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The Blackout Ripper (Paperback)

A Serial Killer in London 1942

P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > True Crime WWII > The Blitz World History > UK & Ireland > England > London

By Stephen Wynn
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526711786
Published: 15th July 2022



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Two days before the outbreak of the Second World War, the British government imposed blackout regulations across the nation as it was believed that in the event of war, Germany would very quickly begin conducting air raids on British towns and cities. The measures included covering windows in a dark, thick material at night to ensure no light could be seen from the outside. The use of vehicle headlamps was also prohibited, which resulted in a number of accidents and pedestrians being killed.

These restrictions, enforced by Air Raid Precaution wardens and the police, were for the benefit and safety of the British public, but it also unintentionally made life a lot less dangerous for members of the criminal fraternity, allowing them to go about their regular night time activities with less chance of being caught by the police.

As a result, during one week in February 1942, Gordon Cummins, RAF, was able to move around freely to carry out his attacks and make it back to his billet without being caught, or even stopped, by the police.

The very restrictions put in place to protect the British public from German bombers actually placed women in danger from men such as Cummins: three of his victims were known prostitutes, as was at least one of the two women he is known to have attacked, but who survived.

All of Cummins' victims were attacked during the hours of darkness whilst the ‘blackout' was in place, leading to him becoming known as the Blackout Ripper.

Article: The 'Blackout Ripper': How RAF airman stalked the darkened streets of war-torn London to murder and mutilate four women in five nights during the height of WWII... and was only caught when he dropped his gas mask

Dail Mail

ARTICLE: How many women did the dashing, sadistic Blackout Ripper slaighter?

Sunday Express

About Stephen Wynn

Stephen is a retired police officer having served with Essex Police as a constable for thirty years between 1983 and 2013. He is married to Tanya and has two sons, Luke and Ross, and a daughter, Aimee. Both Stephen’s grandfathers served in and survived the First World War, one with the Royal Irish Rifles, the other in the Mercantile Marine, whilst his father was a member of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during the Second World War.
When not writing Stephen can be found walking his dogs with his wife, Tanya, at some unearthly time of the morning when most normal people are still fast asleep.

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