Screen Screams Part 2

SCREEN SCREAMS! Let’s cross the Channel now to investigate the story of a DARING and charismatic criminal who died in a hail of French Police bullets in 1979. JACQUES MESRINE was a master of disguise who robbed banks, attacked jails to free his friends, captivated the media and even kidnapped a Judge. In May 1978, Mesrine robbed the Deauville Casino. He dropped a .455 CARTRIDGE at the crime scene and we have it HERE in our ‘Cop Killers’ cabinet at The True CRIME Museum. His exploits are sensationally depicted in two gangster flicks, ‘MESRINE – KILLER INSTINCT’ and ‘MESRINE – PUBLIC ENEMY No1’. The celebrity criminal is played by my favourite French actor EVER; -  VINCENT CASSEL, who effortlessly steers Mesrine’s murderous intensity into glib abandon and back again. He spends most of the film throwing hand luggage at beautiful women and shouting, “Pack your shit! QUICKLY! We’re leaving…” (A dating technique I’ve tried myself – with very mixed results.) Both movies play largely to the viewer’s wish-fulfilment and it’s exhilarating to join in...
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A Case of Death

A Case of Death!! At the end of September, we had our EXPLOSIVE murder mystery, A Case of Death! Over 50 eager detective were enthralled by John Eddleston, our master of MYSTERY, as he described to them the case of the DEAD gangster... After much hard pondering and note taking, witness statements and autopsy reports, it was time to reveal all... But not to you! If you want to know who murdered the gangster, you'll have to work it out for yourselves at our next murder mystery! We had some very talented detectives on the case, none more so than the team shown below, who not only WON but got every single answer RIGHT! Truly first class detectives. If you think this is cool, keep an eye out on our Events page for next year's events, coming soon! ...
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SCREEN SCREAMS! Part 1

SCREEN SCREAMS! Did you know that many of the exhibits at The True CRIME Museum come from CRIMES and CRIMINALS whose stories have been turned into MURDEROUS MOVIES! Our Curator (and True CRIME movie obsessive) JOEL GRIGGS talks about three of his favourites… “Here at the museum we have the original bottles that held the CONCENTRATED SULPHURIC ACID used by the British Serial Killer JOHN GEORGE HAIGH to dissolve his last victim. (You can see them in this video I made about the case here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK-qajHcKqI Haigh’s hideous and deceitful murders were also told in the 2002 ITV film; ‘A IS FOR ACID’ starring Martin Clunes as the killer. (The full movie is also on Youtube but the transfer quality is not brilliant, so buy the dvd) I had LOW expectations for this, as I’m not a Clunes fan and often find UK TV true crime dramas bland and apologetic for the ugliness of their subject matter. No such issue here though, as into the oil drums go his victims, all soon reduced to sludge...
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Bigger and BETTER!

We’re getting BIGGER! Many of you will have seen glimpses of our Curator, Joel, hard at work on our secret new project… We can now reveal that we’ve expanded! The Museum has gained a new Gift Shop and Box Office for our customers (you guys!) to enjoy. We’ll be putting together some exciting photo opportunities with NOTORIOUS gangster Al Capone as well as the one and only Jack the RIPPER! With the expansion comes a great opportunity to increase the Museum’s collection as well, so keep an eye out in 2020 for some MAJOR new exhibits! The number one piece of feedback we get from our visitors is that they want to see MORE. We’re delighted to be in a place to offer this and hope that you’ll come down and pay our new space a visit! See you soon!!! ...
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Looking SHARP

Looking SHARP

Looking SHARP! Swordsticks (or swordcanes) are just what they sound like – a hidden blade, disguised as a cane. They were popular self-defence weapons in the 1800s, although the concept of a swordstick well precedes the Victorian era, with evidence of them being found in Ancient Egyptian tombs dating back as far as 1334 B.C. Their rise to popularity in Victorian England, however, was due to swords becoming less socially acceptable to wear in public. Those who wanted to continue carrying a sword had to disguise them to get away with it – many of the aristocracy were included in this and the cane was the perfect accompaniment to the developing fashions of the time. Unfortunately, as you can imagine, it wasn’t without incident when just about everyone carried a weapon. A Victorian gentleman named Herbert Bowman is a prime example of this – he was traveling through London and emerged from the Tower Pedestrian Subway in Westminster to be accosted by a ‘Vagrant begging for money’. Herbert pulled the...
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That’s the spirit!

That's the Spirit! Today is a very special day! It might not be BLINDINGLY obvious why, so we’ll tell you… It’s National Moonshine Day! The term Moonshine is generally used to refer to high proof alcohol, usually homemade and illicit! The most common spirit under this name is typically made from corn mash – it is defined as ‘unaged whiskey’ by the American government. It has a curious and well-documented history. The Moonshine we all know and love came to prominence during prohibition-era America, where it was illegally distilled and distributed to the very THIRSTY crowds in speakeasies and home bars. The country was rife with illegal smuggling and even rifer with poor quality alcohol – as the spirit was made in people’s homemade stills (a piece of equipment used in alcohol production), it often picked up dangerous trace elements from the ramshackle pieces they used to cobble it together. A pot still works by heating the fermented corn mash so the alcohol (Ethanol) vapours evaporate. These vapours travel through a tube to another container where they...
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A Cracking Tale…

In the spirit of our Trail of the Golden Goose event, we thought we should be talking about an eggciting crime (sorry for the bad yolk (sorry again)). Have you ever heard of Faberge eggs? Faberge eggs are glitzy globes of jewel-encrusted precious metals. Originally manufactured for Russian Royalty between 1885 – 1917, they each contained a ‘surprise’ – in one case a 1/16th golden model of the imperial carriage painstakingly crafted over 13 months! They had been presented annually by the Tsar to the Tsarina, often as Easter gifts. Not the kind of egg you’d want on your toast, unless you plan on losing a few teeth! The Coronation Egg - complete with tiny carriage! The Faberge family made more than just eggs though, with high-end jewellery and clocks in their catalogue as well. In 2014, one man walked (well, stumbled) into Christie’s Auction House in Central London. He made his way to fourth floor where he found a safe – after rooting through some unlocked drawers he found the key to...
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Curator’s Reviews! Killing Charlie

In 2015 we had the honour of welcoming LEGENDARY author WENSLEY CLARKSON onto the True CRIME Museum stage for our KINGS OF CRIME night. He fascinated an audience of over 100 with some astonishing tales about British criminals including Great Train Robber, Charlie Wilson. Our Curator Joel Griggs read Clarkson’s account of Wilson’s complex life and gives his verdict below… IN A NUTSHELL: “Killing Charlie” describes the life of a professional, old-school CRIMINAL. Drama abounds, with jail-breaks, precisely planned heists, a corrupt establishment and a coke deal gone wrong. This is also a very intimate and HUMAN story and much interest lies in the chapters where, like us all, Wilson struggles to make finances and relationships work. From ‘largin’ it’ in 1960’s London to ignoble execution poolside on the Costa Del Sol, Wilson chose to live a life of crime. Sensitive and balanced in its account, “Killing Charlie” also suggests that crime chose him. CRIME TIP I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK: Poke fun at Ron Kray’s paunch… spill beer on Jihadi...
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Mum’s The Word!

Mum’s The Word!

We’re looking forward to Mother’s Day at the end of this month – are you? We think that Mums deserve the best, and if they love True CRIME – we’re it! That’s why we’ll be celebrating with a very special offer – Mums go FREE this Mother’s Day! That’s right, you can get your Mum into the Museum by grabbing one of our Mother’s Day tickets here. So, if you want to get your Crime loving Mum a KILLER gift this Mother’s Day, bring her down! ...
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The Kray’s Boxing Gloves

The Kray’s Boxing Gloves

The Krays were notoriously big on boxing, showing a real aptitude for it in their youth – Ronnie was said to overpower every opponent he came across whereas Reggie would take them down with cold, calculated blows. Ronnie and Reggie in their youth, ready to fight! Some have even argued that if they hadn’t gone on to become London’s most FEARED gangsters that they would have been successful professional boxers. After they stepped into the criminal UNDERWORLD, they boxed less and less – but were still very fond of the sport. These boxing gloves signed by the Kray Twins were donated to a charity auction for underprivileged children in 1985. ...
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