True Detective April 1989


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After 10 years of imprisonment, living under the shadow of death, the handsome ex-law student who started out in life with so much going for him, was finally executed. Ted Bundy, who obtained sexual gratification from killing, arrogantly conducted his own defence, then fought through years of appeals which cost American taxpayers in excess of £4 million. He finally dropped his cocky manner when the certainty of death could no longer be put off, and began confessing to more and more murders.

At 7.16a.m. on January 24th, Bundy was dead, and even anti-death-penalty campaigners joined in the massive celebrations that had been organised in honour of the event.

But when the pushed "Uncle Jimmy’s" wheelchair up to the specially designed ramp to the gallows, although the view would have been obscured only by an awning, very few people turned up for the hanging. The execution was of very little interest to a public who had to go to work that day, and were not prepared to turn out in the pre dawn hours.

Murder Haunted The Magistrate is a double length feature. Handsome Jimmy Westwood, a leading light in high society, in his capacity of dispenser of justice had undoubtedly made many enemies. On the whole, though, this charming man and his delightful family were very popular, and even those whom Jimmy had passed sentence on admitted he was fair.

Then his youngest daughter was found, shot in her bedroom. An accident? Nobody had heard anything untoward, so it was assumed that she had, by horrible misadventure, killed herself.

Then Jimmy’s in-laws were found, apparently a murder and a suicide, in their bedroom at the Westwood residence. Tragedies were beginning to look like a catalogue of horror when the family house blew up, and surviving Mrs. Westwood was murdered by a stealthy gunman, just as her husband was planning to surprise her by moving her back into their refurbished home. Friends in high places solved the mystery…

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