True Detective January 2019


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Handsome, long-haired and well-spoken, Kiwi national John Tanner…

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Handsome, long-haired and well-spoken, Kiwi national John Tanner felt a wave of public sympathy when his Oxford University English Language undergraduate girlfriend Rachel McLean (right) inexplicably went missing in April 1991. National newspapers eagerly filed reports on the mystery of the vanished 19-year-old, upon whom brains and beauty had been bestowed in equal measure. TV cameras recorded events as Tanner, accompanied by a WPC in the role of Rachel, reconstructed her last-known movements. Distraught Tanner, it seemed, could do no more to help the inquiry – until the terrible truth emerged and the sympathy for him began to wane… Crimes That Made The Headlines – Back In Prison: Oxford’s Body-Under-The-Floorboards Killer.

Hanged At Liverpool, a new series starting this month, will present over the course of 2019 the stories of every one of the condemned criminals hanged at Kirkdale Prison and Walton Prison, from 1835-1964. Each month, we’ll feature a full-length account of one case and smaller roundups of the others. Starting things off is the horrific tale of John Gleeson Wilson and the crime that brought him a date with the hangman. Don’t miss it.

In America’s Most Evil – Betty’s Husbands Dug Their Own Graves, we meet Texan black widow Betty Lou Beets, while in Hanged In Australia – “She Dared Me To Cut Her Throat – So I Did,”  we go back to the Adelaide of 1949 for a Christmastime horror story.

Finally, don’t forget to enter our crime competition. There’s a £200 prize for one lucky winner!

Due to insufficient space, Part 2 of When True Detective Captured John Dillinger has been held over until February’s issue.

  • Crimes That Made The Headlines: Back In Prison: Oxford’s Body-Under-The-Floorboards Killer
  • Your Letters / More of your views
  • Execution By Firing Squad – The Fate Of Ronnie Lee Gardner
  • The Priest Who Stopped A Lynching
  • Execution USA
  • New Series: Hanged At Liverpool – Part 1
  • £200 Prize Competition
  • Hanged In Australia: “She Dared Me To Cut Her Throat”
  • America’s Most Evil: Betty’s Husbands Dug Their Own Graves
  • Questions & Answers: The Brothers, The Cheerleader And The Paintball Murder
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