True Detective June 2015

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When Barry Williams killed five people in one dreadful hour in 1978, he became the most wanted man in Britain. The then-single 34-year-old from West Bromwich shot dead three members of one family living next door to him, then killed a couple who ran a petrol station. Others were injured but lived to tell the tale of this terrible, violent episode. Having soon been hunted down by police, Williams was charged with murder but, due to his “paranoid psychosis,” the Crown accepted his plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and he was ordered to be detained indefinitely at Broadmoor. That could and should have been the end of the Barry Williams story but, as we report in this month’s Crimes That Made The Headlines, the cold-blooded killer was released and, under a new identity, began planning a terrible reenactment. The extraordinary events that followed, which preceded a trial in October 2014, raised disturbing questions for various authorities including the West Midlands Police. How, for example, had someone who killed five people and wounded several others been allowed to change his identity and start re-offending? Let’s hope that the pertinent lessons of the case have been well and truly learned.

In 1994, three American teenagers were convicted of the murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and sentenced to life in prison. Police believed the victims were killed as part of a Satanic ritual. But were they? In 2011, having served 18 years behind bars, the West Memphis Three were released. In Satanic Murders And The Delta Witch Trials, we consider this extraordinary and still developing case.

When a dismembered male corpse, the heart ripped out, was found floating in Montana’s Yellowstone River in 1970, police were horrified and mystified in equal measure. Who was the killer, or killers? And, who was the victim? Then, in California, as more grisly finds came to light, a hirsute young man made an extraordinary declaration to a highway patrolman. Don’t miss “I Have A Problem…I’m A Cannibal.”

Enjoy the read – and let us know what you think!

* TD’s Crime Photos/Prize Competition
* Violinist Slit Her Lover’s Throat
* Your Letters – More of your views
* Crimes That Made The Headlines: The Life And Death Of A Five-Time Killer
* True Detective’s Diary Of Murder – June
* Make A Break: Wordsearch
* America’s Most Evil: “I Have A Problem…I’m A Cannibal”
* Ireland’s Road Map To Murder, Part 12 – Killings in County Armagh
* “My Friend And I Had An Altercation…And I Came Out Alive”
* Execution USA
* Satanic Murders And The Delta Witch Trials
* Arsenic For An Airman’s Wife