The Murders, Myths and Reality of 10 Rillington Place
…an enduring controversy…
Thoughts for general discussion can be entered here . . .
Where is the manhole and its Victorian iron cover, which was in the middle of the road outside 10 Rillington Place, now located? Many thanks, James.
Hello James – thank you for the question. The location of that old manhole cover coincides with where the modern-day ornamental garden in Bartle Road now is and I suspect that is the real reason for the garden having been left as an open space (i.e. nothing to do with where the old house once stood – just the practicality of where the main sewer system runs beneath the roadway). In due course I intend making a further visit in the hopes of establishing this as a fact – either by visiting Bartle Road itself or by somehow finding a way of seeing maps of the sewer system in that area. Hope this is of assistance, John
Is it true St. Andrews Square was built on part of Christie’s back garden? if you google about maps of ‘Rillington Place’ it shows to be the case. and some show part of the Christie’s house was at the rear of the public garden in Bartle Road, is that also correct? Does anyone else know more about Mr. King who moved into Christie’s flat, after buying incense was he successful cleansing no.10? and he says he had many disturbed nights woken by the oppressive energy of a woman, Ethel? or Beryl?, i wonder how much of the energy/ spirit appeared to him, because he seems certain the energy was a woman. i wonder if anybody else living in no.10 experienced energy of those past? episode 3 of the new ‘Rillington Place’ film hints that Christie can hear Baby Geraldine’s crying after her passing.
Thank you for your comments – the 1970 film for all its factual inaccuracies is still a good film and has the great merit of having been filmed in the real street (Ruston Close) just before it was all demolished in pursuit of slum clearance. Sobering to think that it was released half a century ago. As to the other queries you raise, these are all addressed in my book The Murders, Myths and Reality of 10 Rillington Place along with much else relating to this most fascinating of stories. Regards, John
John, Can i buy ‘The Murders, Myths and Reality of…’ as an actual book, or is it in some other format, i would like to purchase the actual book if that is possible.
Many thanks for the book enquiry – up until now I’ve kept the book in e-form, partly to keep the purchase cost down and for ease/speed of delivery but also because of its graphics-intensive nature which makes physical production more of an issue than just a text-type book would pose and the fact that licensing the pictures and maps etc for hard copy would send costs sky-high. The PDF is much the best format and can be read on most things – but there are specific e-book formats too for those who read everything on a Kindle or similar.
If you visit the main website at 10-rillington-place.co.uk (link above in ‘About the book’) it will give you an idea plus the opportunity to buy should you decide to; in any event, thank you for the interest in this fascinating story.
i have purchased both ’10 Rillington Place’ & ‘Rillington Place’ on blu-ray, the 1971 version has received a 4K restoration, only Judy Geeson & Pat Heywood are now the only two main cast left now. i think my favourite lines from the 1971 film are Christie (Richard Attenborough) saying to Ethel Christie (Pat Heywood) that the doctor says he should be in hospital, (because of his bad back), Ethel Christie: ”i know where you should be”, Christie: ”what do you mean by that”, Ethel: ”you know what i mean”. In this film these words sealed Ethel’s fate! i recommend the blu-ray for those who don’t already have it, a wonderful restored transfer.
I just listened to the ‘Rillington Place – Truth and Fiction’ podcasts on YouTube which in turn led me here. It is indeed an engrossing case – perhaps because, like Jack the Ripper, it is not and never can be definitively ‘solved’ and therefore allows room for all kinds of fascinating discussion and conjecture.
I also want to say right away that my knowledge of this case is nowhere near as extensive or detailed as that of you guys (by which I mean those contributing to the podcasts and to this blog). What I do have though is a background in forensic psychology and I just wanted to say, very respectfully, that a number of the assertions made around this case simply don’t ring true from a professional viewpoint. The likelihood of Evans having murdered the baby is, to my mind, so small as to be negligible: when a parent murders his/her family (partner and children), in 99.99% of cases it’s a murder-suicide and the perpetrator will either be found dead at the scene or close by. Yes, alcohol-fuelled violence can get out of hand and lead to death, that’s plausible enough, but drunken, heat-of-the-moment manslaughter is a very different kind of killing to the deliberate cold-blooded strangling of a baby with a tie; accidental killing followed soon after by deliberate murder is a highly unlikely scenario from a behavioural psychology point of view. If Evans had genuinely wanted to kill Geraldine in the proverbial ‘moment of madness’ (which frankly I doubt), it would more likely have been an impulsive act he imagined would ‘end her suffering’ and he would have smothered her with a pillow or cushion or some blankets – covering her face so as not to witness her agony. A tie around the neck is the calculated act of a very detached and methodical murderer who enjoys watching the suffering, wants to be up close to see the life extinguished from his tiny victim: a totally different mindset (and a totally different perpetrator) to the violent drunk who commits manslaughter.
Some say that Christie would never have murdered Geraldine because “he adored children and animals”; well, Myra Hindley doted on her young cousin and loved her dog, but that didn’t stop her doing what she did – in fact, she often took her dog on trips to the Moors with Brady. Others insist that the fact Evans merely replied ‘Yes’ when told that his daughter was dead is conclusive proof of his guilt, but those old interview transcripts simply record the exchange of words with barely any meaningful context supplied; had it been a modern videotaped interview, you may well have seen Evans vomit or sob uncontrollably for twenty minutes, looking totally dazed before eventually asking, “Yes…?” – which would of course be interpreted very differently.
Just because Evans had a low IQ and a personality disorder (to use modern parlance) does not mean he was devoid of empathy or conscience. Just because he was a violent drunk, a compulsive liar and a wife-beater, that doesn’t automatically mean he’s a psychopath – nor indeed a murderer. Perhaps the published accounts are biased, but even so, Christie still appears to exhibit far more pronounced traits of psychopathy than Evans.
My hypothesis, for what it’s worth: Evans beat Beryl so badly she died (he hadn’t intended to kill her) – Christie either heard the commotion or went up to see why the baby wouldn’t stop crying – discovered what Evans had done – Christie wanted rid of Evans immediately because he couldn’t trust Evans to dispose of the body *and* keep his mouth shut – he certainly didn’t want to be wrong-footed by the police turning up at the house right there and then – Christie sent Evans away, promising to dispose of Beryl’s body (perhaps he even told Evans he would put it down the drain?) and to place Geraldine with the fictitious East Acton couple – After Evans was gone, Christie strangled Geraldine and probably spent time playing with Beryl’s corpse as well – he dragged both bodies initially into Kitchener’s flat before moving them down to the washhouse where cunning Christie fully expected them to be discovered by the police – he knew Evans well enough to know that Evans would blab in a matter of days, and Christie was confident that the police would have no reason to dig up the garden once the missing mother and daughter had been located – By sending Evans away right after Beryl’s death, Christie bought himself the time he needed to control the scene and control the discovery – he knew that the evidence pointed to Evans (rightly) and that Evans would be blamed too (wrongly) for Geraldine’s murder – if the police were to find the bodies in the washhouse it would look as though Evans had crudely attempted to conceal them there, compounding his guilt.
Lastly, I would give no credence whatsoever to the ‘memoirs’ Christie wrote while awaiting execution – this is just the narcissistic streak combining with the control freakery (characteristics usually present in serial killers) to try to influence the public perception of him after his death. Take all that with a huge pinch of salt!