The Mur­der Gang

Mur­der, May­hem and Re­port­ing, Bri­tish style

Real Crime - - Home Invasion - Mar­tyn Con­te­rio

Re­leased Out Now Au­thor Neil Root Pub­lisher The His­tory Press avail­able in Hard­back

They were rov­ing, ul­tra­com­pet­i­tive re­porters spe­cialised in cases of mur­der up and down the land. Know­ing in­stinc­tively if they were onto a tasty scoop or not, their meth­ods bor­dered on il­le­gal most of the time, go­ing so far as to jeop­ar­dise po­lice work by speak­ing di­rectly with chief sus­pects and, in some in­stances, in­ter­view­ing and get­ting con­fes­sions be­fore the po­lice did.

From the 1930s to the early 1960s, this cadre of new­shounds sniffed out sen­sa­tional sto­ries for pub­lic con­sump­tion and changed Bri­tish crime- re­port­ing for­ever.

This is an ex­cel­lent and thor­oughly en­ter­tain­ing read, de­tail­ing a rich se­lec­tion of fa­mous and lesser- known real crime episodes and how an elite corps of jour­nal­ists would do al­most any­thing to file ex­clu­sive in­for­ma­tion.

Lurid and of­ten dis­turb­ing tales of killer spivs, jeal­ous lovers, ma­ni­a­cal doc­tors, game- play­ing psy­chopaths, heists and wartime op­por­tunists all fea­ture. Root of­fers the reader both tremen­dous amounts of de­tail per­tain­ing to the crimes and how they were re­ported, and paints a fas­ci­nat­ing por­trait of mid- 20th cen­tury Britain ( es­pe­cially Lon­don and Fleet Street’s by­gone age). There also fea­tures pho­tos of Mur­der Gang mem­bers and crim­i­nals. An ab­so­lute must- read for any­body in­ter­ested in Bri­tish crime her­itage and jour­nal­ism, Root man­ages the trick of be­ing both en­ter­tain­ing and sober­ing.

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