18 thoughts on “General topics”

  1. The classic film ’10 Rillington Place’ has many inaccuracies as we all know, i know i will have missed many out here, but just some i thought that were are these….
    * Christie (Richard Attenborough) murdering Muriel Eady dressed in his policeman’s S.C. uniform.
    * A door bell on the front door of Number 10.
    * Beryl and Timothy Evans (Judy Geeson and John Hurt) arriving at ‘Rillington Place’ for the first time in 1949 and not 1948, also the little baby Evans was already born in that scene.
    * When the Evans family drive up in the red van to number 10, they cut to another camera angle with the van stopping outside number. 7 (doubling as number 10), you can pin point number 7 in the film because number 6 has a small window built into the main bay window, that the other houses don’t have.
    * Long before i came across this website i felt how Beryl was murdered was wrong in this film, why i felt this was partly the loud screaming from Beryl and though on the top floor surely those two workman in the film would have heard her?
    * Ethel Christie (Pat Heywood) saying there hasn’t been anyone set foot in number 10’s top floor flat since the Evan’s family.
    * Beresford Brown (Rudolph Walker) accidently knocks a table he is carrying (whilst moving in) against the alcove in Christie’s old flat, rather that putting up a new shelf in the kitchen for his wireless etc.
    On a final note (and nothing to do with errors)….
    *There are only two surviving members of the main cast, Judy Geeson (Beryl Evans) and Pat Heywood (Ethel Christie), Miss Geeson is 73 and Miss Heywood is 90.
    *Also a French release of the film ’10 Rillington Place’ under the title of ‘The Strangler Of Rillington Place’ has been released on Blu-ray.

    Reply
    • Thank you for the further comment.

      I analyse the 1970 film in the book and note these points and a number of others – all in all, my view is that it is a good film in and of itself but it is when it purports to be anything like a true story that it becomes difficult. The fact that Ludovic Kennedy acted as consultant rather explains why it is as skewed and factually deficient as it is. Above all, it was shot in the old street itself just prior to demolition and for this alone it has value to researchers.

      In production terms, the acting is consistently of a high order – John Hurt as Evans probably taking the top slot with Attenborough a close second.

      Extraordinary to think that Geraldine Evans, had she lived, would be aged 73 today.
      John

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      • Do you think one day a production company will create a truthful account, using facts known to be 100% correct, and if there are things they are not sure of miss them out rather than guess. Wonder if one day there will be another ‘Rillington Place’ film. Out of the two so far (2016 and 1971) I prefere the classic one. I hope one day I will be able to read your book, I don’t use computers much and for long as my eyes seem to then get tired etc.

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        • Hello again and thank you for the further posting. I have long felt that a new film along the lines you mention should be made and, indeed, have been in discussions with a producer about such a project for some years and which, I hope, can once again be given active consideration now that we are moving beyond the two-year shutdown that we have all endured. The purpose would be, just as you say, to start from the known facts and work forwards rather than the opposite approach taken by Ludovic Kennedy for his 1961 book and the 1970 film, and most subsequent writers.

          As to the question of a hard copy version of my book, the problem remains the large number of graphics, documents, maps and photographs all of which militates against a ‘standard’ book format. A lager format, especially with colour graphics, would end up being prohibitively expensive. The next best option is to read the pdf on a modern tablet (iPad etc) which renders very well in my opinion or to print the document onto paper albeit it is some 154 pages long in A4 format.

          Incidentally, Dr Jonathan Oates, the author of John Christie of Rillington Place: Biography of a Serial Killer [2012] has recently contributed to a production about Christie due to appear on the History Channel on Monday next (14 March 2022) where he will seek to point out where the Standard Version of events is likely to require caution – if possible I will post a link beforehand to where it may be accessed.

          John

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          • Just seen your message, thank you for your reply, I really hope a true account can be made of this terrible senseless murder of all the victims.

          • Unfortunately missed the program on the History Channel what was the name of it as we do have History Play.

    • The item referred to actually turned out to be a podcast, the link to which is as below. The best that can be said about it probably is that there have been a lot worse accounts but it’s not great – Jonathan Oates does as well as anyone could to counter the Standard Version as propounded by Kennedy. See what you think, John

      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-serial-killer-helps-abolish-the-death-penalty/id1493453604?i=1000553925599

      Reply
  2. Has anyone read an article about a lady who lived in number 3 Rillington Place, as a girl she remembers going into the corner shop, Christie was there and he bought her an ice cream, she also said she heard Christie say to the corner shop owner ”he (Evans) got everything he deserved”. She remembers how Ethel & ‘Reg’ spoke and in the article she said Tim Roth was so unlike the real Christie who wasn’t ”bent over with crinkled trousers”, she said the real Christie was taller and very smartly dressed, but what about his comment to the shopkeeper, ”he got everything he deserved”.

    Reply
    • The woman you refer to is probably Patricia Pichler who was kind enough to share her story with me and which is, with her permission, included in my book. Born in 1940 in Northern Ireland, she moved with her mother and grandmother to No.3 Rillington Place in 1944 and remained until 1956 so will have been there for virtually all of the Evans and Christie histories. Patricia’s mother, Agnes Sussams, died in March 1956 and her grave is only two distant from Beryl and Geraldine Evans’ in Gunnersbury Cemetery. Her grandmother was Sarah McFadden who sponsored the petition which ultimately led to the renaming of the street from Rillington Place to Ruston Close in May 1954. Mrs McFadden sadly died in September 1953 so was not able to see her wish fulfilled. Patricia went to live in Australia.

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  3. I’m rather new to this, so please bear with me if this has been mentioned before.

    In his second statement made to the police on 30th November 1949, Evans stated the following:

    “I pulled the eiderdown back to have a look at her. I could see that she was dead and that she had been bleeding from the mouth and nose and that she had been bleeding from the bottom part. She had a black skirt on and a check blouse and kind of light blue jacket on”

    Beryl seemed to be dressed to go out – or perhaps she’d just been out? It certainly doesn’t appear to be the type of clothing a woman would wear to have a home abortion, but the description might make sense if Evans had strangled Beryl in the evening?

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  4. 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!

    Kind regards

    Ian C

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  5. 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.

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  6. 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.

    Reply
    • 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

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      • 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.

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        • Hello again,

          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.

          Best regards
          John

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  7. 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.

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    • 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

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