By Hancock, Robert
On the eve of her hanging, Ruth Ellis wrote to a friend: 'I must close now but remember I am quite happy with the verdict, but not the way the story was told, there is so much that people don't know.' Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain. This is her story. In Ju...ly 1955 Ruth Ellis was sentenced to death for the shooting of her lover, motor-racing driver David Blakely. Barely three months later she was executed at Holloway prison. In this book, Robert Hancock sets the record straight. Using official documents including the transcript of her trial at the Old Bailey, he unlocks the full, secret background to the story of the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Meticulous and fair in its analysis, The Last Woman to be Hanged is an absorbing portrait of the tragic life of a young woman, an incredibly vivid snapshot of an era, and a gripping account of a notorious case that shocked the nation and was a powerful lever in establishing the law of diminished responsibility and the eventual abolishment of capital punishment.Read more
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Robert Hancock, the pseudonym of Douglas Howell, was born in Surrey in 1920 and educated at Monmouth School and Queen's College, Oxford. During the Second World War he was a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery and was taken prisoner at Tobruk. He was a POW in Italy and then Germany until the end of the war. After the war he entered journalism and became a reporter for the Daily Mirror until 1953, when he joined the Sunday Express. In 1955 he left the Beaverbrook Group to become a features writer on Woman's Sunday Mirror and a regular contributor to The Spectator. In 1957 he joined the Sunday Pictorial (later the Sunday Mirror) as a features writer. In 1969 he worked on secondment for nine months as Special Assistant to the Postmaster General, John Stonehouse MP. He returned briefly to the Sunday Mirror but was then offered the job as Group Public Relations Adviser at Lew Grade's ATV. When ATV became Central Television he was Head of their London Press Office until he retired in 1985. Robert Hancock was married, with four sons, and lived in London. He died in 2007.
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