Have You Heard Of………..The Blackout Ripper


Every man and his dog has heard of Jack the Ripper but how many of you have heard of the Blackout Ripper aka Gordon Cummins during London Blitz in the Second World War over a period of only 6 days in London he killed four women he was nicknamed the Blackout Ripper due to his comparison to Jack the Ripper, his attacks took place at night during the blackouts.

He was a Royal Air force Serviceman where he was often called “The Count” because he claimed to have noble heritage which of course was a lie he was in fact just an average man from York born in 1914, married to a theatre producer’s secretary.

He was caught when after being interrupted during an attack he left behind a RAF issued gas mask that was traced back to him, he was sentenced to death and hung on the 25th June 1942.

From the start of that conflict, the streets and buildings of London were kept dark as a precaution against aerial bombing by the Luftwaffe. Street lamps were not lit; the windows of houses, shops, offices and factories were painted over, shuttered or screened off with thick curtains. Showing even a chink of light could lead to an appearance in court and a heavy fine. As bombs fell upon the capital, Londoners took refuge in cellars, underground train stations and public air raid shelters. In a period of six days in February 1942, in the midst of a darkened, blitzed city, Cummins who was 28 at the time murdered four women and attacked two others. Three of his victims were mutilated after death. The newspapers dubbed him “The Blackout Ripper”.

On the morning of Sunday 9th February, the body of teacher Evelyn Hamilton (aged 40 or 42), was discovered in an air raid shelter in Montagu Place in the Marylebone district. She had been strangled, her handbag (containing £80) was missing. There were no signs of sexual assault; her body was not mutilated. The killer had either placed her in the shelter after death or launched his attack when he found himself alone with her within its walls.

On Monday 10th February, Evelyn Oatley (aged 35) was found dead in her Wardour Street flat (apartment) in the Soho district. Oatley had turned to prostitution and was using an assumed name – “Nita Ward”. The actual cause of death was strangulation. Her throat had been cut; she was naked and her body had been sexually mutilated with a tin opener. That implement was found close by – covered in Oatley’s blood; it provided fingerprints. An examination of the body yielded the fact that the killer was left-handed.

On the next day, Tuesday 11th February, another prostitute, Margaret Florence Lowe (aged 42 or 43, also known as “Pearl”), was murdered in her flat in Gosfield Street. She had been strangled with a silk stocking and mutilated with both a knife and a razor blade. Her body was not discovered until three days later. The pathologist Bernard Spilsbury stated, after examining this victim’s body, that the murderer was “a savage sexual maniac”. The similarities between the killings and mutilations convinced the police that the same killer was responsible.

On Wednesday 12th February, Mrs Doris Jouannet (aged, depending upon different sources, 32 or 40 – also known as “Doris Robson”) was murdered in a 2 room ground floor flat in the Paddington district that she shared with her husband (a hotel manager). Jouannet was known to be in the habit of picking up servicemen in Leicester Square. She had been strangled (with a scarf) and her naked body sexually mutilated.

Greta Hayward was attacked on Friday 14th February, near Piccadilly Circus. A delivery boy on his rounds interrupted her assailant and Hayward was able to escape. When he fled he left his RAF-issue gas mask behind at the scene which as I mention was how he was identified.

Even as the police were working on that lead, he struck again. A prostitute called Catherine Mulcahy (also known as “Kathleen King”) was attacked in her flat located near Paddington Rail Station. She resisted Cummins so effectively that he abandoned his murderous intentions, gave her an extra £5 and left quickly.

On 16th February, the police arrested Gordon Frederick Cummins in the St. John’s Wood district. His fingerprints matched those on the bloody tin opener and a search of his quarters turned up several items that belonged to his victims.

On 27th April, Gordon Cummins was tried for the murder of Evelyn Oatley at the Old Bailey (before Mr Justice Asquith). He was charged with only one murder – presumably so that the authorities could immediately charge him with any of the other 3 homicides in the unlikely event of an acquittal in the Oatley case. The Prosecution was handled by Mr G.B. McClure; Cummins was represented by Mr J. Flowers. The trial lasted only a single day and the jury took a mere 35 minutes to find Cummins guilty of the murder of Evelyn Oatley. He was sentenced to death by hanging.

NSW Police History Pt 3

Yeah we are at another post about the history of the New South Wales Police Force, we will start at 1945 when special constables were introduced to regulate parking in Sydney these officers were called Brown Bombers and later Grey Ghosts due to the colour of their uniforms. At the times the positions were reserved for disabled ex-servicemen.

I remember the Brown Bombers we had around Newcastle when I was a child.

1946 saw the Aviation Unit being formed the planes were fixed-wing ex-military planes, but the unit was disbanded in 1950 only to be reformed in 1979 and is now the Aviation Support Branch and they use helicopters not planes now.

1946 also saw a change in the uniform, with the introduction of the open tunic and tie, this was also the year that the Australian Police Journal was first published for the police under the auspices of various commissioners of police. The following year saw the Stock Squad formed.

The current insignia of the New South Wales Police was adopted way back in 1959, however, it wasn’t displayed on the uniform until 1972. The Latin moto “Culpam poena premit comes” translates as “Punishment swiftly follows crime” this is the moto of the New South Wales Police Force.

The uniform changed again in 1961 when the long-sleeve shirt and tie was adopted without the tunic as the summer uniform.

1962 saw the century of the police force with 6139 members, 5336 policemen and 58 policewomen, there was also 175 police cadets, 5 police trackers, 4 police matrons, 109 special police parking officers, 30 special constables and 422 administration officers.

In 1964 members of the New South Wales Police Force were sent to Cyprus as part of a peace keeping force with the United Nations, members of the force continued in this role till 1974. Later on officers were sent to with the UN to Cambodia, Yugoslavia and East Timor, two members of the NSW while on UN duties have been killed.

The Vietnam war saw many police officers conscripted as part of the National Service, the war and conscription eventually saw the community and the police clash with the anti war movement at the time.

The first female commission officer in the force was in 1972, her name was Beth Hanley it was also this year that saw yet another change in the uniform with the insignia being shown on the shoulder flash of the uniform and the chequered cap being introduced, this still remains the service dress uniform of today.

A bomb blast outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney resulted in the death of one constable and two council employees, this was in 1978 when the regional conference of the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting was being held at the hotel.

The office of the Ombudsman was created in 1979 to oversee the investigation of complaints against the police force., the following year saw the first honorary police chaplains appointed, Father Jim Boland had been acting as an unofficially chaplain since 1972 and was later appointed to the first full time chaplain in 1986, he is now a regional police chaplain.

1980 also saw the first Aboriginal Liaison unit was formed about bloody time for far too long the aboriginal people were considered third class citizens. This lead to the creation of the Aboriginal Community Liaisons officers within the New South Wales Police Force.

In June 1987, the NSW Police Force (which had carriage of operations) and the NSW Police Department (which had carriage of policy and administration) were amalgamated. Today the NSW Police Force has 19,516 employees: 15,633 police officers and 3,883 civilian staff. We operate under the Police Act 1990 and the Police Regulations 2008.

Ok I have bored you all enough for today, so I will end this here.

Monday Stuff and I Still Have A Headache

Do you ever want to go and correct someone’s mistakes in their blog post such as when someone uses the small i instead of the capital I it just bugs the hell out of me. 

I haven’t checked my emails since Wednesday and had like 500 to sort through, I didn’t have the time and good enough internet to check the emails while away so they built up but I have gone through them and now I am writing a post for the day.

We had Leo here last night, we had only been home about an hour when Jessica rang wanting to know if we would have Leo I told her to ask her dad and he said yes if it was ok with me and I said yes if it was ok with him so he stayed last night.

Yesterday evening Tim found the tent he had in the shed and set it up to see what it looked like and how big it was and Leo was so excited about it and wanted to sleep in it last night but we said no that wasn’t happening, however next time we go away in the caravan we might take the tent with us and Leo and his mum can sleep in the tent and we will set it up next to the caravan Leo is so excited about that and wants to know when can we go away again. Papa told him it would be a month or so before we can go away again.

I am still in a lot of pain with my neck and head and the pain relief are making me so bloody tired that I have been having a nap during the day. The headache this morning is terrible again.

Oh yeah Tim told me last night he started work at 9am this morning and I was sitting here checking my emails and notice the time it was 8.55am and said to Tim what time did you say you started work he said 8.57, I replied well it is 8.55 now, bloody hell he says and it was a mad rush to get a shirt and his wallet and rush out to get in the car to go to work, it is a 15 minute drive to work from here so safe to say he was going to be late.

I have no idea what time Jessica will be here to get Leo but it is now 10.30am and no sign of her, I know I will have him tomorrow all day and Thursday all day and I think Friday all day as Jessica will be at Tafe and that is ok, although I think I might see if his Aunty Kathy will come out and watch him Friday morning although I will also have Blain on each day this week as he comes back from his fathers today sometime.

Tim’s wallet wearing out and I need naps

Good morning it is a lovely Saturday morning here, Tim has gone fishing well I assume that is where he is as he wasn’t here when I woke up but that is ok he said he would be going fishing this morning if the weather was nice.

Yesterday we went and did some shopping and I was surprised I said to Tim that at some point I would like a large toaster oven for the van, I showed him they type I wanted and he said ok let’s get it now, so we did wasn’t going to argue with him. Although a while later I wonder through a bargain shop and picked up one $2 item that I wanted and he said you can use your money to pay this time but then he picked u p a heap of other things so I made him paid. Then I said I was going across the road to a bakery so he said I am off to the car as I am wearing my wallet out opening it all the time.

Last night I had a lovely hot shower, I used the disable shower as I have a problem with my balance and in fact had to sit when I was drying off the shower had a metal bench to use while showering and a plastic chair I was able to use after the shower while I was drying off, I do have a real problem with my balance while showering.

This is our last day here we head home tomorrow but both Tim and myself like the park and area so we have decided to come back her it isn’t too far from home and this park pretty close to everything such a shops and beach and fishing spots.

In other news I had a 2hr nap yesterday afternoon and told Tim I think when possible I will need to have a nap during the day, it is all the medication I am taking that makes me so tired and a nap is just what is needed. Although isn’t always possible when I have boys to pick up from school but when I can I will have a nap.

Was speaking to mum last night as I always do and she told me that my sister Jeannie said that she has met Tasha’s new man and she doesn’t like him much he is her daughter’s ex’s half sister’s ex sound confusing. I said I haven’t spent any time with him to really know is I like him or not but as mum always says we don’t have to like him and if he makes Tash happy then so be it we can’t live her life for her.