A new book by Chris Birt is out to shed more light on the Crewe Murders.
From the web: “Researcher Chris Birt says he has finally cleared up one mystery – the timing of when detectives planted the cartridge case that pointed to Thomas, who spent 10 years in prison before being released, pardoned and given compensation.
Birt said a 1980 Royal Commission of Inquiry found that a cartridge case from Thomas’s rifle was planted by inquiry head Detective Inspector Bruce Hutton and one of his detectives, Len Johnston, but was unable to pin down the timing.
Birt used the Official Information Act to obtain a police jobsheet never shown to the commission or Thomas’s lawyers, which he said put Hutton and Johnston “firmly in the frame”. He said it described an interview with Jeanette Crewe’s father, Len Demler, and was “the smoking gun”.
“It puts Hutton and Johnston together in the locality on the day two neighbours heard shots being fired at the scene and saw two men on the porch, just five metres from the garden where the cartridge case was found. It’s a vital piece of evidence that eluded the commissioners and the various counsel at that inquisition into malpractice. Had Thomas’s lawyers in 1971 and 1973, and more particularly in 1980, known, they would have been able to join the dots.”
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