Dismembered body of ‘wife’ found in killer Dr Crippen’s cellar was MALE & may have been planted by cops, says

Dismembered body of ‘wife’ found in killer Dr Crippen’s cellar was MALE & may have been planted by cops, says

The Sun·2020-01-03 01:38

HE is one of Britains most notorious killers, convicted of the gruesome murder of wife Cora 110 years ago.But Hawley Crippen better known as Dr Crippen is back in the news after Boris Johnson received a request to have his body exhumed and returned to the family plot in America. Dr Crippen was found guilty of murdering his wife CoraCredit: AlamyCora Crippen disappeared in January 1910Credit: AlamyThe American medic was arrested in 1910 after fleeing the country with his lover, Ethel le Neve, and his wife's dismembered body was then found under the floorboards of their London house.After he was apprehended in Canada the first time the Marconi telegraph was used to catch a suspect he was found guilty in a five day trial and sentenced to hanging.The doctor, known as the mild-mannered murderer , became infamous and theres even a waxwork of him in Madame Tussauds but was he actually guilty of the crime?Forensic expert Professor David Foran, who studied the DNA of the victim's flesh and previously revealed it was a man, says the evidence could have been planted by investigating officer Chief Inspector Walter Dew.He told the Sun Online: "I have no idea if he was guilty of the murder and he did famously flee the country but I do know the body in the basement wasn't Cora, and was definitely male."Inspector Dew visited Crippen's house several times and never conducted a proper search, despite the flesh having a strong smell."He only uncovered the remains after Crippen left, and he was on his own, which could be seen as suspicious."This week Patrick Crippen, who believes his relative is innocent of the crime, has asked for his body to be moved from Pentonville prison to the family burial plot in Michigan.As Boris considers the application, Professor Foran explains why he believes the evidence for Crippen's conviction is flawed. Cora was an aspiring but talentless singer who went under the name Bella ElmoreCredit: Hulton Archive - GettyEthel le Neve was Crippen's lover at the time of Cora's disappearanceCredit: Hulton Archive - GettyShowbiz wannabe with numerous loversHawley and Cora Crippen wed in 1894, two years after the death of his first wife Charlotte, and they moved to London in 1897.An aspiring but untalented music hall singer, Cora - who moved in showbiz circles and had numerous affairs - dominated her shy, meek doctor husband.On the evening of Monday, 31 January 1910, Hawley and Cora also known as Belle Elmore held a dinner party for friends Paul and Clara Martinetti and their home at 39 Hilldrop Crescent in Holloway.The couple rowed when Paul Martinetti asked to use the toilet and Dr Crippen failed to escort him upstairs, but apart from that the evening passed without incident.The guests left at 1am. It was the last time anyone saw Cora Crippen alive. Cora Crippen moved in showbiz circles and had many affairsCredit: Corbis - GettyLover wore dead woman's jewellery and moved in within a monthAt the time the couple were sleeping in separate bedrooms, after Cora had a fling with a lodger, and Crippen had begun a passionate affair with his secretary, Ethel.Friends soon began to notice Coras absence, but they told she had gone back to the US, then that she was ill.Finally, Crippen told friends that his wife had passed away of natural causes.Suspicions began to surface, however, when Ethel was seen wearing Coras jewellery before moving in with her lover by the end of February.The rumours soon reached the police and on July 8, 1910, Chief Inspector Walter Dew visited the house and interviews Dr Crippen, who told him his wife had actually left him for an American called Bruce Miller.But the police visit rattled Crippen and the next day, he shaved off his distinctive moustache and fled to Brussels, with Ethel disguised as a boy.By the time CI Dew returned to the house, the couple had boarded the SS Montrose at Antwerp and were bound for Canada. Portrait of Ethel le Neve dressed as a boyCredit: Hulton Archive - GettyThe house in Hilldrop Crescent where the couple livedCredit: Corbis - GettyBoneless, sexless body parts buried in the cellarSuspicious of the couples absence, Dew searched the house and found loose bricks in the cellar.A more thorough search revealed the headless remains of a body, hacked in to small pieces with the bones and sexual organs removed and the search for Crippen was on.A poster was issued by the Metropolitan Police, asking for information on Crippen and Le Neve over the 'Murder and Mutilation' of Mrs Cora Crippen.On board the Montrose, the Captain had become suspicious of the father and son passengers who were constantly holding hands and seemed overly affectionate.Captain Henry Kendall in the first case of the telegraph being used to catch a killer messaged his suspicions to Scotland Yard and Dew and his team boarded a faster ship, intercepting the couple as they landed in Montreal.On arrest, Dr Crippen is said to have told Dew: I am not sorry. The anxiety has been too much." Dew's team search the cellar at Hilltop CrescentCredit: Rex FeaturesA wanted poster for Crippen and his lover Ethel le NeveCredit: Rex FeaturesDr Crippen is escorted from the Montrose by Chief Inspector Dew and his teamCredit: PA:Press AssociationCaptain Henry Kendall contacted Scotland Yard over his suspicionsCredit: Getty - ContributorScarred flesh and poison tracesThe couple were brought back to London for a five day trial at the Old Bailey where the jury were told that a piece of scarred flesh belonged to Cora, who was known to have a scar on her abdomen.They were also told the remains were wrapped in a pyjama jacket from Jones Brothers, who confirmed that it had not been on sale before late 1908, proving that the body was buried after that date.Tests showed the flesh had traces of the poison hyoscine which Dr Crippen was known to have bought 17 January.Crippen was convicted after jury deliberations of just half an hour while Ethel le Neve was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder.The 48-year-old was hanged at Pentonville in north London on November 23, 1910, and his body buried in the prison graveyard. Dr Crippen and Ethel le Neve in the dock at the Old BaileyCredit: Getty - ContributorCrippen was hanged in November 1910Credit: AlamyDew had the motive and the opportunityIt was not until 100 years later, however, that the guilt of the notorious doctor was challenged.Toxicologist John Trestrail first started asking questions in 2007 because of the mutilation of the corpse unheard of in poison cases, which murderers usually try to pass off as natural.He consulted Professor Foran, director of forensic science at Michigan State University, who then spent two years studying DNA evidence from a slide taken from the scarred flesh found in the basement.Using DNA from living relatives of Cora Crippen, he found that not only did the body parts not belong to her but they were actually male.The findings led him to question the theory that Crippen had buried them - and ask why someone would go to such lengths to disguise gender."It always seemed a bit odd to me that somehow Dr. Crippen successfully got rid of the head, the arms, the legs, all the bones of the body and the sex organs - the hard parts to get rid of - and then buried soft tissue of the abdomen in his own basement."But if you wanted to plant evidence and all you had available was male bodies, you would need to get rid of everything that identifies the flesh as male, including the skeleton, the skull and the sex organs."Cora Crippen was a small woman, so the limbs would have to go as well. All that is left is the soft internal tissue from the torso."The motive for the possible deception, he speculates, lies in Dew's determination to gain a high profile conviction."There are a couple things about Inspector Dew that may be telling."One is that he seemed to strike up a friendship with Dr. Crippen in the days following Cora's disappearance and even after he was captured in Canada, he seemed very sympathetic to him which is not consistent with a policeman and murderer."Secondly, in the early part of his career he was involved the Jack the Ripper case which was never solved and remained a blemish on Scotland Yard's record. So when this crime became famous, because of the circles Cora moved in, there could easily have been pressure on Dew to solve it quickly."Professor Foran's DNA findings have been disputed in the past, because Cora had no birth certificate so the link to the relatives cant be proved.A group in Salt Lake City were said to be investigating the death Crippens first wife, who reportedly died of a stroke in 1892, leaving behind a two-year-old son.Jonathan Menges, a writer and genealogist from San Diego, believes that the behaviour of Dr Crippen proves he murdered his wife."There is no doubt that Crippen is guilty, he says. The doctor was on board the SS MontroseCredit: Getty - ContributorThe excavated cellar of the Hilltop Crescent houseFamily appeal to Boris JohnsonHowever distant cousin James Patrick Crippen, from Dayton Ohio, disagrees and has now written to the government for the third time to ask for his relatives body to be returned to Michigan for burial on the family plot.In the letter to Boris Johnson, received this week, he cites the theory that the body parts were that of a man and claims there is evidence that Cora came back to the USA, entered through Ellis Island, and was living with a relative in the New York area until the 1920 census.He adds: My request is for the exhumation of Hawleys body for reburial in Coldwater, Michigan, United States, where he was born. The cemetery has a Crippen section with three available grave spots.A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said the secretary of state would consider Mr Crippens request, adding: Anyone looking to exhume remains must apply for a licence and obtain consent.

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