“ Author: Richard Wilkes / Genre: Crime / Thriller „
I was contacted by Roger Wilkes when he was writing his book on this case. New information has come to light since that time which suggests that something went dramatically wrong with the police operation once members of the raid team got into the premises at just after 7:30am that morning. From as early as 7:37am the raid team found one dead male and one dead female in the kitchen downstairs,, as confirmed by a variety of police message logs. And by 8:10am, the other three bodies were found upstairs. according to the contents of the police message logs, a fourth body was never found upstairs prior to 8:10am. It is also apparent that by 8:10am, the initial police operation inside the house was complete, because a message was passed from within the house that the building had been completely searched and it was now safe and secure for senior officers to enter the building. DCI Harris, DCI Gibbons, and PI Montgomery, left their position at a forward control point, at just after 8:10am, and went towards the house. They were not prepared for what the found once they got into the kitchen, because the female body which had been found there from as early as 7:37am, was no longer there. Between 8:15 and 8:30am, DCI Harris and ACC Peter Simpson talked about the developments inside the house and the ongoing battle to try and locate Sheila. That conversation did not terminate until 8:30am, by which time a solitary shot was heard to ring out from within the main bedroom and Sheila had killed herself. The operation did not end until about 8:30am, by which stage there was four bodies upstairs, and only one body downstairs. Fact of the matter is, that the police operation inside the building went dramatically wrong, and that this led to the loss of Sheila Caffells life, and to the risk of members of the raid team, and senior officers, who were inside the house after 8:10am, being put at risk. The bodies of Ralph Bamber in the kitchen and Sheila Caffell in the main bedroom were stage managed by the police inside the house before SOCO took pictures of the scene. Jeremy Bamber did not kill his sister, she killed herself and the officers who were involved in the operation inside the premises know this to be true. Not one of them attended the 1986 trial to testify because they all know that they would have had to tell the truth about what really took place. ACC Peter Simpson, was behind the cover up - he authorized it.
There is one thing which has always puzzled me ever since I became involved in the study of violent crime. Something which I've wondered about time and time again,particularly in recent years when advances in Forensic techniques have made guilt and innocence so much easier to prove. That one thing? Why do people continue to protest their innocence? Think about it for a moment.When performed correctly, forensic tests can condemn the guilty or absolve the innocent with almost 100% accuracy. Most criminals nowadays posess what is known as "forensic awareness". Thanks to the popularity of such films as "Silence of the Lambs" or T.V. series like "Cracker" - not to mention a proliferation of true-crime books - there are few people who are unaware of at least the basics of forensic evidence.(So much so, that it is actually becoming a serious problem in crime detection, since criminals are no longer careless enough to leave the kind of trace evidence which has, in the past, led to many successful convictions.) So - WHY do they continue to maintain their innocence? Perhaps they have low intellect and cannot fully comprehend the procedures. Maybe they are simply arrogant or just gamblers, confident in their ability to beat the system. It could be that their crimes were so horrific that, for their own sanity, they erased them from memory. Or, of course, it could be that they actually ARE innocent, in which case there are some terrible miscarriages of justice taking place. Which of the above reasons applies to Jeremy Bamber, who has protested his innocence unwaveringly since August 1985? Bamber was the adopted son of farmers Nevill and June Bamber, who were tragically shot and killed in their home in the early hours of 7th August 1985. Also killed were their adopted daughter, Sheila (also known as Bambi) and Sheila's twin sons Nicholas and Daniel. Police were alerted to the tragedy by Jeremy, the one surviving mem
ber of the family, who alleged that Bambi had gone "berserk" and shot her parents and children before turning the gun on herself. Bambi had a documented history of psychosis and mania,(as did her adopted mother, June) and initially Bamber's story was accepted by the police.Then, when his relatives were allowed to enter White House Farm to begin to clean up, they made an astonishing discovery - a blood-stained silencer, previously overlooked by the police.When fitted to the rifle which Sheila had allegedly used on her killing spree, the silencer told a completely different story, since it's addition increased the length of the gun so much that it would have been physically impossible for Sheila to have used it to commit suicide. Jeremy Bamber was eventually convicted for the slaughter of his family, following evidence from his then girlfriend, who testified that he had planned the killings for financial gain. Yet Bamber continues to protest his innocence... The book "Blood Relations" by Roger Wilkes was written with the co-operation of Jeremy Bamber. Yet, it was co-operation at a price, since Bamber was desperate to raise sufficient money to employ a leading U.S. specialist on 'blood spatter' to examine the evidence in his case.Are these the actions of a guilty man? Author Roger Wilkes has written a very full account of all aspects of the Bamber case, revealing the madness, religious fervour, greed, dishonesty and sexual dysfunction which was hidden behind a facade of a 'normal' farming family. He examines the statements of the witnesses - including some who did not come forward at Bamber's trial - and looks in detail at the forensic issues on which the prosecution based it's case. (Much of this evidence was handled by the forensic science laboratory at Huntingdon, which was later discredited as a flawed and unreliable institution.)Wilkes writes in a straightforward, no nonsense s
tyle, presenting what he sees as the facts of the case and permitting the reader to draw his/her own conclusions about Bamber's guilt or innocence. The book has a few black and white photographic illustrations - mainly photographs of family members - and no bloody 'scene of crime' shots. This somehow adds to the 'worthiness' of the book - it is not sensationalised in any way, but seems to make a conscious effort to stick to the facts. It contains very little of the 'conversations' which authors of true crime books frequently attribute to the main characters, drawing instead on transcriptions of police interviews and statements. Thus, it is an objective and very serious look at a crime which continues to unfold even 16 years after it occurred. As mentioned earlier, Bamber continues to protest his innocence and to press for a new trial. He believes that the original forensic evidence was flawed and that he can produce new witnesses to confirm his account of the tragic events at White House Farm. Bamber is variously described as "charming", "highly intelligent", "charismatic" and "seductive". Will he be able to talk his way to freedom, given the chance of a new trial? That remains to be seen... "Blood Relations" - Roger Wilkes - Penguin ISBN 0 14 024200 7
Much of the media hype surrounding the American eventual trial and subsequent conviction of serial killer Ted Bundy, focused upon what a typical all-American good-looking guy he was. It was found to be of great public interest that he was a Republican Party supporter and what a lovely man he was when he was with his various girlfriends. If anything, the fact that he was a serial killer took second place in the newspapers both of the time and in the years following his trial and execution, Few if any of the many subsequent books written about him failed to mention that he had an attractive, attentive and respectful personality when in company. However, besides being blonde haired and drop dead (pardon the pun) gorgeous, he was also a serial killer, the likes of which even the wildest areas of the United State experience only one in a lifetime. In this country, on the other hand, killers are more likely to be classified by the media under the “mundane and boring personality” category rather than carrying the label “handsome but deadly”. With one notable exception. That exception is the subject of this book. Jeremy Bamber, for anyone who was out of the country during October 1986, was and is ‘frighteningly good-looking’. Quite tall, dark haired and with the most gorgeous eyes, Jeremy Bamber made quite an impression on the press hacks who found themselves in the courtroom for the three weeks of deliberations that took place under Mr Justice Drake watchful eye. It had all begun a year earlier, in August 1985, when the police received an early morning call from a man who claimed there was trouble at his parent’s house and that he had received a phone-call from his father, who was in a panic and saying things like his sister had gone crazy and that she was holding a gun. The caller was Jeremy Bamber and he appeared to be a very worried man. His siste
r, he told the police, suffered from an unpredictable mental condition and was likely to do something rash. To cut a long and very cleverly constructed story short, Jeremy Bamber led the police to believe that the killings they subsequently discovered at Bamber’s parents house was as a result of “a domestic”. Jeremy Bamber was not implicated in the murder, after all, the police had passed him on the way to the cottage and he arrived after they did. His sister was slightly flaky and a less-than-thorough scene of crime investigation all added support to the story as told by Jeremy Bamber. His sister was one of the victims, and the police believed she had wiped out her entire family, including her own two young children and then taken her own life. However a pathologist reported that Sheila could not have killed herself and the web of deception so cleverly sun by the money-hungry Jeremy began to fall apart, - but oh, so slowly. The police continued to be convinced that the slaughter was a 'domestic'. How the police held on to their view that it was a domestic is a wonder, as there had been so many bullets fired in that cottage that the gun would have had to have been reloaded twice. Surely they couldn’t believe a young woman capable of such a crime, in such a manner. In addition, Jeremy’s father had received quite a beating before he was murdered. A young woman had done all of this and then turned a shotgun on herself? Surely not! What transpires, you will have to read the book to find out. Needless to say, Jeremy Bamber is still in prison, but to find out how he got there and why he carried out this awful crime, you will as I say, have to read the book to find out as I am not going to give the whole story away on the pages of dooyoo. Suffice to say, the trail judge expressed my personal feelings about Jeremy Bamber very succinctly, when he said, as he pronoun
ced sentence, "It is difficult to foresee whether it will ever be safe to release you." To my mind, Jeremy Bamber rates as at least an equal alongside the likes of Peter Sutcliffe in the audacity and the cunning of his crime. To think that this man went to his family’s funerals in the full glare of the surrounding publicity and was even seen to shed a tear or two (for the cameras? ) ... It’s enough to make you blood run cold. GG ‘Instant’ up-date, - March 12th 2001 I had this opinion written and on my hard drive awaiting my requesting a category for it on dooyoo. The book is ‘deleted’ and anyone wanting to buy it will have to browse around the second-hand book shops ... or, at least, that was what I would have put as a end-note of my opinion - until today (March 12th 2001) I have just heard on the evening news, that Jeremy Bamber is almost certain to argue his case in court and if the evidence collected proves substantial enough, he may even walk free. On reading this book I found that I made every effort to find out as much about the crime as I could. I found one particular piece of evidence, which as yet has not been made public property again - but is almost certain to be ‘aired’ in the near future, once the Bamber case is headline news yet again. It is simply that, after the police had revisited the crime scene and found the silencer (after Bamber’s ex-girlfriend had been to the police about his behaviour and the things he had told her while drunk and boastful) the connotations of their find began too filter through to them. They then looked at the only other evidence which remained - the photographs of the victims. They were able to tell, from the direction of the shots, that the perpetrator holding the gun used to shoot the parents had to hhave been standing in the kitchen at the time of the shooting.
They then realised that if the ‘Bambi’ was responsible, she would then had to have to walked across the living room, to get to the stairs and that, by this time, the carpet in the living room would have been covered in blood and glass - Bambi was found with bare feet - and there was not a trace of blood or glass on her feet. This piece of evidence gains new importance, when we hear that the police force involved have destroyed all the ‘blood evidence’ and it looks like the picture of the crime scene will be vital if there has to be a re-trial. From where I stand, this has to be the next step for the authorities. Either that or let Jeremy Bamber walk free. After what the judge said at the trial, I do not see this as being an option. I have no professional training, simply years of reading on the subject of the ‘deviant’ behaviour and on murder in particular. (I’m sure those ‘dooyooers’ who have some training in the relevant aspects of psychology/criminology will keep me informed if I’m out of line in this instance) All I can say for now is that my reaction, on hearing the news of the ‘new evidence’ was one of unexceptional surprise. Surprise - that it has taken this exceptionally intelligent young man so long to find a reason to see his case back in the courts and in the headlines and unexceptional - as I was convinced at the time of reading this book - over a decade ago - that the book would not be the last we would hear of Jeremy Bamber. (hence my going ahead and writing the initial section of this opinion *before* asking for a category for it) I would not be at all surprised if this book was re-released or that others on the subject appear along side it on the bookstands. GG
An in-depth look at the crimes which Jeremy Bamber was accused of committing.