10 November 1960 – Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris

Part of a gang, Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris robbed and kicked a man to death.

In 1960, Forsyth (18) and Harris (23) together with fellow gang members Christopher Louis Darby (23) and Terrence Lutt (17) set upon Allen Jee in an alley in Hounslow. They kicked him unconscious and stripped him of his cash and left him bleeding from head injuries.

Jee had everything to live for. He’d only just got engaged. And he managed to last two days in hospital before his catastrophic injuries got the better of him. Though they denied it, the gang didn’t get away with it. Forsyth’s bloodstained shoes made sure of that.

Both Forsyth and Harris got the death penalty. Lutt was a minor so he only got a prison sentenced because he was too young to be hanged. And Darby had the least involvement so he managed to get life imprisonment. Harris was hanged at 9am on 10 November at Pentonville and Forsyth was hanged at the same time in Wandsworth, and became the last 18-year-old to be hanged in Britain.

Also on this day

10 November 1914 – John Eayres

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525 Responses to “10 November 1960 – Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris”

  1. chedgey Says:

    They were acquaintances of mine, Lutt was the instigator and Harris and Darby( a local dandy who always wore a bowler hat) ran off before Frankie started the kicking. They were hanged because they stole ninepence making it a capital offence (murder for theft). Lutt was detained on Her Majesty’s Pleasure and served eight years

    • Runacre56 Says:

      I have been interested in this case for some years now. What sort of people were Forsyth and Harris? Harris seemed to have remorse whereas I understood Forsyth to have bragged about the killing. I heard Darby was a beatnick.

      • Forsyth was dropped 7’2″ through the trap-doors on the gallows platform within Wandsworth Prison. The executioner was Harry. B. Allen and the assistant executioner was Royston Rickard.

    • Jim Smith Says:

      Anyone know what became of Lutt?

      • Not sure what became of Lutt, Jim but I did read he was released in November 1970 so he would still hav been a young man of 27. Darby was released in May 1970

      • Died of leukemia not long after being released around 1970

    • I cannot remember Darby ever wearing a bowler hat,

      He certainly was not a dandy as he dressed like a beatnik with duffel coat and sandals and sported a beard

      • Rich Owen Says:

        Hi Fred – Yes Joachims coffee bar not a pub. I corrected myself in my next post. No, not Flossie who threw the spear, I meant Harris. My parents don’t remember Bob Patten throwing the spear but it was a long time ago so maybe they have forgotten. Thanks for the info.

      • Terence Lutt died in 1975

      • Steph Says:

        Hi
        Noticed a few names you remember from them and would love to know anything about Jean Cox ( lived at Wesley Ave )

    • katjack Says:

      Hi Chedgy I’m trying to find out what happened to Flossie’s girlfriend Margaret (Maggie) Catlin. Do you remember her?

  2. Runacre56 Says:

    How tall would Forsyth have been if the drop was 7’2″?

  3. I have always been interested in this case, especially Francis “Flossie” Forsyth. I would have liked to have contacted people who knew him. I know he was the youngest in his family so his parents have obviously passed on but his girlfriend at the time of his exection 16 year old Margaret Caitlin was expecting his child in January 1961. If anyone knew him personally, I would be grateful to hear from them.

    • I was slightly aquainted with Flossie. We were in Ardale approved school together around 1957. I can’t tell youy anything about him as I only knew him to say hello to. However, if you check Ardale in North Stifford Essex I’m sure you will find many who knew him well. He was in “Livingstone” house at the home.

      • Robby Says:

        Thank you Peter, I read he was sent to an approved school when he was 14 for stealing stationery or something like that, I will check Ardale out, thank you for your help.

    • DAVE RODHAM Says:

      I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN HOUNSLOW AND WAS 16 AT THE TIME OF THE FORSYTH AND HARRIS CASE
      IKNEW ALL OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE CASE
      NORMAN HARRIS HAD A YOUNGER BROTHER WHO WAS MORE MY AGE
      HOUNSLOW WAS NEVER THE SAME AFTER THIS TERRIBLE CASE!!

      • Robby Says:

        Thank you Dave, I wasn’t aware Norman Harris had a younger brother, I knew he had two sisters, Beryl 27 and April 15 at the time of his execution. I should imagine it was a very sad time for all concerned.

      • You are absolutely correct.joachims closed down and Hounslow became dead at nights

      • Judy Small Says:

        remember you well Dave, you lived in Kingsley Road in the flats, I knew your mate Bob Fielding and visited him in Ardale Approved school. I also knew Flossie and Terry Lutt. I worked for Terry’ s brother in law in the greengrocery trade. Terry’s dad was Frank Lutt who ran a mobile greengrocers. I was born a few doors from Flossie’s family in Whitton. they were very poor and my Gran used to give them clothes etc.

      • Rams61 Says:

        Did you know any of Norman harris’s girlfriend’s?, as my mother claimed to have been going out with him

      • katjack Says:

        Hi Dave, do you know what ever happened to Margaret Catlin? was she from Hounslow too?

      • Sorry i did not know her.

      • Val horwood Says:

        Remember you Dave. Did u live over shops in Kingsley road opp the bus station? Do u remember Pauline Walton? We went to Heston school. I was Valerie Morris then. Married Dave horwood from Isleworth. He lived in London road next to Greenhams. Dave went to spring grove central school and was in Forsyths year. What a dreadful thing to have happened in our lifetime. People we knew being hung.

    • Rich Owen Says:

      Hi. Both my parents knew Flossie and Harris. Flossie was always around my dad’s house and my granddad didn’t like him much. Harris was a big lad and a quite nasty. He once picked up a spear off of the wall of a pub and threw it across the pub in temper. It luckily missed everyone in the pub. I have a few more stories to tell

      • The spear was thrown by a chap called Bob Patten.I was there that night.It was at Joachims coffee bar on the Great West Road at Lampton

      • Hi Rich

        Your parents names are ringing a bell. I went to Isle worth Grammar School. Although 50 years have passed I can still recall many events of that time clearly (although I sometimes forget what happened last week ). Re the Spear incident I was only a few feet away too. Bob Patten was a coalman aged about 23 and a big fella.The spear was hanging on a wall as decoration with an African shield. Patten took it from the wall and hurled it about 10 feet towards the end of the coffee bar where it stuck in the wall.

      • Hi Rich

        Another memory of those times that may interest your parents.
        I can recall the names of quite a few “faces” that used to frequent Joachims. these people were not particularly friends of mine but I knew them and so did Flossie…here goes

        Fred Sharp (thats not me ) Arthur Geard,Pete Busby,Geoff Clark,Jean Cox and Janet “pansy” Potter,
        I have not seen any of these for over 40 years except Pansy who I met at a party over 25 years ago and she told me that she had visited Flossie in his condemned cell at Wandswoth Prison just a few days before he was hanged

    • Dennis More Says:

      I knew Flossy Forsyth. I went to Ardale Approve School with him.. He was never a violent boy as I remember him. I think that night it was a case of bravado with his peers.

    • John Crouch Says:

      Hi there, I met Flossie when I got sent to Ardale Approved School in 1958. I finished up in LIvngston House. As you stood in front of it we were up on the right hand side, top floor. As you entered the dormitory Flossie’s bed was half way down on the right hand side. At the far end was the door to the fire escape. My bed was directly to the right of it. Flossie arrived at his nickname because he was always jibed at for having Francis as a first name. This wound him up and he would defend himself, but eventually got used to it. I stood 6 feet tall, and Flossie was about 2-3 inches shorter than me. I usually kept to myself but Flossie was very helpful in getting me over the initial settling in period. Used to look forward to going out on the gardening sessions with the good old man George Rawlings. Lovely old country man with rosy cheeks, but I digress. Flossie was really bright and streetwise, and there was nothing about him to indicate his fate. When I read about his case I tried my best to find out what the background of it was. Alan Jee just seemed to be a man unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time. So the same could be said of the other 4 involved. Harris seemed to have the greater motive for money, where as Lutt weighing in at 17 stone was no light weight and was capable of harm. The press really did not have it’s work cut out to try to make this really more than it should have been made to be. Yes, an innocent man lost his life, and his family also suffered. But look at the system we no have. I am no fan of hanging, but do believe in the death sentence as they have in Aamerica, by lethal injection. We now have our streets over run by criminals who have nothing to fear from the law. There is no retribution nor real justice for the families of the victims. For this we have our entry into the Common Market to thank. No more criminals are to be executed no matter how heinous their crimes. Even if the slaughter of a child, a police officer, on an elderly person unable to defend themselves. For some crimes there should be an absolute punishment. Nor will the public have to read of yet another killer being released on parole who goes on to commit yet another horrific attack or killing. In some ways it appears that our progress of this society is in actual fact steps taken backwards. There are now more support for the criminals than there is for the victims and their families. That really makes sense! After Ardale I went to detention centre, young prisoner and finallly spent my 21 first birthday in Chelmsford prison away from my wife and family. That is when I said to myself ” Enough is enough.” The rest of my life up until now has been spent working until the day I retired. Over the last 25 years wehave holidayed in Morocco and Tunisia. There they just have prisons and don’t wast one penny on probation. In Morocco we could see their prison on the right hand side as we travelled to Tangiers. There life is hard, and flogging takes place to maintain discilpline in a courtyard in front of the rest of the inmates as an example. Just before being released the prisoners have their heads shaven bald to indicate to the public where they have just come from. This keeps them indoors until their hair grows. Also it brings shame upon their families and there is more of a family basis than in this country. As there is no pension,unless you work for the state, that means you get no money. So the elders of the family are resting and supported by the younger generation. Seems their system may be harsh, but it appears to work for them. Hope they never have to finish up like it is here in our country. Waves of immigrants, who are really financial immigrants. flood into our country in order to better their own lives. You can’t blame them, just the politicians who have created this horrible mess and whom seem unable, or unwilling to attempt to put things right. Next year starting from January 1st, 2014, the Bulgarians and the Romanians will also have that self same right to flood into this country for a better standard of living. Seemed to have digressed further. Looking back at the past, as we sometimes tend to do, only reminds us that sometomes we need to pay as much attention to the present day, and to be wary of our possible future.

  4. Peter Says:

    Robby, Check the UK “friends reunited” If you check Ardale for the years between about 1956- 60 you will probably find a few people that remember him.
    Peter

    • Robby Says:

      Thanks Peter I will. I want to find out the type of person he was. By all accounts he was quite intelligent and attended Isleworth Grammer School for a while, it seems uncharactersic that he should turn to crime, become a road worker and then commit capital murder. Another strange thing was that on the day he was hanged 10 November 1960, a friend of his 20 year old Victor Terry shot and killed a man in a bank raid near worthing, he was convicted and hanged at Wandsworth on the same gallows on 26 May 1961

      • I knew flossie very well.He lived just around the corner to me,we both went to Hounslow Heath junior School.Flossie was a year above me. Some inaccuracies by some of the posters on here.I was at Joachims (coffee bar not a pub) when the spear throwing incident took place,Flossie was there but it was a chap called Bob Patten who threw it.
        Terry Lutt served about 10 years but died of luekemia around age 30. Chris Darby served about 10 years but every year for many years afterwards his parents recieved an anonymous Xmas card with a press cutting of the murder.

      • karen Says:

        chris darbys parents did not receive anonymous cards every xmas with press cuttings of the very sad incident….. I do wish people would not comment on something that they know nothing about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Robby Says:

    Had no luck with the friends reunited Peter, you had a menu to choose from which included primary and secondary schools but not approved shcools. I typed out Ardale Approved School but the response was that it couldn’t be found.

  6. Peter Says:

    Hi Robby, it’s definitely there, I’m listed on it myself. Don’t type approved school, just the name (and secondary if you have to). If you have no luck, let me have an email address and I’ll go on the site and try to send you a link or something. Try searching for me (Peter Turner) at Ardale 1957 and see where it takes you.
    Peter

    • Robby Says:

      Hello Peter

      Thank you for your help and a advice. I just tried to log back in on friends reunited but they are now saying I have to enter a validation code which they say they have sent me and it should be in my emails but it isn’t.

      Anyway, my email address is rob.rodway@ntlworld.com I would like to talk to you anyway Peter because I would like to get an idea of what approved schools were like in the late fifties. I was only four years old in 1957

    • Barrie Lennox Says:

      Does anybody remember BOMBER, IAN, POP PRINCE, JIMMY GENTLE, JONNY NORMAN I remember MEAKINGS and his oppo,, at Ardale circa 1957

      • J.Gentle Says:

        Yes knew ‘Flossie’ I was at Ardale same time .. I was in all Houses Starting with Shackleton to Gordon then Nelson finishing with Livingstone with ‘Flossie’ .. he was a very unassumming guy liked a laugh as we all did.. ‘Acky Pud’ was his favorite subject in the dorm at night, before ‘The Pad’ came round.. Like to contact Jonny Norman or know what happened to him .. Anyone out there?? Jimmy Gentle

  7. Robby Says:

    Peter

    I just managed to get back into Friends Reunited and I managed to get Ardale. There were alot of Peter Turners, I found a Peter Turner who attended Ardale in 1959 and now resides in Aurstralia, would that be you?

    Robby

  8. its 50 years since flossie died.he was a very good friend of mine,we went to the same school and same class at spring grove sentral in isleworth.he was always at my house evenings and after school.lucky for me i joined the merchant navy 6 months before the iron bridge affair or who knows.we all wore drainpipe trousers and winkle pickers pointed shoes.tony curtis haircuts and our idols were the kray brothers who controlled the east end.flossie was 5.8 blond hair,medium build and had about 6 or 7 middle names,and it was a two bob piece he picked up,not ninepence.everybody used to hangout at jims cafe on the great west rd in hounslow.darby was a prick,lobby lutt not much better.r.i.p. keith.

    • Robby Says:

      Thank you so much for that response Keith, I had been trying to find someone who knew Flossie and it seems you knew him pretty well. I read that he was quite intelligent and that he passed his 11 plus and went to Isleworth Grammer School for a short time. I also remember his girlfriend Margaret Caitlin was expecting his child in the January of 1961, two months after he was hanged.

    • Rich Owen Says:

      You might know my parents then. Colin Owen and Pat Smith – they met at Jims cafe and met all their friends there including Sheila Honour, Mick, girl called Pat

      • Ken Thomson Says:

        Colin Owen? I remember him! He went to work as a trainee chef, with Lyons.

      • Rich Owen Says:

        Hi Ken! Yes, that’s right, he was a trainee chef at Lyons Cornerhouse. Did you know him well? He lives in Basingstoke now near me. He became a carpenter after he was a chef.

    • anne Quoroll. nee matthews Says:

      I was in the same class as Flossie and Keith Smith, at Spring Grove Central. Flossie was a very clever boy and I didn’t know he was in a gang, I was shocked when my father said ” look what your friend Flossie has been up to” and gave me the newspaper to read. Keith and I went out together for a while and we used to babysit his brother and sister, Flossie was often there too. I would love to get in touch with Keith Smith, I still have the photo he sent me while in the Navy. My daughters thought he was very handsome. Anne Quoroll. nee Matthews.

    • Val Horwood nee Morris Says:

      Hi Keith
      My hubby Dave Horwood was in your year at Spring Grove Central and knew you and Forsyth. Do you remember Dave? Must just point out Keith that Jim’s cafe was at the bottom of Bell Road in Hounslow. I used to go there a lot and it was Joachims coffee bar that was on the great west road at Lampton. Another place I used to frequent. Val Horwood (nee Morris from Heston).

  9. this will be my last entry as its still hard even after 50 years.but a few things should be clarified,first they state that they were part of a gang,bullshit.every kid in hounslow at that time,was the same,we all were in on tearing out the seats of the dominion cinima after seeing rock around the clock,we were all aspireing tearaways,kray wannabees,it could have been me or it could have been you.norman harris wasnt even part of our crew,he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.as to chris darby running away,rubbish.everybody knew he turned q.e.and shopped the others so he wouldnt be topped aswell.he was 23 and just as guilty as norman.there but for the grace of god,go i,or even you.take care buddy.

    • Robby Says:

      Well thank you for your input Keith, I know it must have been very difficult for you, it is well appreciated.

      • Rich Owen Says:

        Just spoken to both my parents about them all. They knew all four of them. They used to go together to two cafes in Hounslow, one was Jims and the other was called Joachims. The spear incident I mentioned earlier was in one of the cafes, not a pub. The spear which Flossie threw (not Harris) missed my mum by 3 foot. My dad said that Flossie and Norman Harris were both trouble really. Flossie was at my dad’s school but got expelled. My dad got together with my mum and stayed out of their way as they were quite a hard bunch. He said Flossie had not long been out of prison before the murder. My dad was working as a chef at the Red Lion when they were found guilty and the news came out that they would be hung. It was all over the Daily Mirror. When Flossie was hung, a well wisher bought his girlfriend who was pregnant with Flossie baby a really expensive pram, worth about £40 at the time. She sold it and got a really cheap pram and kept the difference. After the baby was born, she was always bringing it over to my dad’s house to fix it as it had dodgy wheels. My dad can remember all of this like it was yesterday, not 50 years ago,

    • Flossie did associate with Harris quite a lot so to say Harris was in the wrong place at the wrong time was not strictly true. He was 23 and had done Army National Service but although 5 years older than Flossie still knocked around with a lot of teenagers.
      Chris Darby was 20 not 23 and he didn’t hang as he took no part in the attack whereas Harris rifled through Jee’s pockets after Lutt hit him and Flossie put the boot in

      • Robby Says:

        Fred.

        Everything you have said coincides with what I had read about the case. I read Darby was 20 years old, bearded. a beatnik, who liked traditional Jazz. I also reead he suffered from Asthma and was excused National Service. I also read the reason his charge was reduced from Capital Murder to Simple Murder was because he was look out and took no part in the attack.

      • karen Says:

        thank you fred for putting people right on this case…… Chris Darby did not shop anyone and served his time because he would not give evidence!….

      • YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW Says:

        vey glad you said HE TOOK NO PART IN THE ATTACK!!!!!!!!!

      • Alan Yates Says:

        I went to school with floss as we used to call him @ Hounslow heath school. He did go too the county grammar school in 1953. He was expelled 2 years later and admitted too my school, Spring Grove Central in Isleworth and expelled from there also. He had a habit of abusing any policeman he saw and was lucky to escape arrest on several occasions. I do not know why he was like that because as several people have written and stated, his family were very nice. He had a brother George who was at least 12 years older than him who was married with a family. His parents gave him whatever he wanted. He was very well educated and was good at most sports. At the time of the murder Floss and I were working together for a builders firm in Isleworth.

  10. heathrow Says:

    My Dad nicked Flossie, he and his mates were being a bunch of ….s at Heathrow Airport. I’ve got the police notebook detailing his arrest and a couple of stories about him.

    Having been brought up around the area I also met people that knew of Harris.

    • heathrow Says:

      And Keith, I know that you said it was your last post but did you know guys called Corke and Snow?

    • Flossie and a few Hounslow lads got involved in a bit of a punch up with the Airport Police at Heathrow (The Police were not Met.then).One lad I knew got 3 months, I don’t think Flossie ever stood trial for that as he was nicked for murder shortly after the Airport incident.

      • It seems Flossie was involved in quite alot of offences.

      • Hi Robby

        Flossie was involved in lots of offences.as mentioned elsewhere he served time in borstal for theft offences and in1960 he was fined for assault on Police in Heston.he was involved in the aforementioned Heathrow fracas and also fined for riding his bike on the runway as an aircraft was coming in to land.I think his “previous” was a factor in him being given a death sentence.

  11. Robby Says:

    Hello Fred

    I read Flossie had gone to Borstal for stealing stationery. I also read he was quite intelligent and passed his 11 plus and went to Isleworth Grammer School, he was working as a roadworker at the time of the murder, Chris Darby was a coalman, Norman Harris an unemployed driver and Terrence Lutt an unemployed Labourer. I read that Lutt although the youngest at 17 was also the tallest and biggest and weighed 17 stone. It is a shame Lutt died so soon after he had served his time. I have been interested in this case for sometime so it is good to talk to you Fred. If you were a year younger than Flossie then you must be the same age as my elder brother Stan. We were not from Hounslow though, we were from Islington North London. I remember the day Flossie was hanged because it was the same day J.F. Kennedy was confirmed as President.

    • Hi Robby
      all the info you have posted on this case is absolutely correct,I knew flossie from about age 7 he lived 5 minutes walk away from me.We went to the same junior school and he indeed passed the 11+ and went to Grammar school but he only lasted there a couple of weeks as he told me he didn’t like it so transferred to the local secondary modern, Spring Grove Central ,He went to borstal at about age 15 but couldn’t keep out of trouble as I have detailed on other posts on this thread,
      We worked together for a short while in mid 1960 for a firm making bits for the Hammersmith flyover,We were both made redundant and went to London together to collect our cards,I remember Flossie was petrified his Mum would go mad as he had lost his job…..he murdered someone just a few weeks later !
      I will post more stories as I recall them

      • Robby Says:

        Hi Fred

        I look forward to reading more of your stories. Like I said, I had always been interested in this case. My email address is rob.rodway@ntlworld.com if ever you wish to contact me direct.

      • Hi Robby
        you do seem to have a lot of accurate knowledge of this case and obviously have done lots of research.

        I am interested to find out the reasons for your interest as I have remembered a couple more stories which I could share with you.

  12. Robby Says:

    Hello Fred

    I don’t really know why I got interested in this particular case. I was interested in crime in general and the history of Capital Punishment in Britain and one day I read an account of this case and it interested me because it was a crime which was unfortunate as it was never preplanned it happened out of circumstances. When I started to read more about it, I got interested in all the people involved in the case, especially Forsyth and also Harris. A little while afterwards I read another case of Victor John Terry who with the aid of some friends robbed a bank in Durrington and shot and killed a cashier. I thought it was a coincidence that he robbed it on 10 November 1960, the day Forsyth was hanged, then when I read more it turned out he was a friend of Forsyth and commited the crime that morning after hearing about the hanging on his car radio. He was hanged on the same gallows as Forsyth at Wandsworth on 28 May 1961

    • Hi Robby

      As far as the link with Terry was concerned,I,of course did not know all of Forsyths friends and aquaintances (perhaps just as well) but I did know quite a few and never remember Terry as being one of them.I think it could have been co-incidental that the Sussex bank raid took place the same day that Flossie was hanged and the link could have been press hype.Maybe Rich Owen or Keith Smith may know more.

      • Robby Says:

        Hello Fred

        You could well be right about it being press hype. Fred. Anyway, it was Forsyth who really interested me and it is great I can talk to people, like yourself who actually knew him.

  13. On the subject of the press,on the night before Flossie was executed,I had been on an evening out with my friend Mick, who lived 3 doors along from Flossie in Clare Road Hounslow,

    It was around 11pm and,as we sat in Mick’s car chatting, we noticed several cars parked in the street that did not belong to residents. An occupant of one of the cars approached us and asked what newspaper we belonged to.

    Our reply was not very pleasant as we considered it to be a total invasion of privacy to Flossies family at a very difficult time for them to camped in droves outside his parents house.
    I have never had any time for paparazzi since !

  14. Robby Says:

    I agree entirely, Fred. I heard alot of newspapers reported on the day of the exectution that Flossie was constantly crying out on the evening prior to his execution but I feel this could only have been speculation on their part.

    • hi Robby,
      Yes. I remember the press stories of Flossie crying the night beefore his execution, and like you,I feel it was press speculation.
      Regarding your post of 16th October about reports of the attack not being preplanned.I can possibly shed a little more light on this.
      I spoke to Chris Darby’s elder brother about 8 years after the attack and he told me that on the evening of the crime the 4 had been drinking heavily and called at his house for a coffee then left.He lived only a few hundred yards from the crime scene.
      I remember reading that it was given in evidence that they had decided to “roll” (mug ) someone but believe that it was only a last minute drink fuelled decision rather than a pre planned crime.Either way a poor innocent man lost his life

      • Just an overview really of my previous posts (at the expense of repeating myself )

        I knew Flossie from the age of about 7 or 8.Although with him being a year older I would not consider him to have been a friend. we were at the same junior school and were a part of a large group of local kids who were forever at the local park playing football in the winter and cricket in the summer.Flossie was a keen sportsman and good at both sports.
        He was always a bit “mouthy” but most of us were surprised when he turned to crime and was sent to borstal.
        On his release he used to go where most Hounslow teenagers went,Joachims, local pubs and cinemas.
        Quite a few of us used to work at different labouring jobs on building sites,road works etc as there was relatively good money to be earned.I worked with Flossie and a dozen or so others for some months cable laying at Heathrow Airport and later, in May and June 1960 in Heston for a concrete firm,as I said earlier, we were all made redundant and several of us had to catch a bus to somewhere like Putney to collect our cards and money. As we lived fairly close to one another Flossie and I travelled back together and it was then he told me of his fear of his Mum’s reaction to him having no job. On his own Flossie was a really nice guy.He changed totally when part of a group. I took a job in another part of the country after that and I never saw Flossie again,in fact he was arrested for murder the day after I returned.
        The memories of those times will live forever in the minds of those who were teenagers in Hounslow in 1960…….Today it seems spooky to think I knew one of only four 18 year olds to be executed in the 20th century.

  15. Robby Says:

    Hello Fred

    I apologise because I did not make clear what I meant in my last post. I meant that they never premeditated to kill anyone, however, after a drinking binge they had planned to rob someone. At the trial, Harris admitted having 5 or 6 pints of bitter, Darby had the same and Lutt said he had 6 pints of strong ale and 2 rums. I don’t know what Flossie had to drink but in his own words he was “shanted.” They ended up in Joachims coffee bar and Harris who was skint and out of work wanted to do some thieving and his friends agreed to help him. He wanted to do a house but Lutt suggested, “rolling someone.” So they waited by a footpath leading to James Street for the right victim. A powerfully built man named Francis Power was the first to come past but they refrained from attacking him because of his size. The next one to come along was Allan Jee who was returning home from his girlfriends house whom he had given an engagement ring and planned to marry in two years time. Lutt punched him hard in the face and Harris caught him as he fell. Lutt helped Harris hold him down whilst Harris rifled through his pockets. Contrary to what other posters have said on here, I read that they took nothing because Harris missed the carefull folded ten shilling note in Jee’s pocket which was all he had after taking his fiancee’ out for the day. Jee had shouted, “What do you want me for?” as Harris and Lutt held him down and Flossie standing over him kicked him repeatedly to “shut him up.” they then ran off and left him bleeding and he died in hospital from cerebal contrusion and a fractured skull. At the trial it was established by doctors that the injuries had been cause by five kicks delivered with considerable force. The prosecution council held up Flossie’s Winkle Picker shoe and said, “The toe you might think is a lethal weapon.” During his summing up the Judge emphasised it was not a case of whether they intended to kill Jee but whether an offence was commited which any normal person would know would cause serious injury. He also said it did not matter if they DID NOT STEAL from Jee if they had the INTENTION TO STEAL. I suppose the jury came to the conclusion that anyone kicking someone in the head hard five time wearning winkle pickers would know that he was likely to cause serious injury. When I read the whole case, I must admit I felt more sorry for Allan Jee, his fiancee’ and family than I did Flossie or the others.

  16. I totally agree with your last sentence,at the end of the day, Allen Jee was an innocent man whose life was cut tragically short by a vicious, unprovoked attack.
    However,the repercussions of the actions of the four assailants that night reverberated around the families of them too,as in some respect, those families were also innocent.Two other mothers also lost sons,albeit in totally different circumstances.,and two had their sons locked up for murder for a very long time. I also think I am right in saying that Chris Darby’s father was a broken man afterwards and died prematurely.Terry Lutt also died of Leukemia at the age of 31 shortly after his release.
    50 years on and I still think of it as a very sad business.

  17. Robby Says:

    I agree with you Fred. It ruined alot of lives and the families of those involved. I did not know them as you did, however, I got the impression that Chris Darby probably really was in the wrong place at the wrong time. From what I read the other three were more like Teddy Boys but Darby was, as you said, a beatnik who liked traditional Jazz and seemed to be more placid, that is purely my opinion by what I read.

  18. Yes Robby, your observation regarding Chris Darby is absolutely correct,he was much quieter than the other three and was indeed a beatnik, I can remember he used to put trad jazz music on the jukebox in Joachims and always remember him dancing about to Chris Barber and Ottilie Patterson’s “There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight ” whereas the other three dressed in striped shirts drainpipe jeans and winklepicker shoes and were more into Presley,Eddie Cochran and Fats Domino as the majority of us were then.
    Your research has obviously given you a deep understanding of the events of 1960 and I hope my memories have been helpful to you

  19. Hello Fred

    Yes your memories have been extremely helpful. I was only 7 years old at the time but I was born late in my parents life and I had two older brothers of 17 and 25 and two older married sisters, so I am familiar with the era. One of the reasons I got interested in the case was that it happened during my lifetime and when I read about Flossie, I felt there were so many similarities between him and myself (apart from the fact that I was never involved in crime) that I almost felt I knew him.

  20. Hi Robby

    the biggest puzzle of all is why Flossie ever went off the rails in the first place.He was bright and had passed his 11 plus, he liked sports and was good at them,He did not come from a council estate ( as I, and a lot of the local “herberts” of the time did) he lived in a pleasant suburban road.I did not particularly know his parents although my friend who lived three doors from Flossie knew them well and said that they were nice decent people and Mrs Forsyth was certainly not the hard matriarchal type. Yet as I have said earlier Flossie was scared of her reaction to him being out of work.
    If any teenagers of that time took drugs they were very few and far between, as drugs were not “popularised” until the advent of the Beatles and Stones a couple of years later so I am reasonably sure that Flossie or any of the others never took drugs so that was not an issue.

  21. Robby Says:

    Hello Fred

    That is exactly what puzzled me. I read something of his parents. His Mother Ada Forsyth was a cleaner at Hounslow Barracks and his Father Frank Forsyth who was 74 at the time of Flossie was hanged, had been a soldier for 18 years. I also read some newspaper reports the day prior to his exection and several neighbours referred to him as a very bright boy and polite but that he had got in with the wrong crowd. One teenager they interviewed said, “Flossie was not really tough but he wanted people to think he was tough and did not know how so he got in with a crowd to give him a kind of lift.” I knew he had previous offences but I thought they were for theft I was not aware any of them were for violence until I read the post on here about the incident with the Police. I read some letters published in the papers he sent from the condemned cell to his pregnant girlfirend Margaret Caitlin and he seemed to express alot of remorse for the killing, yet I had also read the police arrested him because a teenage friend of his, Kevin Cullinan, informed Police that Flossie had been bragging about the murder, which contradicts his feelings of remorse. His mother sent a telegram to the Queen, after his reprieve was turned down. He seemed a different person to Norman Harris who by his own admission was thrown out of Bulstrode School at the age of 14 and having served his National Service in Cyprus had been in prison. At the time of the hanging Harris had a 16 year old girlfriend Norma Mackie who organised a petition. I have a copy of the Daily Sketch on the day of the execution and Harris’s Mother had requested Forsyth’s mother to ask Flossie to send a telegram to the Home Secretary saying he alone was responsible for Jee’s death and would they spare Harris. The Home Office denied receiving anything from Forsyth, not that it would have made a difference anyway. I think Flossie had alot of respect for his parents, when he was detained after his arrest I read his Mother visited him and said, “Tell me you didn’t do it boy.” to which he replied, “I am sorry Mum, I did it.”

  22. heathrow Says:

    Not sure that anyone actually informed the police, the way I heard it was that someone was overheard by an off duty policeman in a pub or bar saying that Flossie had killed the guy.

    After his arrest at Heathrow 2+2 was put together and passed to the Murder Squad.

  23. Robby Says:

    Hi Heathrow.

    You could well be right. I am only going by what I have read, although one account said it was not sure how the Police got their lead.

    Was Flossie actually causing trouble at Heathrow after the murder? That is amazing! One would have thought he would have kept a low profile.

  24. I maybe able to shed a little light on this, It was common knowledge amongst us teenagers at that time that Kevin Cullinan,as mentioned in a previous post, had informed on Forsyth….A couple of other posters on this thread who were around in 1960 may also be able to confirm this fact.+
    As far as his arrest for murder was concerned, Police came to his workplace at Heathrow and arrested him not because he was involved in any further trouble at that time (athough he had been involved in previous incidents at Heathrow prior to the murder as I have detailed previously.
    As far as Flossie keeping a low profile after the murder,he apparently did not !
    I was away working in Jersey during part of the summer of 1960 I went after losing my job at the concrete yard.Flossie commited the murder whilst I was away .On my return, my friend who lived in the same street as Flossie, told me, just after Flossie had been arrested and charged with murder, how amazed he was, that a couple of weeks previously, he had seen Flossie trying to start a fight with someone at Joachims when he had murdered someone just a short while before.!

  25. heathrow Says:

    The murder was committed on 25th June 1960, I think. Flossie was with about 10 mates at Heathrow when they started rowing with each other, this was the 5th July. Plain clothed police asked them to leave and were attacked, after a fight they all ran out of the building and were rounded up by police, 8 of them including Forsythe were arrested – and I’ve got the names of the other 7!

    For a supposedly intelligent guy this was not the smartest thing to get involved in!

  26. A few of my mates told me about that one when I returned in August. I knew most of those involved. Apparently I believe the Police had to seal off the tunnel to capture some of them.
    On reflection 50 years later,my decision to go and seek temporary work in Jersey in early June 1960 may have been one of the best decisions of my life !

  27. heathrow Says:

    So what became of Forsythe’s girlfriend and child?

    I remember being told that Harris’s girlfriend had a daughter, not his, she (the girlfriend) was still screwed up about his hanging. This was in the mid 80’s.

  28. I don’t know what happened to Maggie Cattlin and the child afterwards.I stand corrected on this, but I don’t think Maggie was a Hounslow girl and certainly can’t remember her as being part of the crowd of regulars at Joachims. so how she got involved with Flossie I’m not sure.
    Maybe someone else could help.

  29. Robby Says:

    With regards to Kevin Cullinan, in an account I read, he was feeling uneasy since he had seen Forsyth, Harris, Darby and Lutt, all of whom he knew in Joachims on the night of Saturday 25 June 1960 just prior to the murder of Allan Jee. It also said that Forsyth had told Cullinan how Lutt had hit Jee and how he (Forsyth) had put the boot in. It went onto say that on Sunday 7th July 1960, Cullinan was going to a pub with Lutt and Lutt asked Cullinan whom he thought had done the murder. Cullinan replied saying, he thought that Forsyth, Harris, Lutt and darby were probably responsible to which Lutt, who was holding a copy of “The People” which was offering £500 reward for information leading to an arrest for the murder, then pointed to this and said to Cullinan, “I will have to watch you now.” Shortly after this, all four were arrested, interviewed separately and charged with murder. Forsyth seemed to thin he would only get 5 years. Harris was the only one who felt they would all “dangle.”

    I read some of the letters published that Flossie sent to Margaret Caitlan from the condemned cell at Wandsworh. I got the impression that she was either living locally or staying with Flossie’s parents at Clare Road, although this may have been whilst he was at Wandworth because she was expecting his child in a couple of months in January and I think she went with them to visit him.

    Norman Harris, sent a letter to Allan Jee’s parents from the condemned cell at Pentonville saying he was sorry for the death of their son. His girlfriend 16 year old Norma Mackie, tried to telephone the Home Secretary, Mr R.A. Butler on the eve of the execution. She said, “It is diabolical he should hang, he is no murderer.” I don’t know what became of her. It seems strange to me that not only did Harris at 23 hang around with teenagers but that he had a girlfriend of only 16 years old.

    It seems from the posts I have read on here that Flossie liked a fight, which I find quite surprising. He did seem intelligent and he was not very big from the photos I saw of him.

    • Norma Mackey was a friend of my sister Judy Morris and Tina Canning and lived in Heston. I remember a picture of her on the front of the Sunday pictorial newspaper knocking on the doors of Pentoville prison.

  30. heathrow Says:

    I’m pretty sure that Norma Mackie was living in Harlech Gardens on Cranford Lane in the 80’s.

    From the Heathrow incident, I was told that Flossie was a bad one, I asked wether he deserved to die and was told ‘yes, he tried to kick me in the head too, if I hadn’t of ducked he would have killed me as well’

    Although apparently he wasn’t the worst of the bunch.

  31. heathrow Says:

    Robby, any idea what pub Lutt and Cullinan went to, that sounds like the story I heard…..someone was in a pub talking about how ‘Flossie’ had kicked the poor guy to death and because of the incident at Heathrow the policeman that heard it realised who Flossie was.

  32. Robby Says:

    Heathrow

    It never said what pub they went to. I assumed it was a local and the fact that Lutt was carrying a copy of the People inferred to me that it was probably a drink before Sunday lunch.

    • Dave Rodham Says:

      The pub most people used at the time was The Jolly Farmer
      in Lampton Rd
      about 500 yards from Joachims coffee bar
      Joachims was HEAVING every night actually
      spilling onto the pavement!!!
      Of course no alcohol was served so everybody
      shot down the jolly farmer
      After the murder case the press crucified the owner
      and within weeksw it was history
      all that was left was the Ricki Tik club and weekly
      rock bands at Hounslow swimming baths

      • My friends were frequent users of Joachims coffee bar although my parent banned me and my sister from going there. But we did :-) it was the in place to go and sooo popular. I also used to go to Jim’s cafe down the bottom of Bell Road, Hounslow. Again somewhere else my parents didn’t want me going to. What did they know about these places we didn’t. Happy days.

  33. It could have been anyone of a great number of pubs in the Hounslow area.I know Flossie lived about 5 minutes walk away from Harris and 10 minutes walk away from Darby and Lutt whereas Cullinan lived across the other side of Hounslow which would have been about half an hours walk away from where Lutt lived (with about a dozen boozers in between ),
    Without trying to be pedantic there is a discrepancy in the dates of the murder Saturday 25th June and the alleged meeting of Lutt and Cullinan which Robby states he read was Sunday 7th July. The 7th of July 1960 fell on a Thursday.
    I am not exactly sure of the exact date of the arrest of all four but I know it was around mid August which seems a long time after a conversation was “allegedly” overheard by Police.

  34. Just like to pick up on a couple of earlier points made in previous posts by Robby.
    Although now 50 years ago,these events were so momentous for teenagers in Hounslow in 1960 that I would think that there are many who can recall them as vividly as myself.As I have said before,sometimes I can’t recall what happened a few weeks ago, but these events will be unforgotten by me forever.

    I knew Flossie best out of the four. through childhood,school playing sports in the park and later we worked together for a short while.
    Flossie was around 5ft 9ins tall, medium build blonde hair.
    he was a nice chap on a one to one basis but was always “mouthy” as a youngster when in a crowd.This transferred to his teenage years when he was often looking for trouble when associating with his peer group.
    I suppose I knew Terry Lutt the next best,he was my age then,17,I just knew him as part of the Joachims crowd,he was huge,over 6 feet tall and 17 stone,I would never have described him as the violent type,he was usually jovial.
    I knew Harris in the same way,as part of the Joachims crowd,he was around 6 feet tall with a lean muscular build, and at 23, much older than the rest of us, and I am never sure why he used to hang around with teenagers but I would describe him as quite an upleasant character.
    I knew Darby the least ,he was about 5 feet 10 ins tall and also of medium build,he was a often at Joachims, A much quieter beatnik chap who never gave the impression that he was ever out looking for trouble.
    These four were not a “gang” they were not even part of a “gang”. They were more part of scores and scores of Hounslow youngsters who frequented a coffee bar.I would suggest that they were four individuals who had gone drinking together and had foolishly decided to commit a crime.My personal knowlege of them suggested to me that that decision would have come from Forsyth or Harris,
    As Dave Rodham posted earlier,Hounslow was never the same afterwards,the Police, after the executions,prosecuted the owner of Joachims a German chap called Hans,I not sure what for, and he was forced to close down.The press reports on that case contained some glaring untruths and inaccuracies.

    • Robby Says:

      Hello Fred.

      Well spotted! I just checked on my information and it was my error. It was Sunday 17th July 1960 (not 7th July as I previously stated in error) that Cullinan and Lutt went to the Pub together and subsequently, it was Tuesday 19th July when Flossie, Harris, Lutt and Darby were rounded up by the police for questioning and consequently charged with murder.

      Your posts have been great Fred. It must seem a little strange that you were once friends with Flossie and he is now down in history as the last 18 year old to be hanged at Wandsworth. Although I did not know any of them, reading your last post I would have imagined that Lutt and Darby were okay when not in a group. Somehow Darby never seemed to fit into this whole scenario really. I wonder if Darby is still alive. He did not strike me as someone who would have had any previous offences and I read that it was Lutt’s first offence too. It just goes to show what can happen if you mix with the wrong crowd and get intoxicated.

  35. If ever a site makes a sound case against the return of capital punishment this is it. It’s clear from reading these posts that the repercussions of those terrible events in that Hounslow alley all those years ago still affcet a lot of people today.
    I’m particularly struck not just by Fred’s vivid recollections but also by his compassionate thoughts for the victim – very little has previously been said about Allan Jee here.
    Talking of Allan, if anyone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, it was him.
    Could Darby and Lutt have turned their lives around once out of prison? Lutt died without getting the chance to atone for his actions – I wonder how Darby managed to live the rest of his life? I’d like to think he made the most of his second chance.

  36. Robby Says:

    Mick. You raise a very good point, however, I had alot of sympathy for Allan Jee when I read about the case. He was a hardworking trainee engineer at Holborn and he had just got engaged, he saved for the engagement ring he gave to his fiancee’ Jacqueline Herbert before he left her on the night he was murdered. He was a hardworking, law-abiding citizen who had his whole life ahead of him. The shock of his death made his mother ill. He probably was in the wrong place at the wrong time, however, I believe that everyone is entitled to take a short cut home without being mugged and beaten to death, so my view is that the others were in the wrong place with the wrong intentions.

    I feel that justice was done and I do agree with what you say regarding Capital Punishment because nowadays if such a crime were commited the perpetrators would probably be out in 5 years where as the victims family would continue suffering.

  37. Ken Thomson Says:

    I was in the same class at school with Forsyth, at Spring Grove Central, in Isleworth. He had been expelled from Spring Grove Grammar. One day, some of the guys adopted women’s names, for fun. I remember “Harriet” Hampshire, for example. Flossie, or Floss, was the only name that “stuck”.

    His father was much older than you would expect and seemed more like a grandfather. Flossie and I went cycling together – once to Brighton, where we spent the night in a builder’s hut, full of cement bags, on the beach.

    He was always getting into trouble. He liked to steal – often from stores, for which he served several years on probation before his teens. And he liked to hurt people, including an elderly park employee, who he beat about the head with a cricket bat. Eventually, he left school and I moved away, and we lost contact.

    I was walking to classes at university in Aberdeen in my first year, thinking about him, on the morning he was hanged.

    Floss was a really bad guy. He would always have been in trouble. Sometimes the death penalty seems appropriate. I believe that he deserved what he got.

  38. Interesting to read from Ken how Forsyth got his nickname “flossie” I never knew that..I do remember that when he was about 11 he had the nickname “cakey” I never knew the origins of that either.
    To pick up on recent posts from Mick and Ken,I think there were very few youngsters who regarded Forsyth as a “folk hero” after his execution, as Ken says he was a really bad guy and the general feeling from Hounslow teenagers was that of deep sympathy for Allen Jee’s family and that it could have been any one of us who was walking alone in that dark Hounslow alley on that fateful June night.

  39. Fred’s spot-on. There was actually very little sympathy towards both guys at the time. Allan Jee’s fiancee, Jackie Herbert, welcomed the verdicts and although there was some comment about how young Forsyth was, and an attempt to get a pardon for Harris, there was not much support from the public and – what proved the last executions in London – went ahead without, say, the protests that led up to the execution of Derek Bentley a few years earlier.
    The point I was trying to make in my last post Robby, is that the posts on this site help to show the terrible lasting effects of the death penalty – even on people who are on the periphery – let alone on those at the centre.
    Bentley’s accomplice Chris Craig led a respectable life upon his release, a totally reformed character. Do you know what happened to Darby, Fred?

  40. Hi Mick

    I don’t know what happened to Chris Darby other than that he was released around 1970.
    I could be very wrong but I doubt he ever got into any trouble again.
    You are right to say that there was not much public outcry at the hangings at the time although I wonder what would have happened had Lutt been just a few months older. He was only 17 at the time (my age then) and I think I am correct in saying that Lutt was told at the time that only those few months saved him from the rope as he was “Detained at Her Majestys pleasure ” rather than recieving a life sentence as Darby had done, and of course it was Lutt who had punched Allen Jee whereas Harris never actually physically attacked the victim yet still was hung.
    The fact that Lutt and Darby both only served about 10 years may indicate that they had been model prisoners,perhaps someone who knew Chris Darby in later life could fill in more details but of course about Terry Lutt we shall never know.

    • I did know Chris Darby until around february 2005 when I bumped into him outside the shops in Harlington. He asked me if I had some money so he could buy a can of beer. I better make myself known a little more as to the facts of why I knew him so well. I met his daughter, Michelle in 2002 while I was living in the Northwest of England. Peculiar to some, it was on my mobile phone, a interactive text service that are on some pay as you go phones, before mobiles would become linked to the internet. I moved down to Hayes around that time to be with Michelle and i had no idea what had gone on in Chris’s life at first! He is an alcoholic, has been ever since he got out of prison as what his wife and daughter had told me. He did spend around ten years inside. He was a big man when he was released, spent alot of the time on the weights. It was said to me that while inside, he was asked to either weight lift or shirt lift, so he found the safest option. As I was told, he has never been in trouble since his release. But the alcohol had got the better of him and he has spent all those years living on drink. You couldnt meet such a nicer guy though!! Always asked me if I was ok. His wife once told me that at that time, he had been out drinking in Hounslow and bumped into the others on the way home. Somewhere along the way, Chris had decided he needed to urinate up the wall in some entry way, then headed to try to catch up the others. The incident had already been occuring as he got there. She swore to me that he didnt have anything to do with the actual murder but hey, how can I say that was the real truth? Maybe it was thought that the story I was told would be the best way of me knowing before I one day could have found out the worst first. But then it could have been the story his wife was told by someone like Chris or someone else for the same reason. Me and Michelle got married, but it didnt last too long. One reason is because she had followed her fathers ways and become a big drinker too!! My knowhow of Chris is a kind and gentle man but I will never know if his past had been somewhat different and the new man I had met covered up the truth with his friendliness!

  41. Robby Says:

    I understand completely, Mick. To be honest, I have always believed in Capital Punishment. I know people say it is not a deterrant but I believe even if that is the case, it is an adequate punishment. In any case at that time they only had Capital Punishment for Murder in the Furthence of Theft, Murder by Shooting, The Murder of a Police Officer or Prison Officer. In the case of Forsyth and Harris, their QC’s tried to get them to convince the jury that theft was not the motive for the murder and that they were just drunk and killed Jee without the intention to steal from him. Even when that failed, at the appeal they tried to get them off on a technicality by raising the point that Forsyth, kicked Jee to death after Harris had rifled Jee’s pockets so the kicking was not done in the furthence of theft. This was thankfully dismissed by the court of appeal. It is interesting that your raisd the case of Derek Bentley, because his father was one of the main organisers of a reprieve for Forsyth, which I found incredible because, although Derek Bentley was wrongfully hanged, I do not see that as a reason for his father to go on a personal crusade trying to get real murderers reprieved from a rightful punishment. There were lots of celebrities, bishops and peers signing the petition to save Forsyth, yet when you consider it, anyone of those who signed could have been walking down that alley by James Street on the fateful night of 25 June 1960 and they would have met the same fate as Allan Jee.

    Ken’s post was interesting and it only reinforced my feelings that nearly all those who were hanged in Britain were persistent offenders and it was only a matter of time before they commited the ultimate crime. Like I said in my previous posts, I had always been interested in Capital Punishment and I got particularly interested in the Forysth case because although I was only seven years old at the time, I can remember it. When I read about the case, there were so many similarities between myself and Forsyth, one in particular being that my parents were about the same age when I was born as his parents were when he was born, however, thankfully I did not turn to a life of crime.

    I would be interested to know what happened to Darby too because although I did not know him I got the impression that he was not a persistent offender like Harris and Forstyh and probably just made up the number on the night of the murder.

  42. I moved from Hounslow 25 years ago and have not seen or been in touch with any one who remembers the events of 1960 for many,many years so it is good to be able to share my memories with others on this thread who were either around at the time or,like Robby,who have done a tremendous amount of research .I am very impressed with the knowledge and understanding of the events and times that Robby has, even though he was only 7 at the time and lived in a different part of London and I hope that my recollections have been helpful to him. Not a very pleasant subject,I know,but as the old saying goes…it’s good to talk.

    • Robby Says:

      Thank you Fred. I really like talking to you. Not just about the crime but because I liked that era. I am very much into the music of that era too and like Flossie I was born late in my parent’s life. The nearest of my brothers to my age was my brother Stan who was ten years older than me, he was 17 years old in 1960 so I assume he was about the same age as you. The next was my brother Tom who was 18 years older and then I had two older married sisters. I was an uncle the day I was born.
      My brother Stan was very much into Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Eddie Cochran and of course Elvis Presley. I am every much into music myself and I loved that era.

      • It’s funny, you mention music Robby, and whenever I hear Apache by the Shadows I think of Harris listening to that on his tranny in the condemned cell…

  43. Robby Says:

    That is incredible, Mick! You know, I play the guitar and I play “Apache” everyday!

  44. Robby Says:

    Mick, that is a real coincidence because I play the guitar and I play “Apache” everyday!

  45. Hi Mick and Robby,you old rockers !!

    I don’t think I am going off track too much with this post as the music was very relevant to the era and was always being blasted out on the jukebox at Joachims,I have just checked factual dates in my Guinness book of Hit Singles and some interesting facts have emerged.
    Nunmber one on the day of the murder was “Three Steps to Heaven” by Eddie Cochran. As the appeal was turned down and death sentence was confirmed the number one was “Only the Lonely” by Roy Orbison and on the day of the execution it was “It’s Now or Never” by Presley.

    Whilst posting, does anyone have the exact date that the Police actually arrested the four for Murder as an an earlier post has said it was July and I feel sure it was mid August.

  46. Again I don’t wish to appear to be Mr Pedantic here but just correction on a couple of earlier points.

    Mick said in his post of 28th October that these two were the last executions in London. I believe that the aforementioned Victor Terry was hanged on the same gallows as Forsyth on 28 th May 1961.
    In his post of 27th October Ken says that Forsyth was expelled from Spring Grove Grammar school. It was in fact Isleworth Grammar School. Spring Grove Grammar was in Isleworth but was a completely different school,Flossie went to Spring Grove Central School (A secondary modern ) after his expulsion.
    All three schools were about half a mile of each other in Isleworth.

  47. heathrow Says:

    They were in court on Thursday 4th August at Brentford where they were sent for trial at the Old Bailey, so the arrest was obviously before that.

  48. Ken Thomson Says:

    It is ironic that Flossie appeared in Brentford court before the case was sent to the Old Bailey. The whole thing went full circle. It was at Brentford Court, in 1953, when he was eleven, that he was sentenced to two years of probation for shoplifting in Woolworths.

    My apologies for screwing up Isleworth Grammar School’s name. Hey, it’s a long time ago! Having said that, Spring Grove Central was a pretty good school, where you could sit for your “O” levels. You had to go somewhere else to go further.

    It’s a fact that we are all influenced by friends and aquaintances. Teenagers don’t always have the life experience to know who to stay away from. People at any age seek approval from their peers. And so it is easy for “good” kids to get sucked in to anti-social behavior when they crave this acceptance.

    I do know from direct experience that Flossie was a very bad guy. I have lots of anecdotes to prove this. I am totally convinced that, had he not been executed, he would not have been reformed in prison. It was just in him. We have to accept the fact that some people are just downright evil.

    • anne Quoroll. nee matthews Says:

      Ken, are you the same Kenny Thompson I knew at Spring Grove Central? I remember the awful Irish French mistress who you hated and who picked on you every lesson. All you say about Floss is accurate although he was kind to me, on the whole.

      • Ken Thomson Says:

        Nice to hear from you, Anne. Miss Magee? Je ne regrette rein. The poor woman was dealing with personal devils. Boy, you really do have a good memory!

        Who else do you remember? Amongst the staff, Miss Beachamp was very pleasant. She had something going with science teacher Chauklen, as I discussed privately with Mike Hampshire.

        For English, in the very first term, we had the elderly and redoubtable Miss Bell, whose uncompromising demeanor seemed to come straight out of Dickens.

  49. Hi Ken

    Spring Grove Central was a very good school and was generally regarded to be the best of the local secondary moderns by some distance.
    I also agree 100% with all you say in the last two paragraphs of your post,
    I’m sure we would like you to share your anecdotes about Flossie with us.I am beginning to recall a couple more too !

  50. Robby Says:

    Fred. Yes. Accordomg to my research, “Only The Lonely” By Roy Orbison was number one when the death sentence was confirmed and that Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now Or Never” was number one on the day of the execution. I have both songs in my huge collection of cds and the Roy Orbison son, I always find quite an emotional song now, so it must have been a very haunting song to have heard in the condemned cell.

    With regards to the arrest, Fred. I will type out word for word the account I read, from an account by Gordon Honeycomb in his book “More Murders From the Black Museum.”

    Nearly a fortnight after the murder, on 7 July, Superintendant Hixon was still appealing for people who were in the neighbourhood at the time to come forward, “It is their public duty to do so.” He said. He added that it was vital that all three persons whose descriptions were issued the previous week should be traced and interviewed. Perhaps he already had his suspicions or was waiting for a lucky break. It came on Sunday 17 July.
    A teenager, Kevin Cullinan, had been feeling uneasy ever since Forsyth told him something of what had happened on the night of 25 June, when he (Cullinan) had seen Forsyth, Harris, Darby and Lutt, all of whom he knew in Joachim’s coffee bar. Forsyth had even revealed that Lutt had grabbed Jee and the he (Forsyth) had kicked him. Then on 17 July, Cullinan went to a pub with Lutt and on the way Lutt asked him who he thought had murdered Jee. Cullinan replied, somewhat boldy, that Lutt, Forsyth, Harris and Darby were probably responsible. Lutt was carrying a copy of the People, which was offering a reward of £500 for information leading to an arrest. He pointed at this item and said to Cullinan: “I’ll have to watch you now.” Whether Cullinan then found he had a conscience or lost his nerve is not now known, but on Tuedsay 19 July, Lutt and the other three were taken to Hounslow Police Station for questioning. They were there all day, separately detained and interviewed by a team of dogged policeman. Before long all four began to talk and by 7.00pm they had all been charged with the murder of Allan Jee.

    That is the an extract I have typed out word for word, Fred. After giving some details of the interviews of all four of them, it went on to say that their next appearance was on Wednesday, 4 August when after a two day hearing they were all commited for trial at the Old Bailey charged with the Capital Murder of Allan Edward Jee in the furtherance of theft. A later account when the trial proceeded at the Old Bailey on Tuesday 20 September 1960, at the end of the Prosecution’s opening speech, the charge against Darby was reduced from Capital Murder to Simple Murder, as he denied using any violence against Jee. This was accepted by the Prosecution, however, it was described as a very, “fine distinction” because Harris had also commited no actual violence against Jee and Darby knew that violence was planned “in the course of furtherance of theft.”

  51. Robby Says:

    Ken. You seemed to know Flossie really well. I agree with you. Some people are just natural offenders. From what I read, Harris was. I read several accounts of Flossie. Some said he was a natural bad guy others said he was easily led and was only bad when he was in a crowd. I was wondering whether he was led or was a leader.

    It has been proved nowadays with very lenient sentences that criminals who are persistent offenders are released to re offend. I did not know, Harris or Forsyth but I believe they came under this category. I have to admit it that I have always been a firm believer in Capital Punishment.

  52. Hi Robby
    thenks for posting the extract from the book.

    The factual dates have been helpful to me to piece events from my own perspective together from that time. I know that I went to Jersey to find temporary work in early June 1960 and I know that I returned on the evening prior to the arrests and went straight to Joachims where I met up with my friend Mick (Forsyths near neighbour) who told me that there had been a murder (there had been no media coverage of it in Jersey) and that rumours were rife as to who the culprits were,
    I thought I had spent about 8 weeks in Jersey, but it must have only been 6, as I do remember I returned to Hounslow on a Monday which must then have been 16th July and the four were arrested on Tuesday 17th July

  53. Robby Says:

    My pleasure, Fred. You have been really helpful to me. It has been really interesting talking to someone who was actually a teenager around that time. I always used to wonder what it would have been like in Joachims around that era. I suppose it was closed down because it was considered a meeting place for young tearaways.

  54. Hi Robby
    to answer your question about Joachims.Again ,it may seem slightly off topic but it played a central role as the four met there on the night of the murder.
    Joachims was situated in the north west of Hounslow at Lampton corner on a parade of shops in a layby on the Great West Road (A4). it opened around 1958 and was a magnet for teenagers from miles around and although the interior was not large, scores of youngsters used to congregate there every evening as it was open til very late,unlike most establishments in Hounslow. Despite Hounslow being a big place there was very few attractions for teenagers in the evenings as opposed to neighbouring Richmond which had many cafes and an Ice Rink or Southall which had a couple of good dance halls.
    I never counted but sometimes there could well have been a hundred or so there as they used to be spilling out onto the pavement on many occasions.
    Following the executions, the Police charged the owner with some offence such as keeping a disorderly house or breaching licencing rules. The place was subsequently closed down.

  55. Ken Thomson Says:

    Fred:

    You mentioned Mick being Flossie’s “near neighbour.” That might have been Michael Rouse. A classmate and a really nice guy. He lived almost across the street from him on Clare Road, as I recall.

    I rather envy the later recollections of you and others. I left Hounslow at fifteen and have lived most of my life in North America, after a short period North of the Border.

    I went back to Hounslow with one of my sons about fifteen years ago. Obviously, the ethnic nature of the place has changed dramatically. Spring Grove Central was on the point of being demolished. Thankfully, the caretaker gave me a picture of it to take back with me.

    My old neighborhood in Hounslow West has a completely different character. Nothing wrong with that, but disconcerting nevertheless. We all like some sort of constancy in our lives. And the memories of where we grew up are near and dear to most of us, I think.

    By discussing Floss, it is kind of honouring his memory. I don’t want to do that. He left nothing but trouble and anguish in his wake. I would wager that nobody, but absolutely nobody, can truly attest to any good that he ever did to anyone. He was rotten to the core, as an individual and in a crowd. He cared nothing about hurting others. He’s not missed, other than to pique our interest as to why he was the way he was. I’m glad he’s well out of the way.

    The young man he killed had lots to offer society. We all benefit from honest, productive citizens. As with John Lennon’s early demise, it wasn’t just John himself that died. It was the future work that disappeared, that promised to enrich our lives. What if some crazy Texan had killed Roy Orbison before he came out with “Pretty Woman”?

    I’m about through with this.

  56. Ken Thomson Says:

    Rich:

    To answer your question, I knew your dad well enough that I remember that he was a few weeks older than me. He was born on June 5, 1942 if I’m not mistaken.

    Ask him why he had to go to the doctor – for what kind of irritation…

    He told my mother that in his fist few days at Lyons, he did nothing but break eggs.

    He didn’t want a motor-cycle because, uh, you can’t do certain things on a bike.

    Yup, I knew the bugger. We sat next to each other in class.

    • Rich Owen Says:

      That made me laugh Ken! Your memory is amazing. You were one day out with his date of birth, he was born 6th June. I will speak with him tomorrow to see if he remembers his old school mate and ask more about his visit to the doctors!!

      • katjack Says:

        Hi Rich,

        I saw you mentioned Flossie’s girlfriend Maggie Catlin earlier and said your dad can remember fixing her dodgy pram! Do you or your dad know what happened to Maggie and her child? Did she have a son or a daughter?

        xx

  57. Hi Ken.
    yes it was Mick Rouse.We were good friends for a number of years but lost contact around the early seventies.Mick actually lived 3 doors along from Flossie on the same side of the road and it was indeed Micks car that we were sitting in chatting in Clare road the night before the execution when we were approached by the press.
    I don’t think that talking about Forsyth in any way honours his memory,certainly not from my perspective anyway,in fact it was Mick Rouse who told me that Flossie had threatened him and some friends not long after the murder,and I agree with the all your comments on your post……perhaps in the same way people do,and never will ,stop talking about Adolf Hitler,it doesn’t mean that his memory is being honoured,it means that some acts of evil should never be forgotten

    • Some final thoughts on what we’ve been discussing. Much as I’ve gleaned a lot from these posts – and the ones from Fred and Ken are particularly revealing and insightful – I always leave this forum feeling slightly depressed as I consider how those far-off events continue to affect some people even as the 50th anniversary of the executions draws near.

      Even now Robbie, the majority of people in this country still support capital punishment. I myself don’t for lots of reasons including one that is frequently overlooked: the lasting effect it has on those having to carry out and witness the whole gruesome procedure.

      I’m talking about the jail wardens (especially those on the death watch), the padre, the prison governor and under-sherriff and, of course, the executioners themselves. These people carried out the ultimate judicial penalty on behalf the State – something the powers-that-be never would have done themselves.

      Would those people who so enthusiastically support the return of the rope be prepared to carry out an exceution themselves? I think not.

      Apparently neither of these executions went according to plan – Harris’s last moments are said to have been particularly distressing.

      You’re supposed to get more right wing and reactionary as you get older but typically (so my friends and family would say), I seem to have gone the other way. I’ve more compassion and am more liberal-minded than when I was young – I even read the Guardian nowadays!

      So unlike Ken I like to think both Forsyth and Harris could have been successfully rehabilitated, like Darby and Lutt probably were.

      It annoys me that hanging has actually become nostalgic: It’s up there with black-and-white Ealing comedies, Dixon of Dock Green; a time of cheeky, but lovable Cockney villains and an all-white Britain where crime was low.

      Such a place never existed in my opinion.

      One last thing. As Forsyth was apparently aggressive, quick with his fists and fancied himself as a bit of a hard nut (as long as his mates were around no doubt), would things have turned out differently if he’d been steered into a boxing gym?

      Could he have carried that bravado into the ring?

      I’ts a serious question. As someone who runs a boxing gym (and three of my own kids box), I’ve seen my fair share of potential Flossie Forsyths pass through our doors.

      Honest to God, the aggravation, hassle and chicanery you get in the sport sometimes gets me down.

      But I still maintain that if we can help dissuade one – just one – of those sullen, angry young men from going down the path Forsyth chose all those years ago then it’ll all have been worthwhile…

  58. Robby Says:

    Hi Mick. I hope I do not give the impression that I am a cruel of sadistic person when I say I still believe in Capital Punishment. Far from it, in fact if it were reinstated for certain types of crime, I for one would hope that we never hanged another person, however, I do belive that too much emphasis is on the rights of the criminal nowadays and not the law abiding citizens of this country.

    I studied Capital Punishment in the hope it would get me to change my views, however, on the contrary, it only reinforced them. The majority of those who were hanged in britain were hardened criminals in my opinion with the exception of say, Derek Bentley, Timothy Evans and Ruth Ellis to name a few and I don’t think many of them would have been rehabilitated. I became interested in Forsyth because as I said, he seemed very similar to myself in his circumstances and upbringing, although I never resorted to crime. I had read Flossie spent time in an approved school for stealing stationery and I wondered whether perhaps he was not violent by nature and just mixed with the wrong crowd, however, the posts on here prove to me that he was not opposed to violence and was even causing trouble after he had murdered someone.

    I had read newspaper articles that both he and Harris wept when they received their last visits from their girlfriends and family, one article even stated that Harris was drugged on orders of the prison doctor. I realise it must have been distressing for all concerned, however, I also read how distressing it was for Allan Jee’s family and his fiancee’ and how the reprieve being turned down was the decision they had been waiting for. One must not forget the victims family and the stress they suffer.

    To answer your question, would I volunteer to be an exectioner? No way whatsoever. Would I want to be a prison warder in the condemned cell moments before a man is hanged. Again definately not. However, would I want a persistent offender and hardened criminal who had murdered someone close to me to escape the ultimate punishment on the grounds that he “might” be reahabilated? No way! In my opinion, everyone has a choice and if people choose crime then they should take the consequences. I happen to believe that Capital Punishment whether a deterrant or not should be used as a “Punishment” for someone who takes the life of another in certain circumstances.

    If that makes me seem a cruel harsh person then I am sorry but I can honestly say that I have never commited a crime in my life.

  59. The debate on Capital Punishment will obviously run for ever.On one hand the antis will quote Ruth Ellis,Timothy Evans,Derek Bentley et al,and with a very fair point. However I cannot believe that with todays forensics an innocent person would ever hang.
    I would ask the antis how they felt about Donald Neilson who in the seventies walked into three sub post offices to rob them and calmly blew the heads off three sub post masters with a shotgun. Not content with that, he then kidnapped a 17 year old heiress and murdered her by hanging her down a drain shaft with wire.He finally tried to murder the two policemen that arrested him.
    I personally despite having known two people who were hanged still believe we should have the death penalty as the ultimate deterrent for horrific crimes such as perpetrated by Neilson

  60. I agree Fred. The fact is criminals who have been thought to have been rehabilitated and released, have gone on to kill again. My question is, how many innocent law abiding citizens have to die whilst we as a society are trying to rehabilitate a murderer?

    Just going back to the Forsyth and Harris case for a moment. The fact that Flossie, boasted about the murder and continued to cause trouble between the time of the murder on 25 June, till his arrest less than one month later on 19 July and when charged with the murder said, he felt he would only get five years and with remission should be out in about three and a half years, tells me that he showed no remorse at all.

    I never knew them personally as you did Fred, however, I would assume that the two who were hanged were the two persistent offenders of the four. Although it was intitially Lutt’s idea to “roll someone” i don’t think he was a persistent offender and I think Chis Darby just went along for the ride. If you think I am wrong in my assumption please tell me.

  61. Your assumptions are absolutely spot on,Forsyth had been found found guilty of a string of offences both theft and violence from the age of 11,yet fines and Borstal never stopped him.Even after he had murdered someone,he continued to offend and look for trouble.
    I am not sure of Harris’s criminal record ,but I believe that he had been in prison, and as I said before, I feel that it was the criminal records of these two that sealed their fate.
    Intersting point too,Harris was hanged despite never physically atttacking Jee,yet no real public outcry was ever raised, as it was for Derek Bentley, who didn’t shoot the policeman.
    I stand corrected but don’t think Lutt and Darby ever had any “previous” but the interesting question would have been if they had been habitual criminals and Lutt a few months older,would all four have hung ?
    It is only possible to speculate on that question.

    • Robby Says:

      Fred. From the accounts I read, Harris was the first of the four to be interviewed by Superintendent Hixon who was in charge of the case, because, quote, “He was a known offender.” He had sever previousl convictions and he had been expelled from Bulstrode School at the age of 14. I think the reason he was hanged even though he struck no blow was because by his own confession, he was the one who was skint and wanted to do some theiving. He wanted to rob a house or a stroe but Lutt suggested, “Rolling Someone.” Although Harris struck no blow he did catch Jee after Lutt had punched him and rifled through his pockets, whilst Lutt held him down. Whilst this was happening, Jee apparantly shouted, “What do you want me for?” and Forsyth standing above him kicked him five times in the head with considerable force wearing those winkle pickers. Forsyth said it was to “Shut him up.” Age definately saved Lutt because it was his idea to “roll someone” and he felled Jee with a hard punch in the face. So he too was party to it. Forsyth himself was only 2 months above the minimum hanging age. Darby from what I read took no part in the attack and acted as look out, although, he did know that violence was likely to take place in the course of furtherance of theft. From what I read, it was he who was the first to talk when they were interviewed and told the police it was Floss who had put the boot in, so that and the fact that he had not been in trouble before may have been the key to why his charge was reduced from Capital Murder to Simple Murder. From the account I read of the trial, Lutt had never had any previous convictions of violence.

  62. I don’t really wish to be dragged too deeply into the Capital Punishment debate, although I am still for it in very limited circumstances,what I would like to add is to the points made as to whether Forsyth ( or even Harris ) could have eventually been rehabilitated.
    Personally in the case of Forsyth,who I knew better than Harris,
    I think that would have been very unlikely, given the evidence that he was put on probation at 11 but it didn’t stop him stealing ,so he was sent to Borstal at 15,on his release he continued to offend adding violence to theft,with a conviction of assault on Police in the early part of 1960,the murder in the furtherance of theft in June, and not content with that,he still had to be part of a crowd that was arrested for being involved in a punch up with Police at Heathrow and this was even after he had committed murder (but not yet being caught).Plus even after that and just before the final arrest, he was still out looking for trouble threatening my friend Mick Rouse, and some people Mick was with, despite Mick being an inoffensive sort of bloke and also an ex school mate and a neighbour of Forsyth.
    As Ken Thomson,who also knew him, said in his post of 29th October,he was a very bad guy !

    A final note on rehabilitation and another chance in life….I think the only person in this whole sad business who deserved another chance in life was Allan Jee…..and thanks to those four, that wasn’t going to happen was it ?

  63. Robby Says:

    I agree entirely with everything you say, Fred. Perhaps Lutt given the chance would have been rehabilitated if he had not died prematurely after his release. I think the same about Darby, however, from what I have read, neither were what one would call criminals in the first instance. I think that one incident would have been enough for them both to have learned a valuable lesson.

    As you say though. The real tragedy was that of Allan Jee. From what I read he was a hard working young man, who saved hard to buy the sapphire and diamond ring he gave to his fiancee’ when he left her to return home on the night of 25 June 1960. Unbeknown to either of them it was to be the last time they would see each other. To kick someone when he is down is in my opinion cowardly but to repeatedly kick someone in the head with pointed shoes is also downright vicious! From what I read Jee was left bleeding whilst all four made good their escape. Several people walked past Jee that night, hearing him moan but assuming he was drunk, it was only when someone noticed he was in a pool of blood that an abulance was called. When it arrived Jee was bleeding from the nose and ears and was struggling and had to be comforted on the stretcher. He died shortly afterwards in hospital from a fractured skull and cerebal contrusion. The shock made his mother ill and his fiancee’ Jacqueline Herbert was absolutely shattered, she attended the trial everyday wearing the engagement ring that Allan Jee had given her and when they were found guilty she told a newspaper she had prayed for the verdict and no sympathy at all for them.

    Obviously it is sad for the parents and relatives of Forsyth and Harris, however, they chose their way. My sympathy was entirely for Allan Jee, his fiancee’ and family.

  64. HI Robby

    As you correctly said in an earlier post,Forsyth was only 2 months above 18 when the murders took place.
    we had some quirky laws then, at 18 you could sign on in the military and fight (and die) for your country you could also be hung for a capital offence , yet at 18 you couldn’t vote or couldn’t even get married without your parents consent.

  65. Robby Says:

    Hell Fred

    Yes, I remember. The age for voting was 21 then.

    I meant to ask you, did Forsyth’s friends call him “Flossie” or “Floss” all of the time? If so I am surprised he never took offence, knowing the type of character her was. Incidently, I did read in a newspaper article that because he was born late in his parents lives that they lavished affection on him. If that is true then it is a mystery how he turned out the way he did.

    Incidentally, Fred. I don’t suppose you have any old photos of you as a teenager during that time which you wouldn’t mind sharing. I loved that era :)

  66. Hi Robby

    It was always “Flossie” every one called him that, both when speaking to him or about him.I am sure that he would have soon let people know if it ever offended him !

    I remember in earlier years he had the nickname “cakey” although I never knew the origins of that, and he was referred to as that as well previously before the nickname “Flossie ” appeared.

    I can never remember him being referred to as “Floss” or even Francis and he was never known as “Frankie” as one poster put on here.
    Perhaps a couple of posters on here who went to school with him could confirm if my recollections are correct.

    As far as old photos are concerned I haven’t any from that era ( I couldn’t afford a camera then ! )

  67. Robby Says:

    Hello Fred

    Thank you for clearing up the name discrepency. Most of the accounts I read, he was called “Flossie” only one I read referred to him as “Floss.” Perhaps in his younger days he had a liking for cakes, hence the name “Cakey.”

    I have learned alot of unanswered questions to this case. I almost feel I know the true character of Flossie now. Some people go the wrong way in life. Remember in an earlier post I referred to Victor John Terry? Well all the accounts I read say he was a friend of Flossie. He was from Chiswick, West London, although his girlfriend was from Worthing, which was where he robbed the bank and shot the bank teller. Apparantly, when he was younger he used to hang around with a gang and had previous offences for stealing and violence, one in particular for hitting an old age pensioner over the head with a rock inside a sock and stealing his pension book, that is a very similar offence to what one poster on here said Flossie did when he hit an elderly park employee with a cricket bat. Just before Terry was hanged he was informed that another girl he had been with was pregnant with his baby (another similarity with Flossie) the child was later adopted.

  68. I’ve been following this very interesting correspondence for some time. I was 10 years old at the time (the day of the arrests, in fact) and can remember my teacher warning us against becoming delinquents like these boys. He also told us that Forsyth had cried on his way to the gallows but I don’t think this was in fact true. I don’t really have anything to contribute but I wonder if Robby could possibly scan any documents he has and put them on the Web or send to us. For example, I’ve never seen any photos of the case. It might also be interesting to contact the local and national press since the 50th anniversary of the executions is coming up and they might be interested in tracking down Christopher Darby if he’s still among us to find out what he thinks today. Or other people involved like police, family members, etc.
    Concerning capital punishment, I have no special moral problem with it. It’s obviously not a deterrent: the only deterrent is the certainty of being caught. Very few murderers even those with the most diminshed resonsibility commit murder when there’s a copper present! For me, the problem is the worrying number of people executed when they were in fact innocent. On a more personal level, there’s also the problem for the juror. I did jury service (not in GB but in France as I’m now a French citizen where the system is very different: you don’t just decide on guilt, you also decide on the length of the sentence if any) and I can tell you that you don’t get a lot of sleep during the proceedings. In my case, the guilt was pretty obvious but even so sending someone to prison for several years is a heavy responsibility. Sending someone to the gallows is even heavier. What, I wonder, did the jurors who condemned Timothy Evans think when it turned out he was innocent? Anyway, thanks for all the information: it’s been very interesting.

  69. Robby Says:

    Hello Ian

    Unfortunately I do not have the equipment to scan any of the photos I have. My friend has and is more knowledgeable of those things than I am, therefore I will ask him next time I see him.

    With regards to Forsyth crying when he went to the gallows, it may have been true because a poster emailed me and told me that it was in the Daily Mirror the day after the exectution that he cried and his legs gave way and he had to be held up by two wardens. I never read this myself but I had read an article in the Daily Herald on the eve of the exectution which stated that he and his girlfriend sobbed bitterly when she saw him for the last time at Wandsworth. I also read an account in several books that he slept badly that night and contiually cried out that he did not want to die. Apparantly, inmates confirmed this.

    On the subject of Capital Punishment, although I respect your opinion and anyone else’s opinion who is against hanging, my view is that it should never have been abolished. Whether it was a deterrant or not is a matter of opinion. I happen to think it was, however, even if it wasn’t I still think it was a justifiable punishment for certain types of murder. I have studied Capital Punishment and I can honestly say that I do not think there were any innocent people hanged. I have to correct you when you say it was proved that Timothy Evans was innocent. Although he was portrayed to be innocent in the film 10 Rillington Place, there was never any evidence to suggest he should be pardoned. Apparantly when Christie stood trial for the multiple murders he commited, he confessed to the murder of Evan’s wife and child, yet when his appeal was turned down and he was certain to hang he denied murdering Evans wife, although he stood by his confessions for the other murders. When asked why he had retracted his confession of murdering Evans wife, he said that he was advised by his QC that the more murders he confessed to the more chance there was of him being certified as insane and thus escaping the death penalty. He said now that his reprieve had been turned down there was little point in him being hanged for a murder he had not commited. After this an enquiry was launched and the conclusion was that Evans had in fact murdered his wife, although it is thought that Christie may have murdered his baby daughter.

    The only other case where there was a large element of doubt was that of James Hanratty who was hanged on 4th April 1962 for the murder of Michael Gregson. Valerie Storey, identified Hanratty as the one who had shot and killed her lover Gregson and then raped her before shooting her several times and leaving her for dead. Hanratty denied the charges and protested his innocence to the end. His family campaigned for a pardon for years afterwards, yet more recently with the introduction of DNA for evidence, it was established that it was 99.99% certain that Hanratty did in fact commit the crimes so there was no grounds for a pardon.

    Derek Bentley was the only one I am aware of who received a pardon many years after he was hanged in 1953. His accomplice Christopher Craig shot and killed PC Miles when they were commiting a crime. The law as it stood at the time was that any murder of a Policeman, any murder by shooting or any murder in the furthence of theft was a Capital offence, not just for the perpetrator but also for the accomplice, therefore as Craig was only 16 years of age and Bentley was 19, altough Bentley did not fire the shot, he and not Craig would be the one to hang. However, in this case, Bentley had already been apprehended and was in police custody when Craig fired the fatal shot. It all hung on the fact that whilst he was in custody he allegedly shouted, “Let him have it Chris” just prior to Craig fatally wounding PC Miles. There was a debate at the time as to what Bentley meant by those words, whether he meant “shoot him” or “hand over the gun” and it was decided on the former which sealed his fate. However, when Craig was eventually released after serving his time, in an interview he denied that Bentley had ever shouted “Let him have it Chris” and he even took a lie detector test to prove he was telling the truth. I think in view of this it was decided that Craig even if Bentley had uttered those words, Craig obviously did not hear him so therefore did not act upon them and in view of this, Bentley was pardoned. Why it took Craig until after he was released to testify that he never heard Bentley, is still a mysery to me.

    Anyway, apart from the more complicated, Thompson and Bywaters case where there was a doubt as to Edith Thompson’s conspirary in the murder of her husband, I do not think here were any other cases where there was any quetion of a miscarriage of justice.

    • Marianne Says:

      I suggest you read Ludovic Kennedy’s book, ‘Ten Rilliington Place.’ Evans always said ‘Christie done it.’ It did look as if Evans was guilty at the time, but the evidence for his innocence has now piled up. Bentley was known not to be guilty in any meaningful way even at the time. Also check out the case of Mahmood Mattan. There are many others.

      I have conflicting feelings. What about people like Stuart Hazell, Mark Bridger and Rose West? They have no right to be alive. But we preserve their worthless lives so that society will not sink into barbarism.

      In the USA, the murder rate always goes up not down after an execution. I’ve heard of a little girl in India who was fascinated by a recent judicial hanging. She demonstrated with her mum’s sari how it was done for the benefit of a friend, and accidentally hanged herself. There are also cases of self indulgent people like Gary Gilmore and maybe Ruth Ellis resorting to murder so they could commit state assisted suicide.

      I know there are people who are beyond redemption.We should lock them up and throw away the key. ‘Flossie’ Forsyth sounds like an unmitigated nightmare. But we should remember he was just a teenager. He might still have been capable of changing and maturing. I don’t think there would be much hope for a middle aged person who still behaved like that.

      Doesn’t it seem unfair that in 1960, as someone said above, you couldn’t vote or even marry without your parents’ permission until you were 21 but you could be executed at 18? I have a son who is 18 now, and he’s just like an intelligent but slightly naïve schoolboy. Even the guy who shot the archduke in Sarajevo in 1914, and started the First World War was not executed because he was under 21.It’s shocking that we were executing teenagers in Britain in the 60s.

      • WDH59510 Says:

        There was another teenager executed in 1960. A month and a half after Francis Forsyth, Anthony Miller (aged 19) was executed at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow. He and a 16-year-old accomplice were in the habit of luring gay men into a quiet corner of a Glasgow park where they would rob them (knowing they were hardly likely to go to the police). One night they overdid it and killed their victim. For more details see Wikipedia.

  70. Ken Thomson Says:

    Excuse me for a brief diversion, likely of little interest to the group at large, but this discussion has got me thinking about the people and events that influenced me, in Hounslow, several years before the murder.

    I looked through the posts and recognize Keith Smith as a classmate, along with Colin Owen. Keith’s dad had a wine store on London Road. His accounts of summer camping adventures and high jinks with the Boy’s Brigade influenced me to join, although in a different group to his.

    I can’t remember Floss, as I called him in these days, belonging to any organized group. He wouldn’t have been interested.

    We all operate in a sea of sameness. But once in a while, someone either truly truly exceptional, or rotten, turns up. You see it in nature. A beautiful flower pushes itself out of a field of weeds. In the alternative, a huge, ugly weed can grow quickly out of a well-tended garden.

    Put another way, we all conform to the standard, bell curve, in whatever trait you care to measure, be it height, intelligence, honesty, or whatever. There always have been, and will be, people at the extreme end of the “good character” curve, saints and rotters both. For whatever reason, Forsyth was at the wrong end, and ever would be.

    We were all rambunctious teenagers, but many of us who knew him gradually recognized the need to stay away. He was even known to have stolen money from the pockets of classmate’s coats, hanging in the cloakroom at school, so he had little regard for his peers.

    I didn’t know Flossie for the last three years of his life, but he was on a self-destructive and predictable trajectory from much earlier. The standard remark by an old soldier to a rebellious youth in those days was, “A couple of years in the Army would do you good.” I speak from experience – it was levelled at me a few times.

    Had Forsyth been a little older, he would have been drafted into the Army, to do his National Service. Would this have helped change his behaviour? I doubt it. And it hadn’t served to cure Harris.

    The death penalty is tough to consider in a civilized society. Incidentally, I don’t agree with one of the posts in that people don’t want to do the job. After all, the executioners and jailers are there by choice. But I am quite sure that the death pentaly in Forsyth’s case has saved others from him, after his release from a relatively short “life” sentence.

    Apologies for the digression. I’d rather like to get in touch with Keith Smith, Colin Owen, Michael Rouse, Michael Pepperday, Mike Hampshire and all the other villains from our former class in Spring Grove Central.

    • Mike Hampshire Says:

      Memories-don’t even know how I came by this string and your name rang a bell – then I get a mention! Forsyth’s was a tragic story he wanted to belong to be accepted constantly out to prove himself, was a hanger on in the years I knew him at Spring Grove. And it has to be said he was a sole child of elderly simple and loving) parents who were far removed from the life he aspired to be part of certainly as a teenager. He was intelligent but subordinated his abilities to emulate the macho ways others adopted in large part from movies and magazines. He didn’t appeal to girls – a nerd in appearance-wasn’t interested just wanted to be a ‘bloke’ and as he was physically average this meant he had to be ‘tough’ to prove himself. I guess I took pity on him but from memory he was more a figure of fun. Lost touch when he left and later learned he had been hanged. If anyone needed a mentor-someone he could look up to who might have encouraged him to develop and major on his academic abilities-it was Flossie. Incidentally I only ever remember this name being used in shortened form -Flos- to his face.
      Whenever I think about him it is with deep personal regret that I did not show him that he really had got his priorities all wrong. God only knows what happened in those three short years from aged 15 until 18 when he was hanged. He must have established himself as a pack leader, a position that could only be sustained by constantly demonstrating zero regard for life and the pain and suffering of others.
      He cannot be pitied but society stands indicted – it failed him and was able to exercise the ultimate cop out, it erased him.

    • anne Quoroll. nee matthews Says:

      Kenny, please let me know if you find the people you are looking for as I and Valerie Lee (Flea) would love to hear from you all.

  71. Robby Says:

    Ken

    That was a great post and I fully agree with everything you said on it.

    Some people are naturally rebellious and just refuse to conform to society. I was unsure about Forsyth until I read the posts of people who knew him on here and now I feel he was probably came under that category. From what I read about him on here, he was just a crime waiting to happen. I have known people like him when I was younger, who stole and constantly offended, however, these were people who came from poor families and were not given anything as a children. When I read a newspaper account on Forsyth, the day prior to his execution, it stated that because (like myself) he had elderly parents as he was born late in their lives, he was spoiled, they heaped affection on him and he had everything he wanted, therefore why did he have to resort to crime? I still have not been able to work this out yet. He proved he was intelligent by passing his 11 plus and going for a while to Isleworth Grammer School. Yet it seems he chose to rebel and commit crimes, like he wanted to prove something. For people like that, I don’t think there is any way of rehabilitation because they seem determined to break all the rules.

    I also agree with what you said about the executioners and the wardens on death watch. They chose their line of work and they know what it involves. I wonder whether alot of the people who signed the petition for Forsyth and Harris to be reprieved would have signed had they been a close relative of Allan Jee. After all, any of those who signed the petition, would have no doubt met the same fate as Jee had they been walking along that same footpath on the night of 25 June 1960.

  72. I have tried hard to remember how I felt as a 17 year old 50 years ago when I have a totally different perspective on life now.
    It was strange then to think that someone that, although I would in no way call a friend,but I had known from the age of about 7 or 8 we had been part of scores of youngsters who went to the local Beaversfield Park to play endless games of cricket in those seemingly eternal hot summers in the fifties and the in the winter rushed home from school to get a couple of games of football in before it got dark.We attended the same junior school (although Flossie was a year above me) we lived fairly near other and then, a few years later, we were part of the Joachims “crowd” and worked for a couple of firms together with a few other Hounslow teenagers, culminating with Flossie and I travelling back to Hounslow on the bus from Putney having just lost our jobs and Flossie expressing ro me his fear of his Mother finding out he had lost his job.
    It was a strange feeling on the morning of 10th of November 1960 that someone who I had known so well and was only 8 months older than me was going to have a rope around his neck
    The thoughts that I have today are totally different when I look around at my lovely family that I have been blessed with and I think that should someone kick any one of them unconcious in a lonely dark alley. and leave them to die, that I could easily,and without compassion. perform the role of executioner. I feel this is how Allen Jee’s family must have felt then

  73. Robby Says:

    Hello Fred

    I cannot empathise because I have never been in that situation being as I was only 12 yeas old when the death penalty was abolished in 1965, however, I should imagine that on 10 November 1960 it must have been a very weird and to a certain extent traumatic experience for you. Although you knew the real Flossie more that alot of the people who signed the petition for his release. One of the reasons I studied Capital Punishment was that people who were against it always portrayed those who were hanged as the victims inferring they had paid the ultimate penalty for one mistake and that it could just as easily have been you or I. In view of this I studied the cases and characters of those who were hanged in Britain in the hope it would change my opinion. Not so! If anything it made me more pro Capital Punishment because I realised the people hanged were different. They were pesistent offenders who started off with petty crimes and violence until they eventually commited the ultimate crime and consequently paid the ultimate penalty.

    I was not sure about Forsyth when I read about him because what I read stated he had only had a few previous offences for stealing, however, since I have read posts on here from people like yourself who knew him, I realise that he too was a persistent offender and also of a violent nature and just to reiterate, I think it is about time people concentrated more on the rights and safety of law-abiding citizens and not just the criminals. Like I said. We could have Capital Punishment for similar offences as there were before and we need never hang a man.

  74. Nick Williams Says:

    Hi Robby, on this day the 50th anniversary of Forsyth and Harris execution, first I have read all the comments on this site with both interest and it bought back memories of the time reading about it. My own family actually had someone executed, my cousin Ronnie Marwood was hanged in may 1959 for the murder of a policeman in North London, so regarding all the views posted here on capital punishment I can tell you it stays forever on the family involved. I actually do believe it should serve as an ultimate punishment to fit the ultimate crime, even though it our Ronnie away, who I always thought of as a bit of a rough lad but not evil, he was actually hanged on my 18th birthday, as I said I do remember reading about Flossie and Harris but despite him only being 18 meant nothing in our generation, like you say you choose your own path in life, by the way I dont agree with you over Jimmy Hanratty’s guilt, I cant explain the DNA report, only that he was a petty car thief not a murderer and rapist, it does’nt fit, but I actually do think Ruth Ellis was rightly hanged, it was a clear cut murder, she stalked him for 2 days and shot him, no other verdict could be given. Hope you find my comments interesting like I found yours. Nick

    • Tom Says:

      Hello there Nick,

      I am researching Pentonville Prison for a BBC Documentary series, and wondered whether you might be able to speak with me on the phone about some of the things you mention here? Its purely for research purposes, and entirely at your convenience, totally up to you.

      Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon,

      Tom

      • Hello Tom

        Nick does not post on here now, however, I read your comment and as he and I communicate quite alot, I took the liberty of passing your message onto him and he said with no disrespect to you that he would prefer not to discuss anything as it still brings back painful memories for him and family members. I am sure you understand.

        Regards

        Robby

    • alfie collins Says:

      Hi Nick, I dont know if you remember me ? my name’s Alfie and used to know your family back in 1959, I knew Ronnie’s family as well and want to contact one of them, if you by any chance read this can you get in touch please, I have’nt seen you for over 50 years, but you should remember me. A mate of mine was reading this site and came accross your name and of course he knew of you from what I told him about Ronnie Marwood.

      Hope you read this.
      Alfie

      • Hello Alfie

        I am a friend of Nick and I mentioned your post to him, he asked me to ask you if you had a nickname and if so what was it?

    • alfie collins Says:

      Hello Robby, why did Nick put his name on this site if he cant reply to mail himself ? well since I’ve got to go through you to reach him (no disrespect to you intented) I had a couple of nicknames when I was a Ted, some called me “Scrounger” because I was always scrounging for free drinks, others called me “Bootsie” because of my boots I liked to wear, I knew Nick’s brother Gordon, he worked on the scaffolds like Ronnie Marwood did, and I worked on building sites which is how I got to know both of them.

      • Thank you Alfie, I will let Nick know, I apologise for the inconvenience.

      • Hello, Robby. I reckon Nick does’nt want to know eh ? I assume you told him ? fair enough but cant think why he dont want to hook up with an old mate from the 50’s could you at least tell me what part of London he lives in now ? I know it was west London in the old days, Hammersmith or Ealing I think.
        Alfie

      • Hello Alfie

        Sorry I never replied earlier.

        Well, I only met Nick on this site, when he came on here and conversed with me. Then he decided he did not think it was appropriate for him to post on here under the circumstances so he asked for my email address and then he and I became like close online friends, we have never met in person.

        Because I get informed when someone posts on this site and Nick doesn’t, I inform him if anyone attempts to contact him on here, like that gentleman who wanted to contact him because he was doing a programme about Pentonville, on that occasion I told Nick and he did not want to get involved, after all there was his cousin’s family to consider too and they are all keeping a low profile from what I understand.

        In your case, Alfie, I passed on your first message and Nick could not remember you himself, it was his brother who thought he did and told Nick that if it was the Alfie he thought it was, he would have the nickname, “Bootsy” so Nick asked me to ask you what your nickname was without revealing it and you confirmed it to me, although I still don’t think Nick could remember you himself.

        Anyway, I passed the message onto him and it got no further than that really. As to what part of London he lives, I have no idea and I have never asked him because he and his family like their privacy and he and I only communicate online anyway. If he ever invites me down there then obviously I would ask him.

        Sorry I could not be more helpful.

        Robby.

      • alfie collins Says:

        Hello Robby.
        Just read your answer to my earlier post. Thank you for taking the trouble to let me know the situation, it’s a shame Nick does’nt remember too much about me, but it was a long time ago and I was a couple of years older than him and knew his brother better, in fact I probably knew Ronnie Marwood better than I knew Nick, think I’ll give up trying to trace any of the Williams boys or the Marwoods, understanding their reluctance to be in the public eye too much, I see from your comment Nick realised it was a mistake to go public on -line so I respect his wishes to be left alone. Been very interesting reading all about this Forsyth kid on here, of course I remember it well from 1960 but at the time it did’nt really make too big a headline, it was just “another hanging” it was how we dealt with murderers in those days.
        Thank you again Robby.
        Alfie

  75. Hello Nick

    I know the case of Ronald Marwood very well. It was in the same area where I was born brought up. It always mystified me because he went back to the Police of his own accord and was then charged with murder, yet I read at his trial he pleaded not guilty and said that the Police had written things down he had not said. I also read and saw footage of the huge demonstrations outside Pentonville on the eve of his execution and I read that inmates burned bibles and demonstrated, in fact there was so much upheaval that Ronnie allegedly said he wanted them to be quiet so he could get one last good nights sleep. No such demonstrations happened prior to the executions of Forsyth or Harris so I cannot help but wonder if there was any doubt about Ronnie’s guilt. An older friend of mine who was from the same area in North London as myself told me a few years back that he knew for a fact that Ronnie was innocent and claimed he knew who did kill the Policeman. Unfortunately my friend passed away before he was able to elaborate any further.

    With regards to James Hanratty, I had read several books about the case and it seemed there was alot of doubt and I was of the same opinion as yourself at one stage, being as Hanratty had never been guilty of any offences only car theft and the like. What cast more doubt in my mind was that although Valerie Storey identified him, she also said the assailant asked her and her lover how the car worked when Hanratty was an excellent driver who could drive any vehicle. However, there was definately a full enquiry and what I said about the DNA was the result of the tests they did, not my opinion and the conclusion was that James Hanratty turned his attention from petty theft to armed highway robbery. That was the result of the enquiry anyway.

    I totally agree with you that Ruth Ellis was rightly hanged. I am in the minority in believing that because so many people feel she should have been reprieved because it was a crime with passion. Well for a start we have never had that law in England it was in France but in any case, the shooting of her lover did not even come under that category. An example of Crime with Passion would be if for example if a husband or wife came home unexpectedly and found their spouse in bed with someone and in the heat of the moment killed them in the heat of the moment with no prior plan or intent. However, in the case of Ruth Ellis, she planned the whole thing and waited with a loaded gun which she literally emptied into her lover. That is not a Crime with Passion, that is premeditated murder, plain and simple. At her trial, the prosecuting council asked Ruth Ellis what she intended to do whe she lie in wait with the loaded gun and her reply was, “It is perfectly obvious. I intended to kill him.” It was those words which sealed her fate. Murder by shooting was a Capital offence and I don’t see why she should have been reprieved just because she was a woman. If it had been the other way around and she had been the one shot, I doubt if there would have been many protests.

    • Marianne Says:

      I agree that she shouldn’t have been reprieved because she was a woman. I think people often think violence against women is especially reprehensible because the average man has more muscular strength than the average woman. So to get into a fist fight with a woman seems ungentlemanly.

      This can’t apply in the case of judicial execution. The prisoner is pinioned and outnumbered. They haven’t a hope in hell of escape, whether they’re a man or a woman. Execution is either wrong or it isn’t. The sex of the person is an irrelevance.

      Nor should we consider having a crime passionel in this country. It only succeeds in devaluing the victim. Incidentally, those countries which have had it, have normally only allowed men to use this plea. In this country, we are chivalrous to women. In Islamic and Latin countries, it is men who are unfairly privileged.

      But I do think Ellis should have been reprieved for gynaecological reasons. David Blakely, whom she later shot, had recently kicked or punched her in the abdomen, causing her to miscarry. You could argue that this was severe provocation, but my point is that a mother who killed a baby while suffering post natal depression would not have been hanged, even at this time. She might well have been in a similar state. So there is a lack of fairness here.

      Yes, I’m pleading a special exemption for women here but only incidentally. If a man could become pregnant, I would want the same standards to apply to him.

  76. Hello Nick and Robby,

    I’d like to know more about the Marwood case: I remember reading about it at the time even though I was only a kid and was horrified that someone could be hanged for doing something he couldn’t remember as he was allegedly drunk at the time (27 brown ales as I recall.) He seems to have given himself up when there was no evidence against him or indeed anyone else. As he confessed why was he hanged? It would seem a bit counter-productive since any subsequent killer with a conscience might think twice before going to the Police.
    The Hanratty Case I think will never be clear: Hanratty didn’t have the profile of a deranged sex killer while Peter Alphon did and the coincidences in the case are almost unbelievable. As for Ruth Ellis, there is a site somewhere on the Web which suggests that she didn’t do the killing at all and it was tied up with National Security matters. I don’t think this is true but it’s an interesting idea. I can’t remember the address but it miust be on the Web somewhere. But the Marwood case is more interesting especially since Nick can maybe enlighten us about the background.

  77. Hello Ian

    Well the Marwood case was not far from where we lived in Islington North London. From what I read, he was out with a friend of his Michael Bloom on a pub crawl or something to celebrate his wedding anniversary(his wife was not with him as she was unwell or something) and in the process, he and his friends were caught in the middle of a gang fight in Seven Sisters Road Holloway. Now these gangs of Teddy Boyes had knives, chains and other weapons. Well the Police were called in and a young Constable 22 year old Raymond Summers was stabbed to death. Marwood was interviewed and later released but then returned to the Police Staion voluntarily and was charged with the murder of PC Summers. The Police said he had confessed to the murder, yet at the trial, Marwood pleaded not guilty.

    Now from what I read of Marwood’s account, he said he and his friend Mike Bloom were coming out of the pub having had quite a few drinks and got caught up in the middle of this gang fight, he said one of the youths had hit him with a chopper and he felt dizzy and sick. He said he saw that PC Summers grabbed his friend Mike Bloom. Marwood told PC Summers that his friend had nothing to do with the fight and PC Summers told Marwood to “clear off” and hit him. Marwood said he then retaliated and hit PC Summers back then got frightened and ran away. After that it was announced that PC Summers was stabbed to death during the gang fight. Now according to Marwood, when he was first interviewed by the police he could not remember anything because he was so intoxicated with drink and the police let him go. The following morning when he sobered up, he remembered hitting out at PC Summers. He thought he should tell the police what happened so he went to Caladonian Road Police Station the next day. At his trial Marwood said he never confessed to the murder at the Police station and insisted the Police wrote down things he did not say and he signed the statement without reading it. When he was asked by his defence council if he had anything in his hand when he struck out at the Police Constable, he said “No Sir.” The Police still insisted he had confessed to the murder and in the summing up speech, Marwood’s barrister said that his was the only evidence against him. Anyway the Jury retired for 2 1/2 hours and returned with a verdict of guilty to which he was sentenced to death and subsequently hanged.

    This is what puzzles me though, Ian. The police had released Marwood and he returned to them of his own free will. They say he confessed to the murder of the Police Constable but if he had, why would he then plead not guilty at the trial. None of this made sense to me. I suppose there must have been alot more evidence at the trial to convict him but there were riots outside Pentonville on the eve of his exectution and also inside the prison there was a big deomonstration amongst the inmates burning bibles and bed linen. I cannot recall any demonstrations like that over anyone else being hanged and it makes me wonder.

    Marwood had served two years national service and his discharge papers showed him to be a man of good character. Obviously this did not count at the trial.

  78. ps: Ian, Please excuse the atrocious spelling, I was half asleep when I typed the above. Like I said, that is only from the accounts I have read, I am sure Nick could correct any errors I may have made about the case.

  79. It was interesting to read Nick Williams’s thoughts on the Ronnie Marwood case.Nick was around the same age at his execution as I was at the time of the Forsyth hanging (I was 7 weeks short of my 18th birthday ) so we would probably have had a similar perspective on life at that time.

    Despite Nick being related to Marwood, and myself knowing Forsyth fairly well for a number of years leading up to his execution,it it interesting that we both still believe that capital punishment should be retained as the ultimate deterrent.

    • Robbie: Despite being a supporter of capital punishment, your own doubts about the Marwood case clearly illustrate the problem of sanctioning the so-called “ultimate deterrent”. When the issue of capital punishment comes up the Marwood case is frequently overlooked but, as you and others have confirmed here, the riots preceding that execution were almost on a par with those leading up to the execution of Bentley.
      Anyway, this whole capital punishment debate is pointless as the death penalty was removed from the statute books a decade or so ago and can never be returned.
      Forgive my cynicism, but another thing you should take on board was that this period really was the golden age of police corruption when people were regularly ‘fitted up” at the drop of a hat. Statements were obviously not recorded in those days and – in Marwood’s case – the fact the police were desperate to seal a conviction on someone they beleived was guilty of killing one of their own, obviously played a part. I wonder if Marwood was even accompanied by a solicitor when he made that fateful decision to go to the police station – probably not.
      You’re right, some of the statements attributed to Marwood just don’t ring true – the same can even be said of some of those supposedly given by Forsyth and Harris.
      To this day, accounts of this case state neither showed remorse when a cursory look at the evidence shows this not to be the case. ‘Flash’ Harris (who appeared on the point of collapse throughout the trial) was particularly remorseful – not that it did him any good of course.
      Coming back to Marwood, I’m surprised this case hasn’t attracted the interest of those of Hanratty and Bentley. In modern terms, at the very least, this would appear to have been an extremely unsafe conviction.

  80. Hi Mick
    Re your last post concerning Norman Harris.He was remorseful and at the point of collapse at his trial,but was it more the fact that he had been caught and was facing the death penalty rather than true remorse for killing Allen Jee.

    Let’s remember, the gang ran off and left Jee in a bad way,and his murder was announced just a few days after the attack.If Harris had of been genuinely remorseful, why did he not come forward then, instead of being arrested three weeks later ?

    Mind you,reading of the Marwood case ,he ( Marwood) did come forward, but it didn’t help him.

  81. The thing is, never confess. It’s good for the soul but that’s all. Say nothing to the Police without a lawyer and never sign anything. It’s cynical but the Police have their own mentality. In the book 10 Rillington Place, the author explains that though they keep an open mind at the start, the moment they think they have a culprit they do everything to get a conviction. In Evan’s case, his confessions contained words he wouldn’t have understood or used. Also, documents which proved that the bodies were moved after he’d left the house (workmen’s timesheets) mysteriously vanished, the only ones in the firm’s history that disappeared. They didn’t fit in with the Police case. I don’t mean the Police fixed him up but as they were sure he was guilty they ignored evidence that might cause difficulties. It was also known at the time that someone had had sex with the body after death and ironically it was thought better to suppress this as the Prosecution thought Evans was in enough trouble without that. They just assumed that he was guilty. Had they known that Christe was a necrophile, the whole thing would have been different.

  82. Nick Williams Says:

    hi Robby, wow quite a response to my input but all very interesting, firstly you have to understand regarding Ronnie’s case even after all this time it’s a touchy subject in our family, however I will look at the papers we still have when I can, Maria (Ronnie’s widow) did have a lot of information that my side of the family did’nt know about til years later, the facts in the books you can read on his case are partly true, anyway I’ll get back to you asap. Nick

  83. Hello Mick

    You are absolutely right, Capital Punishment will never be reintroduced now, which in many ways is a good thing, the only time I tend to get angry and wish it were still current is when I read about recent murders and the casual attitude of the perpetrators when they are caught and go to trial.

    You raised several interesting issues and I have to say I am in agreement with you about the subsequent events which follow the murder of a Police officer. It always seemed that someone had to pay the ultimate penalty even if there was an element of doubt as in the cases of Bentley and Marwood. I just wanted to reiterate that when I was pro-Capital punishment, it was more for the murder of a member of the public than a Policeman because I have always felt that a Policeman knows the risks he takes when he joins the force.

    With regards to the Forsyth and Harris case. I know Harris was on the point of collapse at the trial, which as Fred indicated, could well have been bedause he was aware he would be facing the death penalty if found guilty. Harris was well aware of this before anyone else because when the four were arrested he allegedly said. “I am the oldest so it is bound to be down tom me, if the truth comes out I think I will dangle and if I give out on my mates we will all dangle together.” Whereas Forsyth thought he would only get about 5 years. Having said that, I do believe that Harris was remorseful because although he was out of work and skint on the night of 25 June 1960 he never intended to rob anyone, he was more interested in doing a house or something, the idea to “roll someone” came from Lutt and I don’t think Harris was expecting Forsyth to put the boot in whilst he was rifling Jee’s pockets. Also when the four was arrested, Harris asked the Police what killed him and stated although he would have a fight he would never kick anyone whilst they were down and felt sorry for him dying like that. He even asked the police how Jee’s family had taken it and seemed remorseful when told the loss had made Jee’s mother ill. Finally, Harris when in Pentonville Harris, wrote to Jee’s parents apologising, not asking for forgiveness and expressing his sorrow for their loss. Jee’s mother felt it was genuine remorse and Jee’s father stated that Harris was the only one of the four who had the decency to apologise. He even said he felt a little sorry for Harris because his father had died two days after his conviction. Jee’s father said, if Harris were reprieved it would not be too bad but for the others he had no sympathy whatsoever. Both he and his wife said they knew that Harris was not the one who had really killed their son. Harris’ attitude was a complete contrast to Forsyth who had bragged about the kicking, continued to get into trouble afterwards up to the time of his arrest for the murder and showed no remorse whatsoever, just that he and Lutt should be out before they reached the age of 24 with a bit of luck.

    So just to sum up. I do think Harris was genuinely remorseful about Jee’s death even though he ran off with the others at the time. I think the reason he did not come foward was probably because he was scared as he was the only one who seemed to realise that they faced the death penalty.

  84. Nick williams Says:

    Hi Robby, Ok I spent last night thinking if I want to comment to much on this and I rang my cousin Elaine who was pretty close to Ronnie and was talking about the awful time we all had at the time, and she jogged my memory on a few things, Ronnie did sometimes carry a knife, but then a lot of young guys in those days did, I myself was a ted and hanged around with a gang who had flick knives knuckle dusters etc, the copper who died that night was himself in a gang that came upon the brawl that Ronnie and Bloomer were mixed up in, so he jumped in to break it up and hit out at Ronnie and Ronnie hit him back, now this is the truth, but the confusion takes over about who had the knife that stabbed Summers the policeman, we in our family never believed he said I hit him and did’nt realise the knife was in my hand because I was drunk, that’s what the police say he said, Ronnie never confessed to anything except hitting Summers. He did go to the police station the next morning but as he could’nt remember too much because of the drink from sunday night, he just told them what he thought he remembered and left, but he did know more because he was running scared and he never came home until january, he did a runner, rang up Bloomer and told him he was hiding to think things out, in the end his father took him to the police station to face up and clear everything up, Robby who was your older friend who said he knew Ronnie and was told by him he knew who stabbed the copper ? anyway back to the police station, of course his dad was’nt allowed in the room when he made this so-called confession, which is a shame, and the rest of the actual case is well documented, there’s been a lot of rubbish written also, Rosalie (Maria was a family name) his wife did’nt go out with him that night because she always stayed in sunday night for the Palladium show on telly, it was their 1st wedding anniversary, I was at the wedding in 1957, just one more thing going back to the crime, Ronnie and Bloomer went to the Double R club in Holloway before going on to Grays dance hall, and there was trouble there with some teds, dont know if they carried on this outside Grays where Summers was stabbed, Ronnie told Elaine those Teds had knives. Robby you were right there was a hell of a disturbance in Pentonville the night before he was executed and he did say he wanted to get some kip so they should belt up (Elaine’s words) but he was resigned to his fate and caused no trouble and was by all accounts pretty calm on the morning. I would like to say at this point that the Ronnie I knew was a very nice guy, quite a good looking chap with a lovely smile, we lived in west London his family were north London Islington, outside of boxing day, weddings, funerals, which were a few as ours is a large family, I did’nt see him too much, but I always remember one occasion which I’ll end this with, I was standing on the corner of the broadway at Hammersmith (summer of 58) and he passed by on his way to see my mum down the Fulham palace road, I was with my mates a gang of teds, he shouted out watcha nipper to me, and I followed him home, and he said to me and I quote..only cowards hang around in gangs, I’ve never forgotten that, he could take care of himself and disliked teds and did’nt like the idea that I was one, did I think he was guilty ? I wish I knew, family or not, I just dont know. Nick

  85. Hello Nick

    Great post and it more or less ties up with what I read.

    Unlike the other criminals we have mentioned on here, Ronnie was not a persistent offender and seemed to have quite a good character. There is alot of what I read about this case which does not ring true. Why would anyone confess and then retract their confession in court? It was not as if he were arrested and questioned for hours and forced to sign a statement under duress, he returned to the police of his own free will. It was common knowledge then that the murder of a police officer was a capital offence so he would have known that when he went to the police station. In theory if a person goes to the police voluntarily and confesses then it should be an open and shut case but he pleaded not guilty in court and I must admit it looks very suspicious here. In theory a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt and after reading this case the only real evidence was the alleged confession which he denied. I have to wonder whether if it had been anyone else but a policeman murdered whether there would have been enough evidence for a conviction.

    With regards to the friend I told you about, I must admit that he has always been known as a guy who tells stories, he was secretly referred to as “Walter Mitty” because he used to read about the world wars and pretend he took part in them when he was not old enough. He and I met only briefly because of my work schedule and one day I met him and he and I were discussing Capital Punishment and I happened to mention the Ronald Marwood case and I told him I felt there was an element of doubt. He then told me he knew for a fact that Ronnie never commited the murder because he knew who did. He even told me the name of the person but I cannot remember it as I was on my way home from work and I have to confess, he was always telling stories so I never really took him seriously. All I remember was he said the guy who commited the murder was a well known member of a gang, in Islington North London where we were both lived until the mid-sixties. He told me this about five years ago, he was going to come around and decorate my house for me but unfortuantely he died shortly after. Anyway, for what it is worth his name was Jim Collard.

  86. Hi Nick ,

    Thanks for your message which I found very touching showing once again how painful these affairs are for the families concerned on both sides. Maybe you could tell us what happened to Ronnie’s parents and wife (was there a child too? I can’t remember.) One thing in your message I found a bit strange was when you said <> Do you mean he was a gang member too in his off-duty hours? I read that he was a big chap 6ft 4″ but he must have been insanely brave and on his own at that to wade into a brawl involving I imagine a lot of hefty chaps carrying arms. I’m 6ft 4″ too but I’d adopt a more prudent attitude in this kind of situation!
    Anyway, thanks again for your very moving message. Anything else you might be able to tell us would be appreciated.

    • nick williams Says:

      Hi Ian and Robby, well Robby I myself have never heard of Jim Collard, of course I did’nt know everyone Ronnie knew but I’ve heard most of the names mentioned of the night in question, of course during the fight he did’nt know the guy he hit was a off duty copper, it only became clear on the monday, going on the run did’nt do him any good either his dad was looking everywhere for him, he only hanged because of the fact Summers was a policeman, and as soon as it all came out in court what the police prosecution were saying about the “confession” we knew it was all over, they always win their cases especially when a policeman’s been killed, even at the appeal we knew it was hopeless, and we knew the home secratary would’nt show mercy and commute a life sentence, and like I said Ronnie knew it as well, on the day he died it was my 18th birthday and I lost myself in the crowds of the west end, I’d been drinking at home and I ended up in a record shop in Tottenham ct rd, buying Tony Newley’s EP “Idle on parade” and I cant remember what I did after that, but I played that record so many times the rest of the week, and of course every birthday I’ve had since may 8th 1959 it has’nt been one to celebrate, and I have to admit it left me bitter towards the police, right or wrong. To answer your question Ian Ronnie’s parents of course now are long gone, Ronnie would be 76 if he had lived, they I guess like Flossie and Harris’s parents never were the same after the excecution, I’ll never forget the look on their faces when we got Ronnie back from Pentonville in I think it was 1968 to give him a decent burial, I personally have’nt seen or heard anything of Rosalie for many years now, she went to pieces after he died, in fact the Marwood side of the family I have’nt seen for ages, before Ronnie’s death our whole family would always get together boxing day, and always attend each other’s weddings, funerals, but that all ended in 1959, apart from when we got him back, that was nice to show we never forgot him. think I’ll stop now.

    • Robby, the comments of Nick and Ian have reminded me of a special article in either the Times or (more likely) the Observer colour supplement around 40 years ago. It focused on the families of executed prisoners from the the then recent past and included the Forsyth and Bentley families along with photos re-enacting tehir crimes.
      I imagine the year would have been 1969 and the article probably timed to coincide with the debate in the Commons which led to hanging being officially abolished that year.
      It shouldn’t be too difficult to track down at the British Newpaper Library at Colindale.

  87. Hello Nick, I had no idea the policeman who was murdered was off duty. Was he not wearing a uniform then? I assumed he was ordered to go there because of the gang fight and arrived in uniform.

    That friend I mentioned never said he actually knew Ronnie but like myself he was from Islington, North London. I was just under 6 years old at the time of the hanging, however, the friend I told you about would have been around 29 years old and I know he mixed with alot of people from that area.

  88. Hi NIck,

    Thanks again for your message: I can see that you and your families have had to live with something dreadful which won’t go away. One thing which was new to me was that the victim was off-duty and I suppose not in uniform so assuming Ronnie was the killer if indeed he was, how on earth could he have known he was killing a bobby?! Was it ever proved that he was trying to break up a fight or was he just having a scrap for kicks? Psychologically for me, it doesn’t stand up: a policeman coming on a couple of rival gangs just doesn’t wade in before a large number of reinforcements arrive. Unless, of course, he wasn’t being a policeman but a delinquent! It doesn’t make sense.
    In France where I live now the police come under lots of criticism but it wouldn’t happen if they hadn’t always been so keen to protect themselves when they’re wrong. A few years ago in the café on the corner of my street, an off-duty policeman walked in and saw a fight. He pulled out his gun and shot one of the men fighting who was in fact a young Arab museum worker who was trying to break up the fight. The copper was drunk and almost got lynched but even so the authorities went to enormous lengths to threaten the victim’s family with expulsion, etc, etc. In the end, the copper got sent down as there were too many witnesses but it doesn’t always happen when the Police are to blame, unfortunately.

    • My final, final post on a subject I still found distasteful after all these years. (I have reasons why I’m so involved which I’d rather not disclose…). Innocent men were hanged of that Iv’e have no doubt. For that reason alone I could never support the return of the the death penalty. Therr’s one hangman left alive (Russ Pascoe?) and I’m glad I’m not in his shoes…

      • William Says:

        This is a fascinating thread. Just to add that Mick’s Russ Pascoe was actually one of the last murderers to be executed in Britain (in December 1963 for the robbery and murder of a farmer in Cornwall). Only two more murderers (Allen and Evans) were executed in Britain after that. There is I believe still one assistant hangman (now in his 80s) still alive.

    • Hi Robby and Ian, Ok first let me point out that all our family have nothing but respect for PC Summers, and he was indeed a very brave copper, when I say he was in a gang I did’nt mean gang as in a rowdy bunch, he was out with a group of friends on a sunday night, when walking down the Seven sisters road he came upon this mass brawl there were at least 20 of them scrapping, and he without any fear for himself waded in to break it up I guess when you’re a copper if you see something going on you’re never off duty, also coppers in those days did that sort of thing, nowadays they’d radio in for back-up, anyway regarding PC Summers the tragedy did’nt end with his death in December, his 21 yr old girlfriend died from a heart attack a couple of months later, (they were engaged) My own version with what Ronnie did is as follows..ok he was very drunk and already been in a fight with these teds at the Double R club earlier that night, then coming out of Grays dance hall, he was set upon by the same gang, one which hit him across the head with an axe, cutting him, so now he’s frightened, drunk and wounded, and lashing out at anyone touching him, like I said the facts are Summers hit him first and Ronnie struck back hitting him across the shoulder, Summers died from being stabbed in the back, Ronnie did on occasions carry a knife, it’s possible in my mind he could have stabbed him, but I’m really not sure as nobody is, unless there was a guy there who did stick a knife in Summers back and if there was he’s not going to give himself up to be hanged is he, Ronnie’s dad asked him did you stab that copper ? Ronnie said he did’nt but his dad always told us he was’nt sure Ronnie knew the truth himself, only Elaine (another cousin) said she was sure he would’nt do such a thing, and in normal circumstances she’s right, Ronnie was a scaffolder and would fight anyone, but he did’nt go looking for trouble, he liked to drink and I guess he was a bit of a rough lad but very likeable, I was thinking back after writing all this on saturday, the very last time I saw him which was at my grandfather’s funeral in Ealing, October 1958 and he probably said “see you boxing day” but of course I never saw or spoke to him again, I could have gone to see him in Pentonville but I just could’nt face it, as I said before when they passed the death sentence we all knew he’d hang, how could I face seeing him knowing that, I was only 18 and I bottled it.

  89. Hi Nick,

    Thanks again: what you tell us throws a lot of light on what actually happened. We’ll never know for sure who really did kill PC Summers but assuming it was your cousin (who couldn’t possibly have known he was killing a policeman,) it seems a bit unjust that he should have been hanged after giving himself up. Had he kept his mouth shut, he would probably still be here today. If he’d killed someone else present, he’d have got off with a prison sentence. This doesn’t mean I condone killing policemen but on the same grounds that, when you’re at school and the teacher asks “Who did this?” knowing full well that he’ll never find the culprit unless the culprit confesses, it’s not a good idea in case of further misdemeanours to condemn too strongly anyone who does confess!
    And, Nick, you didn’t bottle it, you did what anyone would have done at your age.

  90. Hi Robby, I’ve been meaning to ask you, considering you were only 6 or 7 at the time Ronnie’s and Flossie’s execution, what made you interested in those cases ? I mean do you actually remember reading about them from that time ? I never read a newspaper until I was about 14, but I do remember the Derek Bentley case because they came round our house collecting signatures for his petition, plus everyone at school was talking about it, I was about 12 then, I had been reading all the comments on this site for a few days before I posted my comments, especially your comments as I wanted to make sure there was no morbid interest in executions, and I know now you are truly sincere in your research, how did all these people that know Flossie and Harris find out you even had this site going ? Only reason I knew was one of my closest friends is a crime specialist, and he was looking up Flossie knowing it was near the 50th anniversary, and he told me I might be interested to read and maybe post a comment, as like I said I took a keen interest on Flossie’s case at the time because he was a year younger than me, and I did wear winklepickers at that time as many of us did.

  91. Hello Nick

    First of all, this is not my site:) I came across it like everyone else on here and as I was interested in this particular case, I started to comment on it and got more into the conversation when I saw people who commented actually knew Forsyth.

    With regards the Forsyth and Harris case. I was born late in my parent’s lives my Father was born in 1901 and my Mother 1912 and I was the youngest of five, the next youngest being 10 years older than me. Now my Father was against Capital Punishment. His main reasons for this were the executions of Derek Bentley and Timothy Evans although he could go back alot further than that and he wasn’t convinced of the guilt of Edith Thompson either. He also believed that there had been cases where the law was altered according to circumstances. For example he felt that there was more emphasis on getting a man hanged who had murdered a police officer than say an ordinary citizen, which he felt was wrong because in his view a police officer knows what he is taking on when he joins the force. He also said there were cases where there was alot of Class distinction. For example he quoted the case of a young man named Jacoby who was hanged for the murder of a Lady White and shortly afterwards another young man named Ronald True was reprieved after being convicted of an equally vicious murder. My Father claimed it was because Jacoby came from an ordinary working class background whereas Ronald True came from an upperclass family who had a military background. Whether this was a fact or not, it made me interested in Capital Punishment as a whole. I happened to be one of those who believed in an eye for an eye and I started to study the history of Capital Punishment not because of any morbid interest but I wanted to find out more about the people who commited the crimes, whether they were ordinary people like you and I who had just gone astray or whether they were people who were persistent offenders beforehand.

    Well I started reading about early cases mostly before I was born. Then I came across cases where people had been hanged during my lifetime. Now the reason I took particular interest in the Forsyth/Harris case was because although I could not remember it at the time, being only seven years of age, I could remember the time of the execution for other reasons, for example, I had just started Junior School and at school the teachers were always talking to us about the Presential Election from the USA, Nixon vs J.F.Kennedy. Kennedy was elected president on 10th November 1960 which was the day Forsyth and Harris were hanged so I could recall that day vividly in my mind. Also Forsyth was born in 1942 and my older brother was born in February 1943. I always remember looking up to him, seeing the type of clothes he wore, the pointed shoes, the music he liked and I always wanted to be like him. It was strange to me growing up with brothers and sisters who were alot older than me but anyway, it made me familiar with the time of the executions by other events which took place. I could also vaguely recall my father mentioning about someone who had died from being kicked in the head and also about the mother of the convicted murderer sending a telegram to the Queen. Well when I read up about the case it gave a fair bit of detail about Forsyth and I noticed that there were so many similarities between him and myself. I could give you a huge list of similarities but just to name a few, like myself he was the youngest in his family and he had parents who were old enough to be his grandparents, also his father was considerably older than his mother which was the same in my case. Another similarity was that he seemed to be intelligent and show promise when he was younger, as he attended a Grammar School for a while. I was the same but I dropped out because I never felt I fitted in. He had a girlfriend named Margaret and when I was 18 years old my girlfriend’s name was Margaret too. His first and second name initials were the same. F.F. Mine are the same too, R.R. He also had several middle names one of which is the same as my first name, whatsmore he seemed to be a bit of a rebel which I was too. The main difference between he and I was that I never resorted to crime, however, I must confess that when I was in my early teens, I used to admire certain criminals and I know now that I am older and wiser that was juvenille and immature. Anyway, because I was familiar with that time in 1960 I got more and more interested in the case and Forsyth as a person. I used to get drunk, show off and do stupid things to try and impress people when I was younger, Nick. I am ashamed to admit it but I did. I never commited any crimes though but after reading the case it appeared that Harris was short of money and wanted to do some theiving. His friends agreed to help him, Lutt suggested they “roll someone.” My impression of the case was that Harris just wanted money but Forsyth and Lutt were more interested in what actually took place, robbing someone, in other words the thrill of it. When I read that they had been all drinking, I wondered whether the kicking Forsyth did was under the influence of drink. I remembered doing things when I was drunk which I would not normally do and I wondered if at his age in those circumstances whether I may have done the same thing under the influence of alcohol. I read that Forsyth had previous convictions for theft and I wondered if this was the only time he had commited any violence and paid the ultimate price. Well, since I have commented on this site and heard from people who knew him, I now realise that he was alot different from myself. He was a persistent offender and he was not opposed to using violence or hurting people, whereas with myself, although I was a bit of a rebel and liked to try and impress people occasionally, I have never in my life commited a crime.

    I have been totally honest here Nick. The above are my only reasons for having been interested in this particular case and Capital Punishment as a whole.

  92. Mick

    I would have been interested in reading that colour supplement you mentioned.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I have alot of sympathy for the relatives of people who have been exectuted, however, I have more sympathy for the families of the victims, especially in the case of Forsyth. I have to admit though, I do believe that Harris was sincerely remorseful and who knows, had he been reprieved perhaps rehabilitation may have been possible.

    Anyway, as you say, Capital Punishment is now a thing of the past. I hope I have not offended you by any of my comments on here.

  93. heathrow Says:

    I don’t agree with Capital Punishment and like some have said, I’m absolutely sure that many innocents, especially those from poorer backgrounds, have been killed by the state. The case of Bentley will always be a national disgrace. I also believe that the executioner is as guilty as the person that he is killing.

    But I do have a nagging problem with one thing, that is that the death of a really bad person probably saved the lives of many. Two examples:

    Forsyth. I asked my Dad if he deserved to die, he said ‘Yes, he would have kicked me to death too if I hadn’t have ducked’, I wouldn’t have been here now if that had happened! I wonder how many others he would have killed if he had got away with it.

    Secondly, a friend of mine was stabbed to death in Hounslow in the early nineties. Whilst he was a friend he was a bad person, he would think nothing of beating up anyone and actually enjoyed it and would always cause as much pain as possible. I’m absolutely sure that at least one person’s life has been saved because he is dead.

    But then there are those left behind. As I stated previously I was told that Harris’s girlfriend lived in the next estate from me and was still a mess 25 years later. Forsyth’s mum was devastated, strangely I moved to Surrey and a friend, probably 70 now, lived in the same road as her, his mum knew her. I bumped into someone through work who claimed that his dad was a mate of Forsyth and that it was only a set of circumstances that stopped him being with him that night, he said that everytime his dad pissed his mum off she would say ‘shame that they didn’t hang you with your mate’! – not sure how true this is but sure that if I give a surname someone on here could confirm if he was one of the crowd.

    I’m not actually sure that my dad ever stopped thinking about Forsyth, a couple of thing he told me:

    (Someone mentioned the Superintenant in an earlier post) Leaving court after sentancing the Superintendant said to Mrs Forsyth, in a deep booming voice, ‘Don’t worry Mrs Forsyth, one day the dark cloud will be lifted’

    He then turned to my dad and said ‘****** you solved this case’.

    And for the record, and from his Heathrow arrest, his full name was Francis Robert George Henry James Forsyth (Forsythe in the police notebook). I wonder what happened to the other 7 arrested with him that night, not sure that it would be right to post the names though.

    Enough for now but still very intersted in any new information on the case.

    • Marianne Says:

      Forsyth’s death may or may not have saved lives. But someone said earlier that some young troublemaker who knew him marked the day of his execution by going out and committing capital murder for which he was duly executed on the same gallows! If true, it was completely counterproductive.

  94. Heathrow. I have always always had similar thoughts on how many innocent lives may have been saved by the execution of one murderer. The type of person I am talking about here is not one who commits murder as an isolated incident. I mean a persistent offender and having read the comments on here, I honestly believe that Forsyth came under that category.

    You mentioned your Dad said if he had not ducked Forsyth would have kicked him in the head too. Well this was after he had murdered Allan Jee by kicking, so that tells me he had no remorse whatsoever and for someone like that I do not think there is much chance of rehabilitation and my question is, how many innocent law abiding citizens have to risk injury or death for the sake of rehabilitating one vicious killer?

    Obviously I have sympathy for Forsyth’s Mother and anyone close to him, however, I was more sympathetic towards the parents and fiancee’ of Allan Jee. It said the shock of his death made his mother ill and he was just an innocent citizen taking the short route to his parent’s home via a secluded footpath on the night of 25 June 1960. Forsyth’s family had time to prepare themselves for the worst, knowing what their son had done, whereas Allan Jee’s family and fiancee’ would never have predicted his fate that night. Like, Harris, Allan Jee had also done two years National Service in Cyprus and had been demobbed from the R.A.F in February 1960. I read that during his service he had a narrow escape from injury or death when a booby-trap bomb exploded in a washroom. His mother said later, “It seems terrible to think that he came through all that trouble safely, only to be killed like this so near to his home.”

  95. Hi Heathrow

    Re your last post

    If post the surname of the person who claimed he was a mate of Forsyth it is very probable I could confirm if that was true.

    Also I knew most of the characters involved in the Heathrow punch up and one friend of mine was actually acquitted yet another got 3 months inside.Not sure what the sentences were on the other 5 (although Forsyth, I think did not stand trial for that due to his arrest for murder ).All this is from memory but I think my recollections are fairly accurate.

    • Hi Robby, Thanks for your very detailed explanation, indeed it does explain everything to me, but as I said I was sure anyway that your interests in capitol punishment were’nt of a morbid kind, I’ve often wondered over the years that what happened to Flossie could have happened to me, except for the main reason that although I was involved in a teddy boy gang right from 16 to about 19 or 20 and some of them carried weapons and we was always in rucks outside of pubs or down Fulham Broadway, we never stole money from anyone and after 1957 the homicide law changed just after I’d turned 16 so there was’nt really a chance of myself being put in Flossie’s position, unless some other guy had tagged along and robbed and killed someone and we all had got pulled in for it, no I was certainly a surly teenager with plenty of attitude just like my 2 older brothers, but I was never like Flossie, I also find strange that Harris hanged around with teenagers as he was 23, in our gang the oldest was 19, and lastly about you’re dad being against hanging and naming the Bently case, if you remember yesterday I mentioned some women came to our house collect signatures for a petition to save him ? now my dad was opposite to yours, I remember he had a big row with my mum when he found out she had signed it, he shouted at her “The bugger was on a break-in armed with a knuckle-duster and knife and his mate shoots dead a copper, of course he should swing” and your dad is right whenever a copper is killed the defendant is always excecuted, and the evidence is made to fit.

  96. Hello Nick.

    It is interesting what your Dad thought about the Bentley case and he was in fact correct, he did have knuckle duster and was on top of the building with Craig. I think, Bentley’s naivity has been exaggerated more than a little over the years. Nevertheless, he was in custody when Craig fired the fatal shot and Craig denied Bentley shouted, “Let him have it Chris.” Therefore I believe that it was one of those cases whereby someone had to pay the ultimate penalty for the murder of a policeman and if Craig was too young then it was to be his accomplice.

    With regards to Harris, I too am surprised he hung around with teenagers and I was even more surprised that at the age of 23 he had a 16 year old girlfriend. I remember even when I was about 18 or 19 years old, the macho group I associated with felt even at that age that a 16 year old girl was little more than a sixth form student. For a 23 year old to have had a 16 year old girlfriend in my time would have seemed abnormal.

  97. heathrow Says:

    Fred, the guy who claimed his dad was a mate of Forsyth was called Corke.

    I read one newspaper report on the Heathrow incident that said 3 of them got 6 months, I know who the three were, according to my dad one of them was very big, strong and a very nasty piece of work, even worse than Forsyth. My dad had a clipping that said something like ‘whilst his mates were being sentanced to a few months for assault Forsyth was in the condemned cell’.

    So yes, you recall correctly.

  98. Hi Heathrow

    Struggling to recall anyone with the name of Corke who was fairly close to Forsyth,I of course could not remember all the characters around at that time but did know most of them and cannot recall that one.
    Not saying it is true in this case, but so many people at the time claimed to have been “mates” or “aquaintances” in fact one poster early in this thread claimed to be, but his post was wholly inaccurate.
    Going back to the Heathrow incident,two of the surnames of people involved would have been Shaw and Walsh,( I do know their first names) one got 3 months and one was acquitted,Be interested to know the names of the rest

    • heathrow Says:

      Yep, correct!

      James Ollive
      William Carter
      Murray Snow
      Forsyth
      Harold Adams
      Kenneth Terrance Walsh
      Anthony Edward Hall
      Dennis Roy Shaw

      • Dave Rodham Says:

        Cant believe how the list of names brings it all back
        just to let you know Tony Hall and i are cousins
        does the name Roy Appleby mean anything
        Stone me mate he could have a fight!!!!!
        he lived above a chippt in Kingsley Rd

  99. Hi Heathrow

    I knew 5 on that list……Snowy I knew vaguely,Tony Hall I didn’t know that well but I can remember his face and confirm he was certainly part of the Joachims crowd as Snowy was.Dennis Shaw I knew quite well,he was a dustman and a really nice guy,I spoke to him at length after his release and he was devastated at the whole affair and swore that he would never get into trouble again.
    I knew Terry Walsh best of all.He and I were inseparable friends at Grammar School.He was a fantastic footballer whose brother was a pro with Arsenal and later Cardiff City. Terry could have gone the same route and I reckon that he was that good he could have made the England 1966 world Cup squad but he lost interest in the game at age 16, Terry was acquitted of the Heathrow incident.I Last saw him in1984 at an old school reunion

    Olive,Carter and Adams I cannot remember,perhaps other posters who were around at the time (or their parents) could shed some light.
    Not unusual for groups of us to drive up to Heathrow late at night for a coffee after Joachims closed.As I have said in earlier posts I was away at the time of the murder and the Heathrow incident, working in Jersey with two friends ,Peter Cade and Johnny Ellis so perhaps we were lucky we didn’t get caught up in any of that.Although we used to go to Heathrow for a coffee not a punch up !

  100. heathrow Says:

    That wouldn’t be Jonny Ellis from Heston/Hounslow that had a couple of daughters, one called Tina, would it?

  101. HI Heathrow

    Not sure if it was the same one but Johnny Ellis did come from that area and would be aged around 68 now. Not sure about daughters but I know that he had a son who would be around 42 now.

  102. Ken Thomson Says:

    I have tried to rid my mind of this whole affair, yet I still read updates, when they’re posted! So much for self control…

    Nothing disappears, once it has been written on-line. At some future date, this string will likely be pored over by criminologists and sociologists, trying to figure out such questions as what motivates people to commit murder and how the perpetrators impact others.

    Forsyth’s daughter and relatives will possibly search on-line, and read these comments too, however painful. And of course, their course in life should have nothing to do with him. We all have to be careful what we let enter our heads and who we listen to. Obviously, what we think determines how we act.

    We don’t normally feel inclined to speak ill of the dead. After all, they have no recourse to put their own slant on events. And, to some extent, I feel the same way about Flossie. I became increasingly scared of his irrational behaviour and proclivities and am glad that I saw the last of him in my early teens. Truth be told, my parents started to put me on a pretty tight leash.

    The events in Hounslow in that era were shocking, primarilly by the standards of that time. But compared to today, when stabbings there are apparently common and sentences more lenient, Forsyth’s crime would have gotten much less publicity. And when you look at inner-city violence here in the US, there’s a world of difference.

    When you live for decades away from your former home, you expect to go back and see it as it was. Obviously, that ain’t so. And I get a shock when I hear people talking about old schoolmates as being their parents or, uh, grandparents. I still think of them as teenagers, for God’s sake!

    I keep it to myself and from friends here in the US that I was a classmate of Flossie and that he was the youngest offender in the 20th century to get his neck judicially streched in the UK. It sounds like a tall tale. But i do have the benefit of being able to refer them to the “Guinness Book of World Records”.

    I have a ton of stories that I’d better keep to myself, going back to Beaversfield School. Yes, we really did go carol singing on Mardindale Road and he really did light a newspaper and put it through the letter-box, when he realized than no-one was home.

    But I really have to wrap this up and get on with my life. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, including Colin Owen and any other classmates at Spring Grove Central, my email is kt1234@verizon.net.

  103. Rich Owen Says:

    Hi Ken. My dad Colin remembers you well and I will now pass on your email address. Thanks

  104. Hi Ken
    just to correct a couple of points from your last post.Sorry don’t wish to be Mr Pedantic.

    I am sure that Flossie’s girlfriend Maggie Cattlin had a son a couple of months after the execution not a daughter as you mention.

    You also mention Beaversfield School ? Did you in fact mean Beaversfield Park where Flossie used to go to play cricket and football when he was younger ? There was a Beavers Junior School about half a mile away but Flossie attended Hounslow Heath Junior School. as I did, but in the year below him.

    Hounslow has changed beyond recognition in the last half century. I moved out in 1985 and now live about 40 miles away but still pass through now and again.What used to be a fairly quiet suburban town is now a very busy,thronging extension of the metropolis.
    That is why the murder in June 1960 in a relatively quiet place was such a traumatic event for people who lived there, especially as another murder, of a 12 year old schoolgirl Brenda Nash, took place shortly afterwards in October 1960 as Forsyth
    awaited the death sentence…fortunately that killer was caught too…but that’s another story…..

  105. Ken Thomson Says:

    Thanks, Fred. Pedantic? Absolutely not. We have to make sure we’ve got our facts straight. Thanks for correcting me. I misnamed Isleworth Grammar School in a previous post.

    The school referred to was, indeed, Hounslow Heath Junior School. The colours were maroon and gold. The art teacher designed the blazer badge when I was there, with great fanfare. It was a stylized stage coach, outlined in gold on a maroon background. Am I right?

    The headmaster was Mr. Such. And one of the teachers was a young guy, Mr. Rogers, who often arrived in the mornings, out of breath, at the last minute. Mr. Phillips was the music teacher. One year, we got a load of Canadian apples, one for each student.

    We lived on Rosemary Avenue, which backs on to Beaversfield park. Great place to grow up.

    I heard that Flossie had a kid, but wrongly assumed it was a girl. I hope the guy has come to terms with what happened to his father. He didn’t deserve to have to live with this.

  106. Hi Ken

    your memories of Hounslow Heath Junior are absolutely spot on.I suppose that now, being in our late sixties we are lucky to still have good enough memories that help us to recall events of fifty to sixty years ago.
    The blazer badges were exceptional,depicting the coaching past of Hounslow.School uniform was not compulsory at Hounslow Heath then, and it was only the better off kids that had the blazers…I didn’t !
    I remember the Canadian apples and what a treat they were ! how unbelieveable is that in todays materialistic world.

    Apologies to other posters if this has seemed to be going off at a tangent but both Ken and I were brought up in the same area as Forsyth, attended the same junior school and spent many of our childhood days playing sports in the same park, so I suppose it does give some sort of a snapshot of what life was like in the childhood days of the 20th centurys youngest executed murderer.

  107. Hello Fred

    It is really interesting to read what life was like during that era in Hounslow.

    Incidentally, going back to the Heathrow incident, what kind of trouble were Forsyth and his gang causing for the police to have been called in? Where they fighting amongst themselves or harrassing other people at the airport? Forgive me if their offence had already been mentioned but I went through the other comments and I could not find any details of their offence.

  108. heathrow Says:

    Robby, when I get a minute I will type out the record from the notebook if you like.

  109. Thank you Heathrow, that would be great if you could.

  110. HI Heathrow

    Another Forsyth offence that your Dad may know about and I have made mention of in an earlier post.This was reported in the Middlesex Chronicle at the time.
    It was sometime in early 1960, Forsyth and a friend (I am sure it was Fred Sharp ) were at Heathrow looking for work.They were cycling around when they took a shortcut across a runway (security was virtually non-existant then ).Problem was there happened to be an aircraft coming in to land .They were arrested and charged and I believe they appeared in court .Not sure of the outcome of that.
    A word on Fred Sharp (not me by the way) he and Flossie were nearly always together in the late fifties and early 1960.Fred was a decent sort of bloke and he must have thanked his lucky stars that they were not together on the night of 25th June or even to a lesser extent on the Heathrow disturbance just afterwards.

    • Hey do any of you Hounslow lads know what became of Norman Harris’s family after the excecutions ? especially his younger brother ? I’d imagine Hounslow at that time being a lot smaller than today there’d be no hiding place for his family, also I’m a bit confused on Norman Harris as what kind of person he was, some posts on here say he was a nasty guy, yet only he showed any remorse for Alan Jee and even wrote to Jee’s parents. Nick

  111. Hi Nick

    Sorry I do not know what became of Harris’s family and I was unaware he had a younger brother.
    As I mentioned in an earlier post,Joachims coffee bar,the meeting place of lots of Hounslow teenagers,was closed down by the Police not long after the executions, and,believe it or not, there were virtually no other similar places in the area for teenagers to go. After the closure,lots of us,myself included,used to spend evenings in nearby towns such as Southall,where there were 3 dance halls with dances on a Friday Saturday and Sunday also Richmond was lively in the evenings with its ice rink and loads of coffee bars.Hounslow virtually died in the evenings in late 1960
    As a poster said earlier ” Hounslow was never the same again”

    One poignant thing that crossed my mind regarding your last paragraph. Allen Jee and Norman Harris were both 23 and both Ex National Servicemen who had both served their country in the Cyprus troubles in the late fifties.They would have both been entitled to the General Service Medal with the clasp “Cyprus” In another life perhaps they could have attended last Sunday’s Remembrance day services as men in their seventies who had been on active service as youngsters.

  112. Hi Fred

    Reading one of your earlier posts you said that Francis F. lived in Clare Road. Is this the street?

    http://maps.google.fr/maps?q=clare%20rtoad%20houslow&rls=com.microsoft:fr:IE-SearchBox&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7SKPB_fr&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=fr&tab=wl

    It looks very respectable to me but maybe it’s changed since 1960!

  113. Ian. Sorry to intrude, yes that is definately the the street Flossie lived in. I have no doubt it has changed alot, although only Fred or other posters who lived there during that time could confirm it. I wonder if anyone can recall what number in Clare Road, Flossie lived. I know it is asking alot!

  114. Hi Ian

    Spot on..Flossie’s house was number 20…..now with a sky dish and a silver estate car outside.

    Obviously the houses have been greatly updated since 1960 but the road is very much the same,a quiet middle class suburban street

  115. Robby,
    You can’t possibly intrude: you’re the one who sparked off the interest in this case. Maybe you have the addresses of the other men who were involved so we can Google their address. It’s not just a morbid thing: I never imagined that Francis Forsyth lived in a far more middle class street than I did! Times have changed and maybe in 1960 the street wasn’t gentrified but even so!

  116. Ian. Apart from Flossie who I know lived in Clare Road, I know that Norman Harris lived in Wellington Road, Terry Lutt lived in Charles Street and Chris Darby lived in Queenswood Avenue. I do not know the numbers of their houses, however, I do know that Allan Jee lived with is parents at 31 Hall Road Isleworth and that his fiancee’ Jaqueline Herbert lived in Stamford Brook.

  117. Robby,
    You wouldn’t know where the alley was where the murder took place?

  118. Hello Ian. From What I read, Allan Jee got on a trolley bus from his girlfriend’s house at Stamford Brook which arrived at Hounslow Bus Station and he then took his usual short cut to his parent’s home at 31 Hall Road via James Street to a poorly lit fooftpath that led to the footbridge over the railway line. Personally, I would not have described it as an alley because it was basically a footpath which was fenced. There was a park to his right and allotments to his left and ahead of him the path turned left to run parrallel with the railway before reaching the bridge. It was there by the bend in the footpath where Forsyth, Harris, Lutt and Darby were waiting, the street-lamp which lit the footpath at the corner was out. In another book I have the place of Allan Jees death is recorded as James Street. I don’t know whether Fred is familiar with this footpath, or if it is still there.

    • Hi Robby, that footpath was at the end of James St, and even though I’ve only been in Hounslow twice in my life I actually walked down that footpath over the railway bridge about 10 years ago, the fence had gone by then and it was all open.

  119. Hi Nick, I thought it may have changed. I have never been to Hounslow in my life but I am getting the urge to go there now.

  120. heathrow Says:

    Robby, don’t bother……It’s a shithole, the worst arguament for multiculturalism ever!

  121. Hi Guys
    A couple of points that I may be able to answer from your last few posts.

    The footpath at the end of James Street is exactly as Robby has described it in his post,or at least it was like that 5 years ago.I know it very well as ironically my parents moved into James Street in 1982 and lived there until my Mum died in 2005.

    As far as where Harris lived ,it was in Wellington Road North on the western side between Cambridge Road and Bath Road.They were some old small victorian terrace houses that I think were demolished around the seventies.

    Lutt and Darby lived on what was known locally as the “Sutton Lane estate ” A medium sized council estate built in the thirties
    consisting of semis and terrace houses.

    hope this helps

    • Following on the remarks from Heathrow and Fred, Heathrow’s right Robby, Hounslow is a poor state today as it would’nt have been like in 1960, you’d would’nt know you’re in England, I was only there working in a house in Chatsworth crescent which is the other end of the footpath over the bridge from James St, and I used it as a short cut to the other side of the railway (as Jee did back in 1960) it was only when I returned to this lady’s house where I was working that she told me it was the footpath murder scene, Hey Fred I’m sure it had to be at least 8-10 years ago when I was there, and it was’nt fenced in both sides like it was in 1960.

  122. Hello Nick

    That was a coincidence that you already knew about the murder yet you were unaware that you had taken the same shortcut which Allan Jee did, until that lady told you. I have learned a great deal about alot of things since I have been on this site and it is great talkin to people who actually were teenagers during that time.

  123. Concerning the footpath where the murder took place.Certainly in 2005 there was a chain link fence all along the left hand side from James Street to the railway bridge,it fenced off the allotments,which were then in a poor state and possibily unused. On the right there was some fencing but a largish part of the path was unfenced to give foot access to adjacent Inwood Park and to a smallish housing estate that was built alongside the railway around the late seventies, I think it was this unfenced area that may have given Nick the impression that the footpath was all open and certainly in 2005 it was open on the right hand side at the point where the attack took place although I guess that the whole lot would have been fenced in 1960 as it would have stopped anyone easily getting onto the railway line.A new fence was erected between the housing estate and the railway when that part of the footpath was opened up

  124. Hi Robby

    re your urge to visit Hounslow. It certainly ain’t the Hounslow now that I was born in and spent the first 40 years or so of my life.
    However, if you do visit ( I do not see this as anything morbid as you obviously have a very deep interest and fascination in the case,any way, there is an industry in East London for Jack the Ripper walks, so all the participants can’t be morbid )

    Places you could see are,the footpath,and a few minutes walk away is a Lebanese restaurant called the Mawal Garden.In 1960 it was a pub called the Rifleman and Chris Darby’s brother used to live just a couple of doors away and, as I posted earlier, he hold me several years later, that the four had called in to see him for a coffee on the evening of 25th June.
    A couple of miles away and within about half a mile of each other are Clare Road,Queenswood Avenue and Charles Street where Forsyth, Darby and Lutt lived (those three houses are still there as far as I know),close by also to Clare Road is Wellington Road where Harris lived.
    Joachims coffee bar was, in 1960, located at the junction of Lampton road and the Great West Road (A4) on the service road left of the traffic lights actually on the westbound carriageway about 50 yards along.I think there may be an Indian restaurant there now.

    Here endeth the History and Geography lesson.

  125. Just a bit extra on my last post.There is also Beaversfield Park not far from Clare Road where, as previously mentioned,Flossie used to play as a youngster.And also Hounslow Heath Junior School where he went is close by the park.

  126. Hello Fred

    Thank you for all the advice. I have got learned so much about the case on here which I previously did not know.

    Incidentally, on facebook I was talking to Ian McLagan on his site a while ago, he used to be with the groups, The Small Faces and The Faces featuring Rod Stewart. He was born in Hounslow in 1945 and he spent quite a few of his early years there. He now lives in Austin, Texas, USA, yet he often thinks about his roots in Hounslow. I did not mention this case, I was discussing music, he just happened to mention Hounslow himself, so I thought I would throw this in for good measure!

  127. Fred

    One more thing, I can recall, vividly when I bought my first ever 45 record, in July 1960. I was just 7 years old and I saved up my pocket money to get it. “Shaking All Over” Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, does that bring back any memories?

  128. Frank Allen, bassist for Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and, latterly, the Searchers, attended Spring Grove Central from the mid to late 50s…

  129. HI Robby

    Two very interesting points from your last two posts

    I went to Isleworth Grammar School with Ians older brother Michael. They used to live in Taunton Avenue Hounslow/

    Also an unbelieveable coincidence. When I returned from Jersey on the day before the arrests of the four, I met with my friend Mick Rouse and he told me about Flossie threatening him and a few friends at Joachims a couple of weeks earlier.He said that Flossie put “Shaking All over on the Juke box and then started looking around for someone to have a fight with
    That story probably sounds a bit far fetched but if ever Ken Thomson is ever able to get in touch with Mick Rouse I’m sure Mick would confirm it

  130. Fred. That is absolutely, amazing. Do you recall when I posted earlier and I said one of the reasons I got interested in Flossie was that, other than the fact he turned to crime, there seemed remarkable similaritites between him and myself? Well, I had no idea about him putting that song on the jukebox but that could be considered another similarity.

  131. Robby,
    Hounslow has seen the birth of several well-known musicians (see below) including Ian Gillan of Deep Purple and Dave Cousins of the Strawbs (saw him in 1969: brilliant and funny). One of the singers on this list appeared on the same bill as me when I was pretending to be a pop star in 2001! As you say, amazing! Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin who had a huge hit in 1982 with “It’s My Party” have recently released an unbelievable version of “Shakin’ All Over” (you can find it on their website.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:People_from_Hounslow

    After having a look at the photos on Google Maps from the addresses you gave, I’m not surprised that kids at that time were bored and looking for action. Francis Forsyth’s street looks relatively middle class but even so there couldn’t have been much fun around. Of course, things must have changed since then but I suspect not really for the better.

    • Pauline Hardy (nee Walton ) Says:

      I was the first girlfriend of Blackie, later known as Ritchie Blaclmore. Those were the days when we spent every evening over Cranford Park.

      • Really, Pauline? I read Ritichie Blackmore’s Biography a while back.

      • Pauline Hardy (nee Walton ) Says:

        Robbie, the author phoned me from uk to South Africa wanting info. There was mention of me in the book. We were “courting ” for 3 years and was inseparable during that time. Then we grew up !!!! Wish I’d ave kept all the photos my mother took of us together.

      • I probably read about you in the book, I just could not recall the names of his girlfriends as I read it a while back. I remember reading he had some guitar lessons from Big Jim Sullivan who lived in that area too.

  132. Hello Ian

    Yes, there were quite a few musicians from around there. I think Jimmy Page was from around that area too.

    Thank you for the link. I always loved that song, pure English Rock ‘n’ Roll.

    I think Fred mentioned that apart from the pubs and Joachims where they all hung out, there was no entertainment at all there in 1960. I was from Islington North London and my elder brother was 17 in 1960 and he used to be out every night to dance halls. I suppose Hounslow must have been a bit desolate in comparison.

  133. I suppose it is an old teenage complaint made down the years by younsters everywhere “I’m bored and have nowhere to go” . In 1960 Hounslow ,it was very true !

    • Fred. I just dug out the book I have, which shows pictures of Forsyth, Harris, Darby and Lutt when they were arrested. It also shows a photo of the footpath a couple of days after the murder. I think it was in the Hounslow Chronicle. The Headlines show they did not know what the motive was as no money was taken from Allan Jee.

      Darby had quite long hair and was bearded. Lutt looks huge. Forsyth looked like he had curly hair but they said in the book his hair was arranged in a bee bop style rolling onto his forehead so I suppose he must have had straight hair arranged like a Teddy Boy. Harris, looked like he had fair hair too but he was described as being pale faced and dark.

  134. Hi Robby
    I would be interested to read that book,could you let me know the name of it and I will try to trace a copy.
    The newspaper would have been the Middlesex Chronicle (it was renamed the Hounslow Chronicle many years later )

    Concerning descriptions of the four,sounds fairly accurate to me
    I would say that Harris had dark brown hair and Flossie had blonde wavy, rather than curly hair and it was indeed arranged rather like a teddy boy style.Terry Lutt was huge he was well over 6 feet tall and was reported to have weighed 17 stone,which sounds about right to me.Darby was bearded ,had long hair and dressed in the beatnik (hippy) style.

    I hope my posts and recollections of events of 50 years ago are helpful to you and of interest to others.It is interesting the way the memory works as I continue to recall more minute details from that period.All my posts are from memory but I suppose those events were so huge at the time that they made, never to be forgotten, everlasting impressions on me as a 17 year old

    • Hello Fred

      I just checked and you are absolutely right, it was the Middlesex Chronicle.

      The Book which I am referring to is called “More Murders Of The Black Museum” This is the second of two in the series. The first one was just titled “Murders From The Black Museum.” Both books are By Gordon Honeycomb.

      Both books feature alot of murder cases, however, it is the second issue “More Murders From The Black Museum” which features the Forsyth and Harris case.

      Now there were two editions of this book. A hardback and a paperback. The reason I mention this is because it is only the Hardback which has photographs. I believe both books are now out of print, however, I am sure you can still order second hand copies from online bookstore cheaply and in very good condition.

      Apparantly the Black Museum is situated at Scotland Yard and exhibits items connected with crimes, like murder weapons. I believe they have the actual pointed toe shoes which Forsyth was wearing when he kicked Jee to death. The museum was not open to the public at the time the books were published.

      If you are able to get the Hardback copy, along with the photos of Forsyth, Harris, Darby and Lutt and the headlines of the Middlesex Chronicle regarding the murder, there is also a small photograph of the shoes Forsyth was wearing on the night of the murder.

      The Pathologist who carried out the post-mortem on Allan Jee said he thought the main injuries to the head had been caused by ‘five’ kicks, delivered with ‘considerable force.’

      The Director of the Metropolitan Police Laboratory found blood-stains on the right sleeve of a jacket belonging to Lutt and on the sleeve of Forsyth’s jacket. There were also spots of blood on the turn-up of the right leg of Forsyh’s jeans as well as traces of blood on the welt and on the instep of his right shoe.

  135. ps: Your posts have been thoroughly interesting and helpful Fred.

  136. One more thing, Fred. I just checked on Amazon and that book is available on there used in hardback. There are several suppliers. Here is the link. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0091778573/ref=dp_olp_used_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=used

    • Robby, your memory from 50 yrs ago is amazing, that Johnny Kidd record “Shaking all over” was to my memory a big hit at the fairgrounds we used to hang out at during that summer, but I prefered his record from a year earlier in 1959, “Please dont touch” my god that was a dance hall floor filler at the time, and like Fred says it’s funny when you start thinking back to your teens all kind of memories come flooding back, ones you’d forgotten, I can tell you more about my earlier teens from 1955-59 than when I was 19 in 1960 and onwards, that of course is mainly because of our tragic events in our family, but living in West London then, as I have all my life we were’nt bored from having nowhere to go, we just did’nt have too much money to spend, especially during the week, so we hanged around the streets causing trouble, just like Flossie’s mob, but from the description (never seen a photo of them) Flossie sounds like he was a ted, but not the others, is this true Fred or anyone ? I still cant get my head round Harris hanging around with teenagers, in our gang we were all so narrow minded and hated anyone who did’nt fit in with us, if they were’nt teds they were square, but then we fought with other teds at fairgrounds, dance halls, pubs. Let me say now I’m not proud of all this, I mean we were kids, nothing’s changed on that over the years, I’m just saying how it was, there were good times but there was always trouble round the corner, I can remember seeing Billy Fury (before he was famous) sing at a British legion club in Hammersmith, and some poor sod got thrown through a window. Just finishing up back in Hounslow, I’m glad this Flossie did’nt get up to Hammersmith back then, I should’nt have liked to have met him, we were rowdy fair enough, but he sounds like very nasty. (Robby I think you should visit Hounslow,I dont see with your interest and knowledge in this case how you cannot)

      • Hello Nick

        Certain things stick out in my memory and that was the first record I ever bought, however, I did love, “Please Don’t Touch” as well. I liked the guitar riff in that, Mick Green, if I am not mistaken.

        Remember, I said there were alot of similarities between Forsyth and myself? Well how much of a coincidence is that, when Fred says that he was playing, “Shaking All Over” on the Jukebox just before he tried to start a fight with Mick Rouse, previous to his arrest. I had no idea of that unitil Fred posted it.

        Forsyth was definately a Ted and I think Harris was too, his hairstyle indicates that. I think Lutt was too. Darby however was definately a beatnik, longer hair and beard, liking traditional Jazz, he would not have looked out of place as a hippie at Woodstock. How he fitted in with the other three, I am not sure. As for Harris, mixing with teenagers, I am not sure about that either but the thing which really amazes me as I mentioned in a previous post was him having Norma Mackie as his girlfirend who was only 16 at the time. I know as seven years is not a big difference in age as you get older but it is a huge difference between the ages of 16 and 23 and even more so in 1960, of that I am certain.

        I liked Billy Fury too. We did not have much in the way of Rock’n’Roll in England. The first real Britisih Rock’N’Roll song I ever heard was “Move It” Cliff Richards and the Shadows. It took me a while to master Hank Marvin’s opening riff. Later Cliff went over to more Gospel music but alot of people forget that when he first started, he was pure Rock’n’Roll.

        Actually, I feel drawn to Hounslow even more now Nick. I must visit at least once I think. My elder brother who was 17 in 1960 used to go out every night and I think he spent most of his time in West London, he was a good dancer and he went anywhere where he could have a good time. I remember one night he did not return home and I mother was in hysterics. She convinced herself that he had been beaten up somewhere. When he turned up the following morning laughing, she was at first relieved then she hit him! The reason I mention this is because when, in later years I read about the Forsyth case. I could empathise with how Allan Jee’s mother felt because he never returned home and the shock of his death made her ill.

  137. Just had a look on White Pages and there’s a Christopher L Darby listed but you have to pay to get his details. There’s also a C. Darby listed in Richmond but I would thought it would be a bit posh then again I don’t kow London all that well. The Middlesex/Hounslow Chronicle you have to subscribe to but I’m not sure if it’s free or not.

  138. Hello Ian.

    Quite a few comments are coming on this site now.

    Chris Darby was actually 20 years old in 1960. Several papers said he was 23 but in the book I read it said he was 20 and I think Fred confirmed it. His full name was Christopher Louis Darby, I don’t know if that narrows it down a little.

    I could imagine that Darby probably led a useful life when he was released as I neve saw him as a persistent offender like Forsyth or Harris.

    My interest in this case has definately gained a new momentum having communication on here with people on here who were teenagers at that time and like Fred actually knew those involved.

  139. Re Chris Darby…. I was talking to my sister yesterday, she was 12 at the time of the murders and is one of the very few people that I now know who can remember the events of those times.
    Were discussing the subject and she told me that in the early eighties when her son started senior school at aged 11 there was a girl in his class with the surname Darby.She thought nothing of it until another parent happened to mention that the girls father had been in prison for murder,My Sister put two and two together….so maybe Darby did settle down and have a family…….Shame Allen Jee never had that opportunity.

    • Hi Robby, If Chris Darby is still around I bet he’s very withdrawn from the public eye regarding going over this case again, only reason Chris Craig came out of hiding was to support the campaign to get Bently a reprieve, not that it did Bently any good 42 years late,yeah Robby I certainly agree with you about Harris dating a 16 year old, I was 23 in 1964 and certainly would’nt have thought of it, in those days 16yr old girls certainly were’nt as advanced as they are today, besides I met my wife when I was 21, and started to settle down. Cliff Richard ? I can never make up my mind on him, we all went to see him in a film called Serious Charge in 1958/59 cant remember which year and he’s so soft even trying to be tough, he never fitted rock’n’roll to me, but I did buy “Move it” I hated “Travelling Light” and “Living Doll” but I love a B side called “Dynamite” I prefer Billy Fury, Dickie Pride, Johnny Kidd, Terry Dene, and early Adam Faith, he lived not far from us in those days, and I first saw him at the 2 i’s coffee bar in Soho before he did all that “pop” stuff my fave girl rocker was Janice Peters, anyone remember her ? Robby, just google “This little girl’s gone-a-rockin'” I was crazy about her, I’ve enjoyed looking back on this site talking about the Hounslow case and teds and coffee bars and rock’n’roll.

  140. HI Nick

    there is a Hounslow connection to your last post.

    Shadows drummer Jet Harris dated and later married a Hounslow girl,Carol Costa,in the late fifties.It is also well documented that she also dated Cliff Richard and was the only girl that he has ever slept with (Google Carol Costa and all is explained )

  141. Just a little bit more on Hounslow and rock’n’roll

    As I have posted previously Hounslow was a dead hole for teenagers in the late fifties and early sixties.
    There were some great venues in other local towns.Scores of us Hounslow youngsters,including Flossie on many occasions if I remember correctly, used to get the 120 bus to Southall on Sunday Evenings and join hundreds of others from miles around for the great dances held at the large Southall Community Centre. Used to be loads of live bands, some quite famous.Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps and Emile Ford and the Checkmates to name but a couple.
    We also sometimes used to catch the 657 trolleybus to the Kew Boathouse and I can remember seeing Johnny Kidd and the Pirates there in early 1961.

    • Pauline Hardy (nee Walton ) Says:

      We didn’t have much happening in Hounslow, except dancing at Hounslow Baths. I used to get the 111 bus from Cranford to go to Joachims every night, it was the place to be. I remember the boys involved, I knew Kevin Cullinan well, Norma Mackay and many others. Every week we used to get 657 trolley bus to Kew and dance at the boathouse. Also 120 bus to Southall dancing at the Southall Community Cente which was ran by Mecca Dance Halls. White Hart Southall was another dance place. Joachims was not a pub, just a coffee bar usually full of smoke, packed to the rafters but a great place for atmosphere. The murder did leave the whole of Hounslow feeling very eery. Same as the Brenda nash disappearance. She lived in Bleriot Rd just off my home Brabazon Rd. She was missing for months and months. Interesting reading. Pauline from South Africa

  142. Yet another interlinked story to previous posts.
    One Sunday evening during the winter of 1959/60 I was waiting at the 120 bus stop in Southall for a bus back to Hounslow after a dance at Southall Community Centre, It was very foggy and getting thicker by the minute ,after a while it was apparent that there would be no more buses that night, so in the company of a couple of girls I knew ,we decided to walk the four miles back. After a short while a car pulled up and the two guys in it ,who were known to us, offered us a lift, which we accepted It was a horrendous journey back and took a couple of hours as the visibility was virtually nil,At one stage we ended up on the cycle track on the Great West Road !But we made it safely.
    One of the guys in the car, was Dennis Shaw, who was later involved with Flossie in the Heathrow Police incident and one of the girls who was with me was the sister of Chris Darby’s elder brothers wife.

  143. Fred. sorry to correct you but Jet Harris was the Shadows, Bass Guitarist, not their Drummer. Their Drummer was Tony Mehan at the time but you are right about his wife Carol Costa being the only girl Cliff Richard ever slept with. Nick. I am with you on Cliff Richard, I could never really get into him only his really early songs. I could not even get into the Shadows as I did not like the steps they did on stage when they were playing. I was more into the Beatles and later the Rolling Stones. I still like the American Rock’n’Roll of the late fifties and early sixties, in fact I recently purchased a cd with the first two albums of Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps.

  144. Fred. I meant to ask you. Did you ever have any problems with Flossie? I know you said he threatened Mick Rouse who also lived in Clare Road, so I was wonderinf if he ever got aggressive with you around that time.

  145. Ken Thomson Says:

    Bill Haley and the Comets were big in the mid-to-late fifties. Fats Domino, too. But Elvis knocked them out of the park.

    We had B&W TV in the fifties, but radio was big, too. Hancock’s Half Hour was great. We all knew the catch phrases, especially those of Kenneth Williams.

    We lusted after Sabrina on TV and Bridget Bardot in the movies. Few people had cars. And you could your bicycle on the street without fear of getting run over.

  146. Ken. I have everything Elvis did and coincidentally, I just ordered a box set of Fats Domino. Only the Beatles and Elvis sold more records than Fats around the sixties.

    I can still remcall some of the programmes I watched in that era. Hancock’s Half Hour was a classic. I used to like alot of the Westerns at that time too, like, Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Bronco Lane, Laramie etc. Although one of my favourites was Robin Hood with Richard Greene on a Sunday.

  147. Thinking it over, these guys hanged/imprisoned themselves: why didn’t Forsyth chuck his bloodstained shoes and jeans in the river? Why did they admit to going through their victim’s pockets (making it a Capital offence) rather than just saying they beat him up for fun (non-capital as far as I can see?) Why didn’t Lutt say “I wasn’t there: dunno what you’re talking about. Their <ord against mine?" Why did Harris confess to going through the victim's pockets (if he did or did someone say he did in which case why didn't he deny it or say he wasn't there? And lastly, how did Darby get away with Life? There seems to be no question of his turning Queen's Evidence and the others could have said that he went through the victim's pockets too or punched him or whatever. This would have spread the guilt around and maybe reduced their chances of hanging. (Three hangings on the same day in London prisons would have been difficult logistically!) They seem to have been a pretty incompetent bunch, even an almost innocent bunch in that they all confessed to a crime that surely they knew would be a capital offence. Anyway, Robby, I'm sure you have the answers to at least some of these questions! I'd like to know exactly what they said in court (if anything.)

  148. Ian. Well after the four of them were taken in for questioning they were all inteviewed separatedly by a team of detectives.

    Harris seemed to be the only one who realised during the questioning that they could get the death penalty, he admitted he was out of work and skint so he wanted to rob a house but one of them (Lutt) suggested ‘rolling someone’. Forsyth did not think he would get more than 5 years. Darby, told the Police that was only look out and he did not intend any harm to come to anyone. According to the book I read, he also told them that it was Flossie who put the boot in, wheras Harris would not give out on his mates. I don’t know if that had anything to do with his charge being changed from ‘Capital Murder’ to ‘Simple Murder’

    The four must have been briefed by their QC’s about Murder in the Furthence of Theft being a Capital Offence because at the trial all four denied this. They said they were larking about and then Lutt, in his drunken state had punched Jee and Forsyth said that Jee was shouting and he then kicked him in the head to keep him quiet. When the prosecution inferred that they had planned to rob someone, they denied this.

    Even after they were found guilty and sentenced, Forsyth and Harris QC’s save them from the rope on a technicality. They tried to argue that Forsyth had kicked Jee, AFTER, Harris had rifled his pockets and therefore it was not murder in the furthence of theft but this was thrown out of court.

    When the appeal was turned down, the appeal judge stated that the sentence was the correct one although in the case of one individual (Darby) it may have been too lenient.

    I think the reason it was thought that Darby was fortunate was that Harris had also struck no blow and Darby knew that violence was about to take place in the course of furthence of theft.

  149. Hi Robby

    re Jet Harris..Of course you are correct, he was the bassist.It was a typo on my part.
    I actually saw him play live at Greenford odeon as part of a “pop” show in very early 1964.I think he had split with Tony Meehan then.
    Headlining that show were Mike Sarne and John Leyton.
    Virtually at the bottom of the bill was a little known group who played dressed in suits and collar and ties…..their name……The Rolling Stones

  150. Hello Fred

    After replying to your post last night, I actually started thinking about John Leyton. I was with my elder brother and parents on holiday in Laysdown, Isle Of Shepy, in the summer of 1961 and I remember that song, “Johnny Remember Me” being played constantly on the radio. I loved the song, it ws so haunting.

    My Mother actually took me to see the Beatles Christmas Show at Finsbury Park Astoria in 1963 as she knew I was a big fan. On the bill with them were Mike Sarne, Tommy Quickley, The Fourmost, The Baron Knights and a barely 20 year old Cilla Black. One of the songs the Beatles did was, “I Wanna Be Your Man” which they had recently given to The Rolling Stones for a follow up to their first single which was a version of Chuck Berry’s “Come On.”

    Just to reiterate on my last question to you, Fred. Were you ever on the receiving end of any of Flossie’s angry mood swings?

  151. Hi Robby
    you asked in an earlier post if I personally was ever threatened by Forsyth. The answer is no,I never was.
    I am now summarising lots of my previous posts and I apologise for repeating some things.
    I would never ever say that I was a mate or even a friend of Forsyth,I had known him since childhood through Junior School, playing sports and latterly through work and social occasions plus of course I lived close by to him.
    He was always a loudmouth as a child and was often looking for trouble as a teenager mainly when he had had a few drinks or when he was part of a group. so basically I kept out of his way.
    The most poignant thing I remember about him was the way he confided in me after we had lost our jobs.his exact words were “the old girl’s gonna go mad when she finds out I’ve lost another job” He was refering to his Mother,and he was genuinely worried. A far cry from the hard man image he projected…..I told him that a few of us were going to try our luck working in Jersey as at least it would be a good way to have a summer holiday.He told me that he may think about doing that later in the summer.
    This was the first week in June 1960.Three of us went off to Jersey a couple of days later,Flossie commited murder less than three weeks later.

    • There’s an interesting debate currently going on about degrees of murder which can be tied in with the Forsyth-Harris case. Pro death penalty supporters rightly state that one of the “conditions” of abolition was the introduction of a mandatory life sentence. Now, however, there are strong moves to end that.
      Personally, I’m in agreement. At the moment, a battered wife who stabs her drunken husband as he attacks her runs the risk of receiving exactly the same penalty as a serial killer like Fred West – that surely cannot be right.
      What happened to Allan Jee was totally horrific so please don’t think I’m minimising this cowardly and grotesque crime, but it has always seemed ironic to me that Forsyth and Harris paid the ultimate penalty for what was essentially a mugging that went wrong, while Brady and Hindley – whose crimes were among the most shocking in Britain – escaped the noose just a few years later.
      If anything, the importance of the Forsyth-Harris case is because it highlighted the follies of the deeply unsatisfactory Murder In The Furtherence Of Theft Act whereby an assailant could, say, murder a woman and get life, but if he also stole a few coins from her handbag he would get the rope. By 1960 the tide of public opinion had well and truly turned against the death penalty and the Forsyth-Harris case – in which one of the executed men never even struck a blow – probably contributed it its demise.

    • peter cade Says:

      hello fred peter cade here i happened across this website by typing in flossie forsyth out of curiosity how about jersey stopping at mrs degruchys house no water having to wash in the courtyard i first met flossie in 1956 in the supreme cafe in the hanworth road we appered at brentford juvenile court for stealing a motorbike i got 3 years probation flossie got remand home at redhill i think i got into quite a lot of trouble with all that mob so when i came back from jersey i had to report to hounslow police station to explain my wereabouts i belive on the night of the murder they were trying to break into a scrap metal yard near inwood park they could not get in so they did what they did capital punishment in those days meant you where executed and so they were quite rightly although i was friends with flossie for quite a while he could turn on you at any time but when i was round his house he was as good as gold he had a quite a lot older brother so being a lot younger i think he was spoilt its funny seeing all the old names from those days dave rodham janet potter known as pansy pete busby i believe chris darby still lives in harlington allthough the last time i saw him about 8 or 9 years ago he did not look to good i lived in harlington myself and my daughter whet to school with his daughter and they played in the netball team together i could go on and on about those days so long ago but so clear in my memory.

      • Ive facebooked you Pete so maybe we can share those memories

      • Hello Pete,Dave Rodham here nice to see you on this site
        tell me Pete whatever happened to Jimmy Swan and Bob Fielding? Ju remember when Bob stuck his foot through that coffee bar window after that he had a nasty car crash and i lost touch after that

  152. Hi Mick
    Just to pick up on your post.
    In Hounslow in October 1960 as Forsyth and the other three awaited their fate in prison. Just about two miles away from that murder scene, a 12 year old girl Brenda Nash was abducted from a street (on her way home from Girl Guides if I remember correctly) assaulted and strangled to death.The killer was a 44 year old man Albert Arthur Jones who was not caught immediately ,but I believe some time later, when he addmitted it to another prisoner whilst in custody for another child sex offence.
    There was strong feeling around Hounslow when he was only sentenced to Life imprisonment for what many considered to be an even more horrific offence than Forsyth had been hung for.

    • Regarding a few points from Mick, Fred, and Robby, from my viewpoint of friends, family and work mates at the time of capitol punishment in or after 1960, I cant say I noticed too many people against it, and in fact heavily supported it, I only came across the anti-hanging brigade in the papers, My dear old mum was always against it, but my dad supported it, I too was suprised Darby’s involvement was’nt also a capitol offence, because I thought the law said if one or more persons are involved in a crime and someone dies, they are all guilty because they are acting as one, I remember back on Ronnie’s case, his friend Mike Bloom who was with him the night PC Summers was killed, well Mike was very scared they might come for him too because he was involved in the fight with Ronnie, he told his dad “christ this could be Craig and Bentley all over again” Anyway moving on to more pleasant things, glad to hear of other Gene Vincent fans out there, hey Fred that night you saw Gene Vincent was it the early 1960 tour he did with Eddie Cochrane ? I saw them along with Marty Wilde but I cant remember where, and regarding Jet Harris, I like this guy, I did see the Shadows in 1961, but I’ve seen Jet Harris with his own band many times over the years and as recently as 10 years ago, he’s always friendly, and he’ll chat to you after the gig, a decent bloke, Robby I’ve seen Mike Sarne and John Leyton, it might suprise you that I quite like Mike Sarne, I’ve got most his films on dvd, my fave being “A Place To Go” early 60’s film, hey Robby talking of early 60’s films have you seen either “The Boys” 1962 or “Wind of Change” 1961 ? very good films based on teds/ crime/ with a capitol punishment ending.

    • Pauline Hardy (nee Walton ) Says:

      The poor girl lived a stone’s throw from my house. She had an older sister, Carol. It was devastating for her familybecause she was missing for so long. Police checked all our homes, garden sheds, etc. She was picked up on the Cranford Lane and her body was eventually found at Yateley. None of us local girls were allowed to go anywhere during that period. She was missing for months and months.

  153. Fred. Although only 7 years old at the time, I remember the Brenda Nash case very well. It wa on the news all the time and it made parents and teachers at the school I was at emphasise the importance of no talking to strangers.

    Mick. I would hardly say the Forsyth/Harris case was a ‘mugging which went wrong.’ Perhaps it was from Harris point of view as he only wanted money, perhaps it would have been if Jee would have fallen after being struck by Jee and hit his head and die but when Forsyth kicked him repeatedly (five times according to the coroner) with considerable force in the head with winkle picker shoes, then that in my opinion is a vicious killing. There is not doubt any normal sane person would know that such an act would cause serious injury or death and the fact that Forsyth bragged about it afterwards and continued to cause problems and threaten violence in the the short time between the murder and the arrest, sums him up to me. Who knows how many other innocent people were saved from the same fate if he had escaped the death penalty. If I had any doubts before about whether he should have hanged, reading the posts of people who knew him on here has totally dispelled him. I think he would have been more likely to have made a career of crime.

    Nick. I love Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps. I just puchased thier first two albums on cd. from 1956, and they are way ahead of their time. I love Cliff Gallup’s guitar playing too. I also just purchased a box set of Ricky Nelson’s hits from 1957 -59, mainly son I could hear James Burton playing guitar. The songs are great though.

  154. Nick. I did see the film, “The Boys” not sure if I saw “Wind Of Change” I often wonder if the film “The Boys” was inspired by the Forsyth/Harris case bearing in mind that it was made two years after.

    • Robby, yeah I’ve often wondered if “The Boys” is based (lightly) on The Hounslow case, ok Dudly Sutton kills an old night watchman for money on that part it’s not at all the same as Flossie and Harris, but at the summing up before the death sentance is read out, Sutton’s brief says if he killed for fun, he goes to prison, but as he stole money, the law says we must kill him, that takes it back to Harris going through Jee’s pockets. A powerful film and dates well, “Wind of Change” stars Johnny Briggs as a very hard natured racist, who hates black people, and after an argument in a coffee bar Briggs and his gang beat to death a black guy the following night, the twist is, this black guy happens to be dating Briggs’s sister, again very powerful film, good cast of well known actors of the time, however there’s a strong racist theme full of anti-black insults in this film, so not to be watched if it offends. Cliff Gallup, he was so cool, Robby you impress me each time with your knowledge of my time, shame you were’nt 10 years older eh ?

  155. Hello Nick

    I realise now I have seen the ‘The Wind Of Change’ in fact I often think of that film with Johnny Briggs and I could not recall what it was called so thank you for reminding me. He and his gang scar his sister too, don’t they.

    Thank you for that compliment Nick, to impress someone from the era I admire most is a true honour. I was born in 1953 but my elder brother was born in 1943 and he took up guitar and harmonica and inspired me. He was a huge Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly fan and needless to say that when the Rolling Stones did covers of their songs, he thought they ruined them!

    By the way, Nick. I hope I have not given the impression I am pro-Captial punishment for the sake of it. I am not a cruel person, it is just that in some cases I believe it is just. When I read the Ronald Marwood case, I never believed he should have been hanged and I am not saying that because you are related to him, it is because there was an element of doubt and I believe if you are going to find a man guilty of murder, whether Capital Punishment is current or abolished, then it has to be beyond reasonable doubt and in your cousin’s case, there was reasonable doubt and I am positive if the victim had been anyone other than a Policeman then the outcome may have been different.

    In the case of Forsyth and Harris. I really have no sympathy whatsoever. I thought it was a cowardly murder and what made it all the more cowardly in my opinion was that Allan Jee was not the first person to walk down that footpath whilst they were waiting to roll someone on the night of 25 June 1960. The first person to pass was a man named Francis Power who was a big powerfully built man. He later testified that he saw the four dark figures and heard something like a warning as he passed. They said later that they did not attack him becauase of his size and waited for a more likely victim and that person was Allan Jee. Now, Nick there were four of them. Forsyth who saw himself as a hard nut who was always threatening people, Harris who according to Fred, was about 6ft and had a muscular build and was a persistent offender and Lutt, who supposedly liked a fight when he’d had a few ‘shants’ stood at least 6’2″ and weighed 17 stone as well as Darby who Fred said was around 5’10”, not exactly four lightweights, yet they did not attack the first person to pass because of his size? Seriously, what does that say about them?

  156. Hello Robby,

    I must say I feel a certain sympathy with Harris who may have been, no, let’s be honest, who was a lout but I don’t think he realised what Forsyth was going to do in the alley that night. If Forsyth had said, “Hey! guys! Let’s roll someone and kick his head in!” I’m not sure the others would have gone along with him. Imagine the scene: Jee walks past, Lutt punches him in the face, Harris starts going through his pockets and all of a sudden Forsyth starts kicking him in the head. Could Harris have known what was going to happen? He knew Forsyth (or did he? How well?) but could he have imagined Forsyth would have used such violence? And what about Darby who got off with Life? He must have known Forsyth pretty well (or did he? Were these guys close friends or was it a one-off job?) I think the only person who can really answer these questions is Christpher L. Darby if he’s still with us. Even then, he may not have known what was going to happen.

  157. Actually, I agree with you about Harris, Ian. He was short of money and that was all he was thinking about and he would have preferred to have robbed a house as he felt there was more in it. It was Lutt’s idea to roll someone, I think he and particularly Forsyth were just more interested in the violent side of it. Actually, I doubt whether, Harris, Lutt or Darby had any idea that Forsyth was going to put the boot in the way he did. I would have been interested to know what Harris had previousl convictions for, whether it was just for robbery or also for violence.

    • Hi Robby, First regarding Ronnie, I believe you in all you say, there was and 52 years later still doubt who stabbed PC Summers, I told you myself in an earlier post none of his family know the truth, even his mum said “I’m sure he could’nt have done such a thing” which is different to “he did’nt do it” but as I said and this is a fact, the police statement was false, so on those grounds he should’nt have hanged, agreed ? if you want to look at a prime example at the police version on this, there is a site with an roll of honour page to policemen who died in the line of duty, and of the week December 1958 you can read plus see a photo of PC Summers, obviously the words on Summers are respectfull and quite right too, but there’s a lot of lies about him being in uniform the night he died, all the witnesses including two young girls who comforted the dying Summers at the scene said they had no idea he was a copper, Bloomer (Mike Bloom, Ronnie’s friend) said he did’nt see any uniformed coppers that night, anyway I think you’ll find that site is still on the net somewhere, probably if you look up Ronald Marwood you’ll find it, point is the whole case is full of holes and you are right you should’nt hang a man when there is doubt, but like I said before, when a copper dies, they always get someone for it, did you know Ronnie’s brief even tried to bring up at the appeal that as Summers was out of uniform it could’nt be judged as murder of a policeman, which of course was a capitol offence, but the appeal judges said it did’nt matter as a policeman is never off duty when he is excercising his power of law. Regarding Flossie and Harris again you are right, from all the comments I’ve read on this site from people who knew him, this Flossie had to go, 18 or not, he was without doubt a nasty person who without any remorse took an innocent man’s life, and could quite easily if he had lived had done the same sort of crime again, Harris was unlucky, ok he did’nt strike the blow, but he should’ve known better, he was involved in the robbery wether he took money or not, if he had stayed with friends his own age maybe he’d still be alive today, but again he was a thug who got involved with capitol murder, so he had to go, I still think Darby was lucky just to get life. So no Robby I dont see you as at all a “hang em all” type of person, I do think that in Flossie’s case, he knew the death penalty was still part of law back in June 1960 but it certainly did’nt deter him from capitol murder did it ? Your brother is right, a lot of the 1960’s pop groups ruined some 1950’s rock’n’roll stars original records, yeah I think you would have liked certain parts of teenage 1950’s life, but other parts you would have hated, but that’s another story, such as call up for national service, but I was lucky, I was serving my apprentice for electrician for the L.C.C and by the time I’d finished it in 1962 National service had ended.

  158. Hello Nick

    I agree with you. In my opinion if any case is a prime example for the abolishing Capital Punishment it is definately the Ronald Marwood case, more so than the Bentley case in my opinion because Bentley and Craig were out to commit a crime whereas Ronnie and his friend Mike were just out celebrating his wedding anniversary and got caught up in a gang fight. The fact that the Policeman was in plain clothes only emphasises the fac that without a uniform, no one is obliged to recognise he has any authority but the main issue to me is the fact that Ronnie did not recall what had happened and denied making the statement confessing. After all he chose to return to the Police Station of his own free will, he must have known that the murder of a policeman carred the death sentence, therefore if he had confessed, why then plead not guilty in court? The case was decided on whether or not the Jury believed him or the Police and they obviously chose to believe the Police, yet a man’s life should never hang in the balance in that way. Nowadays, I am certain with the element of doubt the Judge would have thrown it out of court and I seriously wonder if he would have then, had the victim been an ordinary citizen and not a policeman.

    Now the Forsyth case was totally different. Perhaps Harris was unfortunate, however, when you said, perhaps he should have stayed home that night, the fact is Nick, after the drinking binge it was Harris who had the idea to commit a crime because he was out of work and skint, okay, so he did not want to roll anyone, he wanted to do a house or a store as there was more in it but the whole idea was to get money for himself. His friends agreed to help him and Lutt suggested rolling someone. Lutt was an unemployed Labourer but Forsyth was employed as a Road Worker. The fact that Lutt suggested rolling someone even though it was not he who was supposedly short of cash and Forsyth joined in and did the kicking tells me that whereas Harris was in it for the money, the other two especially Forsyth were in it for the pure pleasure of using violence against someone and from what I have read from those who knew Forsyth on this page, violence was in his nature.

    I will check up on that site you told me about which you say refers to PC Summers, if I can find it. That sounds quite interesting.

  159. Hi Robby
    regarding your last post regarding the motives behind the Hounslow murder.

    I can tell you that work was plentiful in the area in 1960 indeed,lots of us youngsters used to move around from building and roadwork jobs with great frequency as ,if we got fed up with one,there was always another we could start virtually straight away and they were relatively well paid too.Plus nearby Heathrow Airport was undergoing massive expansion so there were lots of jobs there as well.
    Dole money was paltry then so working was a much better option,
    Whilst robbery was the motive it was,I would say,a way for them to get easy money rather than through desperation.

  160. Robby, the site for PC Summers is called “Lest we forget-police review 2008. I’d be interested in your views on it as like I said half of it is a pack of lies. Also I’d be interested to hear if you think Darby should have also been found guilty of capitol murder, as he was acting in the group that were comitting the crime, just as Bentley had with Craig.

  161. Fred. I understand what you say. In those days things were not like they are today. By the way, I know Harris had been out of prison and had previous convictions, do you know if any of them were for violence?

  162. Nick. Thank you. I will check up on that site. You know, this will probably seem strange but I feel I have built up a kind of rapport on here with some of the posters on here like you Fred and Ian.

  163. Hi Robby

    I don’t know what Harris’s previous convictions were for,in fact I didn’t know he had been prison before I read it on this site,what I do know though is that I remember him as being an unpleasant character who you would not wish to get on the wrong side of.Then again, he was quite a bit older than most of the teenagers that he used to hang around with.

  164. I knew he had been in prison and he was the first person interviewed by Superintendent Hixon because he was a known offender. What gets me about these four though Fred, is that you said Harris was about 6 foot tall with a muscular build. I read that Lutt was the tallest and biggest and weighed 17 stone therefore I would have thought he must have been around 6’2″. Forsyth himself did not look small, I think you said he was around 5’9″ and he was always starting fights with people so obviously saw himself as a tough guy and Darby was around 5’10”. Yet that night of 25 June 1960, before Allan Jee took the short cut on that pathway, a man named Francis Power who was a powerfully built man passed them yet they did not attack him because of his size, even though there were four of them two of whom were 6 foot and over. That says alot about them to me.

  165. Steve Roe Says:

    I am not from Hounslow, or Isleworth or anywhere in West London, but I do know about the Forsyth case
    The reason is clear – it was the first murder case and execution I ever read about. It’s true. I was nine years old at the time and one day, while waiting my turn in a local barber’s I picked up a magazine to read and pass the time. It had an article about the murder and had printed part of Forsyth’s last letter to his parents. I can still recall some of the words. He said: “I’m so sorry. Not for myself, but for you and all the hurt I have caused you”
    That’s all I recall, but I remembered the date of November 10, which is why I googled his name on the 50th anniversary and came across this site.
    I actually come from South London, and know a great deal more about two murders committed there. The first, perhaps obviously, concerns Craig and Bentley. In this I have some personal interest, because in the 1930’s, when he was a boy, my dad lived in the same street (in Southwark) as the Bentley family – only a few doors and about 50 yards away. He particuarly remembered the parents.
    I first became really aware of the case when I read “To Encourage The Others”, the first in depth book written on it. I must admit I seethed at the injustice of it, and there was no doubt then, neither is there now, that Bentley was stitched up. A policeman had died and someone had to pay for it.
    Many years later I got in touch with Iris Bentley, his sister, and we spoke reguarly on the phone. On January 28th 1993 – the 40th anniversary of Bentley’s judicial murder – I stood with Iris outside Wandsworth Prison in remembrance. Of course, she died a few years later and did not live to see her brother fully pardoned in 1998.
    The second case is less well known. When I first read book on Bentley in my local library I was also reading another one titled “The Plough Boy”. This was about a murder that had taken place on Clapham Common five months or so after Bentley’s death.
    It was not until about six years ago that I decided to buy “The Plough Boy” (i had forgotten about it until then) on E-Bay. Anyway, the gist of it was that on the night of July 2nd 1953 a youth called John Beckley was on Clapham Common with three friends. They were from South London, but not Clapham and were therefore unknown to all the Clapham bpys who congregated on the common that and every night throughout the summer.
    Predictably, perhaps, because they were outsiders there was an altercation, and the Beckley gang were attacked by a group of “Plough Boys” (so called because the local pub at which they would hang out was The Plough near Clapham Common underground station).
    In due course Beckley, who was 17, died from stab wounds recieved in the fight.
    Six Plough Boys were originally charged with the murder, but the prosecution at the Old Bailey said they were not proceeding against five of them and they faced only an affray charge.
    That left one. He was Michael Davies, aged 20. The book tells, through the trial transcript, of how he came to be found guilty and was sentenced to death.
    Davies spent more than three months in the same condemned cell at Wandsworth that Bentley and Forsyth had occupied, before being reprieved eight days before the hanging was due.
    The book was written in about 1965 and tells of his efforts up till then (He was released from his life sentence in 1960) to clear his name. I assume he never succeeded in this, or I would certainly have read about. I did think of trying to see him a few years ago but never got round to it. He would be 78 now, but of course may no longer be alive.
    I strongly recommend you try and get a copy of this brillaintly written book. The author was Tony Parker, and though probably out of print it will almost certainly be on E-bay, Amazon and so on.
    One final matter of interest. The prosecution counsel at the trial of Bentley (as well as Timothy Evans and Ruth Ellis) was Mr Christmas Humphreys. And guess who prosecuted Davies?. That’s right … Mr Christmas Humphreys.
    Obviously, he got guilty verdicts in all four cases, but Tony Parker for one viewed him with contempt and says in relation to the Davies trial: “He moved from facts to opinions and back again in rapid succession throughout, and it is difficult to escape the conclusion, so vehemently did he pile on his scorn, that he was at times personally carried away”

  166. None of them were small but they were after an “easy Roll” and it would appear that Francis Power would have not made it easy for them

  167. Found this interesting but very long article with pictures. The author quotes Tony Parker saying that Teds were not interested in crime in the sense of financial gain but in violence for kicks, thus the attack on Jee was probably a mixture of both i.e. Harris wanting some cash and Forsyth and Lutt wanting some action. What Darby wanted I don’t know.

    http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/uploads/docs/Horn%20chapter%205.pdf

  168. Er, slight mistake: the author was quoting George Melly (page 127) not Tony Parker.

  169. Hello Steve

    That was an interesting post. Incidentally, I had heard about that book ‘The Plough Boy’ you mentioned. It was quoted in another book I read.

    I agree with you 100% when you say, if a policeman was murdered someone had to hang. Although death by shooting was a Capital offence, I am pretty sure that if anyone but a policeman would have been killed in the Craig/Bentley case, Bentley would never have been hanged. I also believe in the case of Ronald Marwood, if it had not been a policeman who had been stabbed to death, I think there was a good chance that Marwood would have been found not guilty and walked free. There just did not seem enough clear cut evidence to convict him in my opinion, being as one is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. There were too many doubts in the Ronald Marwood case for my liking. Before deciding someone has to die if a policeman is murdered they should make absolutely sure that they have the person responsible.

    I still believe that Capital Punishment was a just punishment for certain crimes including the one Forsyth commited, however, I only believe someone should be convicted if found guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

  170. johnny quirk Says:

    i heard so much about flossie off my pal harry roberts as harry was in borstal with him,he recalls flossie was very affable and good at sports,harry himself missed being topped after the mirders of 3 policemen in shepherds bush in 1966. hes now in his 44th year inside and is a totally changed man and not the harry roberts of 66,harry knew all the “chaps” in the 50s and 60s from all over london as he done bird with loads of them,he knew the twins,nashes,richardsons,jack spot but harry was his own man and was never part of a gang.he looks in good shape at the age of 74 and is a member of mensa,i was up to see him last month and he was in good spirits and is waiting for a new parole hearing.harry was born and raised in wanstead till he was 18 and then went into the army for his national service,he was a teddy boy before then and remembers the twins driving round the east end in a big yankee plymouth!!! harry moved to north london later,on the estate at the back of euston station.

  171. Johnny. That is interesting. I remember the Harry Roberts case vividly in 1966 and his mother making an appeal on television for him to give himself up. I had no idea he knew Flossie though. The Nashes were local in my area, I lived around Essex Road, Islington.

    Incidentally, Ronnie Kray mentioned Flossie in his biography, apparantly Ronnie was serving time at Wandsworth at the time Flossie was hanged. He was very sympathetic towards Flossie and gave an account of his crime which was totally wrong For a start he said it took place in Peckham when it was Hounslow but this was beside the point, he spoke as though it was a gang fight and that Allan Jee was part of a rival gang, he also gave the impression that Jee was using violence too and was just unlucky to receive a fatal blow. Totally untrue and disrespectful to Allan Jee’s family.

  172. johnny quirke Says:

    robby i have never read that book you mention by ronnie kray so i cant comment,what you have got to remember robby in those days that harry was a active villain and had mixed with criminals all his life.yes you are right about dolly roberts goin on television and appealing for harry to give himself up,he was a trained sniper in the rifle brigade and fought the mau-mau in malaya emergency crisis and eventually finished as a sergeant.when he came out he could not find work so resumed his career as a criminal,yes he knew flossie,ronnie marwood who i see you have already mentioned,chang may,freddie foreman,as they some of the guys i have heard him mention.he told me one story when he was in wandsworth and seen niven craig snap a screws jaw with one punch,he was the elder brother of christopher craig.the nashes he knew and joe pyle,i see sammy mcarthy from time to time,the former british featherweight champion and hes a absolute gent.i always have a chat and he always asks for harry as sam done bird for armed robbery many years ago,and he says its a liberty keeping harry in as harry was sentenced to 30 years,yet he has done 44!!

  173. When Forsyth first became notorious just before and just after his execution it was amazing the amount of people who came forward giving stories to the press claiming to either have known him and or had been his “mate” especially local teenagers.A large article was done with photos in one of the Sunday papers about Joachims coffee bar,and several teenagers were interviewed.I used to go there about 4 or 5 times every week for 2 years and hardly recognised any of them.Talking afterwards to several teenagers who actually did associate with Flossie a lot more than I did, they all thought it was a joke how all these people had come out of the woodwork and that Flossie would not have had a clue who they were.

    • Steph Says:

      Hi Fred,
      I left a reply in a much earlier strand but this ones content is maybe more appropriate. I came to this site today through the fb page sutton lane estate and also of hearing about this when I was growing up in Hounslow. To say I’m impressed with the content and storytelling is an understatement but I digress. I am the daughter of Jean Cox and would love to hear about her early life ( she passed away 12 years ago ). I’m hoping that you or maybe Ken in the us might have known her. No worries if unable to help, it’s been a great site to visit. On another note my mums older sister Eunice married a man called Cyril Warren who I think lived next door to the Lutts in Charles St

  174. Fred. I was thinking that myself. I read a newspaper clipping about an annonymous teenager who was interviewed in a coffee bar and told the interviewer, “Flossie was not tough, he wanted people to think he was tough but he did not know how to make people think that way so he had to get in with a crowd to give him a sort of lift.” From what you and others said on here though, he was pretty tough and quite capable of threatening someone without a gang.

    One of the earlier posters on this page said he was acquainted with all three and referred to Flossie as “Frankie” a name you said he was never called by. Also the same poster referred to Chris Darby as a “Local Dandy, who wore a bowler hat.” Well, I never knew Darby, like you did but even from what I read about him I knew that this was not true being as he was referred to as a “Beatnik who liked Traditional Jazz.”

    As for Harry Roberts. Well, after reading this recent post which says he claimed to know Flossie and be in Bortstal with him. I just looked up Harry Roberts and he was born in 1936 which would have made him 24 at the time of Flossie’s execution, 6 years older than him. I am not saying he did not know Flossie because Harris was 23 but I find it hard to believe he was in Borstal with him with that aged difference.

  175. Hi Robby
    I was thinking exactly the same as you regarding Harry Roberts,without wishing in any way to discredit a previous poster,I too picked up the 6 year age difference and on checking wikipedia it appears that Roberts was in Borstal but at a different one to Flossie and probably not at the same time.
    This highlights the point I made earlier regarding Victor Terry,someone who commited murder the day Flossie was hanged and was later hanged on the same gallows,it would seem a good press story to say the two were acquainted and as for some connection with the Krays……I don’t really think so.

    Flossie was a delinquent teenager who went on to commit a vicious unprovoked murder….but to class him as some sort of Al Capone of Hounslow is ridiculous.

  176. Fred. You may be well right about Victor John Terry not knowing Flossie. I read he was from Chiswick and I am sure that if he was a friend of Flossie then you would probably have known or at least known of him.

    I read several books which stated that Terry was a friend of Flossie. Even Mad Frankie Fraser mentioned it in his book but Fraser also went on to say that Forsyth and Harris were friends of his too and Fraser was born in 1923! Like you said, Flossie was a delinquent teenager but I am sure he was not mixing with really hardened criminals.

    The part about Victor Terry which never rang true to me was that in one of the books it said, he heard on his car radio on the morning of 10 November 1960 of Forsyth’s execution and then with his friends he went and robbed a bank in Durrington armed with a sawn off shotgun and killed a security guard. Now why would hearing his friend has just been hanged for murder in the furthence of theft, inspire him to go out and rob a bank and shoot someone when he surely knew that murder by shooting and in the furthence of theft was a Capital offence? Surely it would be more likely to have the opposite effect.

    I also read that the Victor Terry case was used by people who were against Capital Punishment that the fact that Terry commited this crime the same day he head of his friend being hanged, was proof that Capital Punishment failed to deter. Could it be for this reason that the story started I wonder? Someone hearing of the crime knowing it was the same day of the execution and knowing Terry was from West London, put two and two together and made five? I think this may have been the case.

  177. Hi Robby
    you have made some very good points regarding the Forsyth/Terry connection and I agree with you totally.
    Going back to people claiming to have known Forsyth,I remember discussing this very point with Janet “pansy” Potter (whom I mentioned in an earlier post) when we met at a party circa 1980. I had not seen Janet for many years before that and I haven’t seen her since,but Janet was, in 1960, very much part of the Joachims “crowd” and she knew all of the four assailants extremely well. As I said earlier, she even visited Flossie in his condemned cell at Wandsworth.
    Janet said that even at that late hour, a few days before his execution he was still hopeful of being reprieved.
    Janet said that she remembered all the people coming forward with claims of being “mates” with Flossie and how ridiculous it was,and we both agreed that some of these people must have had some sort of warped pleasure in pretending that they were “mates” with an executed criminal, when in fact they did not know him at all.

  178. Hi, Robby and Fred,

    Robby wrote
    <>

    Two things here: how did a 20-year-old have a car with a radio at this time? My dad was 38 and had had a good office job since before tha War and we didn’t even have a radio, let alone a car! Our first car was a Reliant (if you can call that a car) in the mid-Sixties by which time we had not only a radio but a (black and white) telly. Surely Terry wasn’t so hard up he had to go out and rob a bank.
    Second thing: you can’t believe (as we all know) everything you read in the papers. The journalists had been told to go out and interview people who knew Forsyth and the others which they did even if the people they interviewed hardly knew them. My own limited experience with the press (with one notable exception) has shown me that any time you actually know something about an event in the press, the article has got it all wrong. The Press aren’t liars, it’s just that they have to find something interesting for their bosses. The message was: “Go down to Hounslow and find some Teds who knew these guys and we’ll frighten the public.” And sell copies but they don’t actually say this. What they write isn’t always exactly what they’re told, either. I’ve been interviewed a few times for various trivial reasons and never once has the article reflected in the least what I said.

  179. I quoted something Robby said in his message about Terry hearing something on his car radio but my quote vanished for some reason when I pressed “Send.” I’m sure you can work out what is missing without the quote.

  180. Fred. Yes it is sad that people have to resort to saying they knew someone who was infamous. I do recall your post about Janet “pansy” Potter. That must have been quite an emotional experience visiting Forsyth in the condemned cell and must have lingered with her over the years. I read that Margaret Caitlin only visited him once and that was when his reprieve was turned down the day before the execution. I read two accounts of the visit, one that they both sobbed and were unable to even touch hands as they were separated by a wire mesh. The other account said that she actually kissed him goodbye in the condemned cell and then had to be helped out by warders. Two conflicting statements.

  181. Ian. Not sure about the car. I think he may well have stolen it. Terry was from Chiswick but his girlfriend Valerie Salter lived in Worthing. Terry aged 20 went with two friends, Alan Hosier aged 20 and Philip Tucker aged 16. Terry and Tucker entered the bank and robbed it whilst Hosier was the getaway driver. Hosier escaped the death penalty probably because he was in the car at the time. Tucker was too young to hang so was detained during Her Majestys pleasure. Valerie Salter aged 17 was freed because I think the Judge felt she was easily led. What amazed me about her was during the trial she was asked if she knew Terry was going to rob a bank and she replied she did but she did not know it was breaking the law to rob a bank. Terry was on drugs at the time and was obsessed by the Gangster ‘Legs Diamond’ and claimed to be possessed by his spirit. It did not do him much good though. After his appeal was turned down he learned that a girl whom he had been with, before Valerie Salter was expecting his baby, a similar scenario to Forsyth. The child was later adopted. Like Forsyth, Terry had a long history of violence. He led a gang at the age of 8 and he had been convicted previously of violently hitting an old aged pensioner over the head with a rock inside a sock and robbing him of £10. I know this sounds harsh but I think people like Forsyth and Terry were just executions waiting to happen.

    • Robby and Ian, Regarding visits to the condemmed cell, I’m pretty sure the same scene would be at Wandsworth as it was in Pentonville, I know for a fact that at Pentonville you are seperated by a glass/wire panel, there’s certainly no touching at all, when my cousin Elaine visited Ronnie on the wednesday (two days before his execution) she begged if she could give him a hug, but of course it was’nt allowed, and you’re right it was for Elaine a terrible emotional experience, which took her years to get over, Ronnie’s parents advised her not to go, but she was so close to him so she felt she had to go, myself as I said I wanted no part of it, I was too scared. Ian I found your postings on here about Teds very interesting, I liked the piece by Tony Parker, I guess he’s right that most Teds were up for violence for kicks, I was a Ted because my two older brothers had been and one of them still were Teds, plus the gang I hanged around with were, I did’nt enjoy the violence that came our way in conflict with rival gangs but it was part of the life style back then, and cant say I’m proud of all the trouble we caused but again that was our entertainment, were you a Ted ? I keep thinking of posting a photo on this site of me and the gang from 1957 but I’ll have to wait for my grand daughter to show me how.

  182. johnny quirke Says:

    yea you are right i asked harry if it was borstal and he said it was in wandsworth he thinks when flossie was on remand,harry was in for a robbery charge so you are absolutely right,spoke to him on phone today so i thought would rectify comment.

  183. Robby Says:

    Hey Nick! I for one would be really interested to see an early photo of you. I can understand you having to wait for your granddaughter to show you because I have not got a clue how to do it. It is iinteresting because alot younger people today think Teds wore those Edwardian Style Jackets, thick crepe sole shoes and pink or luminous green socks, yet from what I understand, the edwardian style suits gave way early on to Italian cut suits and the crepe soled shoes gave way to winkile pickers.

  184. Keith Gladden Says:

    Hi, Rob. Very interesting reading and a relief to know that there are others, apart from those close to the victim and his killers, who maintain an interest in an open and shut case which soon moved out of the headlines. It was only after Forsyth and the others were sentenced that I started to pay attention. He was only a few weeks older than I was and of similar appearance. But there the similarities end. Most of us assumed he’d be reprieved because of his age. The newspaper headline “Killers Will Hang” came as something of a shock. He might have become an icon at our school in Willesden but we all realised that he and his fellow thugs had done a terrible thing and, once executed, was soon forgotten. One point that I can recall reading at the time, which I don’t think was mentioned in your excellent discussion, was that Forsyth was very upset by the execution in California of the sex offender Caryl Chessman. Forsyth’s girlfriend said that he actually broke down and cried. That was in May 1960. The following month Forsyth and his gang killed Alan Jee. Good luck with your enquiries, Rob. Personally, I’m hoping for some kind of sense of closure.

  185. Hi Robby and Nick

    Robby refers to Victor Terry being obsessed with Legs Diamond: I can remember seeing the film about him which came out in 1960 (it was Certificat A so I had to find an adult to get me in!) Here’s a link:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054243/plotsummary

    I’m sure that this what what sparked off any obsession Terry may have had in view of the dates.

    No, Nick I was too young to be a Ted. I was 10 at the time but remember being intrigued by kids who were slightly older wearing drainpipe trousers, Italian suits, beetle-crushers and most lastingly, red and black striped socks. I was allowed to put about a jar of Bylcreem a week on my hair which I’d find it hard to do now but that was the limit! My parents kept a close eye on me and my acquaintances and would never have let me follow the others which I regret in some ways as a teenager doesn’t want to be a nonconformist, he wants to be like the rest of his mates, something my parents never understood. Hence I was forced to have a short back and sides haircut when everyone was copying the Beatles or the Stones and wear horrible baggy pants. I still shudder to think of my very first suit which I refused to wear if anyone I knew was likely to be present!
    Sorry to have wandered off-topic but this was a very interesting period for someone between childhood and adolesence like I was then. I was horrified that when I read the papers and saw that people only a few years older than me were being hanged: now I’m not horrified but that’s what getting older does for you, alas…

  186. Robby Says:

    Hello Ian

    You are absolutely correct. From what I read about him, Terry went to see that film, “The Rise And Fall Of Legs Diamond” several times. In fact after he had committed the murder, he and his girlfriend fled to Scotland and Hosier and Tucker were tracked down and arrested. I read that Terry booked him and his girlfriend into a bed and breakfast accomodation under the name of Mr & Mrs Legs Diamond. I don’t know whether or not that was true.

  187. Hello Robby,

    I’m amazed you have this information: on Internet there’s practically nothing about the Terry affair (or, if there is, it’s the same old thing repeated over and over again) which would seem to be important in the context of the Capital Punishment debate i.e. is the death penalty a deterrent?. It would be great if you could get this stuff on the Net for us to study. I know you are (in principle) pro-hanging but if as you say Terry and his girl-friend fled to Scotland and reserved a Bed and Breakfast under the names of Mr. and Mrs. Legs Diamond surely he must have been too barmy to be sentenced to death!

    Totally off-topic but I saw a mention of Adam Faith in another posting. Years ago, on Top of the Pops, during the fadeout of the song he was singing, he was seen to glance at his watch as if he had better things to do! Now that’s cool!

  188. Keith Gladden Says:

    Re Victor Terry, if it’s any help to Ian, one of the Sunday papers ran a series of full-page articles on him after he’d been sentenced. I believe it was a kind of autobiography and the final part which was headed “From his Prison Grave….” etc. was published after his execution.
    Terry’s victim, like Forsyth’s, was a good man who deserved a better fate. He was John Pull a bank guard who was also a well-respected archaeologist. He was quite elderly with a rather jerky hand movement. It was thought that this may have panicked Terry into firing the gun.

  189. Robby Says:

    Hello Ian

    Well at the trial, Terry claimed he did not recall any of what happened. He said he was under the influence of the spirit of Legs Diamond. Apparantly he had a habit of taking Purple Hearts regularly.

    I am only pro-hanging for certain crimes, Ian and I always believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty and should under no circumstances be found guilty of murder if there is the slightest doubt.

    Believe it or not, alot of what I have posted on here is what I have stored in my brain, although I do have some information I could probably dig out and post on here.

  190. Robby Says:

    Ian. Incidentally, it is interesting you saying that Terry must have been a bit barmy by his actions following the murder because I have often thought the same about Forsyth. For example, after he kicked Allan Jee to death, he told friends about it and then instead of keeping a low-profile he tried to start a fight at Joachims and then went to Heathrow with a gang and caused trouble there and assaulted police. I find that incredible!

    • Robby/Ian. This Victor Terry case that’s been mentioned recently on this site, I really cannot remember it at all, thinking back to 1961 I was 20 and I do remember a 21yr old called George Riley being hanged in february of that year because I was in hospital recovering from a motorbike crash and I can remember reading it with interest as a guy I worked with was called George Riley (this was’nt him) but I musthave read about Victor Terry at the time but just dont recall it now. Robby once more your excellent knowledge of that time is correct, regarding what Teds wore, my oldest brother was aTed in 1954, before Rock’n’Roll hit here, he wore an Edwardian jacket that was light grey with black velvet collar, drainpipes with crepe shoes, he sowed razor blades in the collar so if during a fight he was grabbed by the collar they’d get a nasty shock, he actually was always in trouble in those days until he was called up. I wore an Edwardian light grey jacket with velvet cuffs and drainpipes, but did change to Italian suits and winklepickers around 1959/1960 also drainpipe jeans with big turn-ups and leather jacket, I never saw anyone in pink or luminous socks. Ian I can remember the old short back and sides, I hated it, my mum forced me into it up to I was about 11 but gave up after that. Robby I’ll be seeing my family at christmas so I’ll try to get that photo from 1957 on this site then if not before.

      • Robby Says:

        Nick. I thought I was right about the clothing, Teds wore. I am not sure whether my elder brothers would have been considered Teds. One of them was 17 and the other 25 in 1960. The 25 year old who had completed his National Service in Germany had just got married in December 1959 and I don’t think he wore winkle pickers but I know my 17 year old brother did and he always had his hair done so that it rolled onto hid forehead. In his room there was always Brylcreme and Truegel. I always remember the smell of that Truegel. The 25 year old when he was at home used Vassaline Hair Cream.

  191. Re 1950/60s dress.

    As correctly stated by earlier posters.The “Teddy Boy” style of long jackets with velvet collars,bootlace ties, drainpipe trousers and crepe shoes started around 1954 but by the end of the fifties had given way to Italian suits, slim jim ties and winkle pickers.That was for “smart” wear,usually when attending dance halls as it was unlikely you would be allowed in if you weren’t dressed smartly.
    For casual wear,going to coffee bars etc., it was more common to wear striped shirts, drainpipe jeans and winkle pickers and jean jackets,leather jackets, or the american college style zip up tops which were often red or blue with white sleeves.I clearly remember Flossie wearing a red one.
    Hair styles for boys were usually either swept back with a lock of hair coming onto the forehead as per the earlier “Teds” or, as I used to have mine,swept back sides and a “quiff” at the front a la Elvis.Crewcuts were also popular.Some youngsters used to dress ,as Chris Darby did,as beatniks with duffel coats sandals long lank hair and sometimes beards.
    I won’t even get started on the girls !

  192. Robby Says:

    Fred. I used to have a James Dean style Red zip up. If I recall correctly in those days, the Jeans Were turned up with the lining showing and many of them were black at the time.

  193. The more I think about it, the more intrigued I am by the ambiguity around Chris Darby. He got off with a life sentence when he was at least as guilty as Harris and the Appeal Judges weren’t happy about this decision. How was it he was accepted by the others as a beatnik? I would have thought the others wouldn’t have accepted someone like him. We’ll probably never know for sure unless he comes forward to explain himself.

  194. Robby Says:

    Ian. I am only surmising but I think Darby may have got off on the basis that he gave the police alot of information when they were detained and questioned separately before being charged with the murder and the fact that he may never been in trouble before may have had something to do with it. However, this is where I think there are double standards. What if it had been a policeman who was murdered and not Allan Jee, would Darby have got off then, even if he had been acting as look out for the others and struck no blow? I must confess, I have my doubts. As to why he was in the same group with the other three remains a mystery to me. Him being a beatnik and liking traditional jazz, I would have thought the the similarities were like chalk and cheese.

    • karen Says:

      Exactly…..Surmising!!!!!!…Dont comment if you dont have true hard facts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Robby Says:

        Like I said, I was only surmising from the evidence I read, whether or not they are “true hard facts” I have no idea, however, I am entitled to my opinion and I will continue to comment when I please, thank you!!!

  195. Re Chris Darby
    although Chris dressed differently to the other three,he was still very much part of the Joachims ” crowd “. A few people used to dress in that manner and were not discriminated against.
    It must also be remembered that Darby and Lutt lived on the same estate and in the next road to each other so as children had probably grown up together and been part of local groups of kids who played in parks and in the streets together.It should be remembered that during the forties and fifties when kids were growing up, there was virtually no traffic and it was very common for loads of kids aged from about 3 to about 10 or 12 to play games in the streets away from the main roads,
    As far as should have he hung,I’m not sure, but I believe he, like Lutt, had no “previous” but it was the criminal records that the other two had, that was instrumental in them being given the death sentence.

  196. If you go to Google and enter “Terence Lutt” you will find large extracts from a book about this period. There’s a pretty full report of the Forsyth case and an even fuller one about the Terry Case. The Marwood case is not included on copyright grounds so as we go out and buy the whole book. Even so, it’s a fascinating story. I tried to copy/paste the URL but it wouldn’t work.

  197. Even Forsyth’s lawyers seem to have been lax (from Forsyth’s point of view, of course: even if he was a thug he deserved a better defence on appeal than he got as you’ll see from the above text where his lawyers say they couldn’t find a good reason for a reprieve. I would have changed lawyers at this point!) The same happened with Bentley whose lawyer said something along the lines that the little sod deserved no better. I have a magazine here somewhere with the actual quote. I’ll see if I can dig it out. (There’s also a photo of Craig years later after his release when he’d made good and become a law-abiding citizen.)
    Off-topic, I know someone who has a website about the Bentley case: he says that the judge Goddard who gave a summing-up which practically ordered the jury to convict Bentley used to have an orgasm when putting on the black cap and sentencing and had his valet standing by with a clean pair of trousers on these occasions!
    I think that there’s no doubt that in both cases public opinion was playing a part: maybe a week or two before or after in each case, it could have gone another way depending whether the public were feeling more or less secure. If hanging still existed today, I don’t think that Forsyth, Harris, Marwood, Bentley, or Terry would have been hanged: their lawyers would have been better, our perception of various psychological matters is different and I don’t think jurors would have taken the risk of condemning someone just on the basis of a confession spontaneously offered to the police. If any of them had to hang, I’d say “Forsyth” but in view of his age and state at the time, I’d like more information which we will never have now, alas.

    • Ian and Robby, I dont see it makes any difference at all if Darby had any previous or not, back in 1960 under the law at the time, there’s only one sentence for capital murder, unless like Robby says “he done a deal” by being there involved with them, he was as guilty as Harris.

  198. Robby Says:

    Hello Ian, Nick and Fred.

    It is true what Fred said about Darby and Lutt having no previous convictions but I don’t think that this is the reason that they escaped the death penalty. Becauase it was only Darby whose charge was changed from Capital Murder to Simple Murder, Lutt in effect was found guilty Capital murder as were Forsyth and Harris and apparanty it was only his age which saved him from the rope.

  199. Robby Says:

    Hello Nick

    Of course you may. It is rob.rodway@ntlworld.com

  200. I have never seen the film “The Boys” before and I have just watched a few minutes of clips of it on Youtube.
    I must say that ,from the small amount that I watched,I could not really see any similarities with Lutt,Harris and Darby. However, Dudley Sutton’s portrayal of Stan Coulter was the Flossie that I remember, down to a tee.
    I know that after 50 years memories do get a bit distorted, but believe me,when anyone has ever come across a character like Flossie you never forget….

  201. Hello Fred. I saw the film the Boys too and I assumed the character Stan Coulter was more like Harris, therefore it is interesting to learn from you, somone who actually knew Flossie, that he was more like him. I wonder if they modelled the character on him being as the film was made two years after he was hanged.

  202. Hello Fred and Robby,

    Just had a quick look at the last part of “The Boys” which I’d never heard of before: it means I’ll have to watch the whole thing as it appears to be based on our case. Why don’t they make films like that today?

    Just to show how close we are to murder, I had to drive into Paris to pick up my grandson from his crèche on Monday. We’d never been there before and the traffic was appalling so my wife said “Stop over there: I can find it on foot.” When I looked at the address she was pointing at, I realised I was parking in front of the apartment building where the murderer Landru had been arrested! Never been there before but I remember the address from a book I’d read about the case. He couldn’t afford to live there now…

  203. Robby Says:

    Hello Ian

    I remember watching that film “The Boys” back in 1969 when it came on television. At the time they had alot of films regarding Capital Punishment on Television one ot them was called, “Mix Me A Person” with Adam Faith taking the part of an 18 year old who had been wrongly accused of the shooting a policeman and was awaiting his execution in the condemned cell in Wandsworth. He was found to be innocent at the last moment but the film gave some idea of what it was like for the condemned man awaiting his fate.

  204. I typed Terry Lutt in Google and came up with this. Not entirely accurate but interesting. Maybe someone could follow it up?

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  205. It seems that this site doesn’t like copy/paste as my contribution once again vanished into Cyberspace. So, if you’re interested, enter “Terry Lutt” in Google and you’ll find the quote in the first article on the list. From someone in the same class as him and Thunderclap Newman who had a big hit with “Something in the air” (or so he says.)

  206. If you enter “Christopher Louis Darby” into Google, you’ll find a very interesting extract from a book about (among other things) capital punsihment.

  207. Finally, enter “Anthony Miller” in Google and you’ll see an article by the lawyer of the last teenager executed in GB (Scotland) a month after Forsyth and Harris. There are certain similarities between the two cases.

  208. Robby Says:

    Ian. I meant to tell you. When I was surfing the net for information, I noticed that someone called Martin Fido does some kind of radio programme entitled, “Murder After Midnight” and one of the cases covered was the Forsyth/Harris case. I have read reviews on some of what he has done and they are all good. Apparantly you can download them on Mp3 but I am not really up in all that.

  209. Steve Roe Says:

    In my previous post (Nov 29) I mentioned Michael Davies, who spent three months in Wandsworth’s condemned cell before being reprieved.
    I came across Murder-uk.com this morning and under accused typed in D and then his name
    There was a picture of him (the first I’d ever seen) and then something about the case.
    But it is riddled with mistakes.
    For example, in how the fight started, it says the boy (Coleman) who had been insulted went home and brought a gang back with him. That’s rubbish. He simple went and told his mates who were already on Clapham Common and then the attack began.
    Later it states Beckley (the victim) was 16 – not true, he was 17.
    The most galring mistake is to say that Davies got a free pardon on his release after serving seven years.
    Again, this is inaccurate. Davies never did get a pardon. That was one of the main points of “The Plough Boy”.
    I wish people would do better with their research.
    If anyone wants to contact me my e-mail address is: steve.kentathletics@btopenworld.com

  210. Murder-UK.com does contain some useful information as well as a few photographs which I haven’t come across elsewhere. I spent some time going through it and what struck me most is the number of crimes linked to drink including the Forsyth/Harris affair. I imagine that today they’d all be linked to drug abuse. Would Forsyth and his mates have done this if they hadn’t been drunk? Or were they drunk?

  211. Ian. At the trial, Harris said he had consumed 5 or 6 pints of bitter I believe. Chris Darby said he had also had 5 or 6 pints and Darby said he had consumed about 5 or 6 pints of strong ale plus 2 rums. It never said how much Forsyth had drunk but in his own words he was “shanted.”

    I am not sure whether they were really drunk though. You see when they originally made their confessions they admitted they planned to rob someone and I think after they had been briefed by their QC’s they were made aware that murder in the furthence of theft was a capital offence and therfore a hanging offence. So every effort was made at the trial to make it look like they were drunk and just hit Jee when he was coming down the path and had no intention of robbing anyone. When they testified in court they said they were all larking about and Forsyth and Harris said they were unaware that Lutt had struck Jee. Forsyth said that becuase Jee shouted out, he was afraid someone might come along therefore he kicked him in the head a couple of times to shut him up. They all denied murder in the furthence of theft.

  212. Maybe my memory is playing tricks but I have some recollection that around the time of the Hounslow murders, an armed robbery took place on a Saturday evening at a dairy in Mitcham. The days takings were being counted when an armed robber broke in.The robber shot dead a milkman who confronted him.The robber was caught but escaped the death penalty, I cannot find any info on this on the internet.Anyone have any details ?

  213. Steve Roe Says:

    The case you mention, Fred, came to be known as the “Mitcham Milk Murder” and took place around 1962.
    All I know about it is that one of the blokes aquitted was Terry Sansome – and he was the uncle of Arsenal and England footballer Kenny Sansome.
    If I can research any more on this I’ll let you know

    • thanks Steve,

      I remember this case happening but am surprised that I can find no details on the internet.
      I recall at the time how unbelieveable it was that two drunken young men who decided at the last minute to attack and rob someone were hung because the victim died. Yet an armed raid on a milk depot involving carrying of firearms which was certainly pre planned and resulted in an innocent milkman being shot dead,could be considered a lesser crime as the perpetrators were not hung.
      I am not in any way suggesting that Forsyth and Harris should not have been hung but why not the perpetrators of the other crime too ?

      • Fred,
        Like you, I frequented Joachims for about a year at that time. I also was there on the night that Bob hurled the spear into the far end of the bar. I remember many of the names that you and others refer to – Buzz, Geoff Clarke and Jean (good dancers), Pansy Potter, Norma Mackie and many others as well.
        I suspect that we must know each other as I was also a student at Isleworth Grammar.
        I remember Flossie Forsyth, Norman Harris, Chris Darby and “Lobey” Lutt although I was not on speaking terms with any of them. I particularly remember an evening at Joachims when Forsyth held a knife to the throat of another perfectly innocent guy whose name I cannot remember (he was also an Isleworth student) in an act of cowardly provocation. Amazing to think that we believed this to be simply an act of bravado at the time since, although Harris and Forsyth were well known as unpleasant characters, I dont think any of us suspected them to be capable of their subsequent acts.

  214. There’s a link on the Kenny Sansom Wikipedia entry about his drink problems where he mentions his father who was linked to the Krays and his uncle who was associated with the Great Train Robbers. Nothing about the Mitcham affair, though.

  215. Hi Bill
    your memories of Joachims are spot on (although I do not remember the knife incident, it must have happened on one of the rare occasions that I was not there ! )
    We must know each other,I started at IGS in 1954 and was in the same year as Terry Walsh and Johnny Beeston just to name a couple of IGS Joachim “regulars”

  216. Jimmy G Says:

    Francis ‘Flossie’ Forsyth was far from a heavy duty villain. He was a likeable funny intelligent guy, who like all of us locked up at Ardale had his dreams. Floss came a long way down in the pecking order but made himself ‘fit in’. His nick-name ‘Flossie’ came from jibes that he got when he first came to Ardale as his first name was a ‘girls name’. He didn’t like ‘Flossie’ and would fight the lower echelons who called him that, but he couldn’t do much about the others. So ‘Floss’ was a name he liked and accepted as a sort of badge of honour. Like all of us there his IQ was well into the 130’s so he was far from unaware. And the murder? Read the ‘at the time reports’ you may get the truth. Jim

  217. Robby Says:

    Jimmy. I have read ‘at the time reports’ of the murder and my conclusion is that justice was done.

  218. So now we know – thanks to Pete – that Chris Darby is still around but apparently a chronic alcoholic since his release from prison in 1970.

    Which brings me back to my original post: how those distant events of June 1960 continue to shape and influence the lives of so many people today.

    If only Allan Jee had taken that short cut off Inwood Avenue

    If only Flossie and the rest had perhaps had another coffee to sober up from their drinking binge

    If only…

  219. Mick,

    You say that thanks to Pete we now know that Darby became a chronic alcoholic but I can’t find any trace of this. Maybe you know something we don’t?

  220. Steve Roe Says:

    We know that 18 was the minimum age at which someone could have been executed in those days
    Something I’ve often wondered – supposing someone (say, Forsyth) had been 17 and 10 months at the time of the murder but 18 and 2 months at the time of the trial. What would have happened then ? Would he still have got the death sentence ?

  221. Regarding the three above posts. I,too, like Ian, cannot find any reference to Mick’s posts regarding Darby. maybe Mick can enlighten us.

    Regarding Steve Roe’s post… Flossie would not have hung had he been under 18 at the time of the murder…It is when the crime is committed, not the trial date, that counts,
    Not sure when Terry Lutt wouls have been 18 but as he was only 17 when the crime was committed,he escaped the rope

  222. Mike Lewis Says:

    Scroll right back to a post dated February 11 in answer to one of your own, Fred, which appears to have been sent by Darby’s former son-in-law.

    • karen Says:

      i knew Chris Darbys son in law and cannot believe what he has said…. he states all the bad but not the good….. Chris Darby was an innocent person and did not once lay a finger on Alan Jee…. he was served life for being at the scence…. he never layed a finger on mr Jee…. he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time…..as Peter states he only Knew Mr Darby for a couple of years so how could he comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….. you shoud listen to people who have known Mr Darby for years and then you will get the truth, by the sounds of it , Peter is getting at Mr Darbys daughter (his ex wife) through all this…. sick if you ask me!!!

  223. Mike,
    I can’t find a post for February 11 for this year or last year! Are we all getting the same posts? I have no posts between Feb 3 and Feb 12.

  224. I agree with Ian,I also cannot find any posts on this thread between Feb 3 and Feb 12….anyone help ?

    • I have trawled back through the 300 posts on this thread and I have found Pete’s post, it was in reply to mine of 28th October and can be found amongst October’s posts.
      An interesting insight into Chris Darby after his release.

  225. Thanks, Fred. This list seems to be strangely organized as it seems you have to read the whole list every day to see if there’s anything new! A fascinating post though, from Pete. I wonder how much credence we can give to Chris Darby’s story that he’d stopped for a leak and then caught up with the others after the actual event. Pete seemed a bit sceptical. After all, if it was true, why did Darby not say that he wasn’t there at all? After all, it was their word against his, always assuming the others had testified that he was there. There was no other evidence against him as far as I can see. For me, he’s always been the most interesting one of the four as according to what we know he didn’t take any physical part in the murder and if we are to believe his story as told by Pete, he wasn’t even there to all intents and purposes. Yet he still got Life. I wasn’t there either: does that mean I should get Life too?!
    All in all, a terrible waste for everyone concerned.

  226. Ian. Sorry to be to spoil things but I don’t believe that story about stopping to have a leak for one moment. I have no doubt that Darby told Pete that but that is the kind of thing someone says who has served his time, doesn’t want the past brought up again and gives a brief explanation excusing his actions, which is understandable.

    I read the newspaper reports and from what I gather Darby went out drinking with the others was party to the the plan to roll someone but took no part in the assault as he was lookout. To be fair to Darby, although I believe he knew that violence was going to take place in the course of furthence of theft, I don’t think he knew to what extent, in other words I think he thought that there was only going to be enough to enable Harris and Lutt to rob someone, like for example the first blow struck by Lutt. I don’t think any of them realised that Forsyth was going to follow this up by sadistically kicking Jee in the head. As for Harris statement that when he was rifling Jee’s pockets he was not aware that Forsyth put the boot in until he saw blood on his hands. Well…let me ask you. If you were going through someone’s pockets whilst he was on the ground, wouldn’t you notice if someone kicked him in the head at least five times?

    Finally, it may well have ruined Darby’s life but he chose to associate with Harris and Forsyth when he was well aware that they were known offenders. Fred mentioned that although Darby was a Beatnik and not a Teddy Boy, he still hung around with that crowd. I cannot believe Mick’s comment about, “If only Allan Jee had not taken the short cut that night.” Like it would have meant no crime would have taken place if Jee had taken the long way home. In the accounts they planned to rob someone, Harris said they followed some chap and were about to do him but then some people came along so they left him. Then they refrained from attacking Francis Power who was passing because he was too big. If Jee had not taken the short cut someone else who was small enough to put up the minimum of resistance would have eventually and probably died in Jee’s place. Also, I don’t think if they had sobered up it would have made any difference. They did not plan this because they were intoxicated, it was because Harris was broke and wanted money and his friends were prepared to do whatever it took to help him get it. From what I have heard from people who knew Forsyth, he was continutally involved in violence. I don’t believe that is because he was drunk 24/7 I think it was because he was a violent thug.

    Let’s face it, justice was done and on the law as it stood, Chris Darby being over 18 was very fortunate not to hang with Harris and Forsyth.

  227. Through my knowledge of this case and the people involved plus the fact that I lived in Hounslow for the first 40 years of my life,I can perhaps add something to the above couple of posts.

    Years later,as I have previously posted, Chris Darby’s brother told me that the four had called at his house for a coffee on the evening of the attack.This was presumably after they had been drinking but before the crime.
    The crime scene was about a quarter mile east of the house but all four lived about a mile and a half west, so it would seem that they may have chosen,rather than to head home, to deliberately follow someone in an easterly direction into the dimly lit Pears Road and then right into James Street, also a dimly lit street with the alley and railway footbridge at the end.This would add creedence to what Robby had read that they followed someone but gave up when other people came along,it would seem that they had then found an ideal place to carry out an assault and waited until another person came along which was Francis Powers who they did not approach because of his size,The next person was Allen Jee.
    I don’t think Chris Darby was a violent man like the others and maybe did not realise the violence that was going to ensue.However,I must agree with Robby, that he was a party to a pre planned robbery and, as the law then stood, was very lucky not to hang.

  228. Hello Fred

    Yes. I read that the four of them actually planned to do some thieving whilst in Jaochims coffee bar and Lutt suggested they rob someone. Harris said he would have preferred to do a house as here would be more in it.

    I am not familiar with that area, however, what you said, seems about right. I know that bend in the footpath had the street light out, therefore that could have been the reason. I don’t think for one moment that Chris Darby was a violent man, perhaps he only agreed to be party to it because he was intoxicated. By his own admission he had 5 or 6 pints that night. I don’t think any of them had any idea that Forsyth would use the violence he did.

    Apparantly after the four had been found guilty there was alot of public sympathy for Harris. Calls for a reprieve for Forsyth were mainly because he was only two months over the minimum age for hanging at the time of the attack, whereas with Harris, it was because he struck no blow and showed remorse by being on the verge of collapse at the trial and writing a letter of apology to Jee’s parents from the condemned cell. Alot of the blame was centered on Lutt because “rolling someone” was his idea.

    Now I disagree with that. I feel Harris was the instigator, perhaps he never intended to “roll” anyone but it was his idea to commit a crime because he was short of money and he had previous convictions. He claimed he had no idea that Forsyth had put the boot in until he saw blood on his hands, yet Forsyth kicked Jee repeatedly whilst Harris was rifling Jee’s pockets. How could he not have noticed that? My opinion is that he was on the verge of collapse at the trial not because of remorse but because of facing the death penalty, which he was aware of the moment he was arrested. After all, he wasn’t on the verge of collapse when he saw Jee bleeding was he? Far from it, he fled with the others leaving him dying and finally he wrote the letter to Jee’s parents saying he was sorry their son died, prior to the Home Secretary making the decision regarding whether to grant a reprieve. After the reprieve was turned down, Harris’ Mother contacted Forsyth’s Mother requesting she asked Flossie to send a telegram to the Home Sectretary saying, he alone was responsible for Jee’s death and to spare Harris. Needless to say, Flossie never sent such a telegram, however, the point I am making is that there appeared to be a motive behind Harris’ show of remorse.

    You mentioned Lutt was not usually the violent type Fred and he had no previous convictions, I think he may have gone along just for a show of bravado, after all in spite of his size, he was only 17 years old. Whether or not he would have got involved if he had not been intoxicated we will never know. Harris however, was a known offender and he wanted money. Forsyth from what I understand from this site and from other people who knew him, just liked hurting people and causing trouble. Chris Darby was unfortunate to have mixed with them and like you said, I don’t think he meant for any real violence to take place but the fact is on the law as it stood, he was fortunate not to hang. If Lutt would have been 18 or over he would have hanged. After the four were convicted they all appealed and at the Court of Appeal it was stated that there were no grounds for an appeal that the Judge at the Old Bailey had summed up things accurately and they emphasised in the case of Darby, he may have been too lenient. That in itself indicated that he was fortunate not to hang under the law as it stood.

  229. I watched the film “Let him have it” on TV the other week.Although the film is many years old, this was the first time I have seen it.
    The final scene of Bentley’s execution was very chilling for me as I thought that must have been how Forsyth’s last moments were,especially as he was in the same condemned cell and was hung on the same gallows as Bentley.

  230. Fred. I was not impressed with “Let Him Have It” even Chris Craig said, it was more like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” Craig said the amount of shots which were fired on that roof were ridiculous. The end was exaggerated too, in my opinion. In the early seventies there was a one off T.V. Drama about Derek Bentley and the end was far more accurate, not so dramatic. The exectutioner entered the cell and the warders opened the other door and it was all over in a matter of seconds, in fact I have read that an execution only takes about six seconds. There is none of this, “Your Prisoner Sir” and all this other drama. They like to get it over and done with. If you watched “10 Rillington Place” the scene where Timothy Evans gets hanged, is much a more accurate exampleof how an execution in Britain took place in my opinion. The visitation scenes by Bentley’s family in “Let Him Have It” seemed quite accurate though.

    • Steve Roe Says:

      When I first posted on this site (Nov 29th) I mentioned a couple of books – To Encourage The Others and The Plough Boy. Hopefully, some people among you might have got and read them.
      There is another one I read that might be of interest. It was written by a barrister called Fenton Bresler and titled, Reprieve: The Study of A System.
      With example chapters it tells how various Home Secretaries came to decide whether or not to grant a condemned man (or woman) a reprieve.
      There is a chapter headed Victor John Terry. It starts off with a mention of Forsyth and when he’s finished with that case Bresler says something like: “The Hounslow Footpath Murder leads on to the much more complicated case of Victor John Terry”
      I think the reason he refers to it as more complicated is that, presumably, it was not as straightforward as Forsyth’s had been for the Home Secretary to decide whether Terry should live or die.
      I mean by that whereas Forsyth offered no mental reasons for what he had done, it was said of Terry that he thought he was Legs Diamond
      or someone. I suppose a physco anaylist had to investigate !
      Anyway, as we know, he was not granted a reprieve.
      Bresler, who died a few years ago, gives an account of Terry’s final moments. Now whatever one thinks of Terry – and in the context of the time he lived in he probably deserved to die – I couldn’t help be upset when I read what Bresler said. I won’t repeat his words about what happened in the condemned cell, because it’s
      possible friends and relatives of Terry might read this and I don’t want to upset them.
      Finally, do we know what happened over the years to Terry’s girlfriend? I think her name was Valerie Salter

  231. Steve. Not sure what happened to Valarie Salter, I know the Judge let her go and told her to start a new life. Perhaps when she said in court that she did not realise it was against the law to rob a bank the Judge took pity on her. I also know that just before Terry was executed, he was informed that another girl he had been with before Valerie Salter, was expecting his baby. The child was later adopted.

    I had wanted to read that book “The Plough Boy” myself but I could not get a hold of it. I am sure I read that book by Fenton Bresler, “Reprieve: A Study Of The System”, however, I do not recall Terry or Forsyth being mentioned, therefore perhaps I did not read that one.

    So what happened with Terry’s last moments in the condemned cell, Steve? I am not being disrespectful to Terry or his family, if you had been told this by the author in confidence I would not expect you to reveal it, however, if he has written it in a published book, then it has been revealed to everyone who read it, therefore I cannot see how you would be betraying any confidence.

    • Steve Roe Says:

      First of all, Robby, type in The Plough Boy – Tony Parker. You will find a company caled Alibris are selling the book at anything from £3.99 to
      £7.35 from British sources (as opposed to a couple listed in Canada and the USA.
      In Fenton Bresler’s book the chapter I refer to is about Terry. It starts off talking about the Forsyth murder and then goes on to say (and remember I’m quoting from memory): “The Hounslow Footpath Murder leads on to the more complex case of Victor John Terry.
      “There is a link between the two. Forsyth and Terry came from the same area of London. They had played together as boys. They were both members of gangs. And on the day Forsyth was hanged, Terry also killed”
      An account of the murder follows, then the court case and the unsuccessful attempts by Terry’s legal team to keep him alive so to speak.
      At the end of the chapter it mentions someone visiting Terry and saying that “he seemed resigned to it”
      Fenton Bresler then adds: “Whether resigned to it or not, or as another prisoner as claimed in the now defunct magazine Time Out, screaming “no, let me go, please God help me, Victor John Terry was taken to the execution room and hanged”.
      You mentioned a girl/woman bearing a child of Terry’s after his death and I think I read somewhereelse on this site that Forsyth also became a dad months after his execution. I would like to think that neither of those children ever found out who their dads were. Or if they did that it was not until they were adults. That would have been bad enough, but can you imagine if they were told when they were kids and other schoolchildren knew as well. Their lives in the playground could have been made hell.
      Finally, Valerie Salter. Do we know if she married and had children, and possibly moved to another area?
      Incidentally, how can anyone say in court that they didn’t know robbing a bank was not against the law. Well, it seems to have worked in her case if that is why she escaped a jail sentence. Nowadays that judge would be called soft. Heaven knows what was said about him at the time !

      • Dave Rodham Says:

        Steve
        many people assume (mistakenly) that Forsyth & Terry knew each other only because of the closeness of the crimes.
        Flossie did not knock about with Terry as a boy.
        Growing up in Hounslow,and a regular visitor to Joachims as i
        did in 1960,i can state with absolute certainty,any Hounslow lad with any sense,kept well clear of the Devonshire Rd area of Chiswick
        The fact is,Terrys crime and dying on the same gallows is pure coinsidence.
        I’m led to believe,if you commited a capital murder south of the thames you were executed at Wandsworth and north of the thames it was pentonville,
        November 10th 1960 was slightly different,as two were to die that morning.

  232. Hello Steve

    Thank you for sharing. I suppose when his final moments came, the reality of the situation dawned on him.

    You are correct. There were alot of similarities. Terry was just two years older than Forsyth when he was hanged. I heard they were friends, however, I was unaware that they were childhood friends. Fred, who knew Forsyth, does not remember Terry. From what I read, Forsyth was from Hounslow and Terry was from Chiswick, although, the latter may well have been brought up in Hounslow. Coincidently, they both were executed on the same gallows and both left girls expecting their babies.

    From what I read, Terry used to pop alot of pills, purple hearts mainly. On the morning of the 10th November 1960, he heard on a car radio about Forsyth’s exectution and then he and his friends Alan Hosier aged 20 and Philip Tucker aged 16 decided to rob, Lloyds Bank in Durringto, on the way they picked up his girlfriend Valerie Salter, aged 18. Terry had a short barrelled shotgun. He and Tucker entered the Bank, Hosier was the driver of the car and remained in the car with Valerie Salter. Salter was aware a robbery was about to take place and he shot the bank guard 61 year old John Henry Pull through the left eye with a short barrelled shotgun. Pull was carrying a kettle as he was going to make the morning tea, when he saw Terry and Tucker in raincoats approaching the cashier. He must have recognised Terry because he suddenly stopped and said, “You’re not supposed to come back here.” That was when Terry took the shotgun from underneath his raincoat and shot him. He then held up the cashier whilst Tucker stashed away the money.

    I have no idea what happened to Valarie Salter. She was 18 at the time and I know before the Judge passed sentence that he told her to start a new life and she left the court crying. Earlier when questioned by the prosecuter she admitted that she knew that Terry was going to commit a bank robbery, he told her they were going to take alot of money, buy a house and marry right away. When the prosecutor asked her why she had not gone to the police when she heard of Terry’s plan, she replied, “I don’t believe it is a criminal offence to rob a bank.” The prosecutor was hardly able to believe what he heard so he asked her to repeat it and she did.

    Basically, Steve, like Forsyth, Terry had a long list of offences throughout his 20 years. At the age of 8 he was leading a gang of children, making a nuisance of themselves. He had his first conviction at the age of 10 and at the age of 18 he was sent to Borstal for bludgeoning and elderly man with a stone filled sock and robbing him of £10.

    Another similarity in the two cases was that of Chris Darby and Alan Hosier. In the Forsyh/Harris case. Darby was aged 20 and although he knew that violence was about to take place in the course of furthernce of theft, because he was lookout, escaped the death penalty. In the Terry case, Hosier was also aged 20 and knew a robbery was about to take place and that Terry had the shotgun, yet he escaped the death penalty because he was the driver of the gettaway car and remained in the car when the robbery was commited. Yet another similarity in the case is with Lutt and Tucker. Lutt at 17 took part in the robbery of Allan Jee and even struck him. Tucker at 16 entered the bank with Terry and although he did not fire the shot, stashed away the cash after John Pull had received the fatal wound. I think it was only age which saved Lutt and Tucker from the death penalty.

    • Dave Rodham Says:

      Cant understand the difference regarding Terry & Hosier
      and Bentley & Craig
      Alan Hosier can count his self very lucky he didnt pay the ultimate price.

      • Dave. I assume it was because Alan Hosier was the driver of the car and remained in the car whilst Victor Terry and Philip Tucker entered the bank. Had Tucker not been under 18 I am sure he would have hanged along with Terrry. I suppose in the eyes of the Law, Hosier was in the same situation as Darby was in the Forsyth case. Supporters of Derek Bentley could argue that he was in custody at the time Craig shot P.C.Miles though, so it is a very fine line.

  233. Ken Says:

    Jimmy G’s comments about reform school are interesting.

    I don’t know where his concept of highly intelligent criminals comes from. Average IQ’s of 130? This implies a range around that high figure.

    Sorry, Jimmy. Criminals are dumb. There is a negative correlation between intelligence and criminality. The excepton proves the rule.

    Flossie (who aquired the nickname at Central school in Isleworth, well before going to borstal), was one of these exceptions. But he was never clever enough to understand that his actions were consistently taking him on a path to self destruction.

  234. colin gregory Says:

    I to was sixteen when this story broke the headlines, the thing that sticks in my mind is of a picture of Forsyth in the daily exprees smirking as he came out of court .

  235. Robby Says:

    Colin. I assume this was when he came out of the Brentford Magistrates Court when the trial was referred to the Old Bailey. At that time, Forsyth thought he would only get four years.

  236. It’s ironic that he was arraigned in Brentford Magistrate’s court. It was in the same court, possibly in front of the same Magistrate, where he had received a two year probation sentence, for shopliflting from Woolworths in Hounslow Hisgh Street, when he was eleven years old.

    The year was 1953. The punishment did not fit the misdemeanor of a child who got caught picking a cheap trinket from a store counter. It would not happen today.

  237. Any chance of seeing some photos or articles from the press? I was only 10 at the time and have vivid memories of my teacher talking about it but I can’t remember seeing any press articles or photos.

    I remember shoplifting at Woolies’ myself (sweets only) and can still see my partner-in-crime grabbing handfuls of licorice allsorts and dashing out of the store as the shop assistant watched. She was also the mother of a kid who lived in the same street as we did. As she glowered at me, I pretended I wasn’t there. My friend eventually became a chartered accountant and now works with the present government. Yes, two years’ probation does seem a bit steep for an eleven-year-old!

  238. Britain has a history of severe sentences, inappropriate to the offence. Transportation to Australia, (and before that, to the American colonies), did not end until the 1860’s. In previous centuries, children were occasionally hung for stealing food.

    That being so, two year’s probation for an eleven year-old isn’t so surprising in 1953. This was less than ninety years after a time when the same ‘crime’ rendered a child a candidate for an unpaid cruise to the Antipodes, food and entertainment provided.

  239. karen Says:

    I have read every single entry on this case on this site , and can not beleive that you all quote what you read about the case in the papers!!!!!!….the only people that actually know what happened that night was the people that was there… some people have stated that they knew the people involved… before and after!!!!!!!.. Some have slated all of them and some have said some nice comments……. I have read comments like…” he was supposed to of” and “they was supposed to of…….” how can you all comment on something or someone that you know nothing about!!!!!!!! and as for Peters comment on Chris Darby being an alcholic… did he mention that he worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day to support his family.. nooo… people only want to say the bad things…. and also… as for Chis Darby being a grass…. what a load of crap!!!!! HE GOT LIFE FOR NOT GRASSING HIS MATES!!!!!What happened to alan jee should never have happened, but dont comment guys on the things that you know NOTHING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  240. karen Says:

    AND ALSO…. Chris darbys family did NOT receive cards every year stating he was a murderer….. NOR DID IT KILL HIS MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  241. Hi Karen

    I would assume by your posts that you are related to Chris Darby in some way. I knew Chris vaguely ( I knew the others better ) and if you read my posts you will see that I have,personally, said nothing detrimental about Chris and I totally agree with you about posters who have slated him without being in possession of the facts.It was well known around Hounslow at the time that it was another person who “grassed them up ” and it certainly was not Chris.
    I did post the info about Chris’s parents recieving anonymous Xmas cards every year with a press cutting of the murder as I was told about that by Chris’s older brother and sister in law who I used to know in the sixties.

    • karen Says:

      Hi Fred,
      Firstly may I apologise to you. In my previous comment i should have stated that what I said was not aimed at yourself, sorry if you thought it was. It took me a long time to read this page and was very shocked at some of the malicious SO CALLED facts that people say they know about this case and the people involved, from what they state, it is obvious that they know nothing apart from how to spread lies and how to be very detrimental towards people.
      I, for one, do not condone what took place and my sympathy goes out to Alan Jees relatives.
      I just wish that ( in every step of life ) people would only speak out if they have hard, solid facts about things as sensitive as cases like this.

    • someone Says:

      so who is chris’s older brother and sister in law that you used to know????? im intrigued……..

      • someone Says:

        as you know the family so well Fred… maybe it would be nice to meet up and discuss this matter we are discussing instead of spreading it on the internet for everyone to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • someone Says:

        im sure it would be nice for people to actually read true solid facts!!!!! dont you think???

  242. Robby Says:

    Fred.

    I Have checked all the posts on here and it is only one of the very early posters who claimed to be a friend of Flossie who stated that Chris Darby grassed on them. I have not seen any other detrimental comments apart from the more recent one, who claimed that he had a relationship with his daughter and said he was an alcoholic.

    All I said was according to the law as it stands, Chris Darby was fortunate not to have been hanged and I stand by that comment. You know as well as I do, Fred that you could be hanged for being an accompolice in a murder in the furthence of theft, therefore, when I said he may have had his charge changed to simple murder it was based on the fact that he did, according to the accounts I have read, give information to the police when the four were interviewed. By saying that, I am not saying he, “Grassed” anyone up. The police already knew Flossie had done the kicking and who was with him because he (Flossie) had mentioned it to another teenager, Kevin Cullinan, whatever information Darby gave at the interview, I assume would have been informing them that he never laid a hand on Jee, which anyone would have done in the circumstances.

    Your post about the Christmas cards and press cuttings I had no idea about, however, I knew you had been careful only to mention facts and you seemed to have it from a reliable source, therefore I assumed it were true, if it wasn’t true then okay, I accept that, although it bears no relation to the case as far as I am concerned.

    As for Chris Darby being in the “wrong place at the wrong time” that phrase is getting quite familiar now. It seems everyone was in the wrong place at the wrong time that night.

  243. Mick Says:

    Firstly Fred you have no need to reproach yourself for that piece of info Karen is disputing. If you were told that by Chris Darby’s brother you cannot get a closer source than that.

    Having said that, Karen’s comments are a reminder that all of us need to show some discretion when discussing this case. We are, after all, talking about the relatively recent past here…

    In one of my earlier posts I expressed the hope that Darby had made the most of his second chance and Karen’s remarks would indicate that he has – rehabilitation is a vital part of society.

    I wonder whether anyone here saw last night’s documentary on the death penalty which showed why it was eventually phased out. Interestingly, it showed photos of Forsyth and Harris and used their case as an example of how inconsistent cases of capital murder were becoming.

    Then, as now, the public had a morbid fascination about hanging and the whole gruesome ritual was shrouded in mystique. Thanks to films like Let Him Have It (which like you Fred I saw for the first time recently) we now know that the condemned prisoner was housed mere feet away from the scaffold, and when the dreaded hour arrived most were too shellshocked to mount any sort of resistance.

    What is less well known is that the hangmen of the early 60s perfected one further “trick.” A T-shaped chalkmark apparently indicating the drop was actually positioned a few feet further forward. Once hooded the prisoner did not realise was that he was actually already on the drop and the pulling of the lever caught him unawares. All this, of course, was designed to ensure the whole thing was over as soon as possible.

    I actually found the distressing final scene in Let Him Have It fairly realistic. The ritual of giving the condemned man a final tot of brandy has been disputed, but I’m sure it happened on occasions (it definitely did in the case of Ruth Ellis) and was probably left to the individual discretion of the death cell screws, some of whom formed quite strong attachments with the prisoner in those last harrowing weeks.

    A couple of years back a documentary called On Behalf Of The State interviewed the last handful of people who had been involved in a capital murder case/execution: an under-sheriff, death cell screw, defence solicitor, priest etc.

    The hangman (interviewed anonymously his face blanked out) was a guy called Harry Robinson who coincidentally assisted in the Norman Harris execution. I can reveal his name as he has since died.

    Of course it’s easy to say the people involved in executions were there on a voluntary basis, but I bet a lot of them wished that they hadn’t. The death cell screw became really emotional when he described his final parting from the condemned prisoner – again the identity of this man was not revealed but he was Peter Allen who at Liverpool’s Walton jail on August 13, 1964 became one of the last two men executed in this country – on behalf of the State.

    The words of the under-sheriff – who was present when Hanratty was hanged at Bedford – have stayed with me: “After it was over we went back to the death cell…his pyjamas were on the chair, bed clothes flung back…there was an empty cup of tea by the bed…it was such a homely little scene that I think that’s what got to me the most…we’d just killed this man, y’know..”

    The naviety of the pro-hanging brigade never ceases to amaze me. Their latest tack is that advances in DNA have left it impossible for an innocent person to be hanged. This conveniently overlooks recent cases such as Barry George who served a couple of years for the Jill Dando murder before his conviction was quashed. Then there are the M25 Three, The Birmingham Six, the Guildford Four etc etc and these, remember, are all extremely high profile cases.

    How many innocent people are convicted for murders the public knows little about?

  244. Steve Says:

    Mick,

    I saw both the programmes you refer to

    The one the other night featured, as you say, a picture of Forsyth. It looked like the same one that was in a book some years ago called
    Murders Of The Black Museum.

    I remember that earlier programme because I seem to recall the screw saying that the condemned man had said something like “You have treated me well”.

    I wonder how many contributors here have read a book called The Hangmans Tale. It was written it the late 80’s by a guy called Sid Dernley.

    He was an assistant for about three years and was involved in about 22
    executions. One of his clients, as he called them , was Timothy Evans.

    Anyway, I read his book – which I no longer have – and decided to contact him.

    I obtained his address and remember saying two things in particular. The first that I was anti-capital punishment. The second that I doubted his claim that it was possible for he and Pierrepoint
    to put a man to death – as he claimed – in less than ten seconds from entering the cell.

    When he answered he told me I should be ashamed of being anti-hanging because, as he wrote in the book, all murderers should be destroyed.

    Suprising regarding my claim that he had exaggerated the speed with which a man could be hung (he claimed seven seconds in one case) he did not chastise me. Rather, he said “Yes, you could be right”

    Later I felt guilty because I thought who am I to question a bloke who was there. If he said seven seconds then I really ought to have accepted it. So I wrote to him again and apologised.

    In his next letter he sent me copies of two documents. One was the Home Office memorandeum issued to executioners – tellling them what time they had to turn up at the prison and, very important, that they had to be discreet. Anyone drawing atention to themselves and blabbing would get thrown off the list.

    The second document he sent was another copy of a Home Office document … The Table Of Drops. And you all know what that means.

    We exchanged a few more letters and spoke about general things, life in the early 50’s, his job as a miner etc before the correspondence petered out. He died around 1994. An interesting guy – even if I didn’t share his views.

  245. Brionie Says:

    Hello,

    I have read Syd Dernley’s book, interesting but there was something about it, to me, that seemed to enjoy it a bit too much, what I did find interesting was that he said he was taken off the list because of a crass and insensitive remark he made after the execution of John Livesy in 1952, the true reason was that he was proscecuted for possessing and selling illegal books and served a prison sentence in 1953.

  246. Steve Roe Says:

    Isn’t tommorow – May 25th – the 50th anniversary of Terry’s execution ?

  247. There are three books by William Gates and Maureen Churchman entitled, “The Hanging Of Floss Forsyth” books 1, 2 and 3. I was wondering if anyone had read them.

  248. Hi

    This thread is extraordinary in its depth and perspective. I’ve written about it and quoted one commenter on my own blog: http://severnside.wordpress.com.

    I hope the author or commenter doesn’t object to being quoted. If so, drop me a line and I’ll delete it!

    Kevin

  249. Wow….what a find this site is!!

    As a Hounslow boy (born ’59 moved out ’88) I have always been fascinated by this murder, but I thought I was the only one who had an interest in it, but there is so much to take in here I am going to need to read it several times!! Reading the accounts of Hounslow life in the 50s and 60s is fantastic, conjures some great images of how it was…

    Here are two quick snippets:

    Just read a few mentions of Gene Vincent…..Gene’s wife and daughter lived in the Wheatlands in Heston in the 80s, my friend was going out with Sheree, Gene’s daughter, we all used to drink in the Black Horse at the top of Lampton Road.

    In the Victor Terry case, the driver, Hosier, came from Sutton Dene (off of Lampton Ave) his parents were friends of my mum and dad and the all use to go the Jolly Farmer also in Lampton Road

    And a couple of questions:

    Can someone give me an exact fix on where Jaochims was? Is it now the building that is the Heathrow Tandoori? (maybe post a Google street map pic?) I am planning a trip back to Hounslow and would like to get a photo of it.

    I believe in the final years of capital punishment some of those hanged were returned to their families and buried in public cemeteries. Was Forsyth or Harris ‘s remains ever re buried locally?

    Colin

    • Hello Colin

      As you may have gathered if you read the comments, I have always been interested in this case.

      I am not from Hounslow, so I cannot tell you exactly where Joachims coffee bar was, however, Fred who lived in that area and was also a friend of Forsyth, would be able to tell you. If he is still following the comments on this page, I have no doubt he will post and let you know

  250. I have not visited this site for a while and have just read Alpinedrivers post. I will post the required info within the next couple of days.

  251. I have just had a look at Google maps to see what is there now and it is the Tandoori Palace 441 Great West Road Hounslow TW5 OBY.That is the site where Joachims Coffee Bar stood. The Police weren’t happy that it was a haunt for Forsyth ( and most of the other teenagers in Hounslow) and put pressure for it to be closed.Which it was,If I remember correctly, in mid 1961′
    In answer to your second question I have No idea if the bodies were returned to the families.

    I would be pleased to answer any queries ,through this thread,of life as a teenager in Hounslow in the late fifties and early sixties although i think I have covered most things in earlier posts on this site

  252. To add a further note.(please read my post of 17th October 2010 )

    With all the furore going on today about the press inavading people’s privacy…..The way the press turned up in droves outside Francis Forsyths parents house the night before has was hanged was a total disgrace…..and that was 51 years ago !

  253. Dave Rodham Says:

    does Judy Small know what happened to Bob Fielding
    I lost touch
    Ido know he had a vey serious injury in a car crash
    i visited him in Atkinson Morley hospital

  254. Hi Dave

    I have just discovered a couple of your posts from 16th December.They have ended up much higher in this thread amongst posts from November 2010 but I can answer a couple of your questions.

    Peter Cade did live opposite Magnatex.Really nice chap who I knew well in 1960…I last saw him at the Cranford British Legion in the early seventies.

    Roy Appleby I also knew very well . we were in the same year at IGS, and he lived above the Chippie in Kingsley Road. As far as Roy being a fighter,you may remember that a load of us walked from Joachims along to a field opposite the Master Robert pub as Roy and Johnny Ellis had an argument and decided to settle things with a punch up in this field.It was a spring evening I would guess around April or May 1960.There must have been about 50 teenagers who walked along the Great West Road that evening to witness the fight. ,I in fact acted as Roys “second” .It was one of the best fights I have ever seen and must have lasted about 20 minutes. It was a fair fist fight and they both punched hell out of each other,Johnny just about won. but both earned the respect of all.
    A lasting memory of this fight (and very relevant to this thread) was that Norman Harris was there(,not sure if Flossie was ) and I can clearly remember Harris keep shouting for one of them “to put the boot in”……….A remark that would be very relevant to events just a few weeks later !!

    • Hey Fred

      I read that it was the Master Robert Pub where Forsyth, Harris, Darby and Lutt were drinking prior to going into Joachims on the night of 25th June 1960. Is it still there? If not what is in it’s place? From your last comment it seems that Norman Harris was not adverse to putting the boot in, despite his feeling remorseful and faint at the Old Bailey.

    • Dave Rodham Says:

      Hello Fred
      I sure do remember that fight !!!!
      I was there as a 15 year old,and i’d never seen anything like it.
      I was standing watching with my cousin Tony Hall.
      I lived further up Kingsley Road and knew Roy Appleby quite well.
      I remember Norman Harris shouting and hollering.
      Wonder what happened to Roy,god bless him.

      Peter Cade,cracking bloke
      spent many days down hounslow high st with him
      Thanks for the memory Fred!!!!!

      • peter cade Says:

        hello dave i have just got back on this site and see that you are looking for jim swan he & pauline went to australia in the early seventies i am still in touch with them through skype they would also like to know what happend to bob fielding

  255. I dont know but it could have been the Master Robert where the four started their drinking on the evening of 25th of June 1960, The “Robert” is still there and is quite close to where the four lived.They could have then headed east along the Great West Road and crossed over to Joachims which was about 400 yards along at the next set of lights. After that they would have presumably walked South along the Kingsley Road for about half a mile into Hounslow town and then called to see Darbys brother who lived in Hanworth Road not far from Hounslow bus garage. The murder took place about 400 yards from the bus garage.
    All speculation on my part (except their visit to Darbys brother,which he personally told me about a decade later )

    • Your theory could well be right Fed. It was from an old Newspaper article I read that the four of them were drinking in the Master Robert, although in Harry Allen’s book it says they were drinking in the “Clay Pigeon Inn” at Eastote near Uxbridge.

  256. Eastcote is miles away from Hounslow and I find it hard to believe that they would have been there on the day of the murder, as none possessed a car, so I would be inclined to believe that the original newspaper report you read is more likely to be more accurate.

  257. Yes the posts do seem to come up in a strange order!!

    Wasn’t the Clay Pigeon Inn Eastcote where Harry Roberts and crew started off on their misadventure that ended up with 3 dead policeman near Wormword Scrubbs?

    Anyway ….. thanks for more great memories that really cunjure up a picture of being a teenager in 1960!! keep ‘em coming!! Are there any photo’s? (If you go to Youtube and search for “Hounslow trolleybus” there is some great colour footage shot around Hounslow in 1960)

  258. Dave Rodham Says:

    Can i correct a point thats niggling me.

    It was Bob PARTON who chucked the spear and not Bob PATTEN
    sorry to be pedantic.
    Great site bringing back some memories!!!

    THANKS EVERYBODY

  259. Just stating the obvious!!
    Considering what some hooded animals get away with today.
    Had the Forsyth/Harris case happened today,and some slippery
    Barrister getting the charge reduced to manslaughter,as there was no intention to kill etc etc
    I reckon the sentence today would read
    Forsyth 6 years
    Harris 6 years
    Lutt 6 years
    Darby 4 years
    All out free in about 3 years.
    Just read the papers and see what reprobates are walking the streets after commiting far,far worse crimes than Flossie.
    Having said all that i must confess,the most important people in this terrible murder are the Gee family.
    Born in West Mid,raised in Hounslow,user of Joachims in 1960,everything changed Nov 10th 1960
    Great Site!!

  260. Regarding posts on this site that appear in a strange order.I think that if contributors just post “leave a reply” then they will appear at the end of the thread and not amongst posts of maybe almost a couple of years old, as they will if a specific post is replied to.

    I have just trawled the 300 or so posts and found old posts that had been made ages ago and I had missed.

    Keep posting everyone,it is a bit special to exchange memories with the class of 1960 Hounslow teenagers.

  261. Hi All

    Just a quick note to say thanks for your fascinating posts. I have been following your messages since Oct 2010 and have found your insights incredibly interesting. I hadn’t really been able to find out that much about the case before so your input has been much appreciated. I used to work as Journalist and met a close family friend of Albert Pierpoint in 2006 which sparked my interest in Capital punishment in general. Despite being born in 1977 this case fascinates me. It’s incredible to think that precisely 17 years before I was born an 18 year old could be executed for murder. In 2009 I visited the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham. They have got the Wandsworth prison gallows there as an exhibit. It was quite chilling to stand on the very trapdoor that Flossie found himself on all those years ago. The museum is well worth a visit for anyone interested in the subject. What a stark contrast to today and all well within the living memory of many. Thanks again for your excellent posts. Best Wishes ..James

    • Ken Thomson Says:

      Wow! I had no idea that it was kept in a museum. Flossie’s winkle picker shoes are apparently in the Black Museum in Scotland Yard, as I recall from reading a previous post.

      Morbid, perhaps, but fascinating, nevertheless.

  262. James Says:

    Yes the gallows are free to view at the Galleries of Justice Museum, Nottingham. For anyone who is interested you can find out more at this link here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/content/articles/2009/03/23/galleries_of_justice_wandsworth_gallows_feature.shtml

    The trap doors are under toughened glass so that you can actually go and stand on them. Quite an amazing piece of twentieth century history and even more incredible to think that they were used as recently as 1961!

    Best Wishes
    Jame

  263. Thanks for your post and the link James. It is incredible that they were last used in 1961. Unfortunately,from my personal perspective,it is even more incredible that I went to school,worked with,and lived near, to one of the last persons hanged on them.
    An interesting thing on the link is that some of the most infamous murderers of recent times Haig and Bentley got a mention but not Forsyth.
    .Although being the youngest person to hang in the 20th Century,his name does not crop up in articles that often when compared with the other two plus Ruth Ellis.

  264. there is some interesting footage on YouTube taken before the death cell and execution chamber were refurbished, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1TpuBnNMEg

  265. James Says:

    Hi Fred
    The case must seem extraordinary from your perspective given your personal knowledge of the people and era involved. It also must seem incredible to you how much society has changed over the last 51 years.

    I too picked up on the BBC article failing to mention Forsyth. As you say his execution is rather notable given his extremely young age.

    Something else surprised me even more was that when I saw the gallows in the museum. On the wall next to the trap door is a plaque listing the names of everyone executed on the apparatus and the dates of these executions. Bizarrely Forsyth’s name is missing. The list just jumps straight from Podola Gunter Fritz E in 1959 to John Victor Terry in 1961. I’m very surprised that this mistake was made.

    Thanks v.much to Alpinedriver for your video link by the way. Very interesting.

    J.

    • Remarkable omission, especially as Victor Terry is mentioned and it is well documented that Terry and Forsyth were hanged on the same gallows.

  266. just to let you all know on the Forsyth/Harris site
    I’ve got my hands on “Middlesex Chronicle” copies dated 1960
    Some trial transcript closing speeches,judges summing up
    also the sentencing response a lot of interesting reading.
    it also clarifies several mistakes written about the case

    • That’s interesting…..I had some stuff too taken from the microfiche system at Hounslow library many years ago but due to the way it printed much of it has no faded and is unreadable.

      I was wondering if we should move all of this to a Yahoo groups site where it’s possible to post photos & documents etc, … it would be great to share lot of this stuff?

      I’m not totally sure how it’s done but I’m an member of a Heston airport Yahoo group and it works really well. If anyone is interested Ill look into it?

    • David Leather Says:

      are the extracts from the Middlesex chronicle still available ?

  267. I’d be interested for one as I’ve never seen any photos or newspaper reports about this or not since the time of the events when I was 10 years old!

  268. I would be very interested to see this too as almost all of the comments I have made on this thread have been from personal recollections and I should like too see if my old memory still works Ok !

    • Fred
      if you contact Rob he can scan the Middlesex Chronicle copies to you
      Sorry mate i dont have scan facilities

      regards
      DAVE

  269. OK…. i have set something up….. have a go at accessing this:

    Group name: Hounslowmemories
    Group home page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Hounslowmemories
    Group email: Hounslowmemories@yahoogroups.com

    I guess you will need to register etc, but once a few people have it’s very easy to share things. another good feature is that when you post everyone in the group receives it as an email. For reference i will try to copy over relevant content from here.

    rgds

    Colin

    • Hi Colin
      how do i log into the site you set up
      i will send paper cuttings from 1960

      ta mate
      Dave Rodham

  270. I’m now a member and ready to go! BTW what car can I see in the photo?

    Ian

    • I have met some great people on this site. I am off to the U.S.A for a while on Tuesday 7th February and when I get back I am hoping to meet some of them.

  271. I have now joined too.Many thanks Alpine :)

  272. linda Says:

    All the insights and personal memories have been very interesting. I was kind of on the outside of all this. Aged 11 at the time Jee’s murder, I knew the story, at the time had a friend living in James St, knew Frank the Greengrocer quite well, went to Spring Grove Central School but NEVER ever heard that Forsyth had been a past pupil, but ask just about anyone who was around Hounslow in 1960 and they will remember this case, as well as that of girl guide Brenda Nash who was also a pupil at SG.

    It seems strange that as mentioned, the whole thing had a profound and lasting effect, not only on those concerned but people around and yet, didn’t attract the same national attention as Craig and Bentley, Hanratty and the like,

  273. Hi Linda

    Surprised that you never heard it mentioned that Forsyth was a past pupil of SGCS. He certainly was! He went there for about 4 years. He previously attended Hounslow Heath Junior school where he passed his 11 plus and gained a place at Isleworth Grammar School but he was only there a very short time before transferring to Spring Grove Central ( a secondary modern school ) as he said he found IGS “too snobby” for him.

  274. Just to add to my last post. I also am surprised that the hanging of Forsyth never attracted the same national attention down the years as the others you mentioned but I suppose that there was some doubt whether Hanratty was guilty and whether Bentley should have hanged.However the young age of Forsyth (18 years and 6 months when he was hanged) would I suppose have ranked his execution alongside those mentioned plus Ruth Ellis.
    I have made previous mention of the Brenda Nash case on this thread and the feeling around Hounslow at the time that this crime was worse than Forsyth’s and the killer of Brenda should have hanged too.

  275. Ken Thomson Says:

    I found in my files a program of the prizes and certificates handed out to 4th form students at Spring Grove Central School, dated November 21, 1957.

    This includes “FR Forsythe” (AKA Flossie), who received a credit in the Royal Society of Arts, (RSA), Grouped Technical Course – for English, Mathematics and Trade Calculations, plus a pass in Science. Dumb in some ways, but no slouch academically.

    I had thought that Forsyth’s name was correctly spelled “Forsythe”. The school program spells it as such, which confirms this suspicion.

    I was thinking about Floss a few days ago, after a local businessman was found hanged in his office. This man had apparently been leading a life of quiet desperation. He chose to end it all by doing something that seems to most of us to be so horrifying, but to him provided the best solution to resolve his plight.

    It’s possible that some who are sentenced to death see it as a better outcome than life in prison. Hard to believe, perhaps, but there are enough people in this world who hang themselves, to attest to the fact that this is perceived to be their least painful option.

  276. Ken Thomson Says:

    I should add to my previous post the fact that Spring Grove Central was a pretty good school, as assistant headmaster Chaulklen used to remind us. Case in point, Mike Hampshire got eleven GCE O levels the following year at the same time that our infamous classmate went on to Borstal.

    Another classmate, musician Don Partridge, went on to make some hit records in the 1970’s. Alas, he died last year.

  277. Colin Says:

    I’ve just purchased a book called “Friday on my mind” written by a Hounslow Mod. Although it obviously relates to a period slightly later than has been discussed here, it is nevertheless an interesting insight to teenage life in Hounslow during the sixties

    Flossie gets a mention, the author went to the same school.

    More details here:

    http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/west-london-news/local-hounslow-news/2010/07/16/magic-memories-of-mod-years-109642-26867453/

    • Colin Says:

      Just wondered if anyone is still visiting this thread? It would be shame to loose all these good (and bad) Hounslow memories!

      • Ken Thomson Says:

        Haven’t got the book yet, but it’s on my list. Looks interesting.

        Just mentioning that Flossie would be 70 had he lived. Our classmates have been in the process of reaching that milestone through the school year.

        Colin Owen’s birthday is tomorrow, June 6. Mine is coming up, a couple of days after Paul McCartney, whose hair doesn’t, Uh, have a touch of grey. Hmm…

  278. Colin Says:

    I haven’t finished the book yet, but Flossie gets quite a few mentions…. Actually the bit I read this morning refers to the writer being in the Ricky Tic in Hounslow and getting alerted to “Crapper” Harris (Norman Harris’s elder brother) being found slumped in the doorway of Dunns in Hounslow High Street after getting a kicking, and with a dart sticking out of his neck!

    Also lots of memories of the Attic/Zambezi/Ricky Tick……

    • Dave Says:

      Hi Colin
      just to let you know that “Cropper” Harris was Normans younger brother and his nick name was “cropper” and not “crapper” he was a friend of mine we were of a younger group than Norman and Flossie.
      I can remember the trial and the sentence as if it were yesterday
      regards DAVE

  279. Was the case ever featured in True Detective or Master Detective Magazine as they have many old cases in from different periods and from various countries.

  280. Is Chris Darby still alive as depending on what age he was at the time of the murder 20 or 23 he will be 72 or 75 by now.

    • Colin Says:

      I last saw him in the White Hart in Harlington about 20 years ago

      • anne Quoroll. nee matthews Says:

        the white hart is now closed.

      • a friend Says:

        He never drunk in the white hart!!!!! i do wish people would get their facts right on this site!!!!!!

  281. Their is something about the case I am curious about and no one seems to have asked it. After the murder some accounts say Forsythe boasted about the murder and in others Harris did, so which is correct.

  282. Fred Says:

    In reply to graham’s post above.
    The possibility is that the real truth would only be revealed were someone able to access Police papers and reports of the murder and arrest.
    The general consensus at the time among local teenagers, was that Kevin Cullinan,who knew all four, went to the Police after both Forsyth and Lutt had told him they were involved.
    However the press,as you might expect, carried some different versions,such as Forsyth bragged about the murders,or an off duty Policeman overheard a conversation between Lutt and Cullinan in a pub.

    • john wales Says:

      I still remember my Dad telling me that he overheard a conversation in a pub or club or bar of some sort where someone talked about Flossie kicking the guy to death. He then contacted the Murder Squad because he realised that it was Forsyth from the time he nicked him. He, my Dad, must have had this on his mind for the rest of his life as he never seemed comfortable when speaking about it. Two things that stick out, probsbly posted them before, 1/ The Superintendant saying ‘You solved this case A……’ and 2/ the same Superintendant saying, in a booming voice, to Forsyth’s Mum outside the court after the sentance ‘One day Mrs Forsyth the dark cloud will be lifted’

  283. colin Says:

    I couIdn’t say Chris Darby was regular in the White Hart, but I can assure you that ihe has been in there, I was introduced to him! It was only afterwards that I was told it was Chris Darby

  284. someone Says:

    colin, i can assure you that chris darby never stepped foot in the white hart until a few years ago..which now would have made him about 68 years of age!!!!!!!!!!!….. this is what really annoys me about this site and as i have said before…. I WISH EVERYONE WOULD GET THERE FACTS RIGHT ON THIS SITE…and stop going on peoples say so and get the TRUE FACTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.I WILL NEVER EVER CONDONE WHAT HAPPENED AND I AM TRULY SORRY FOR WHAT HAPPENED, BUT ALL YOUR HEAR SAYS AND MY MATE TOLD ME’S IS NOT AND WILL NEVER EVER BE TRUE HARD FACTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP ASSUMING, STOP MAKING ASSUMPTIONS, STOP LISTENING TO HEARSAY, STOP THINKING YOU KNOW WHEN YOU CLEARLY DONT!!!!!!STOP BEING THE THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH PARTY IN THIS!!!!… Have any of you actually truely been affected by this story for real as a family member.???????????????????? i doubt it very very much!!!!!!! just a bunch of busy bodies chatting over a cuppa or a pint!!!!!! are any of you a close member of the victim???? i doubt that much as well………… stop chatting about something that the victims family had to live through 50 odd years ago, which to you is just a hobby but to them it it was someones son, fiancee and family and i am sure they would be very upset by all this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • charles davis Says:

      Well said.. I fully agree it’s time to put an end to this site, why keep going on about Forsyth and his mob, he deserves to fade away and be forgotten, some of these comments are turning this site into an old school reunion memories, remember what they did..murder, who cares who used to drink here or there.
      END THIS NOW.

      Charles.

      • colin Says:

        If you dont like, it don’t visit?

      • Someone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says:

        Thank you

      • Someone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says:

        My comment of thank you was to Charles Davies not the person who said ” if you don’t like it don’t look” who is obviously a ?????? I dare not print what I actually think !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  285. Hugo Says:

    Hello Rob,

    This case really fascinates me, and I can see you have studied this in great detail.

    Can you provide me with any information as to the exact location where the murder took place? I am interested because I used to live in 120 Stanley Road. This was one of the houses built in the 1980s, and was situated only about 100 feet from the footbridge. I guess there was only scrubland where the houses are now so the murder could have happened very close indeed to where I was living.

    I first heard about this case nearly a year ago, when I read a book called ‘All Or Nothing’ by Don Hughes about the Mod scene in the 1960s in Hounslow.

    I have walked across that footbridge; it leads to nowhere, and I always thought of it as being very creepy.

    Hugo

    • Someone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says:

      How can you say… If you don’t like it don’t look??????? You are talking about people’s family!!!!!!! Do you realise how upsetting this is?????!!!!!!! Children, grandchildren can get access to this so easy!!!!!!!!!! So don’t dare say don’t look of we don’t like it!!!!!!!! People like you don’t have a bloody clue how this sort if thing affects people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  286. Simon Carling Says:

    If anybody can help. I am interested in researching a case of capital punishment that occured in 1950 – 3 British soldiers – Golby , Hensmen and Smith were executed in the Suez zone for a murder. I have read that the case was controversial and that British troops in the zone rioted as a result. There is not a lot of available information and any information will be greatly appreciated

  287. Oldman Says:

    I have been watching for a while knowing that somewhere, I had some of the old Middlesex Chronicles. I’ve finally dug them out, they are very faded but after reading the relevant bits the first thing I notice is that on Friday July 1st edition on the front page the police issue a description of four men they wish to interview:

    One is in his early 20s, 5’ 8” tall medium build with dark hair and pale face dressed in a dark suit and dark shirt

    The second s aged 20 to 30, 6’ 1” tall and well built, with plenty of dark and greasy hair. He was probably wearing a dark overcoat of the short type which may have been a duffle coat.

    The third is aged about 18, 5’ 6” and slim. He has fair hair done in a be bop style with a roll of hair over his forehead. He has a long face and a sharp nose. He was wearing a blue herring bone jacket and dark trouser with pointed Italian shoes.

    There is no description of the fourth man

    I will make some more observations when I read some more.

  288. Interesting to read Oldman’s last post. The descriptions of the last two fit Lutt and Forsyth (although Lutt was only 17 he looked older ) (If I remember correctly Forsyth was a bit taller than 5′ 6” but was probably the shortest of the 4 ) The first description was probably Harris but he was near 6 feet tall.
    In reply to Hugo’s post .The attack took place at the bend in the alleyway just before the steps of the bridge. On the Northern side of the bridge just along from James Street.

  289. I just wanted say something about the details being related here. First of all it all seems so familiar to me although I was nowhere near Hounslow.
    I lived on a Council Estate, 56 Blackmore Cres, near Woking called Sheerwater. Prior to that my family had lived in Council flat in Brixton. I went to Hackford Road Primary School.
    I left the U.K in February 1960 and have lived in Auckland, New Zealand ever since. But all the posts here bring all the memories back. I just want to say that most of the cultural things like music, clothes and gangs were all part of life on Sheerwater. But in hindsight it was a great period for me, Bill Haley and Elvis Presley, were our heroes. We also had the Atlanta Ballroom which is referred to as the infamous Atalanta Ballroom I’m not sure why, as far as I’m concerned it was a great place. I should know I was there most Saturday nights. Another place was Millers Cafe in Woking, complete with Juke Box.
    However I do realise that the murder issue must be very emotional for some of you, particularly family members and I’m sorry for what happened. But those were the times and those were some of the things we did, not through any sense of malice but because fighting was all part of it.

  290. you dont need to know Says:

    seems very funny that since my comment to colin,” dont like it dont look” that no one has commented…!!!!…. yes….I am a family member !!!!!!!!!!!!! i!!!!!! and have read every single comment on this page……like i have previously stated…. unless you was there, then you have no idea what happened,. we can all jump to conclusions and it is very sad what happened,i do not condone what happened but your comments on he said, she said , they said, are very hear say and NONE OF YOU have the right to make out you know the truth !!!!!!!!

    • Oldman Says:

      looks to me as though tthere have been several additions and that the thread is still very active?

    • I would like to say, how long did these people know Norman Harris,he must have been 20 or 21 when he came out of the army,and if he went into prison like some say he did then he was,nt around very long to be all the things he supposed to have been,they probably only saw him once or twice and did,nt know who he was and he did not have a reputation,he was just an ordinary bloke who got mixed up with the wrong person
      Flossie.

  291. As one of the most prolific posters on this thread I feel I should respond to the above post.
    I can understand your anguish if indeed you are a relative. ( please share with us who are related to ) and I understand you being unhappy at some of the comments made, and indeed the reason I began posting a couple of years ago was to correct the inaccuracies on the very first post.
    However, as someone who was very much around in Hounslow in 1960 and knew all four ( I had known Flossie since he was 8 years old ) I believe I have the right to share memories with other posters,it is up to the administrators of this site to delete any unsuitable posts,

    • YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW Says:

      Fred… yes I am a relative.!!!!!!!!!!!i would love to chat more to you but dont know how to…. please give me your e mail address so we can talk more x x I SO WANT TO PUT ALL THIS NONSENSE STRAIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

    • YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW Says:

      Memories are ok Fred, I dont have aproblem wih that :-)

  292. Oldman Says:

    I agree with Fred. So long as there no malicous attempts to offend anyone, this site provides real value to local and social historians and other intersted parties.

    As for the” he said/she said arrguements”, and “the unless you were there etc” comments….it seems to me that a lot of the posters were there, not at the murder of course but in the coffee bars and work places and that provides a unique insight into an unsavourey event, recounted by people who were actually there growing up in Hounslow at the time.

    We can’t go down the road of censorship.

  293. Oldman Says:

    Just reading back through some of the older posts there are quite a few that were new to me.

    As mentioned before this page does seem to assemble things in a strange order. latest posts aren’t allways at the bottom!!

    Really intersting stuff from Peter Cade…. Peter are you still following this thread? If so would love to hear more of your recollections.

  294. Hi Oldman
    I agree with you about the strange order the posts are sometimes displayed as ,and it is not easy to trawl through nearly 440 posts. I think if posters respond to earlier posts by just typing their post and entering it at the very bottom of the thread rather than entering next to a post that may be half way up the thread then it would be easier to spot.
    I have had contact with Peter through this site and we knew each other well as teenagers in 1960 and it was good to be able to exchange our memories on a personal basis although we had not met for over 50 years. I can confirm that like myself,Pete was very much part of the Hounslow scene all those years ago and both our recollections of events are clear and accurate. That in itself is testament to the effects those events had on the lives of Hounslow teenagers then.

  295. I believe what you typed was very reasonable.
    However, consider this, suppose you added a little information?
    I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but suppose you added a headline that makes people want more? I mean 10 November 1960 – Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris Execution of the day is a little boring. You ought to look at Yahoo’s front
    page and see how they write post titles to grab viewers to click.
    You might add a related video or a pic or two to grab readers interested about what
    you’ve written. Just my opinion, it would bring your posts a little livelier.

  296. There is so much great stuff on here.

    Im working on setting up a Website callled Hounslow Memories and will feature a proper forum, for old fogies like me to reminisce about what was once a nice place to live.

    I envisage 4 or 5 forum headings, typically schools/businesses…. Pubs clubs and the social scene,…… incidents events and occasions…. Shops and streets etc.

    When i get it up there I’ll post its details here, hope you will all stop by and contribute.

    • I grew up with norman we were always in trouble,he was brought up in wesley avenue,sutton lane estate by his mum and dad,the wellington rd address was his aunties,we got our first lot of probation together,i think two lots and went to the same detention centre,Kidlington Oxford, when we came out we carried on getting into trouble,my Father threatened me not to go with Norman and then we moved four doors away from him,a year after we came out of Oxford we were sent to redhill to be assessed we ended up in approved schools,we were insepprable up an till then,a lot of people was quite suprised that i was not involved as we were very close mates,when we came out of the approve school we went straight into the Army,i saw him on the night it happened we said hello and that was that,i was courting,if there is anything else i can tell you i will.We were soul mates.

  297. Oldman Says:

    It’s the same picture that made the Middlesex Chronicle and was used in the Gordon Honeycombe book “more murders of the Black Museum” (which also features pictures of Lutt Darby and Harris as well as Forsythe’s shoes which are apparently held at the museum.

    Interesting that the press photo is stamped New York and was listed by a seller in Memphis.

    • Ian Chippett Says:

      Any chance of seeing photos of the others? Nothing on the Web as far as I can see.

      • Oldman Says:

        let me have your email address and I’ll scan the page and send it

  298. Ian Chippett Says:

    ichippett@aol.com

    Thanks!

    • Ian Chippett Says:

      Did you send me the photos? I think I may have deleted it as spam. If so, could you send them again. Thanks again.

  299. Spooky to see the photo of Flossie.I have not seen any photos of him since they were all over the national press over 52 years ago.Even more spooky was the fact that at the date of execution 10th November 1960.I was 49 days short of my 18th birthday I was born on 29th December 1942…….yesterday, 10th January 2013, the date I saw the photo…..my son, who was born on 28th February 1995, was also EXACTLY 49 days short of his 18th birthday….is that spooky or what ???

  300. YOU DONT NEED TO KNOW Says:

    I will say that none of you know exactly what went on, and I find it very hard to believe that you all have commented on this site….. You all have judged on what you have read, and as i have previously stated you should not do so as NONE OF YOU were there!!!!!!…. do none of you realise what your comments do to family members????? no!!!! you never thought of that!!!!!!!!, oh, we have been told not to read on this site and if we dont like it dont look!!!!!, bit bloody hard, dont you think!!!!!!!! well ….you all have a good chat about it, sod the consiquenseces on the children and grand children who can very easily acess this sight….and im not just talking abut those who got hung for the crime!!!!

    • Your writing would be more effective if you kept your fingers off the ‘exclamation point’ and ‘question mark’ keys.
      Who are you, anyway?

      • Someone!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says:

        I put alot of exclamation marks in to show my anger towards some comments on here!!

  301. Thanks for some other magnificent article. Where else may anyone get that type of info in such a perfect manner of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.

  302. Johnno Says:

    Hi…..any of you guys who knew flossy forsythe did you know a guy called Barry Hampton from Worthing Road in Heston?. I was in the army with him from 1958 onwards….is he still around. Just trying to find an old buddy. Good luck to you all.

  303. Wesley pache Says:

    My mum lived next door to Norman Harris and my dad knew Harris and lutt well Harris lived down wesley avenue hounslow.

  304. oldman Says:

    I have never seen a picture of Alan Jee before. I can’t imagine it’s not genenuine and seems to be from the same series as the Forsythe picure also sold on ebay a few months back. Really brings it home that this was all about a decent young man loosing his life to the actions of thugs.

  305. Pete in Leeds Says:

    I,ve also been interested in this case for many years and I think of the wasted lives of three young men,one in a savage beating and two in a savage thirst for revenge.The human skull is robust but with weak spots just upper and forward of the ears and these areas were contacted by Forsyth,s shoes & led to his death.If Jee could have been got to hospital quicker he may have survived and spared everyone the suffering that followed.Although I live in Leeds I,ve been to Hounslow when I worked for Siemens who had a office near the centre.I didn,t try to see any of the areas in this case as it wasn,t on my mind at the time.Also I,m not a supporter of capital punishment as too many mistakes take place.Reading on this site from all the contributors who knew the boys concerned is truly mindblowing as wer,re all getting on now(I was born in 1946).Regards to all posters. Pete.

  306. i have only just found this site again.

  307. Back to the execution of Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris.
    Just a bit of additional info linked to the event.
    At the time of the execution Norna Mackie, Harrises girlfriend lived in Fern Lane, Heston. I lived about two minutes away in the same street. I was verey young but can remember she really dressed up with high piled backcombed hair. I think all the people who lived around there thought of her as a bit of a tart. But don’t get me wrong, she may have been a very nice girl. I clearly remember seeing a picture of her in one of the papers at the time, going into the prison to visit her boyfriend. On the morning of the execution I was in assembly at Bulstrode Boys School. The headmaster Les Dennis, a nasty piece of work in my book, made some tactless comment, and Norman Harris’s younger brother, who for some crazy reason was at school on that day, ran crying from the hall. He was in the same year as me if my memory serves me correctly, which would have made him about 12/13 years.
    I really didn’t hang around Hounslow much at that time, so don’t know what effect it had. I do know that by the time I was about 15, it was never thought of, but maybe thats because we missed the Teddy Boy era and it was all Mods and Rockers by then – different crowds. When I was 15 we would meet up at Hounslow bus station and all shoot of to parties on scooters and in a van called the Black Maria, but thats another story. Francis Forsyth and Norman Harris were already history for us by then.

    • oldman Says:

      Mike…

      As a Hounslow Mod you may be interested in a book called “Friday on my mind” written by a Hounslow Mod. Although it obviously relates to a period slightly later than has been discussed here, it is nevertheless an interesting insight to teenage life in Hounslow during the sixties. You might even get a mention!!

      More details here:

      http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/west-london-news/local-hounslow-news/2010/07/16/magic-memories-of-mod-years-109642-26867453/

      The writer refers to being in the Ricky Tic in Hounslow and getting alerted to “Cropper” Harris (Norman Harris’s elder brother) being found slumped in the doorway of Dunns in Hounslow High Street after getting a kicking, and with a dart sticking out of his neck!

      Also lots of memories of the Attic/Zambezi/Ricky Tick……

      • oldman
        Thanks very much for that information. I will definitely follow it up and get that book about the Mod scene in Hounslow. I will try and speak with the author Don Hughes’ as he seems to have touched life pretty close to me.
        I am currently living in Bali and and can be found on Facebook http://goo.gl/XOjxF . I am a long way from Hounslow now, but never forget my roots.
        Thanks again

      • You got that all wrong mate,

  308. Fred Says:

    Just heard today that Chris Darby passed away last Tuesday.
    RIP Chris.

    • A friend Says:

      You are obviously still a local man Fred. Who told you about Chris Darby passing away?
      R.I.P

  309. did he die peacefully fred and how old was he.

    • Steve Roe Says:

      In my first post here (Nov 29 2010) I mentioned the murder of John Beckley on Clapham Common. Today (July 2nd) is the 60th anniversary.

      Did anyone buy “The Plough Boy” as I recommended ?

  310. Sarah Turtle Says:

    Hi my mum was just telling me this story after reading something similar in today’s paper so looked it up. My mums brother Reg Partridge was good mates with Frances and a day or two after the murder he was talking to my gran outside her house (Frances this was) talking about it and saying how its bit safe anywhere anymore. My mum says he was a pretty nasty character and stole money from her mums house once and when she confronted his mother age wouldn’t believe it and didn’t believe that her son did anything bad at all. My mum lived I’m Cambridge Road but he lived in Clare Road.

  311. HI Sarah, I remember your Uncle Reg he and Flossie were in the year above me at Hounslow Heath Junior school. We were among
    a group of youngsters who were for ever playing football and cricket at Beaversfield Park

  312. Dear Contributors to this thread.

    I too became appraised of this case through the Guiness Book of Records but in the early 1970s- perhaps engaged through Forsyth’ s memeorable name. It is these vague memories that sometimes accrete to develop a career. Since those days I have become an academic crimnologist and am undertaking detailed research into detective work from circa 1945-1965. In this context the Hounslow Footpath case has come into my orbit on a number of occassions in my research. I agree with some of the contributors that there is probably a book in this case, replete as it is in both social and criminal history. I will be addressing it eventually in my current work but would be interested to hear if any of you would be interested in helping me out (with appropriate and agreed acknowledgement) with a a more detailed single exposition on the events. I can not promise a speedy reply or action but, if you are interested, please feel free to contact me on my professional email address at Southampton Solent University: nigel.brearley@solent.ac.uk. I am bound by the constraints of the Professional Ethics Code of the British Society of Criminology, so be assured that I will act with great discretion and confidentiality as required.

  313. Hello everyone. I have not posted on here for nearly two years now as I have been living in the U.S.A. However, I just dropped by to say that I purchased a second hand book entitled, “The Hanging Of Floss Forsyth Book II The Trial.” By William Gates. Gates actually wrote three books entitled, The Hanging of Floss Forsyth but the first and the last have absolutely nothing to do with the case, whereas the second one is the exact post script of the trial itself. I haven’t had time to read it yet but I am sure when I do I shall find it interesting. Ironically, I could not get this book in England. Anyway, all the best to Fred, Ian, Dave and everyone else who contributes on this site. I have missed you all. I would also like to take the opportunity to apologise to anyone who had been offended by my contributions. I assure you that was never my intention.

    • Michelle Says:

      Never took offence Bu some!!!! My dad was Christopher Darby and he has now sadly passed away . He was a great dad to me and ihave been angered by some of the comments on here as some people presumed the facts all by hear say I might add. .and they have decided to chat in great lengths about something they knew nothing about !!!! ..we ( my dad and i) spoke in depth about this terrible act and I will never condone what happened !!!! I feel sadly for the families involved and the only thing I can say is RIP x x

      • you can not choose your parents michelle, he was good to you and that is what counts, he carried his remorse with him forever.rip the deceased family and to your dad also.

  314. Stumbled upon this whilst googling the video of the gallows at Wandsworth. It is fascinating to read the comments and memories of everybody who has posted and also the debate on capital punishment about which I can only agree with what Pierrepoint wrote in his autobiography that the majority of people are in favour,the only trouble was that everybody differed as to who got off. Grateful thanks to you all for your entries.

  315. Robby Says:

    I am sorry to learn of your Father’s passing, Michelle. I also sincerely apologise if any of my comments offended or upset you. Since my last post I have read the book I mentioned of the postscript of the trial and I can honestly say I feel in respect of your Father (and only your Father) there was a gross miscarriage of justice and I say that with the upmost sincerity.

    • Michelle Says:

      Thank you Robbie. Your words mean a lot to me. This case is indeed a very sad one as a life was lost. As I have previously stated , I will never condone what happened but some things have been stated on here that are no where near true. Hearsay does have a lot to do with it and obviously as a family member I have looked at every single article written in the press and gone through it with a fine tooth comb!!!!! I have spoken to many many people who were directly and indirectly involved with the 4 men in question , and as stated previously , spoke in depth with my father about what happened… I don’t expect anything from anyone on here , but after reading every single entry over and over and over I find it very sad that some people ( and the some is a few) see this blog as a gossip site to which they add their bit to gain popularity because they knew of 1 or more of the 4 over 53 years ago and know NOTHING about The NOW.

      • Robby Says:

        I can really understand the way you feel Michelle and my posts have probably been a major contribution to upsetting you and for that I apologise . I know it is a little late to say but I wish I had met your Father. I believe he has been misjudged by many. For my part I promise you that this will be my last post on here. I will leave my email address on here so that anyone who wishes to contact me in the future may do so. For anyone who is interested it is robdylanrodway@gmail.com. If I don’t get the opportunity to speak to you again Michelle, I do wish you all the best for the future. May God Bless you and may your Father rest in peace.

    • Hello Michelle i knew your dad very well we went to the same school,i have been his house on the corner of george st and queenswood ave and did you know he had asthma very bad and had to carry a machine around with him in case he had an attack,if your auntie mary is still alive ask who she sat next to in class at the wellington junior school well it was me,last time i saw your dad was when he walked into the bulstrode hotel in lampton road he wold not talk about it,and how he got mixed up in it i just dont know.R,L,P, Chrissey

      • Michelle Says:

        Brian, sadly my Aunty Mary passed away a few years ago so unfortunately I can’t answer your question. Yes, dad did have asthma but it never stopped him working hard , 7 days a week for over 30 years . Thank you for our kind words .

  316. At the time of the execution of Ruth Ellis all types of murder carried the death penalty. The law that made some murders capital and some non capital came out in March 1957 and was part of the Homicide Act, I think manslaughter due to diminished responsibility was another part of the act. Norman Harris was not the last man to hang at Pentonville, that distinction was given Edwin Bush who was executed in July 1961 for the robbery murder of a woman in a shop off Charing Cross Road.

  317. The shop Bush robbed was a antiques shop and he stole a sword not money, do any of you know anything about this case. I believe that Bush was of Indian decent though he was born in the UK.

  318. bush claimed the owner of the shop used a racist remark at him and that was why he killed her, he was of pakistani origin and his sole purpose was murder and robbery, at that time a capital crime.

  319. Now let them all rest in peace.
    Theres a lot of you who dont know what you are really talking about

  320. heathrow Says:

    Just read through the whole thread and saw that Norman Harris had sisters called April and Beryl…I’m sure that they must have been the two girls that lived near me, April had black hair and Beryl had curly blonde hair, they had a much younger sister but I can’t remember her name but the surname wasn’t Harris..did they go and live with another family?

    • Brian Bates Says:

      Norman Harris only had two sisters Beryl.and April also two brothers one younger and one older,and it was Forsythe who done all the killing.what was the other girls name and where do you live,

      • heathrow Says:

        The younger girl was Ruth, I suppose it is possible that she was adopted or April and Beryl lived with an other family. Their Dad was a big man, black hair and mousache I think…it was many years ago! I was living in Northfield Road at the time.

  321. heathrow Says:

    Michelle,you say that you spoke to your Dad in depth about about what happened, why don’t you just post the definitive version and stop any speculation? Also, did Chris drink in The Rising Sun, Cranford Lane in the late Eighties?

    • Michelle Says:

      Heathrow ….I don’t have to post anything on here to avoid speculation, and I never will…I know what happened and now My dad is at peace ,that’s how things with me will stay. My dad was a very loving, caring family man who I had the upmost respect for! And still do…

    • Norman Harris had two sisters April was the youngest and Beryal, two brothers Richard and Jack who lost a leg in the navy and as for his father being a big man nonscence,he was a small man about 5-4 and no mastouche and his hair was not black,
      This cafe they used was it passed the master robert on the right hand side just by the traffic lights if so can you tell me when it changed from the exspresso to what it was.

      • Heathrow Says:

        Hi Spud…I was referring to the ‘father’ of Ruth, just thought it very coincidental that there was a Beryl and April living together near to me, especially as I wa told that Noran Harris’s ex girlfriend lived in Harlech Gardens, the next street.

        I think from reading the previous posts that the cafe was where you are talking about, at Lampton Corner – but I’m far too young to know for sure!

  322. Heathrow Says:

    And I mean she, Harris’s girlfriend, lived there in the Eighties with her own family.

  323. WDH59280 Says:

    Hello, just to let everyone know I have created an article on Wikipédia re Francis Forsyth. Please feel free to add to it.

  324. Toscana Says:

    Very interesting page with a lot of in depth local information of a case that has always caught my interest. The late 50’s early 60’s was a time of real change in this country and I would like to thank you all for giving me another view.
    To add a little to the debate Edwin Bush was the first murder hunt where an identikit (think that’s how you spell it) was used.

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