|Tuesday, 04 November 2008 11:57|
John Reginald Halliday Christie
Born: 8 April 1898, Halifax, Yorkshire, England
Died: 15 July 1953, Pentonville Prison, London, England
Cause of death: Hanged by the neck by Albert Pierrepoint.
Notable because: Apart from the murders he committed, he gave evidence against another man, Timothy Evans, leading to his execution for murders that Christie himself had committed. Was abused by his Father and suffered from impotence, helped by his taste for necrophilia.
John Christie was an English serial killer active in the 1940s and 1950s. He was arrested, tried, and hanged for murder in 1953.
Prior to his arrest, he was involved in another murder trial, as a principal witness for the Crown in the trial of his fellow tenant, Timothy Evans. Evans was accused of the murders of his own wife and child, and subsequently convicted of, and executed for, the murder of the baby. Some critics have concluded that Christie committed the murders and framed Evans for them, while others have suggested that there could have been two separate murderers living in the same shared house at the same time. Mr Justice Brabin stated in 1966 that it was "more probable than not" that Evans killed his wife and that he did not kill his daughter Geraldine. However, Christie himself confessed to killing Beryl Evans and several other women (including his own wife), and it is now accepted by the High Court that Evans was entirely innocent of the crimes of which he was accused. The case sparked massive public outrage, and contributed to the suspension and eventual abolition of the death penalty for murder in Britain in 1965 (though it still had the death penalty for espionage, piracy, treason until 1972, 1981 and 1998 respectively) .
Date Victim Crime Body found
Manufacturer: William Morrow Paperbacks
Amazon Price: $16.99
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Editorial Review: John Curran reveals the secrets of the world’s greatestmystery writer in Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making, the fascinating follow up to Agatha Christie’s SecretNotebooks featuring moreinsight into Christie’s captivating life story and a new windfall ofChristie’s unpublished work—including letters, archival papers, and a keenly incisive analysis of Christie’s last, unfinished novel.For readers new to Christie’s mysteries and for life-long fans of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and Tommy and Tuppence, eitherfrom classic Christie novels like Murder on the Orient Express or fromthe popular Masterpiece Theater adaptations, “Curran’s discoveries will shapehow Christie is read.” (Independent on Sunday).
Amazon Price: $24.95
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Editorial Review: Sixty years ago, the discovery of bodies at 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill, London, led to one of the most sensational, shocking and controversial serial murder cases in British criminal history – the case of John Christie. Much has been written about the Christie killings and the fate of Timothy Evans who was executed for murders Christie later confessed to – the story still provokes strong feeling and speculation. But most the books on the case have been compiled without the benefit of all the sources that are open to researchers, and they tend to focus on Evans in an attempt to clear him of guilt. And many simply repeat what has been said before. So a painstaking, scholarly reassessment of the evidence - and of Christie’s life - is overdue, and that is what Jonathan Oates provides in this gripping biography of a serial killer.
Manufacturer: BBC Books
Amazon Price: $26.95
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This is the story that made Agatha Christie famous, and which was also one of her own favorites. It begins when the wealthy Mrs. Farrars is found dead of an apparent overdose, one year after the death of her husband. The villagers of King's Abbot are suspicious, for local rumor has it that she poisoned her husband and was in love with Roger Ackroyd. Was it suicide, brought on by a guilty conscience, or could she have been murdered? When Ackroyd is found stabbed to death the following day, there is little to go on. Anyone in the house could be the culprit—Ackroyd's niece, Flora; Raymond, Ackroyd's secretary; or even Parker, the butler. The prime suspect, however, is Roger Ackroyd's stepson, Paton, who has disappeared and is known to have gambling debts. Luckily, one of the newest residents of King's Abbott, who has retired to the village to cultivate marrows, is none other than the redoubtable Monsieur Hercule Poirot. . . This ingenious mystery is brought to life with a full cast including John Woodvine, Diana Olsson, and Deryck Guyler.
2 CDs. 1 hr 30 mins.
Editorial Review: John Reginald Christie was a prolific serial killer active in England during the 1940s and 1950s. He murdered at least six women including his wife—and some believe this number is higher, as well as a baby—before being arrested, convicted, and hanged. He lured women to his flat under the guise of assisting them with some medical procedure such as abortion and strangled and raped them; oftentimes while they were unconscious or dead, thus giving rise to allegations that he was a necrophiliac. Christie also likely framed his neighbor Timothy Evans for the death of Evans’ wife and infant daughter for which Evans was convicted and hanged.
Manufacturer: HarperCollins Publishers
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Editorial Review: Soon after arriving at his hotel in Istanbul, private investigator Hercule Poirot is instructed to return to London immediately. He boards the Orient Express that very night and is accosted by Mr. Ratchett, whom he had earlier seen in his hotel in Istanbul. He attempts to hire Poirot believing that his life is under threat, but the detective refuses him outright. On the second night of the journey, a snowdrift brings the train to a halt. A cry from Ratchett's coach pierces the eerie silence of the night. The next morning, M. Bouc, the director of the company that operates the train and an acquaintance of Poirot, informs him of the shocking murder of Ratchett. Upon his request, Poirot agrees to investigate the case. Soon Poirot learns of Ratchett's questionable past and the probable reasons for his murder. In the United States a few years earlier, Daisy Armstrong, a 3 year old heiress was kidnapped and killed by a man, who went by the name Cassetti, in spite of collecting a ransom from her wealthy family. Suspected to have rigged the trial, Cassetti fled the country after his acquittal. Poirot came to the conclusion that Ratchett was none other than Cassetti.
|Last Updated on Friday, 21 May 2010 13:44|