Murder Mile UK True-Crime Podcast #27 - The Blackout Ripper - Part Three (Margaret Florence Lowe)
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EPISODE TWENTY SEVEN
Episode Twenty Seven: The Blackout Ripper Part 3: In the early hours of Wednesday 11th February 1942, 43 year old Margaret Florence Lowe was found strangled and posed in her flat on 9/10 Gosfield Street (Fitzrovia), but her murder was uncannily similar to the murders of Evelyn Hamilton and Evelyn Oatley just two days before. Was a sadistic spree-killer on the loose?
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BLACKOUT RIPPER Part 3 (Margaret Florence Lowe)
INTRO: On 1st September 1939, following the Nazi annexation of Poland, Britain declared war on Germany, and in a brutal conflict which spanned four continents and raged for six years and one day, by the end of the Second World War, over seventy-three million people would be dead.
Being short on soldiers, the Military Training Act reinstated National Service and all healthy men, aged 18 to 41, with few exceptions, were conscripted into the Army, Navy and Air-Force, later extended to men up to 51, and all single women aged 20 to 30.
Although vital, conscription severely depleted Britain’s emergency services, and even though London’s Metropolitan Police force maintained a total of roughly 19500 officers for the duration of the war, their numbers were bolstered by inexperienced reservists, special constables and retired officers.
And with the already overworked Police officers burdened with new war-time duties including chasing deserters, enforcing the blackout and aiding the rescue effort after the Blitz, with crime rate in England having increased from 303,000 offences per year in 1939, to 478,000 in 1945, the depleted Police force struggled to stem a new flow of crimes such as looting, bootlegging and black market trades.
By 1942, at the height of the war, with the city in blackout and a population in fear as Nazi bombers loomed overhead, a new terror stalked the seedy streets of London’s West End, with an insatiable hatred of women, a thirst for blood and a hunger to slash, torture and kill.
No-one knew his name, no-one had heard his voice and no-one had seen his face, but over the last 24 hours, this sadistic maniac had strangled, posed and mutilated two seemingly unrelated women in two different parts of the West End - 41 year old pharmacist Evelyn Hamilton in an air-raid shelter on Montagu Place and 34 year old prostitute Evelyn Oatley in her flat on Wardour Street - at the start of what would become a five day killing spree. And tonight he would go in search of his next victim.
My name is Michael. I am your tour-guide. This is Murder Mile. And I present to you; part three of the full, true and untold story of The Blackout Ripper.
SCRIPT: Today, I’m standing on Gosfield Street, W1, in an upmarket residential area called Fitzrovia, north of Soho and barely a five minute walk from Wardour Street, Oxford Circus and Regent’s Park.
Being a small one-way side-street, lined with at least six trees, but no bushes, no grass and no flowers, no cats, no dogs and no birds, no stores, no cafes and no pubs, no shoppers, no buskers and no life whatsoever, Gosfield Street is quite possibly one of the most boring places in the West End.
And number 9/10 Gosfield Street is a prime example; as being a red and brown bricked six-storey mansion-house (which is really just a posh way of saying “a block of flats”), most residents must have an allergic reaction to pavements, as the only time they’re seen on the street is to slip into an Uber, scowl at a lost homeless man, shout at a dog-plop dropper, shoe-away an ASDA delivery truck having secretly disguised their cheapo shopping in Waitrose bags, and noisily shushed (whisper) a certain pot-bellied baldy-headed murder podcaster for daring to make a noise within earshot of their £1.1 million flat, having instantly devaluing it, simply because I’m a Brummy. “Y’alroit mayte?”
But back in 1942, 9/10 Gosfield Street truly was in a working class neighbourhood, full of underpaid and undervalued skilled and unskilled workers, whether seamstresses, waitresses, cobblers, tailors, bakers, maids and (of course) prostitutes. And today, as much as the elderly may crow that “the streets were much safer in my day, there was no crime, we all left our doors unlocked and everybody looked out for each other”, this is a story which would greatly dispute that. As flat 4 at 9/10 Gosfield Street was home of the third victim of The Blackout Ripper… and her name was Margaret Lowe. (Interstitial)
The early life of Margaret Lowe is as mysterious as her death. Being born on an unspecified date in 1899, Margaret Florence Campbell Burkett was the twin sister of Sidney, one of four siblings raised in the coastal town of Napier, in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand.
Living in a picturesque setting surrounded by clear skies, blue seas, sandy beaches and green fields, although they were not a wealthy family, through hard-work, struggle and dogged persistence, they lived a comfortable life in an idyllic part of the world, and everything was good. But for unfortunate reasons only known to them – whether sickness, bereavement or financial hardship - the entire family uprooted back to England, where life would only get poorer, harder and darker.
Having dramatically downsized from their own beautiful beachside home, to live in a shared lodging house amongst the industrial smog of Hoxton in East London, with an expanding family and an ever decreasing income, life got worse for the family, when their father was killed during the First World War, leaving behind a widowed mother with four young children, with no pension nor savings.
Dreaming of living a better life and shamed by the stench, poverty and squalor she lived in, Margaret left school with a limited education and spent five years toiling away in several unskilled dead-end jobs; for long hours, very little pay and no future. What happened in between is uncertain, but in 1919, 20 year old Margaret (under the alias of “Peggy Campbell”) was charged at Bow Street Magistrates Court, convicted of “living of the immoral earnings of prostitution” and was fined twenty shillings.
Shamed by her conviction, her sentence and the depths to which she had sunk, two years later, fate seemed to finally smile on Margaret, as having fallen in love with 40 year old Frederick George Lowe, a kindly widower who was 18 years her senior, on 11th October 1921, they married in the pretty market town of Rochford (in Essex), gave birth to a beautiful baby girl called Barbara and set-up a fancy dress shop in the nearby coastal town of Southend on Sea. And having returned to an idyllic life full of clear skies, blue seas, sandy beaches and green fields, once again, life was good.
But after 11 years of marital bliss, on the 14th December 1932, 51 year old Frederick George Lowe died, leaving Margaret a widower with a four year old daughter to raise alone. And although (unlike her late father) Frederick had savings and insurance to secure his family’s future; being wracked with grief, depression and alcoholism, with the shop shut-down, her home boarded-up and her daughter Barbara taken into care, Margaret had lost everything.
Within two years, Margaret had gone from being a happily married mother and a prosperous shop keeper to a homeless childless penniless alcoholic, and seeing no other option, she moved back to London, worked in a series of dead-end jobs in sleazy strip-clubs, and later returned to prostitution, where – a just few years later - she would die at the hands of The Blackout Ripper. (Interstitial).
Between Monday 9th and Wednesday 11th February 1942, on three consecutive days, in three different streets within one mile of the West End, three women were murdered. But if their sadistic deaths was perpetrated by the same man, how does he know these women, and what connects them?
(Typewriter): Birth place? This we can rule out as Evelyn Hamilton was born and raised near Newcastle in the north-east of England, Evelyn Oatley in Lancashire in the north-west, and Margaret Lowe in Napier in New Zealand and Hoxton in London, so none of them were childhood friends.
(Typewriter): Education? This we can rule out as with Hamilton being degree-educated at Edinburgh University, and Oatley and Lowe having left school with no qualifications, being raised in different counties and countries, almost eight years apart, none of them were school friends.
(Typewriter): Personality? Again, we can rule this out, as with Hamilton being a shy pharmacist, Oatley being a confident socialite and Lowe being a depressed alcoholic, even though they never lived on the same street, frequented the same pubs and (with the exception of occasional stays at the Three Arts Club for lectures) Hamilton never lived in London, so it’s highly unlikely they socialised together.
In fact, as three wildly dissimilar women, from different statuses, outlooks and situations, although they were all within one square mile of each other during those three fateful days, based on the hundreds of witness statements taken by the Police from anyone who knew them, there is no evidence – at all - that Evelyn Hamilton, Evelyn Oatley and Margaret Lowe ever met or even knew each other, and the only time their names were linked together, was when they were murdered. (End Typing).
By 1942, 43 year old Margaret Florence Lowe had been a West End prostitute for eight years, but as familiar as she was to sex-workers and servicemen alike, very little is known about her, as although she went by her alias “Peggy Campbell” and “Peggy Burkett”, she was known locally as “The Lady”.
Physically, Margaret was unremarkable; as being a portly woman of five foot five inches tall, with neck-length brunette hair and a side-parting, neat make-up, a maternal smile and a slightly bulbous nose (brought on by the effects of chronic alcoholism), she easily resembled any other Piccadilly prostitute, but as a person, “The Lady” was very much a woman of many contradictions.
Neatly dressed in polished black shoes, shiny black leather gloves, a black leather handbag, an elegant felt hat and a large fur coat, although Margaret had been convicted three times for “soliciting for sex” and “behaving in an indecent manner” (each time using a different alias), she always walked with her head held high as if she was a well-to-do lady, off for a night at the theatre.
As a plummy voiced woman with an indeterminately posh accent, who enunciated her h’s, said “whom” instead of “who”, “we” instead of “us” and “one” instead of “I”, although she’d never denigrate herself by swigging back a pint or picking up punters in the local pubs and clubs, she was often found drunk and tottering the kerbs of the West End, singing little ditties and slurring her words.
And as an obviously refined women full of airs-and-graces, who was too busy to stop, too posh to chat and too senior to socialise with anyone below her status, Margaret always walked alone; no friends, no joy, just drink; a sad lonely lady clinging onto the long-lost memory of a life which once was.
Unlike most prostitutes, Margaret didn’t have a patch, instead choosing to walk in a large square, right around Soho, from Shaftesbury Avenue, to Charing Cross Road, Oxford Street, Regent Street and back to Piccadilly Circus. And with her only working after 11pm, it was as if Margaret didn’t want to be seen.
Describing prostitution as a “dirty piece of work”; Margaret hated her job, resented her punters and only did the dirty deed to survive, but as a chronically depressed alcoholic, who had sold her body to earn money, earned money to buy booze and drank booze to dull her senses so she could earn more money by having sex, she was trapped in a vicious circle, of which there was no way out.
And although she was nicknamed “The Lady”; as a feisty, argumentative and belligerent boozer who wouldn’t stand for ill-manners, coarse language or any rough stuff, she was widely known to be a real tough cookie and a scrapper who could easily handle herself. And in an illegal job which involved inviting numerous strangers back to her flat, for sex, during the blackout? Being handy with her fists was a skill which – unfortunately for Margaret Lowe - came in very handy.
In the early hours of Friday 30th January 1942, just two weeks prior to her death, in Flat 4 on the ground floor of 9/10 Gosfield Street, Margaret was physically assaulted in her bed by a punter she had picked up in Piccadilly. Forcibly barging the Canadian soldier out of the door, with fists flailing and feet flying, Margaret screamed at the top of her lungs “Help! Murder! Police!” causing such a ruckus, it awoke her neighbours - Florence Bartolini (in flat 1) and Ralph George Stevens (in flat 2).
And although the Police were called, statements were taken and the worst of her injuries was a badly bruised chest, with the man having fled and Margaret unwilling to press charges (for fear of implicating herself in the illegal act of prostitution), the case was dropped and her attacker was never caught. One week later, Margaret was assaulted again. Two weeks later, she would be dead. (Interstitial).
Between roughly midnight and just after 1am on Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th February 1942, three wildly different and unrelated women, who witnesses claim had never met, were strangled, posed and brutally murdered on different streets in London’s West End? But if these three women had died at the hands of the same man, why did he pick them? Did he have a type?
(Typewriter): Physically? All three women were between five foot one and five foot five inches in height, aged from their mid-thirties to early forties, and with none of them being either stunning, ugly or memorable in any way, the best way they can be described is “average” and “unremarkable”. And that’s where the physical similarities end; Evelyn Hamilton was an average-sized brunette, Evelyn Oatley was a slim blonde and Margaret Lowe was a portly brunette, although he clearly picked women that a taller/heavier man could overpower, he didn’t seem attracted to one type of woman.
(Typewriter): Geographically? The only similarities being that they were all murdered in the West End; with all three having died on different streets (Montague Place, Wardour Street and Gosfield Street); two having died in private flats, one in a public space; and with no witnesses or suspects of any kind, and only two fingerprints found which didn’t match a single felon on Scotland Yard’s Print Index, the Police had no idea who their killer / or killers were. And in a deeply confusing investigation made all the more impossible as with Evelyn Hamilton being murdered in Marylebone (known as D Division), and Evelyn Oatley and Margaret Lowe murdered in Soho and Fitzrovia (known as C Division), although they didn’t know this yet, two different Police departments were hunting the same murderer.
(Typewriter): And even with a wealth of witness statements from wide variety of reliable sources, the over-worked and understaffed Police force had no idea where any of these women were picked-up, who had approached them or how they had met their murderer? But what follows are the last known sightings of Margaret Florence Lowe.
On the morning of Tuesday 10th February 1942 – at roughly the same time that Police were examining an horrific crime scene (barely a few streets away) at 153 Wardour Street, involving a semi-clad lady, a razor blade, a can-opener and a trail of blood six feet long – Margaret walked into the butcher’s shop at 41 Great Titchfield Street (one street west of her home) and spoke to proprietor Emily Harries.
Unlike her usual grumpy, feisty and frumpy self, on this day Margaret was in a chipper mood, her dark mood lifted, as with the weekend approaching, Margaret’s daughter – no longer a sullen six year old placed into care at St Gabriel’s orphanage in Southend on Sea, but now a vivacious 15 year old who had blossomed into strong young woman – Barbara would be paying her mother a regular visit. The one good thing in Margaret’s miserable life and her last connection to happier times.
Excited at seeing her daughter, Margaret didn’t buy anything at the butchers, instead (using her weekly ration) she asked Emily to put aside some lamb’s livers, kidneys, bones and fat, so she could bake her baby a suet pudding. A real treat during the hardships of war-time England.
Sadly, being so solitary, the next confirmed sighting of Margaret wasn’t until 12:30am, a full thirteen hours later and roughly an hour before her death, it was also her last known sighting.
Kathleen Norah Clarke, a local sex-worker spotted the prostitute she knew only as “The Lady” strolling by Eros News Theatre on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Piccadilly Circus, heading by Monaco’s restaurant; where barely one night before, Evelyn Oatley had waved “goodnight” to Laura Denmark and Molly Desantos-Alves having picked-up a red-headed Corporal and a fair-haired Aircraftman.
As always, Margaret was alone; impeccably dressed in her polished black shoes, shiny black leather gloves, a black leather handbag, an elegant felt hat and a large fur coat, she smoked a cigarette from her silver cigarette case as she shimmied along the kerb-side, slightly tipsy, merrily singing to herself, her spirits high as (although the night was bitterly cold) she had got something to look forward to.
At approximately 1:10am, two independent witnesses living at 9/10 Gosfield Street - Florence Bartolini (in flat 1) and Ralph George Stevens (in flat 2), both basement flats situated below the communal door and Margaret’s ground-floor flat, heard the unmistakable sound of the lady they knew as “Mrs Lowe” unlock the door and quietly enter, accompanied by a man; and although they didn’t see him, his heavy footsteps had the dull thump of men’s boots, and his accent was unmistakably English.
Although their conversation were unintelligible; their voices were low, their tone was cordial and she welcomed the man into her flat, but – unusually for Margaret, who (witnesses state) “wasn’t the best of neighbours” and often kept the whole house awake by playing loud music on her gramophone in the dead of night to deaden the sounds of a sex-worker in action – after a brief chat and the clink of glasses, there was silence. After which, Florence and George fell asleep.
No-one heard any screams, shouts or cries. Nothing was broken, smashed or trashed. And – with the exception of Margaret - no-one saw his face. In fact, the only sound which heard that whole night was at an undetermined hour when bleary-eyed Florence Bartolini was briefly awoken by the heavy thud of a flat door being shut, the communal door being opened and a heavy booted man briskly walking into Gosfield Street and heading right in the direction of Baker Street, Warren Street or Regent’s Park.
And with these being the usual sounds heard nightly from the flat of a 43 year old alcoholic sex-worker, thinking nothing more of it, Florence rolled over and went back to sleep.
So, with very little eye-witness testimony and very few pieces of tangible evidence, what can we say (for certain) about the man who murdered Margaret Florence Lowe, (and possibly Evelyn Hamilton and Evelyn Oatley), if this was him at all?
(Typewriter): She clearly felt comfortable and unthreatened in his presence, so either she knew him, liked him, or he didn’t look, sound or act like a man who (deep-down) was a sadistic sexual monster. If so, was he driven to kill by drugs, drink or mental illness? Was his hatred of women triggered by a childhood trauma having talked to Margaret? Or was he a maniac with a supreme level of self-control?
(Typewriter): Just like Evelyn Hamilton and Evelyn Oatley, Margaret was alone when she was picked-up, often felt lonely and depressed, and had been drinking that night. And with all three women last seen in or near infamous West End restaurants – Hamilton in Maison Lyonese and Oatley & Lowe by Monaco’s – was he a regular there, with money to spend, drinks to be drank and girls to be chased?
(Typewriter): Clearly being confident, pleasant and approachable, who all three ladies felt safe with, was he a local man with a good knowledge of the West End streets, was he an experienced man used to chatting-up ladies and picking-up prostitutes, or was he the type of man you would instantly trust, whether a policeman, a fireman, an air-raid warden, a soldier, a sailor or an airman?
(Typewriter): And with Margaret being a feisty lady who was well-known to fend-off any fiends with fists and feet, just as Evelyn Hamilton had (her black scuffed shoes having kicked chunks of brick mortar off the inside of the air-raid shelter), had he learned his lesson, by striking fast and strangling first, giving himself ample time to sadistically mutilate their limp, dying and lifeless bodies?
Of course, with no sightings, no witnesses and no suspects, most of this would have been pure guess-work. And regardless of whether these murders were connected, if they were the work of the same sexual sadist, or if Margaret Florence Lowe was the third victim of The Blackout Ripper; as a lonely widow living alone in a single flat, with no friends and no close family, who spent her time surrounded by strangers, no-one knew she had even been murdered until almost three days later.
The next morning on Wednesday 11th February 1942 at 11am, Florence Bartolini spotted a brown paper parcel at the foot of the door of flat 4, delivered by the postman but (as of yet) uncollected and unopened. And with the large gift being addressed to Mrs Lowe and Florence’s day chockful of chores, she ignored it and left by the communal door, unaware of the unimaginable horror a few feet away.
When she returned, six hours later, the parcel was still there. The next morning it was still there. And the next evening it was still there. And as the residents from nine different flats, all walked by, spied the parcel, stared at it quizzically, commenting about how unusually quiet flat 4 was; with no yelling, no music and heavy-booted men waking them up at all hours of the night, still no-one did anything.
On Friday 13th February at 3:50pm, having caught the train from Southend-on-Sea, eager to stay the weekend, see the sights and tuck into the delicious suet pudding her mum had promised to bake, 15 year old Barbara Joan Lowe, entered 9/10 Gosfield Street and knocked on the door of flat 4…
…but here was no reply. She knocked again. Nothing. Having spotted a brown paper parcel at her feet, post-marked with Monday’s date, Barbara queried with the neighbours who confirmed it was odd that they hadn’t seen or heard from her mother in days, and gripped with a queasy feeling of dread, Barbara called the Police.
At 4:30pm, Detective Sergeant Leonard Blacktop of C Division from West End Central police station on nearby Saville Row arrived at 9/10 Gosfield Street to investigate the possible disappearance of a 43 year old alcoholic, nothing more. Unable to access flat 4 owing to a locked door and Barbara having no key, DS Blacktop deduced that most alcoholics (prone to lapses in memory) would likely keep a spare key nearby, and having found one under her doormat, the detective entered the flat.
On initial inspection, although (with the lights off, the electricity metre money having ran out and the windows covered in blackout curtains) the flat was in total darkness, but as DS Blacktop shone his torch around her tiny congested sitting room, nothing seemed disturbed, out-of-place or damaged.
As he walked along the thin dark passageway towards the cramped kitchenette in the backroom, DS Blacktop noticed what looked like the contents of her handbag, strewn across the kitchen table; a few letters, three ration books, a pink lipstick, two Yale keys and a six-inch metal torch, but no money, no handbag and (unusually for a heavy smoker) no cigarette case. As well as a bottle of stout, which was three quarters full, but no glasses. And with the kitchen cupboards opened, rifled and their contents scattered, spilling all manner of cutlery (including forks, knives and a can-opener) across the work-surfaces, it looked like a burglary, but so far, there was still no sign of Margaret.
The only room left to try was her bedroom. With the door locked, no suitable key found and three days having passed, with Barbara’s permission, DS Blacktop forced her bedroom door. And although the room was dark, in the middle, lying on her bed, he saw the unmistakable sight of the strangled and mutilated body of 43 year old Margaret Florence Lowe.
Having escalated the case up to Chief Inspector Edward Greeno of Scotland Yard, this was now no longer a hunt for a missing person, this was a murder investigation.
In an unnervingly similar crime scene to that of Evelyn Oatley, it didn’t look as if a struggle had taken place; the coal fire had been on, the bedside lamp was off, her clothes were neatly folded and placed on a wooden chair, and on the mantelpiece was a half full glass of stout, which two people had shared. In fact, the only detritus in the room was a used condom and the broken handle of a fire poker.
Just like Evelyn Oatley, Margaret Lowe was semi-clad and lying flat on her back; her lifeless body spread diagonally across her double divan bed, as resting on a blood-soaked pillow was her purple swollen head, as the wide inky black pupils of her bloodshot eyes stared vacantly towards the door.
And as before, his attack was swift, violent and shocking, as having struck Margaret across the left side of her face, head and jaw with a metal fire-poker, he used such force that the poker broke. With his victim suitably subdued, grabbing a black stocking off the chair, he tied the taut nylon so tightly, it left a one inch indentation around her neck, and having securely knotted it, with the blood forcing her swollen purple face to rupture and mucus to seep from her nose and mouth, as she gasped her last few gulps of air, during her last few moments alive, he set about mutilating the rest of her body.
With her nightdress rucked-up around her bare breasts, her legs spread wide and her knees drawn-up to her hips, lying between her thighs (as if he was showing off his trophies) was a white handled bread knife, a black handled table knife, a potato peeler and a broken piece of fire-poker.
Across her abdomen was a five inch wound, so deep it exposed her intestines and sliced her uterus. Along her right thigh was a ten inch slash, so deep it severed her great saphenous vein, bleeding so profusely her bed was soaked with blood. And all of which he did when she was either alive, dying or unconscious. And in a final act of humiliation, with her electric metal torch in the kitchen and nothing else to hand, he inserted a six inch candle deep into her vagina, almost as if it was his birthday.
The autopsy of Margaret Florence Campbell Lowe was conducted at Paddington Mortuary (once again) by Sir Bernard Spilsbury in the presence of Chief Inspector Edward Greeno, and the similarities between all three victims were unnerving.
They’d all been robbed; as having found Margaret’s handbag hidden behind a paper carrier-bag in the kitchenette, the bank books and anything identifiable remained, but her money was missing.
They all had items stolen; from Evelyn Hamilton he’d taken a handkerchief and a pencil, from Evelyn Oatley an initialled silver cigarette case, and from Margaret Lowe, also a silver cigarette case. And yet, if he truly was a sexual sadist, why didn’t he steal souvenirs like panties, bras and stockings?
Although violated, none of these women had been raped; as with no semen found in any of their vaginas and a discarded condom found on Margaret’s bed, did sex take place, or was he incapable?
They had all been mutilated; both pre-and-post mortem, using a strange selection of knives, razors and kitchen cutlery (including a can opener and a potato peeler), none of which he’d brought with him, instead making-do with whatever was to hand, suggesting their murders weren’t premeditated?
They had all been violated; having inserted various objects into their vaginas, including (possibly) a metal torch with Evelyn Hamilton, a metal torch and (potentially) a set of curling tongs with Evelyn Oatley and a six inch candle and (potentially) a fire-poker with Margaret Lowe, none of which he’d brought with him, instead – once again - making-do with whatever was to hand?
And they had all been strangled; and although he’d changed his MO, having manually strangled Evelyn Hamilton and Evelyn Oatley with his hand, and garrotted Margaret Lowe with a black stocking, by the way he had left it tied around her neck, once again, the Police knew that the attacker was left-handed.
Margaret Florence Lowe was unmistakably his third victim. And again, he had made a big mistake. As Superintendent Frederick Cherrill of Scotland Yard’s Print Bureau had dusted the crime-scene and found three sets of his fingerprints; one on the base of the candlestick (having removed the candle to violate her), one on the bottle of spout (which he’d poured in the kitchen) and one on the half full glass of stout he had left on the mantelpiece, featuring both of their fingerprints and suggesting they had shared a final drink. And although they didn’t match any on the Police index files, the fingerprints matched those found on the can-opener and the compact mirror which belonged to Evelyn Oatley.
But by the time of Margaret Lowe’s autopsy, it was too late. As with her mutilated body having lay undiscovered for three days, and the Police only aware of two unrelated murders in two different streets, they had no idea that a sadistic spree-killer was on the loose.
So by Thursday 12th February 1942, four days into his five day killing spree, with three women dead, and three unsuspecting women walking the streets, unaware of the horror which awaited them, he headed back into the West End, and The Blackout Ripper would go in search of his next victim.
OUTRO: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for listening to Murder Mile.
Don’t forget to join us next week for the fourth part of the true story of The Blackout Ripper.
I have some exiting news! The Murder Mile True-Crime Podcast has been nominated in the Best True-Crime Podcast category at this year’s British Podcast Awards, alongside those titans of documentary-making BBC World Service and BBC Radio (yes, the company who made me redundant almost five years ago), as well as two fabulous independent UK true-crime podcasts; They Walk Among Us (who were deservedly last year’s winners) and (this year’s nubies, just like myself) S’laughter True Crime Podcast. Both of whom are hugely deserving of this very prestigious award, owing to their hard work, research, dedication and commitment to the spirit of independent podcasting. And even if Murder Mile doesn’t win the award, I’m honoured to be included amongst this amazing group, and this will truly be a big win for all of us independent podcasters.
The awards are held on Saturday 19th May 2018, and although the true-crime award is voted for by an industry panel, you can vote for your favourite true-crime podcast in the Listener’s Choice Award. To support independent podcasters, click on the link in the show-notes.
A big thank you goes out this week to our brand new Patreon supporters who – by donating just $3 a month (that £2 in real money) – are ensuring the future of the Murder Mile True-Crime Podcast and receiving lots of fabulous goodies including crime scene photos, murder location videos and exclusive Extra Mile episodes for the first 20 episodes. So a hearty thank you to Marie Harris, Mike Featherstone and Melanie Gudgel, who (oddly) have messaged me to ask if (in return) I could bump off their bosses. Sadly, that’s not a Patreon service I offer, yet, but I will be sending you all a complimentary spade, bin-bags, a ripsaw and a large bucket of quicklime. Any problems with disposal, give me a call.
And with a special donation from a mate from Australia. Gday.
This week’s recommended podcast of the week is Mens Rea; hosted by Sinead, Mens Rea is a fortnightly true-crime podcast based in Ireland and the UK, many of which you won’t have heard of, and all of which is meticulously researched, wonderfully told and is always fascinating, insightful and gripping. If you love true-crime, which makes you go “wow”, check out Mens Rea (MENS REA). Check out the promo).
Murder Mile was researched, written & performed by myself, with the main musical themes written and performed by Erik Stein & Jon Boux of Cult With No Name.
Next week’s episode… is part four of our series into The Blackout Ripper.
Thank you for listening and sleep well.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ***
The Murder Mile UK True Crime Podcast has been researched using the original declassified police investigation files, court records, press reports and as many authentic sources as possible including eye-witness testimony, confessions, autopsy reports, first-hand accounts and independent investigation, where possible. But these documents are only as accurate as those recounting them and recording them, therefore mistakes will be made. As stated at the beginning of each episode (and as is clear by the way it is presented) Murder Mile is a 'dramatisation' of the events and not a documentary, therefore a certain amount of dramatic licence, selective characterisation and story-telling (within logical reason and based on extensive research) has been taken. It is not a full representation of the case, the people or the investigation in its entirety, and therefore should not be taken as such. It is also often (for the sake of clarity and drama) presented from a single person's perspective, usually (but not exclusively) the victim's, therefore it will contain a certain level of bias to get across this single perspective, which may not be the overall opinion of those involved or associated.
*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ***
Credits: The Murder Mile true-crime podcast was researched, written and recorded by Michael J Buchanan-Dunne, with the sounds recorded on location (where possible), and the music written and performed by Erik Stein & Jon Boux of Cult With No Name. Additional music was written and performed by various artists, as used under the Creative Common Agreement 4.0. A list of tracks used and the links are listed on the relevant transcript blog here.
Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a writer, crime historian, podcaster and tour-guide who runs Murder Mile Walks, a guided tour of Soho’s most notorious murder cases, hailed as “one of the top ten curious, quirky, unusual and different things to do in London” and featuring 12 murderers, including 3 serial killers, across 15 locations, totaling 75 deaths, over just a one mile walk.
Truly brilliant. So insightful. Love the extra mile at the end. Like to see how you make these.
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Michael J Buchanan-Dunne is a crime writer, podcaster & tour guide of Murder Mile Walks, hailed as one of the best "quirky curious & unusual things to do in London".
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