True Detective January 2011


It was the age-old story – a young man wanted to dump his current girlfriend in favour of another.

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It was the age-old story – a young man wanted to dump his current girlfriend in favour of another. But his first love would not go quietly so he killed her and cut up her corpse. It took a jury just minutes to decide the man was guilty and he was duly hanged. But did the “infallible” Sir Bernard Spilsbury get this one wrong? Was the defendant telling the truth? Did an innocent man go to the gallows?

She was a one-off. Nobody but nobody could match the exotic lifestyle of Creole cabaret artist Josephine Baker. Who but she could inspire such devotion in a complete stranger that he’d shoot himself dead at her feet? That was her disconcerting experience on tour in Budapest. Others were to follow, like reputedly risking her life as a spy; but then danger and Josephine had gone hand-in-hand right from her poverty-stricken childhood in Missouri…

Like many investigations, the Sylvia Likens murder inquiry was triggered by a phone call. But there the similarity to other cases ended, for this one would be branded the most terrible crime in Indiana’s history and it would inspire books, novels and films. It began for police on October 26th, 1965, when a teenager reported finding a dying girl in a house.

Despite the war, the folk of Barnsley were determined to enjoy their visiting fair in the first week of May 1943. But the excitement was marred by tragedy when the battered, unconscious body of a Land Army girl was found by the entrance to the dodgems.

* TD’s Crime Photos/
* Prize Competition
* Wife’s Plot To Murder The Preacher
* Barnsley’s Wartime Fairground Murder
* The World’s Worst Killers
* Your Letters / More of your views
* Part 6 – Danger Women: Josephine Baker
* Husband Hired Hit-Man To Murder Frail Ex-Wife
* Sunderland’s Murder At The New Year’s Eve
* Questions & Answers: Torture Murder Of A Teenage Girl
* Under The Spotlight: True Crime Reporting In Asia
* America’s Most Evil: Shocking Crimes Of The Cincinnati Strangler
* Readers’ Jury
* Take A Break: Crossword
* Execution USA
* Dismemberment Horror In Sussex: Murder Down On The Farm
* Death In The Line Of Duty

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