Fred West. Ian Brady. Harold Shipman. These names haunt the national consciousness and yet none was as prolific as the little-known 'Underground Killer', Kieran Kelly. Operating without motive or rationale he pushed sixteen souls to their deaths on the tracks of the London Underground, before vanishing back into the crowd.
Geoff Platt has painstakingly researched the 'career' of Kelly, whose name may be unfamiliar even to those who study the minds and misdeeds of the criminal underworld. In a time of greater governmental control of the media, the case was hushed up, lest the residents of London be gripped by mass hysteria at the thought of a faceless killer lurking on the platforms of the Central line. Kelly's first victim was his best friend and could have been called a crime passionnel, as it was committed in the heat of an argument after an evening of heavy drinking. However when Kelly realised his crime had gone undetected he felt a rush of power which he sought to recreate again and again. The killer took delight in his apparent cunning – he often passed himself off as a star witness, who had been talking to the 'poor, depressed man about his unfaithful wife, when the train arrived at the station and he jumped underneath it'. The implications of Kelly's actions spread wide, leaving families unable to claim life insurance once the death was ruled as suicide.
The officers involved in the case were a small, select cadre of elite Flying Squad and Serious Crime Squad Officers from South London, the same ones who had also been dealing with the Krays and the Richardsons. Their story is equally compelling, involved as they were in extreme, unusual and certainly unorthodox tactics.
These intricate strands of a murky underworld weave together to make a fascinating, if gruesome, story.
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