There have been a number of notable killers associated with the Royal Borough of Kensington (and Chelsea!). From the John Haig, the Acid Bath Murderer to Neville Heath, the sadist but perhaps the most famous of all is John Reginald Halliday Christie . Even if you’re not familiar with the name you will probably know his address.
10 Rillington Place is one of the most notorious locations in London and was the scene of eight murders between 1943 and 1953.
As a local, I have always been fascinated by the events that took place in this house. Despite the fact that much of the story predates my birth and that Christies life ended on the gallows in Pentonville Prison before I reached my second birthday, it was still part of the local folklore when I was at primary school. That was probably helped by the fact that my school was not much more than a 10 minute walk from the scene.
In the 1961 book of the same name, Ludovic Kennedy publicised what he saw as the terrible miscarriage of justice associated with this address. Although the true facts are still unclear, this did eventually lead to the posthumous pardoning of a man executed for one of the murders.
I have deliberately avoided going into the details of this fascinating, and controversial, case. If you are at all interested, I would recommend reading 10 Rillington Place by Ludovic Kennedy. Plus there is a great deal more information (and, of course, misinformation) available on the internet.
For a very real sense of the time and the place of these events visit www.10-rillington-place.co.uk