had already given up as a musician!
6.25 minutes in, comes the second inaccurate statement, in which it is alleged Ruth Ellis applied for a job at The Camera Club in London to be a photographer’s model. She did not apply for a job there. She was never on the club’s list of models. She was taken to The Camera Club to be photographed by a member of the club.
The inaccuracies in this documentary, which in my opinion is more like detective fiction, continue. For my own reasons I will not spell all of them out here.
However, I will point out one very interesting inaccuracy.
It occurs at 26.59 minutes into the show when Fred Dinenage and criminologist Prof David Wilson are staging a ‘re-enactment’ of the shooting…in this case a fixed target was set up outside. Because the two men could not use the .38 Smith and Wesson gun which Ruth Ellis allegedly used to kill David Blakely, they used a similar gun. Immediately, Dinenage automatically takes hold of the gun in his two hands, arms outstretched, exactly how anyone using a gun of this kind would hold it.
But Ruth Ellis was not a man with big hands like the experts on the film! She had tiny hands, one of which was gnarled as a result of contracting rheumatic fever when she was a teenager. The bone around her left hand finger joints had been totally destroyed. And Ruth Ellis was not shooting a fixed, circular target…she was apparently shooting at Blakely, a moving target, and from a distance. Only one shot was fired at point blank range ie less than 4cm from the body.
Ruth Ellis could not have used both hands in the way Dinenage correctly demonstrated the method of shooting the gun in question.
Nor, for the sake of argument, could Ruth have fired the gun with just one hand; this particular gun would have been far too big and heavy in her tiny hands, and it was not an automatic. It needed two-handed action.
Despite Dinenage’s shooting practice in the film, using two hands to hold the gun with arms outstretched, Ruth Ellis is still portrayed in the film as firing the gun using one hand only.
Things don’t stack up!
INJURED PARTIES, Solving the Murder of Dr Helen Davidson is my latest true crime book, published by The History Press