Pen and Sword Books: John Christie of Rillington Place by Dr Jonathan Oates

John Christie of Rillington Place
John Christie of Rillington Place
Biography of a Serial Killer
by Dr Jonathan Oates
Imprint: Wharncliffe True Crime
Found in: True Crime Books
208 pages
ISBN: 9781845631413
Published: 21 January 2013
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Sixty years ago, the discovery of bodies at 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill, London, led to one of the most sensational, shocking and controversial serial murder cases in British criminal history – the case of John Christie. Much has been written about the Christie killings and the fate of Timothy Evans who was executed for murders Christie later confessed to – the story still provokes strong feeling and speculation.

But most of the books on the case have been compiled without the benefit of all the sources that are open to researchers, and they tend to focus on Evans in an attempt to clear him of guilt. And many simply repeat what has been said before. Accounts neglect Christie’s early life and crimes and the lives of his victims, and even witness statements about the Christies have been overlooked. So a painstaking, scholarly reassessment of the evidence – and of Christie’s life – is overdue, and that is what Jonathan Oates provides in this gripping biography of a serial killer.

He relies on contemporary primary sources, files from the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police and the Public Prosecutor, as well as press and official reports. And he trawls through genealogical sources – electoral registers, the census, wills, military and police records and civil registration records. As a result, his account throws more light on the background, personalities and motivations of the key players in the drama – Christie, Evans, the victims and the courts.

In particular Jonathan Oates’s reinvestigation seeks to present the widest possible range of facts relevant to the case. As he does so, he gives a compelling insight into Christie’s life and how he was perceived before he was exposed as a serial killer.
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About Dr Jonathan Oates
Dr Jonathan Oates is the Ealing Borough Archivist and Local History Librarian, and he has written and lectured on aspects of the history of London, including its criminal past. His books include Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Ealing, Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Lewisham and Deptford, Unsolved Murders in Victorian and Edwardian London, Unsolved London Murders: The 1920s and 1930s, Unsolved London Murders: The 1940s and 1950s and Attack on London. He is also an authority on the Jacobite rebellions of 1714 and 1745 and recently published "Sweet William or The Butcher? The Duke of Cumberland and the '45".
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