Plymouth’s Own Duncan Scott-Ford – The ‘£18 Traitor.’


  Duncan Scott-Ford’s mugshot taken after his arrest on a charge of treason.   Plymouth, being a harbour and garrison town, has had its fair share of maritime heroes. Discuss the history of the place and you’ll certainly be told endless tales about Sir Francis Drake’s defeat of th Spanish Armada in 1588, the fact …

Herbert Rowse Armstrong – A Poisonous Plymothian


  Herbert Rowse Armstrong, the only British lawyer to be hanged for murder,   Next up in a parade of deliberately-forgotten Plymouth folk is Major Herbert Rowse Armstrong. Retired Army Major, former MP for Plymouth, respectable small-town lawyer, embezzler, fraudster, repeat poisoner and one of Britain’s most notorious murderers. His case isn’t especially memorable in …

Oklahoma: The Botched Execution of Clayton Lockett


Here's an interesting link for the inside track on this debacle. It's a preliminary summary from Robert Patton (Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections) to Mary Fallin (Oklahoma State Governor):   https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8bT8f-N8gQvT0liN0I3d1NIRlU/edit?pli=1     Here's the text in full. Further comment by me is probably unnecessary:  

On This Day in 1865: The Last Stand of John Wilkes Booth


John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. John Wilkes Booth was born into one of America's most distinguished acting dynasties. He died one of America's most notorious figures and its first Presidential assassin. On the evening of April 14, 1865, not long after the final surrender of Confederate forces that effectively ended the Civil War, …

The Brits Who Fought For Hitler.


The SS motto - 'My honour is loyalty.'   As a freelance scribbler and long-time student of military history I love finding the more overlooked or forgotten aspects of the subject. For instance, the popular narrative of the Second World War holds that the British people pulled together, fighting as one for a common cause. …

‘Doctor’ Crippen, Hanged Today In 1910. Innocent? Or Hanged For The Wrong Murder..?


Most people know the name. Most who know the name, know the story. 'Doctor' Hawley Harvey Crippen (actually a salesman of quack remedies) unwittingly became one of criminal history's most infamous names. His wife Cora disappeared. Her remains were found beneath  the coal cellar of their home, 39 Hilldrop Crescent. Crippen flees to Canada with …

Joseph Paul Franklin Will Die Tonight


This is Joseph Paul Franklin. He's reportedly confessed to 22 murders, at least 16 bank robberies, several non-fatal shootings and a number of other crimes. Most famously, Franklin was the man who shot porn magnate Larry Flynt (leaving him permanently paralysed) and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. Jr. (who also survived). Franklin, barring any last-minute …

Cars, Crooks and the Great Train Robbery


It's rare that I get to combine two of my biggest interests in the same scribble, so I thought I'd indulge myself. This is Roy James AKA 'The Weasel.' Roy was, like so many aspiring racers, big on ability but short on cash. Even in the 1950's and 60's racing was still the most expensive …

Hitmen, Hangmen And Hypocrisy.


  'I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people.' Britain's former chief public executioner Albert Pierrepoint in his 1974 memoir 'Executioner: Pierrepoint.'   I know, I …

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