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  • #31
    I remember what coal gas smells like, it stinks! very pungent and very unpleasant, quite hard to disguise, I would think.
    I had only heard of the "Friar's Balsam" method of gassing, it seemed quite feasible to me, as that as well has a very strong smell.

    KR Angie

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    • #32
      It is also not that widely known that during the period when Christie was on the run before his arrest at Putney Bridge he telephoned Norman Rae, who was a crime reporter with the News of the World newspaper. Christie apparently told Mr Rae that he was cold and starving, was fed-up with being hunted like a dog, and that he would grant him an interview in return for a substantial fry-up in a cafe!!

      Mr Rae agreed to this, but warned Christie that he would have to inform the police afterwards, to which the latter agreed. Apparently a meeting was arranged, possibly somewhere in North London, but when Mr Rae arrived at the agreed spot a policeman on the beat passed by; Mr Rae then heard a rustling in some nearby bushes, which he thought was Christie making a hasty getaway!

      I read this in a paperback book about Norman Rae's career as a crime reporter, but I cannot remember the title. If it is true, it would suggest that Christie was in possession of all his faculties when he was on the run and was deliberately trying to avoid arrest, in contrast to his later statement that he could not remember exactly where he had been at this time.

      SHERLOCK

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      • #33
        I also remember a television programme some years ago - it may be as long as twenty years ago - which concerned the crimes associated with the Black Museum in Scotland Yard; I believe the tobacco tin containing the pubic hairs is an exhibit there, as well as a specimen of bone from the back garden. I think that Bill Waddell, the curator, gave a commentary on the various cases, and Thomas Ledger, the retired policeman who arrested Christie near Putney Bridge, gave a brief interview

        SHERLOCK

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        • #34
          Anyone interested in a copy of Ludovic Kennedy's Ten Rillington Place (the only major book on the case), the hardback edition no less, including all the photographs, in almost pristine condition for only a fiver + postage, can send me a PM.

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          • #35
            I have several bits of Christie memorabilia - an engraved rosebowl presented in 1914 to Reggie's father and also a medal which was presented to his father by Halifax St John's Ambulance.

            A few other bits and pieces too including paperwork from Reggie's birth to his death. The post mortem report makes quite interesting reading!

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            • #36
              friars balsam

              When i was a child in the fifties, I regularly inhaled Friars Balsam for my catarrh. My Nan would pour it into a bowl, of steaming water, which then turned opaque yellow and put a cloth over my head. I inhaled the fumes, I liked the smell, and it was certainly pungent enough to mask the smell of coal gas. London in the fifties, before then clean air act was a filthy smoky place, full of smogs, fog and coal fires and heavy smokers. Most people seemed to have respitory illnesses then.And as there was no national health service till after the war, I can see how going to see a quack like Christie would not have aroused any curiosity. Miss Marple

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              • #37
                Originally posted by sjdelves View Post
                I have several bits of Christie memorabilia - an engraved rosebowl presented in 1914 to Reggie's father and also a medal which was presented to his father by Halifax St John's Ambulance.

                A few other bits and pieces too including paperwork from Reggie's birth to his death. The post mortem report makes quite interesting reading!
                Sell to me!

                The Christie case is one of the few I'm really interested in where I don't have any ephemera relating to it.

                PHILIP
                Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd.

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                • #38
                  Here's a photo supposedly of Christie that I just saw in a book.

                  I'm presuming that it's the Madam Tussaud's waxwork.

                  Nobody could look this creepy in real life could they?

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                  allisvanityandvexationofspirit

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                  • #39
                    That picture of Christie does appear to be the original Madam Tussauds waxwork, after comparing it with another picture of this waxwork which can be found in Murder with a Difference by Molly Lefebure.

                    I believe that there have been at least three different waxwork models of Christie displayed in Madam Tussauds' Chamber of Horrors. The first was possibly on display between 1953 and 1979, which showed Christie standing in front of the kitchen alcove with a paintbrush in his hand. The second was possibly on display from 1980 until the 1990s, which showed Christie pasting a sheet of wallpaper on his kitchen table after depositing the body of one of his victims in the alcove; I remember seeing this tableau in Madam Tussauds in 1985 and 1986.

                    The current model, which I have not yet seen properly, apparently displays Christie in the execution chamber of Pentonville Prison about to be hanged by Albert Pierrepoint.


                    SHERLOCK

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                    • #40
                      Thanks for that info, SHERLOCK
                      allisvanityandvexationofspirit

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                      • #41
                        The Christie Case

                        This is another case that has interested me for some time and I have built up quite an archive on it. Here's a letter in my collection written by Ethel Christie to her sister -

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                        SPE

                        Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

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                        • #42
                          Hi Stewart,

                          Thanks for letting us see this.....most interesting...

                          That's warmed up a very cold Sunday morning for me!

                          Best Regards,
                          ANNA.

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                          • #43
                            Hello Stewart

                            Many thanks for providing the scan of the letter from Ethel Christie to her sister Lily Bartle in Sheffield.

                            Its content is fascinating, as Ethel says that she and presumably Reg had a quiet Christmas, other than attending a party next door where there was a Christmas tree for the children. One wonders whether Reg was the life and soul of the party!!! It is even possible that he got on well with the children as apparently he was rather fond of them.

                            Perhaps this was the same neighbour whom Ethel sometimes visited in order to watch the children's programmes on the televison, which was still relatively uncommon in most homes at that time.

                            As the letter is dated March 1952 the Christmas of 1951 was the last one which Ethel was ever to spend alive. By Christmas Day 1952 her body was concealed under the floorboards of the front room after being murdered by her husband for reasons which are still uncertain!!!


                            SHERLOCK

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                            • #44
                              I also think that at the time the letter was written Reg was still working as a clerk for British Road Services at the Goldhawk Road depot. If I remember correctly, he transferred to the Hampstead depot fairly late in 1952 and resigned shortly before he murdered his wife in December 1952.

                              It would be fascinating to see some of the other letters written by Ethel. It would be interesting to know whether they shed any new light on the characters and habits of her and Reg.

                              SHERLOCK

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                              • #45
                                Anyone interested in the Christie case should check out the following website:-


                                www.10-rillington-place.co.uk


                                which contains a good deal of fascinating information.


                                SHERLOCK

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