'Searching for the Truth about Ruth Ellis' by Monica Weller MY BLOG IS COPYRIGHT. IT MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT MY PERMISSION

March 18, 2018

A Hate Triangle in The Ruth Ellis Files?

I read the following Tweet this morning, written by a journalist on a well-known paper, but giving her own opinion about The Ruth Ellis Files. It rather spells out a narrow-minded attitude amongst many whose knowledge of the Ruth Ellis story stems from the likes of the film ‘Dance with a Stranger’ and books published over the years.

“The #RuthEllis investigation on #bbc4 why did they put it on over theee nights? It’s basically a one hour show spread very thin with huge amounts of unprovable speculation . A pity as it could have been a piece of interesting social commentary”.

I replied “The true story is massive! It needs careful handling and a drip-drip approach over a period of time.This documentary,in my opinion,is just a start. Criticism is easy. Thinking outside the box, in connection to assumptions made over the years about Ruth Ellis is more challenging”……then “People thought they knew everything about the Ruth Ellis story that’s been spun over the last 60 years. New evidence has been found. Patching it together is like doing a jigsaw & takes skill. To sceptics it may look like ‘unprovable speculation’.There is much more to come out”.

There’s no doubt that some crime writers in the 1950s, one in particular, did a fantastic job of manipulating the truth about Ruth and pumping out misinformation for the gullible reader. Actually, that’s unkind. The average reader just didn’t know any better. Other writers followed his lead. It’s this twisting of the truth that’s fuelled, and still fuels, scepticism and encourages many to say “conspiracy theorist” about anyone who’s come up with new facts.

Interesting to see David Bickford interviewed in the documentary talking about his uncle John Bickford, Ruth’s solicitor who was chosen for her by Desmond Cussen. What the programme didn’t mention, David was former lawyer to the security services.

According to the programme John Bickford carried out work for the Mirror Newspaper. And we know now from documents that were not available to me for RUTH ELLIS MY SISTER’S SECRET LIFE in 2005, that Bickford encouraged his client Ruth Ellis to lie in court.

We have an interesting connection here to the Mirror newspaper: Duggie Howell aka Robert Hancock who wrote Ruth Ellis’s ‘lifestory’ for the Woman’s Sunday Mirror. And just to complete my thoughts for today, and come full circle, Howell/Hancock interviewed Desmond Cussen for his 1963 book about Ruth Ellis.

Is this triangle responsible for the lies spread about Ruth Ellis? Or is this a conspiracy theory?

Monica Weller




March 13, 2018

And a mention in The Sun

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 12:34 pm

…and a slightly longer, brief mention in The Sun today.



In Today’s Daily Telegraph

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 10:26 am

AT LAST. A very brief name check in today’s Daily Telegraph about my role in The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story, BBC4 9pm tonight.


My appearance tonight in The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story

I appear (fleetingly – my Alfred Hitchcock moment!)) in

The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story tonight (for which I’m a consultant)

on BBC4 9pm.

Here’s what the Leatherhead History Society wrote about my Ruth Ellis talk in 2016:

LDLHS Newsletter February 2016


The Quarterly Magazine of the Leatherhead & District Local History Society February 2016 The Newsletter




March 5, 2018

The Ruth Ellis Files

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 1:01 pm

The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story

BBC4 9pm

Tuesday 13 March, Wednesday 14 March, Thursday 15 March


February 27, 2018

Transcript, Shots Fired, Melford Stevenson for the Defence

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 12:26 pm
Transcript of the Trial and shots fired from the Smith and Wesson revolver
I looked through my diaries yesterday. On Wednesday 29 January 2003, eleven months after I began ghostwriting ‘Ruth Ellis My Sister’s Secret Life’, Ruth Ellis’s sister Muriel Jakubait and I visited the Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard. There we met the curator John Ross. We wanted to look at the gun which had been removed from Ruth Ellis’s hands by an off duty police officer following the shooting of David Blakely on 10 April 1955 outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead.
Fifteen years later, on 22 February 2018, I gave a talk about our book. An elderly retired barrister, I discovered later he was called to the Bar in 1951, was in the audience. Afterwards he spoke to me at length. I told him that Melford Stevenson, Ruth’s defence counsel, had done virtually nothing to help his client; Stevenson’s input was minimal. He said Ruth Ellis had pleaded not guilty so her barrister should have defended her properly. He pointedly asked if I’d seen a transcript of the trial. I said yes.
I told him how when each person was called to give evidence at the trial Stevenson’s input was minimal, a few lines of questions (or no questions!)
The elderly barrister’s question about the transcript reminded me to re-check details about the gun in it.
Extraordinarily Stevenson, who was supposed to be defending his client, had no questions about the gun at the Old Bailey in 1955 for Lewis Nickolls, director of the Forensic Laboratory at New Scotland Yard. (see excerpt from Ruth Ellis My Sister’s Secret Life below. To me this lack of questioning was illuminating.
It’s obvious from the transcript of the trial that information about the gun was nowhere near detailed enough for any balanced jury to convict upon.
I can only surmise that by not asking Nickolls about shots fired from a distance Stevenson was hoping to keep details about them from the court. Could it be that with the minimum of details about the one shot fired at point blank range, the jury would be in no doubt of Ruth Ellis’s guilt?
With the transcript of the trial secreted away for many years, other than journalist Douglas Howell being given exclusive access to it in 1962 for his book published in 1963 about Ruth Ellis, nobody would be any the wiser about this cover up.
50 years later, when I ghost wrote Ruth Ellis My Sister’s Secret Life, and with the transcript of the trial in front of me at The National Archives, it was my chance to show how Stevenson’s minimal questioning about the shots fired misled the court in 1955.

February 26, 2018

The Ruth Ellis Files, A Very British Crime Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 11:13 am

The Ruth Ellis Files, for which I am a consultant, and in which I appear begins on 13 March 2018, 9pm on BBC4






February 17, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 11:10 pm

Ghostwriting ‘Ruth Ellis My Sister’s Secret Life’ took nearly three years from 2002 to 2005. Although, getting on for a year of that, was taken up editing: stripping back certain aspects to expose startling bits – an alien process to me. Red lines removed entire pages of words, 190,000 became 90,000. It’s during that process that words become a book that eventually will go for sale on a bookseller’s shelves or sold online.

Three years was all we had. In 2004, once we had a publisher who wanted the manuscript, we had to work towards 2005 – an important anniversary year – 50 years after Ruth Ellis was hanged.

But there was so much more to discover as I have since found out. Three years represented just a speck in the ocean.

A ghostwriter, states the Collins English Dictionary, is someone who writes a book or other published work instead of the person who is named as the author.

Even today, speaking as the ghostwriter of ‘Ruth Ellis My Sister’s Secret Life’ I wish I’d been able to tell a fuller Ruth Ellis story; more on how her life-story has been misconstrued. But there wasn’t enough time with the 2005 deadline.
I’d also like to have shown what it’s actually like being a ghostwriter in relation to this tragic story.

Recently (thirteen years since our book was published) I spoke on the telephone to a person closely connected with an early book about Ruth Ellis. I found out what I wanted to know about one particular aspect of the story. That was good. But it came at a price. I was quickly accused (almost like an afterthought by the interviewee for saying too much) of being a conspiracy theorist.

It saddens me that I’m the person being ridiculed. When I think of that early book about Ruth Ellis, huge chunks of which I now know bore little resemblance to the truth, and the extensively quoted-from articles written by the same author, it’s obvious that even now fifty years later there is an ongoing deception around the Ruth Ellis story.
The subterfuge continues. But why?

December 4, 2017

Race meeting featuring David Blakely in 1953

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 9:21 pm

A new piece of information (not to be reproduced without my permission) that followers of my Ruth Ellis story may find interesting

Extract from a motor racing programme, for which I’ve lost the paper cover. So I’m not sure if it was a race meeting at Silverstone or Goodwood.

The race took place on 25 July 1953.

Event 7 is interesting. No 93 entrant is L Leonard and his driver is DMD Blakely.


Monica Weller

July 24, 2017

Front Cover

Filed under: Uncategorized — copperknob @ 1:00 pm
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