The enlightening series on London’s Gangland is balance by a new series on Al Capone, that byword for gangsters
True Detective December 1993
The enlightening series on London’s Gangland is balance by a new series on Al Capone, that byword for gangsters. As both series have been written by men who actually knew many of the main characters, the stores have as much authority as interest. Which were the cleverest villains, the British ones who kept their names out of the papers – or the legendary American gangsters whose activities were the best-known secret in the world?
Little doubt exists that Frederick Seddon was guilty as charged, although his wife waited only three months after he was hanged before she remarried and sailed away to the USA to begin a new life. The case is very unusual, however, not because there might have been a miscarriage of justice but because there was a presumption of guilt – and Seddon failed to prove his innocence. Very odd when you consider that one of the precepts of British Law is: innocent until proven guilty. Seddon was a clever man – but in the end it was his cleverness that told against him. It’s a classic with a warning…
Not so clever was the killer who stabbed 14-year-old Percy Sharpe to death in the case known throughout the Manchester area as The Carr’s Wood Murder. Never did a 28-year-old better deserve to swing for murder! His audacious claims of innocence were breathtaking!