(1) FORTY YEARS OF MURDER, by Professor Keith Simpson, published by Panther/Granada, London, (1984 reprint), page 255. Simpson devotes a chapter to the Bodkin Adams affair in his autobiography, and leaves the reader in no doubt as to his belief in the good doctor’s total innocence.
(2) There is a school of thought that says every murderer leaves one deliberate clue. Shipman committed his first murder in March 1975, and was either extremely careful or extremely lucky until the murder of Mrs Grundy, but although he protested his total innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence right up until the end, it is difficult to credit that a man with a reputed stratospheric IQ could have believed he could have got away with such a stupid and clumsy forgery, especially as the victim’s daughter was a solicitor.
(3) The Times, August 22, 1956, page 5.
(4) As Simpson wrote sneeringly, out of an estate of over a hundred thousand pounds, she had left Adams “an elderly Rolls-Royce” and jewellery valued at £275. In his book, Simpson spells the name Morell thus, although the correct spelling appears to be Morrell.
(5) DOCTOR ON 13 CHARGES…, published in the Times, November 27, 1956, page 4.
(6) The Strange Case of Dr John BODKIN ADAMS and the views of those who knew him, by John Surtees, published by SB Publications, Seaford, (2000), page 61.
(7) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., page 154, (ibid).
(8) HO 287/240.
(9) The Times for March 19, 1957 published a photograph of members of the public queuing up outside.
(10) The Times, August 22, 1956, page 5, (op cit).
(11) These famous cliffs are a notorious suicide black spot; in January 2005, a man who had been facing serious sex charges threw himself off them. Accompanied by his wife!
(12) Easing the Passing: The trial of Doctor John Bodkin Adams, by Patrick Devlin, published by Faber & Faber, London, (1986), page 218.
(13) The Times, June 11, 1985, page 10.
(14) The writer Virginia Woolf, the poetess Sylvia Path, the author Ernest Hemingway, the rock musician Michael Hutchence, and later his lover Paula Yates, to name but five.
(15) The Times, November 13, 1937, page 16.
(16) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., pages 5 & 10, (op cit).
(17) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., page 77, (ibid).
(18) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., page 337, (ibid).
(19) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., page 72, (ibid).
(20) The Times, July 27, 1957, page 4.
(21) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., page 16, (op cit).
(22) Devlin, Easing The Passing, pages 178-89, (op cit).
(23) Devlin said the jury was out for 46 minutes, another author reported 43 minutes, at any rate it appears to have been a surprisingly easy verdict for them to reach considering that a man’s life was at stake.
(24) The Best We Can Do: An account of the trial of John Bodkin Adams, by Sybille Bedford, published by Penguin, Harmondsworth, (1961), page 220.
(25) Assizes were replaced by Crown Courts in 1971.
(26) The Times, July 27, 1957, page 4, (op cit).
(27) Doctor dies, published in the Times, July 6, 1983, page 1.
(28) The Times, July 11, 1983, page 3.
(29) A CLIMATE OF FEAR The Murder of PC Blakelock and the Case of the Tottenham Three, by David Rose, published by Bloomsbury, London, (1992), page 88.
(30) ‘WHERE THERE’S A WILL...’ The Sensational Life of Dr John Bodkin Adams, by Rodney Hallworth & Mark Williams, published by The Capstan Press, Exeter, (1983), pages 61 & 58 respectively.
(31) Hallworth & Williams, Where There’s A Will..., page 61, (ibid).
(32) In April 1998, a former paratrooper, Christopher Alder, died on a police station floor after receiving a head injury. At the inquest, where it was ruled he was killed unlawfully, five police officers refused to answer any questions about the circumstances of his death on the grounds that to do so could be “prejudicial”. This scenario is sadly typical.
(33) Devlin, Easing The Passing, page 10, (op cit).
(34) Devlin, Easing The Passing, page 212, (ibid).
(35) Devlin, Easing The Passing, page 211, (ibid).
(36) Devlin, Easing The Passing, page 212, (ibid).
(37) A defendant’s previous convictions would not generally be known to a jury, but a defendant who accused police officers of fabricating a confession (“It’s a fair cop, guv” is the classic) would have his past misdeeds revealed, which would usually result in a conviction. Clearly this would not have worked with a doctor of impeccable character. The Police And Criminal Evidence Act largely put an end to such nonsense by the taping of police interrogations.
(38) As our American cousins say.
(39) The charge was eventually reduced to attempted murder, and the doctor was cleared.
(40) Surtees, The Strange Case of Dr John Bodkin Adams..., page 122, (op cit).
Back To Text
Back To Articles Index
Back To Site Index