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  • #61
    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
    Hi Herlock

    I'm not going to mention episode 7 yet, to avoid spollers.

    Regarding your guess - it sounds a reasonable guess based on what they said on the show - but that was in England, so I think unlikely for radio Ulster. And, in fact, they have provided more information now and it is about Caoimhin Cassidy Crossan - see below. I don't think Gordon Adair is involved in looking into this case.

    Eighteen-year-old Caoimhin Cassidy Crossan from Creggan in Derry died when the stolen car he was travelling in crashed into a lamppost and went on fire in June 2019. Police say he wasn’t dead when the car started burning, and they think he wasn’t alone. How did Caoimhin end up here and why was he left inside? Una Kelly attempts to find out. To understand the path leading up to his tragic death, we hear from those closest to Caoimhin, revealing the story of a much loved yet troubled young man. The events of that terrible night have left his family struggling with many unanswered questions, and murder opens as a line of inquiry as police attempt to uncover the truth.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post

      Never trust a man with a toothbrush moustache.

      And before anyone mentions Chaplin, he's just as bad. Did you know, he wasn't even a tramp! Had a big house, money, the lot! It's true.

      Regards

      Herlock



      Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by etenguy View Post

        Hi Herlock

        I'm not going to mention episode 7 yet, to avoid spollers.

        Regarding your guess - it sounds a reasonable guess based on what they said on the show - but that was in England, so I think unlikely for radio Ulster. And, in fact, they have provided more information now and it is about Caoimhin Cassidy Crossan - see below. I don't think Gordon Adair is involved in looking into this case.
        Hi Eten,

        Thanks for the update. I don’t know if I’ll bother listening to the next one to be honest. I’ve always been much more interested in older crimes. Jack The Stripper and the A6 are about as modern as it gets for me.
        Regards

        Herlock



        Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

          Hi Eten,

          Thanks for the update. I don’t know if I’ll bother listening to the next one to be honest. I’ve always been much more interested in older crimes. Jack The Stripper and the A6 are about as modern as it gets for me.
          I'm fairly sure I won't tune in for that one - I'll keep an eye on the series, a future one might catch my interest. Anything I see that others here might be interested in, I'll post.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by etenguy View Post

            I'm fairly sure I won't tune in for that one - I'll keep an eye on the series, a future one might catch my interest. Anything I see that others here might be interested in, I'll post.


            Regards

            Herlock



            Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

              Hi Eten,

              Thanks for the update. I don’t know if I’ll bother listening to the next one to be honest. I’ve always been much more interested in older crimes. Jack The Stripper and the A6 are about as modern as it gets for me.
              Hi Eten - thanks again from me as well.

              Similar thoughts and interests though as Sherlock. For me, criminal history ends with The Great Train Robbery!

              Btw, I've now listened to episode 7 of the Minnie Reid case. Thanks also for holding back on any spoilers.

              Best regards,
              OneRound



              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                I've just listened to episode 7 and it certainly merits a from me.

                ​​​​​​I won't spoil it of course but I'll mention one point which came up after the presenters asked a Defence Barrister to look at the trial. Courtenay protested his innocence as did his family. He was sentenced to death.

                Why was there no appeal?

                Worth another perhaps?
                Hi Herlock, eten and all - I'm assuming we no longer need to worry about spoilers and will grant you that's an intriguing question. However, regardless of the answer, I suspect our not knowing the reason for no appeal lies lost due to the passing of years rather than it having been cunningly concealed at the time.

                Although I would have thought the current day Defence Barrister would have been able to dig up the relevant paperwork, one possibility is that Courtney was not allowed an appeal as there was considered insufficient reason for one to be granted. That was the situation with Mahmood Mattan less than twenty years later in Cardiff - I've been reading about his trial and execution on the Howie Brown site.

                Another possibility is that Courtney's defence team thought his chances of being granted a reprieve would be improved by not antagonising the judiciary and powers that be with a fruitless appeal.

                Just possibilities as I say. I readily acknowledge I just don't know but that doesn't lead me to believe it was part of a pre-arranged plot for him to escape the noose.

                In line with Roger's post on the other site, the charm and persistence of the presenters was enjoyable and admirable. However, I still can't get claims of Courtney's innocence and escape overseas being anything more than urban myth. The interviewee in the final episode (number 7) was merely telling what he had been told or thought may have happened with no evidence to substantiate any of it. Yes, questions and contradictions remain - for example, concerning his height pre trial and in the death cell - but I'll need more to make me think of conspiracy and not human error.

                Best regards,
                OneRound

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by OneRound View Post
                  In line with Roger's post on the other site, the charm and persistence of the presenters was enjoyable and admirable. However, I still can't get claims of Courtney's innocence and escape overseas being anything more than urban myth. The interviewee in the final episode (number 7) was merely telling what he had been told or thought may have happened with no evidence to substantiate any of it. Yes, questions and contradictions remain - for example, concerning his height pre trial and in the death cell - but I'll need more to make me think of conspiracy and not human error.

                  Best regards,
                  OneRound
                  I agree - but disappointed that episode 7 was such an anti-climax. It was built up to be a defining episode, but it was much as the other six. Also, lots of pertinent evidence not examined (which would possibly explode the myth), such as the coroner's report. The whole show was built around some largely second hand anecdotal accounts.

                  I really don't think there was an escape and conspiracy here - if there had been powerful forces at play, far easier to set up something up front and not an elaborate body switch in a secure prison and an escape to Canada or Australia. Sounds very much like urban myth territory.


                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I haven’t heard the program, but I did read summaries in the Belfast Telegraph and elsewhere. While it’s all very intriguing, I’m extremely skeptical (to say the least!) about the notion that some “vagrant” was hanged in Courtney’s place. Just imagine the difficulty of trying to arrange such a deception! How many guards and senior officials would have to be bribed to go along with it, and agree to keep their mouths shut? Somebody alway talks! Can you imagine the hapless victim going quietly to the gallows without making a fuss, screaming “Why are you doing this? I’m not Harold Courtney!” Besides, pictures of Courtney must have appeared in the newspapers. Pierrepoint and his assistant would surely have realized this was not the man they were hanging. I can’t imagine him being motivated to participate in a “Masonic and Orange Order” conspiracy. I do believe that man had integrity.

                    As for Courtney being seen in Australia, there must be lots of lookalike Doppelgängers walking around to fuel the many myths of this kind. Was Bela Kiss really seen emerging from a subway by a New York police detective? How well did a detective with an obviously Anglo-American name like “Henry Oswald” know Bela Kiss anyway? Had he ever been to Budapest, or met the man in person? All right, there’s a slender chance that Oswald encountered Kiss while fighting in World War I, in a prisoner-of-war hospital (since Kiss would be fighting on the opposite side). But really, what’s the probability? Meanwhile, there are countless cases of mistaken identity to explain this, as we all know.

                    Was the recorded height of the hanged man different from Courtney’s? People often misunderstand what others are telling them, or write figures down wrong. Lots of records are incorrect. Occam’s Razor: look for the simplest and most likely explanation--plain old human error and incompetence!--not the most outré conspiracy theory.

                    Apart from that, this whole Courtney “conspiracy theory” doesn’t make sense, because it’s really two separate theories stitched together into one--and the alleged motives behind them are diametrically at odds with one another.

                    We’re told on the one hand that the motive for saving Courtney from the gallows was to protect him because he or his family was influentially connected with the Masons, the Orange Order and the like. They’d have to be awfully influential to pull off a stunt like saving him from the gallows!

                    What was his social status anyway? What did he do for a living? I don’t know how to rate a man on trial for his life who would be so crass as to openly display such callous contempt for his putative victim in front of the jury, by dismissing her as “a fool all the days I knew her.” Depending on how he said it, I’ll bet that line alone put the rope around his neck in the minds of the jury, the way we could cite key statements in other murder trials that rang the death knell for the defendant. So was he just a lower-order, sex-hungry caveman with an IQ of about 50 who was too plain thick to see how a remark like that would prejudice a jury? Or was he on the other hand a supercilious aristocrat who had always taken his entitlements for granted, which included “using” any woman any way he liked (could that include snuffing her out just because she became an embarrassment, a stumbling block in the way of his aspirations?)--and imagined all the “lower orders” should see his problems the same way?

                    On the whole I’m inclined to think “social standing” had nothing to do with it, and he was a plain old narcissist or psychopath, no matter what his station in life. Personality disorders infest the entire social order, from the lowest to the highest. Not only did Courtney think he was entitled to do whatever he liked with women, but his narcissism blinded him to the reality that most ordinary people on a jury were not going to see it his way.

                    However, getting back to the “conspiracy” aspect, so we’re told on the one hand that the object of this conspiracy was to protect the “well connected” Harold Courtney. But on the other hand we’re told that another object of it was to protect the identities of the nurse and the doctor (especially the doctor, no doubt) who performed the illegal abortion on poor Minnie Reid, accidentally killed her, then cut her throat and dumped her body to cover up their crime. Well, coverups like that have certainly been done before; more than once, in fact. So the supposed actions of doctor and nurse are at least credible. And friends in high places might well be prepared to cover up for a doctor with professional standing and money to back it.

                    But how does that square with saving the luckless Harold from the gallows? If he was party to the abortion and knew the identities of doctor and nurse, where was their interest in keeping him alive, when he could have divulged their secret any time? Why not let him be launched into eternity, and take that deadly knowledge with him to his unmarked grave within the crummy walls of Crumlin Road Prison? Does it make any sense?

                    Did they “do a deal” with him that “if you keep your mouth shut about who the doctor was, we’ll spring you?” Yes, but that doesn’t make sense either, because if he knew all about this supposed operation and was a party to it, why would he let himself be convicted for murder in the first place and forfeit his life? Why not blow the gaff on the whole thing? “That imcompetent quack used too much chloroform and killed the poor girl!” If that was true, it was manslaughter at worst, good for several years in jail, which anyone might make efforts to avoid, but less so for a man who was only a party to it. If that’s really what happened, telling the truth was a lot better than taking that seven-foot drop.

                    In summary, I don’t buy that the “wrong” man was hanged in an innocent man’s place. I could buy the idea that an innocent man was hanged to cover up for a pair of surgical bnnglers. But if he was, he probably never knew about their bungling, otherwise he would have spoken out about it. So how did all this come to light anyway? And as Herlock said, isn’t eight months awfully late for an abortion?

                    I have a strong suspicion that the right man was hanged after all, for a nasty and callous murder, while all the rest is a mare’s nest.

                    Still, as Mark Twain said about such stories: ”Interesting if true; if not, interesting anyway!” So thank you for this entertaining thread about a case I’d never heard of before.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      As most posters will know there can’t be many less conspiracy orientated posters than me. I groan when I hear the word but obviously conspiracies do occur and people do cover things up. Like Gordon, and I’m guessing most on here, I struggle most with the notion of someone being hanged in HC’s place.

                      I believe that his height was taken by Pierrepoint at 5’7” but they found him on a ship’s manifest listed at 6.’ Surely he’d have been measured though when he was admitted to prison but I can’t recall if this was mentioned or not? I doubt if it was mentioned on the show because it would have been so important. 5’7” on entry would have meant the wrong man admitted to prison!

                      Oral history and rumour are often interesting and sometime can contain an element of truth and this maybe the case here? Maybe it wasn’t a straight forward murder and bits of the story leaked out and down the years.....you know how it goes. The first part of the story (the botched abortion) is more feasible. For example, the interview with the old lady Betty. On the face of it she seemed perfectly with it mentally and appeared to be genuinely relating what she knew (doesn’t mean that she couldn’t have been mistaken of course) She said that one of the children that found the body was her friend Olive who’d been hiding in the bushes. She said that Olive saw a car pull up, driven by a red-faced man with a reclining woman. Betty felt that her friend had seen someone dump the body but no more was said. It’s not impossible but it’s impossible to prove.

                      One point that caught my attention from the start but was never discussed was the fact that a glove had been pushed into Minnie’s throat wound. Was someone trying to stem the flow of blood? Was someone trying to make sure that there was no blood in his car?

                      It was also surprising that, given the nature of this murder, the Jury recommended clemency...which the Judge rejected of course.

                      For me it’s one of those cases where you have to say that there’s not enough strong evidence to convince but there are reasons for not being convinced. What I would say though is that I think it at least possible that there might have been more to this case than has surfaced. Sadly it’s unlikely ever to surface. An interesting story though and a well put together documentary.
                      Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 01-19-2021, 09:42 PM.
                      Regards

                      Herlock



                      Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                        One point that caught my attention from the start but was never discussed was the fact that a glove had been pushed into Minnie’s throat wound. Was someone trying to stem the flow of blood? Was someone trying to make sure that there was no blood in his car?
                        Hi Herlock

                        I found that part of your post quoted above of particular interest. This point is easily overlooked as it was not explored in the programme. It leads to some questions.

                        Abortion theory
                        If poor Minnie was killed by chloroform during an abortion attempt (which at 8 months pregnant is unlikely), why would the doctor/nurse/Harold cut her throat before transporting her body? I can think of no good reason to do this - surely if you were going to try and stage a suicide attempt (or stage an attack and murder), you would cut her throat where the body was found. I, therefore, think it unlikely that the glove was pushed into the throat wound in what would have been a vain attempt to keep the car free from blood. So why was the glove there?

                        (Staged) Suicide
                        I find the idea this was suicide or a staged suicide hard to believe too, with the knife found some 14 feet away. But again, the glove against the throat does not suggest suicide - who would cut their own throat and then try and stem their own blood.

                        Murder
                        The glove in the wound suggests to me that murder was committed where the body was found. I think the most likely scenario is that Minnie vainly tried to stem blood loss after her throat was cut.






                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by etenguy View Post

                          Hi Herlock

                          I found that part of your post quoted above of particular interest. This point is easily overlooked as it was not explored in the programme. It leads to some questions.

                          Abortion theory
                          If poor Minnie was killed by chloroform during an abortion attempt (which at 8 months pregnant is unlikely), why would the doctor/nurse/Harold cut her throat before transporting her body? I can think of no good reason to do this - surely if you were going to try and stage a suicide attempt (or stage an attack and murder), you would cut her throat where the body was found. I, therefore, think it unlikely that the glove was pushed into the throat wound in what would have been a vain attempt to keep the car free from blood. So why was the glove there?

                          (Staged) Suicide
                          I find the idea this was suicide or a staged suicide hard to believe too, with the knife found some 14 feet away. But again, the glove against the throat does not suggest suicide - who would cut their own throat and then try and stem their own blood.

                          Murder
                          The glove in the wound suggests to me that murder was committed where the body was found. I think the most likely scenario is that Minnie vainly tried to stem blood loss after her throat was cut.





                          Hi Eten,

                          Good points.

                          We might also ask why would Minnie, if she had been inclined to suicide, have done it at the side of a road? A more likely suggestion perhaps (and I really do mean perhaps) is this, and it includes an abortion which accounts for the rumour. Maybe Courtenay’s well connected family made arrangements for Minnie to have an abortion and tried to pay her off so that she kept her mouth shut? Then either she found that she couldn’t go through with it and arranged to meet Harold or she’d arranged to meet Harold so that he could take her for the abortion? Either of these scenario’s and the upshot was Harold meeting up with a distraught and hysterical Minnie. Perhaps she’d even brought a knife to make a desperate suicide gesture? She threatens to tell everyone about Harold trying to force her into an abortion and Harold panics or loses his temper or both and cuts her throat? He then panics at what he’s done and uses the glove to try and stem the flow of blood which doesn’t work. She dies and Harold just throws away the knife and goes.

                          This would at least provide a root for the ‘died during an abortion’ story and the supposed influence of powerful people?

                          Maybe.
                          Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 01-22-2021, 10:18 AM.
                          Regards

                          Herlock



                          Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                            Hi Eten,

                            Good points.

                            We might also ask why would Minnie, if she had been inclined to suicide, have done it at the side of a road? A more likely suggestion perhaps (and I really do mean perhaps) is this, and it includes an abortion which accounts for the rumour. Maybe Courtenay’s well connected family made arrangements for Minnie to have an abortion and tried to pay her off so that she kept her mouth shut? Then either she found that she couldn’t go through with it and arranged to meet Harold or she’d arranged to meet Harold so that he could take her for the abortion? Either of these scenario’s and the upshot was Harold meeting up with a distraught and hysterical Minnie. Perhaps she’d even brought a knife to make a desperate suicide gesture? She threatens to tell everyone about Harold trying to force her into an abortion and Harold panics or loses his temper or both and cuts her throat? He then panics at what he’s done and uses the glove to try and stem the flow of blood which doesn’t work. She dies and Harold just throws away the knife and goes.

                            This would at least provide a root for the ‘died during an abortion’ story and the supposed influence of powerful people?

                            Maybe.
                            That sounds very plausible to me, Herlock.



                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Also really good .Check out Mark John Maguire on YouTube , excellent narrator and covers famous cases and not so famous .I’m watching/listening to the ‘William Herbert Wallace’ case next

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