TEN RILLINGTON PLACE by Ludovic Kennedy
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TEN RILLINGTON PLACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An anatomy of the murders committed by a necrophilic strangler, John Christie, provides not only the most notorious case of modern times, for- over and above the horrible happenings which occurred at Ten Rillington Place, a cul de sac of ten houses, there are the many incredible aspects of both the commission of the crimes and their prosecution. And the fact that an innocent man was hung, in spite of the Lord Chancellor's insistence that there was no ""practical possibility"" that this could happen, has led to a wide interest in the case in England- and in this intensive inquiry by a British Journalist. John Christie, who had led a Jekyll and Hyde existence which included a prison record as well as a later term on the police force, strangled two women and buried them in his garden. (One of the many unbelievable details- a thigh bone worked its way up through the ground and propped up the fence without alerting the attention of the police when they examined the the house and grounds.) Later he offered to abort the wife of a co-tenant, Evans, a 25-year old man with the brains of a ten-year old child, raped her, killed her, and killed their child before Evans reported the case to the police and, after a palpably false confession, was hung for the crime. Christie, while a somewhat witness, still contributed to the verdict, and, more and more unstrong in the years to follow, killed his own wife as well as three other women (two were found booked together with a brassiere atrap in a closet) before he was arrested and sentenced. Probably one of the most occentric aspects of the case, which is extensively analysed and criticlzed here, is the Scott Hendernon report which was later ordered- and which- ""little short of a numbered"" found nothing disquieting in the fact that two murderers, in the same house, strangled women indiscriminately in the same fashion at the same time.... Kennedy subdues the high morbidity of the crimes themselves with his quiet, reasoned bandling and while it is unquestionably gruesome, it is also a remarkable story. A success in England. It may well reach a wide audience here.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster