May 11, 2015
May 4, 2015
Two photographs taken by Alex King at the Classic Crime Conference last Saturday, 2nd May. The first one shows me after my presentation with Raymond Shaw, master of ceremonies at the conference. Raymond is a former President of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association and through his continued involvement in that organisation has represented solicitors in meetings with the senior Judiciary and the Crown Prosecution Service. He actively campaigns against the “government’s continued assault on legal aid and access to justice.”
April 25, 2015
A week to go and not sure whether to be quietly excited or scared stiff!
April 10, 2015
12 years ago while researching RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE I accompanied Muriel Jakubait, Ruth Ellis’s sister, to the Royal Courts of Justice for the Appeal being brought by her legal team – they hoped to get Ruth’s 1955 murder verdict reduced to manslaughter.
When we reached the door of Court 4 I noticed a sign “No Mobile Phones”. In all innocence I took a small dictaphone in with me and from time to time switched it on to record the carry-on. I use that phrase as there is no other way to describe what I witnessed. After the lunch break the three judges Lord Justice Kay, Mr Justice Leveson and Mr Justice Silber were seated at the bench ready for the afternoon’s performance. Mr Justice Leveson stared straight at me then addressed the audience. It had come to his attention during the lunch break that someone was using a dictaphone. He used the phrase contempt of court and I felt that any minute he’d put the black cap on. It was nothing less than a hanging offence! He instructed me to hand over the recorded tape. In other words I’d been shopped. I clicked open the machine in order to carry out his instructions. He said, Not now, someone will collect it. I thought, No way sunshine, you’ll have it now. I made sure the tape would be useless and snapped it in half before handing it over.
Yet I remember what actually went on at the Appeal Court in September 2003. And the reason I mention the above scenario today on the 60th anniversary of the shooting of David Blakely, is to put things in context. I witnessed the legal horseplay that went on behind the scenes that day – something that will have to remain secret. I will never be able to talk about it for fear of the legal profession coming down on me like a ton of bricks.
Nor will I forget how, on that day in December when the Appeal was dismissed and the murder verdict was upheld, one of the law lords was more concerned about getting away to watch his rugby-playing son amongst the World Cup-winning side on their open–top bus parade through London .
Nor could I ignore the headlines the day after the Appeal was dismissed: “£200,000 of public money wasted on Ruth Ellis Appeal bla la bla”. Yes, I agree. But not for the reasons the media meted out at that time. If only the nation had experienced what I witnessed in the Appeal Court – a total farce. My verdict on British Justice: it’s total crap.
Poor Muriel went to court hoping to see her sister’s murder verdict quashed. Oh no. It was all planned. She was there to watch the legal profession line its pockets, hoping their latest brainwave of Battered Woman Syndrome would cut the mustard with the law lords.
These are my reflections on the 60th anniversary of David Blakely’s shooting. I don’t believe the bruises on Ruth Ellis’s body were inflicted by Blakely. They were something far more sinister. They were part of the process by which Ruth Ellis signed her own death certificate.
April 9, 2015
Why didn’t the police check everything Desmond Cussen said in his statement?
Why didn’t Ruth Ellis’s solicitor check everything Cussen said in his statement?
Why didn’t the defence counsel (Stevenson and co) check everything Cussen said in court?
Desmond Cussen lied in court about the length of time he had known David Blakely. This wasn’t his only lie. I have already written about his inability to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I’ve previously blogged and included in our book, how, after Ruth Ellis’s trial Alexander Engleman, who worked at the Little Club where Ruth had been manageress, spoke to the Home Office about a taxi Desmond Cussen had owned. This information was passed to the police who in turn interviewed Engleman. During the interview he told the police officer about an evening in 1954 when Cussen offered to drive him home from the Little Club to his flat off Tottenham Court Road. Engleman said Cussen had driven him home in a taxi cab and even wore a chauffeur’s hat.
The police officer tried to interview Desmond Cussen about the taxi but he could not be found. In his police report the police officer wrote:
“…according to Engleman, Desmond mentioned he had borrowed the cab while his own car was being serviced. No information could be obtained concerning the possible ownership of the machine. If within the next few days [five days later Ruth Ellis was hanged] Cussen is traced he will be interrogated in respect of the use of the taxicab with Engleman, and of the possibility that he drove Ellis to the scene of the murder….Even if it is established that Cussen drove her to Hampstead on that evening, it would have little bearing on the culpability of Ellis in this matter, but so far there is not a shred of evidence to show that Cussen did take her to the scene of crime”.
Eventually (on, I believe from memory, 9th July 1955) two police officers found Cussen at his flat at Goodwood Court. In his statement Cussen said he had owned a taxi which he bought in early 1954 but disposed of it to his brother William David Cussen in August/September that year and he [Desmond Cussen] had not used it since. He denied driving Ruth Ellis to Hampstead in it. In their report to the Home Office they mentioned “He sold it to his brother at Windsor in September 1954….”.
Cussen finished his statement with ” I certainly did not drive her to Hampstead that evening by taxi or otherwise”.
In ‘A fine day for a hanging, the real Ruth Ellis story’ by Carol Ann Lee, instead of sticking to the story about the taxi, and pushing for the truth about Cussen’s statement, Lee is more concerned about criticising Muriel Jakubait and me about our incorrect reference to Desmond Cussen’s brother: “The authors twice state that Desmond was an only child, but he was not; as we know, he did indeed have a younger brother who lived in Windsor at the time”.
I would add I have now discovered that William David Cussen, Desmond’s brother, was actually born in the autumn of 1919. He was nearly three years OLDER than Desmond.
I return now to the subject of the taxi and the police report that Desmond Cussen had sold it to his brother at Windsor in September 1954. This is not accurate. In 1954 William Cussen’s address was 10 Hyde Park Gardens, London. He lived 1.9 miles away from his brother Desmond at the time Desmond sold him the taxi. William did not move to the Windsor address until 1955.
I am amazed that with just five days to go until Ruth Ellis’s hanging that the police didn’t scrutinise everything Cussen said.
The police had said “….even if it is established that Cussen drove her to Hampstead on that evening, it would have little bearing on the culpability of Ellis in this matter”.
How naive! Why should the police believe Cussen’s statement about the taxi, especially the declaration that he denied driving it to Hampstead on the night of the 10th April? By double checking everything Cussen had told the police and stated in court they should have realised he was lying. This surely should have led to further investigation into the case. And Ruth Ellis would have been saved.
Could this be the face of Desmond Cussen in 1951? I wonder.
April 6, 2015
Reliable Sources How do I begin?
I’m writing this with four days to go until the 60th anniversary of the shooting of David Blakely. I have followers on my blog from the UK (including Guernsey) Denmark, USA, Canada, France, Australia, Switzerland, Russia, Germany and many other countries. I have viewers following links via Twitter and Facebook. I have people who have supported me since ghost writing RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE in 2005.
Many commentators have brushed aside my research on Ruth Ellis calling me a conspiracy theorist. How do I respond to that insult, and how do I transmit a suitable message in reply? There’s no quick answer. It can’t be made in one sound byte. I decided that somehow I would need to explain the patttern of lies that have been published – for example I recently blogged about the lies in connection with George Ellis and also the Newquay Connection – then attempt to show how the wool has been pulled over our eyes, and how the lies began with Robert Hancock’s book ‘Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged’ published in 1963. It was this book that helped create the myth about Ruth Ellis. And in my opinion it was this book, regarded by many as a reliable source, that has deliberately and convincingly distorted the truth.
In its Foreword, Hancock (I now know wrote under the name Duggie Howell) refers to the Ruth Ellis life story he also wrote for the Woman’s Sunday Mirror: “Like all newspaper stories of this kind it was an occasionally obscure and sometimes misleading account; unlike some newspaper life stories it also contained enough truth to make it interesting”. He went on to justify the reason that the magazine’s editor Jim Eilbeck could not have printed all the truth even if he had been willing; Ruth Ellis and the legal halters that restrain, often unfairly, British journalism, would have stopped that”.
I have previously asked on my blog why this writer of ONE serialised article in 1955 (for the Woman’s Sunday Mirror) was given access in 1962 to the Transcript of Ruth Ellis’s trial for his book to be published the following year, when other writers’ requests for the Transcript were refused.
Despite extensive searches (at the time of writing this blog post) I found no other published work by Robert Hancock/Duggie Howell. One serialised article and one book about Ruth Ellis seemed to be this gentleman’s literary career in a nutshell. I ask: Who was this man friends with? Hancock describes his story as an ‘obscure and sometimes misleading account’. Is this the art of the misinformation programme that has been fed to the masses, thereby creating its own version of historical events around the story about the last woman to be hanged in the UK?
His story included a small amount of truth to make the story believable (in the process promoting it to reliable-source-status for the benefit of future writers) while fabricating huge chunks of the story. Take another glance at two Posts below: ‘The Newquay Connection – another big lie and George Ellis – reply to my letter to British Dental Journal. This is the main reason I have had difficulty promoting my new findings. I am up against this reliable-source-syndrome, this brick wall of secrecy; one that the British people would never realise was mainly cock and bull!
“There is no record of this elsewhere” writes Carol Ann Lee in Note 13 for Chapter 10 of her 2012 book ‘A fine day for a hanging‘, about information we published in RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE casually brushing it aside, calling into question its accuracy and needless to say not regarding my finding as a reliable source. She is referring to our findings in our book about the Paddock Club in Ashtead, Surrey. During my research I uncovered reliable information about Desmond Cussen’s long term friendship with David Blakely, and thereby busting the myth that the pair only became acquainted in 1953.
And in Note 10 for Chapter 8 Lee writes “Muriel is keen to dispute the accepted version of how Ruth and David met. She spoke to Sylvia Smith, who worked at the now defunct House at Home pub in Westerham in the early 1950s; Smith told Muriel that Ruth Ellis and David Blakely frequented the pub between 1951 and 1953 and may even have rented a cottage in the area. This seems highly unlikely given all the evidence to the contrary, including Ruth’s own recollections, and her statement to the police”.
In response to this I say, firstly, Muriel did not speak to Sylvia Smith. I did. I made contact with Sylvia Smith AFTER our book was published in 2005, and published my findings later on my personal blog. But it’s the ‘this seems highly unlikely’ stated with such authority with which I take issue.
Another example of Lee’s implied superiority as a researcher can be seen again in Appendix 1: “…apart from the hotel’s chef, no one is able to confirm a friendship between Kerr [the actress Deborah Kerr] and Ruth….nor is she [Ruth Ellis] mentioned in any of the voluminous writings about Deborah Kerr….or regarding an affair between Ruth and Ward, [Stephen Ward] again no one is able to corroborate this idea apart from the former White Hart chef”.
I, unlike Lee, have had the nerve to question what was actually happening in 1955, no matter how uncomfortable the process. When I began ghost writing RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE in 2002, finding lies within the first month of my research, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. As regular readers of my blog will have seen, especially over the last few weeks, I have uploaded many more findings that explode the Ruth Ellis myth.
In my opinion, and coupled with my findings, 1955 was a dangerous year. Ruth Ellis was used as a pawn in a dangerous game to deflect suspicion away from the dirty tricks department of the British security services and government departments that were embroiled in the biggest spying scandal the UK had ever been involved in.
By systematically dissecting what has been previously written (and continues to be written) I have started to expose the literary masterpieces that discredited Ruth Ellis in their well-orchestrated ruse. Books about Ruth Ellis written by other authors have one thing in common: secrecy. They have kept our nation, intentionally maybe, sometimes unintentionally, in the dark about what was really going on. Other writers have claimed to know the true story about Ruth Ellis. They may have presented a story. They have not presented the facts.
This Post today is dedicated to the memory of Muriel Jakubait, Ruth Ellis’s sister, who passed away in November 2013. RIP Muriel.
April 4, 2015
Author Robert Hancock in ‘Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged’ published in 1963, tells the lengthy and detailed tale of Ruth’s holiday in Newquay, Cornwall with George Ellis in May 1950. Carol Ann Lee, in ‘A fine day for a hanging, the real Ruth Ellis story’ published in 2012, follows Hancock’s lead and quotes at length from Ruth’s story about that same holiday as it appears in a file at The National Archives.
Here is a short extract from Lee’s account of that day’s boat trip arranged by George Ellis:
“…..during which he [George Ellis] and the skipper proceeded to get ‘well and truly tight’ as Ruth phrased it. Night fell and they remained far from shore, then one of the engines broke down. While the skipper tried to mend it, an inebriated George tried to steer the boat. ‘I was frozen’ Ruth remembered….In the distance, Ruth saw a lighthouse beam. George told her to start praying because the boat was in bad shape. ‘So am I’ Ruth replied. By a miracle, they managed to pull up alongside a French trawler, who gave them enough fuel to reach land……..”.
Not long after our book ‘RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE’ was published in 2005, journalist Pat Nurse wrote an article for the Cornish Guardian about our book and about my continuing research into the Ruth Ellis story. https://copperknob.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/cornish-guardian-ruth-ellis.jpg During her own research Pat made contact with Jimmy Hoare, the son of Eddie Hoare, who was the fisherman that went out on the day trip in question. Pat arranged for me to speak to Jimmy Hoare.
During my conversation with Jimmy I learned the truth about George’s fishing trip.
Jimmy told me that the story [as described by Robert Hancock in his 1963 book, and earlier in Ruth Ellis’s ‘life-story’ that was published in the Woman’s Sunday Mirror] was absolute nonsense. He said his father Eddie and George Ellis went out in the boat on their own. Ruth was not with them – she stayed in Newquay that day. He also filled in more details about Ruth and what she was actually like during her stay in Newquay.
What was Hancock’s motive for writing this story in his book in 1963? In the Foreword to his book (and as I explain in RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE) he also admitted that he wrote Ruth Ellis’s ‘life story’ that was published in the Woman’s Sunday Mirror in 1955. And why did Ms Lee take the story at face value? Is it simply a case, as the old phrase goes, of NOT ruining a good story by sticking to the truth?
Later I will upload further extracts from the Hancock/Lee stories to show exactly how stories over the years have been spun about this Newquay episode.
Below from Robert Hancock’s ‘Ruth Ellis the last woman to be hanged’
Below from Carol Ann Lee’s ‘A Fine day for a hanging, the real Ruth Ellis story’
4 April 2015
March 30, 2015
When she went to the gallows in 1955 Ruth Ellis went without saying a word, said Albert Pierrepoint her executioner, in a letter he wrote 20 years later to her sister Muriel Jakubait.
The 28 year-old peroxide blonde ‘model’ in the dock was seen as a cold-blooded murderess: in the eyes of the prosecution led by Christmas Humphreys at her Old Bailey trial in June 1955; in the eyes of Melford Stevenson, Ellis’s defence counsel. He told the court at the start of the day and a half murder trial that Ellis had shot her 25 year-old lover David Blakely. “You will not hear one word from me or the lady herself, questioning that” he told the court, then proceeded to subject the prosecution witnesses to a minimum of cross-examination. Wasn’t his role to defend his client? Ruth Ellis had pleaded not guilty. Ruth Ellis was guilty in the eyes of the press. And in the eyes of the ordinary people.
On the face of it Ruth Ellis was guilty. She was hanged three weeks later on 13 July 1955 in Holloway Prison.
What if she had lied in court? What if she was actually innocent of the crime for which she was hanged? After all, her innocence was not tested in court. What if dark forces had deliberately closed their eyes to and been prepared for an innocent woman, a gullible woman, to pay the ultimate price, for the greater good of this green and pleasant land.
It is not possible. Or is it?
How would the truth sound now 60 years after the British criminal justice system was allowed to ‘run its course’ in the words of Gwilym Lloyd George, the then Home Secretary when refusing a reprieve for Ellis at the eleventh hour? How would the truth sound after successive governments have openly accepted the original murder verdict? How would the truth sound 12 years after Muriel Jakubait’s Appeal for a reduction of the 1955 murder verdict to manslaughter failed at the Royal Court of Justice? Again in 2003 the original murder verdict was upheld in a re-run of the farcical 1955 trial.
After so much investment in Ruth Ellis being remembered as a murderess, could any government ever own up to getting it wrong? Could the time ever be right to say Sorry, we hanged an innocent woman, there was a cover up?
Over the last 12 years details have emerged about another side to this woman who walked silently to her execution, as brave as any man. Details that challenge the story that has been spun and repeated for 60 years: of secrets gathering; grooming; intelligence matters; the Cold War; of public school boys using their connections to aid the penetration of misinformation with press lords about the worthless peroxide blonde tart who shot her lover in a fit of passion.
On 12 July 1955 the day before her execution Ruth Ellis told her solicitors that it seemed ‘traitorous’ to say what really happened on 10 April 1955, the night of the shooting.
This is where the real Ruth Ellis story begins: a life Ruth Ellis did not speak of to anyone outside her secret circle. A story simmering beneath the surface.
March 28, 2015
Almost 10 years ago I wrote a letter to the British Dental Journal. You will see, if you click on the link below, that I was asking for information about George Johnston Ellis. Ruth Neilson married him in 1950. http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v199/n9/full/4812918a.html At the beginning of this week a recently retired gentleman living in Guernsey contacted me. He explained that since retirement he has been catching up on things that he’s always meant to do. He’d seen my letter on the internet and told me about his mother’s connection to George Ellis. Yesterday I visited the gentleman and his parents. His mother was George Ellis’s dental nurse/receptionist from 1947 to 1950. She said, “He took me on full time, half past eight in the morning until about quarter past five in the afternoon, Monday to Friday”. Her father who ran a garage with chauffeur service in Surrey used to drive George to various venues. I’m still working through the transcript of our conversation yesterday. What I would say at this point, this elderly lady’s clear recollections of George between 1947 and 1950, reinforce my belief that nothing should ever be taken at face value. Picture below – George Ellis’s dental surgery in Sanderstead, Surrey
1 April 2015 – further updates
Having transcribed the conversation with the above lady who I shall refer to as Janet who was George Ellis’s full time receptionist/dental nurse from 1947 to 1950, and to understand the significance of her first hand information about George, his home/surgery/personal circumstances in Sanderstead and Ruth’s whereabouts at that time, I’m ready to Post a few more findings.
To begin I need to quote from a variety of books about Ruth Ellis. The following is from ‘Ruth Ellis the last woman to be hanged’ by Robert Hancock, published in 1963. In this extract Hancock is describing Ruth Ellis’s description of her introduction to George Ellis… “In those days George Ellis always hired cars and drivers – we were driven to Purley Downs Golf Club where we had dinner…”
Hancock continues: “The happy couple decided to live at Sanderstead and George told the neighbours that they had just returned from their honeymoon. The rows grew in frequency and noise…”
Then in his description of Ruth and George Ellis’s time in Warsash at the beginning of 1951 Hancock writes “George had borrowed the Morgans’ second car, a small Fiat, to drive to the Polygon….”
Moving on to ‘Ruth Ellis, a case of diminished responsibility’ by Laurence Marks and Tony Van Den Bergh, published in 1977, the authors continue the story about Ruth’s stay in Sanderstead. They write: “As if to convince herself that she could confine herself to one man, she went to live with George Ellis at Sanderstead”.
Carol Ann Lee in her 2012 book “A fine day for a hanging, the real Ruth Ellis story” continues the story about Ruth’s time spent at George Ellis’s house in Sanderstead, in a similar way to the two previous authors, though firstly stating that George’s house name was Elmswood. George at the time in question actually lived in a house seven doors away from Elmswood called Woodlands. Lee writes: “Ruth remained in the house in Sanderstead, visiting George regularly”.
Having now spoken with Janet who was George Ellis’s full time receptionist/dental nurse from 1947 to 1950, I can now say with even more conviction that the above books (Hancock started the ball rolling with his 1963 book ) are inaccurate in their portrayal of George and Ruth’s circumstances at this time. To the average reader the stories may sound convincing but when you start to investigate what these writers have told us, they appear to be experts at spreading misinformation. But why did these writers tell, and others still tell, what I can only describe as cock and bull stories? What is their motive?
Firstly, in connection with Ruth’s stay in George’s house on Sanderstead Hill. In all the time that Janet worked at George’s practice/home, from 8.30 until 5.15 every day, Monday to Friday,from 1947 to 1950, there was no sign of Ruth Ellis at the house. Janet did not see Ruth once! There was no evidence that Ruth ever lived with George in his house on Sanderstead Hill.
Returning to Hancock’s book in which he quotes Ruth saying that George Ellis always hired cars and drivers – that is not exactly true. Yes, Ellis did hire a driver in Sanderstead, we now know from Janet’s father’s car business in the town. But I asked Janet if George was ever seen driving his own car. She replied “Oh yes. I’ve been in the little white or lightish cream coloured car that he had. It had a soft top which was dark coloured, there were two seats at the back. He used to come and pick me up in his car, now and again. The dear little boys [George’s two sons who lived with their mother] sat in the car with us.” Janet’s husband-to-be also remembers the car being parked in the driveway at the house on many occasions. From their description we can be almost certain the car was a 1947 Hillman Minx drophead coupe. It also seemed odd that Hancock should write that when Ruth and George went down to Warsash at the beginning of 1951 George borrowed his new employer Mr Morgan’s second car, when we now have it confirmed that George owned and drove his own car. For those who have read our book RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE, it’s more than likely that the smallish open top car that Margaret Woodford saw Ruth in on one occasion in Warsash, was in fact George’s car….similar to this one below
I have now spoken to Margaret Woodford and shown her this picture. No, this wasn’t the car she saw Ruth and a younger man in, in 1951. She describes that car as a lower, sportier-looking sports car. To add another dimension to the story, she told me that at no time, during George and Ruth Ellis’s short stay in the village of Warsash at the beginning of 1951, did she ever see any car parked outside the house.