The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper

TELEVISION has offered several superb true-crime documentaries and dramas recently.

Making a Murderer and The Keepers have been thought-provoking and absorbing. Meanwhile, dramas such as Code of a Killer and Rillington Place have sensitively explored crimes that seem inexplicable and shocking.

I have now made a contribution to the true-crime bookshelves with The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper. This is a reinvestigation into a shocking unsolved series of murders from the 1960s – and one that today is largely forgotten.

More victims than Jack the Ripper

The Nude Killings occurred in west London in 1964-65 and saw six prostitutes murdered and left naked in public places. The unknown culprit, indelicately called Jack the Stripper by the media at the time, claimed more victims than Jack the Ripper 77 years previously.

In addition, two other killings – in 1959 and 1963 – were tentatively linked to the tally.

The killing spree sparked the biggest police manhunt ever seen, with hundreds of officers scouring west London for the perpetrator, including WPCs disguised as prostitutes. 

Swinging London’s dark secret

It is an extraordinary case, touching the Kray gang and the Profumo Scandal. London was Swinging – the Beatles were performing at the Hammersmith Odeon that year and the Who were making a name for themselves in clubs around the Goldhawk Road. Meanwhile, a calculating killer was stalking those same streets for vulnerable women in the sex trade.

Why was he never caught? Who might it have been? And why is this shocking case unknown to many people these days?

These questions are all explored in The Hunt for the 60s’ Ripper, which is currently on discount – £3.85 – on Amazon and at Tesco.

Oh, and one or two TV producers have been prompted by the book to consider the case for a new series…

Happy birthday, CrimeTimePreview

Happy birthday to us! is six years old. I launched the site on 8 August 2010.

After 650 posts, 2.5million page views and countless murders witnessed, the site is still standing and attracting attention. Thank you for sticking with us.

I launched CrimeTimePreview to combine three passions. I had been working on TV mags – Radio Times, TV Times, Cable Guide – and was a crime-fiction fan. Online publishing also intrigued me.

TV revolution

CrimeTimePreview editor Robin with start of The Killing Sofie Gråbøl

CrimeTimePreview editor Robin with star of The Killing Sofie Gråbøl

CrimeTimePreview has gone on to enjoy several successes. It was nominated for best Arts and Culture blog recently at the UK Blog Awards. Our mail subscribers list is growing and ad revenue is higher than ever in 2016.

By luck, it was a good time to launch a crime-TV website. It has coincided with the explosion in foreign-language series such as The Killing – which got thousands of hits and comments when I wrote about it (see the post here). At the same time there’s been the shift to on-demand services Netflix, Amazon Prime and the rest. And, of course, we’ve enjoyed the fantastic blossoming of mature, riveting dramas from subscription services like HBO (The Sopranos) and AMC (Breaking Bad).

Television drama has never been more varied and exciting. The quality and availability of shows from around the world is extraordinary. It’s been a treat to write for and share the enthusiasm of thousands of viewers who have found their way to these posts.

The first drama covered was a now forgotten ITV effort called Identity, posted on 8 August, 2010, starring Aidan Gillen and Keeley Hawes. Since then we’ve seen the demise of Spooks, Taggart and The Bill, the rise and fall of Law & Order: UK. But what about the unforgettable shows that have kept us entranced?

TV classics

Here is my personal selection of the best and worst crime dramas of the past six years, and how I covered them…

The Killing First series was a classic and Sofie Gråbøl was unforgettable

Br8-reasons-why-this-season-of-dexter-must-be-t-L-4L9tEXeaking Bad So bad it was great – and spin-off Better Call Saul is brilliant as well

Garrow’s Law Personal favourite: a fascinating journey into court justice of the past

Dexter Not remotely believable but witty and chillingly compelling

Scott & Bailey Fine characters and some unforgettable cases

Sherlock Brilliant recreation of a classic that fizzes and grips

The first series of Broadchurch It went off the rails in series 2, but 1 was excellent

5938817-low_res-happy-valleyHappy Valley Powerful stories, dynamite performances and wonderful characters

The Bridge Saga Noren was, and is, a true original

Trapped Ditto man-mountain Asgeir – and what a setting!

True Detective Series 1 was frightening and McConaughey and Harrelson superb

And the clunkers…

DCI Banks Dull adaptation of a good series of novels

Midsomer Murders OK, we’re not supposed to take it seriously, but it’s two-hours long!

Silent Witness As much fun as an evening in a morgue

The Chicago Code Jennifer Beals in a formula show that we’ve a million times

Hawaii Five-0 Why?

What have been your faves and flops? Comments welcome at the link above…


The Crime Thriller Club, ITV3, with Bradley Walsh

Rating: ★★★★

ITV3: starts Monday, 15 September, 9pm

JUST WANTED TO GIVE  a shout for this returning crime magazine show, presented by Bradley Walsh. It’s a fun and interesting hour going behind the scenes of new series – tonight they’re taking a glimpse at The Interceptor, starring Trevor Eve and Jo Joyner – profiling top writers and talking to actors and crime authors.

It’s all part of the build-up to the CWA Crime Thriller Awards in October, one of the biggest gong shows of the year for crime fiction and screen dramas.

I watched them filming an instalment last week because I’d been invited to go on the show and take part in its short quiz section. Stephen Tompkinson was also in the studio talking about DCI Banks, and author Mark Billingham was discussing new books.

I called on the services of Ali Karim, Literary Editor of Shots Magazine, to be my team mate because

Ali Karim and myself in the Green Room

he’s so knowledgable about authors – he knows Lee Child, among many, many others, and has met Stephen King. He even got into the role by dressing as Heisenberg from Breaking Bad.

It was a laugh watching the show being made at Cactus Studios in Camberwell, London. Bradley Walsh is great fun as host, and is of course a good all-round choice for the show as he was the mainstay of ITV’s Law & Order: UK until recently.

Anyway, despite Ali’s expertise and my TV knowledge things didn’t go according to plan for us during the quiz. Our moment in the limelight comes later in the series, so in the meantime enjoy tonight’s review of Lucie Waterhouse’s Before We Met and the Club’s profile of the brilliant thriller writer Robert Harris.

Host Bradley Walsh with author Peter James and Peter Davison in an upcoming edition

Check out these links…

TV Daggers – who should win
Crime Thriller Awards 2014
Shots Magazine

Follow @crimetimeprev

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