Although she didn’t know it at the time, the life, love and the murder committed by Catherine Thorpe was the exact blueprint for the life
True Detective March 2011
Although she didn’t know it at the time, the life, love and the murder committed by Catherine Thorpe was the exact blueprint for the life, love and the murder committed by Ruth Ellis 30 years later. Like Catherine, Ruth was in love with her betrayer. Like Catherine, she was treated in a cavalier manner. Like Catherine, she planned the murder meticulously. Like Catherine, she fortified herself with a few drinks before setting out to kill her playboy lover. Yet amazingly, in this identical killing, Catherine was reprieved, as all the world expected her to be. So what happened in the three decades between her sentence in 1925 and the hanging of Ruth Ellis in 1955 that turned the heart of British justice to stone? Read Why Hang Ruth And Not Catherine?
Whoever heard of a travelling electric chair being moved from county to county to execute prisoners? The state of Mississippi did. It introduced one in 1940, using it for the next 14 years. And Willie McGee was one of those who made its acquaintance. Was he innocent? Many thought so including Albert Einstein, singer Paul Robeson and novelist William Faulkner. The plight of Willie McGee forms this month’s Under The Spotlight feature.
In 2008 the garda’s Serious Crime Review Team took up a case from Coole, County Westmeath. The result was Ireland’s First Successful Cold Case Murder Conviction, now see our report on this history-making case.
* Sydney shocker: The husband who missed the funeral
* Under The Spotlight: Willie McGee and the travelling electric chair
* Murder At The Pub Part 2: Mass slaughter in Sheffield
* Teacher beheaded by her boyfriend
* “The Acid Bath Murders – My extraordinary story”
* Crime Observer
* Ireland’s first successful cold case murder conviction
* Execution USA
* Why hang Ruth and not Catherine?
* America’s Most Evil: Mad killer Mullin
* The World’s Worst Killers
* Danger Women – The road to Dachau
* Questions & Answers: The first man to die in the electric chair
* Victim dies of his wounds – 31 years after being shot!
* Death in the line of duty
* Your Letters, Readers’ Jury, prize competition, TD’s Crime Photos, Take A Break: Crossword, and much more