Author Topic: Leo Mckinstry - Jeremy's deluded cheerleaders are a disgrace  (Read 2006 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline steve_trousers

Leo Mckinstry - Jeremy's deluded cheerleaders are a disgrace
« on: February 09, 2020, 05:19:50 PM »
Recent article from Leo McKinstry in light of the new TV series

Original link -

THE scene that greeted the police was one of almost unimaginable, blood-soaked carnage.

Once officers had entered the remote Essex farmhouse on the morning of 7 August 1985, they discovered five murder victims, all of whom had been shot dead.

One slumped body, that of a middle-aged man, had also been battered repeatedly with the butt of a rifle.

In total, the killer had unloaded 25 bullets from a semi-automatic weapon during this lethal rampage.

At first, the police suspected the culprit was one of the victims, Sheila Caffell, a former model with a long history of mental illness.

According to their initial theory, she had been so deranged by a psychotic episode that she had gunned down her six-year-old twin boys, Nicholas and Daniel, as well as her adoptive parents Nevill and June Bamber, before she put the rifle to her own throat and pulled the trigger.

This was a narrative that Sheila’s half-brother, 24-year-old Jeremy Bamber, eagerly relayed to the police.

Indeed, on that fateful August night, Jeremy Bamber, who lived in cottage near his parents’ farm, had telephoned the local Essex station, telling them that his father had just rung to say Sheila had “gone beserk” with a gun.

But, as revealed in new ITV drama White House Farm, which begins this week, suspicion soon began to fall on Jeremy rather than Sheila.

His champagne-fuelled hedonistic behaviour, featuring several holidays abroad, in the aftermath of the murders was not that of a grieving son, despite his dramatic tears at the funeral.

He also had a clear motivation for the killing, since he stood to inherit his parent’s £436,000 farm.

Moreover, the evidence piled up against him, including both incriminating testimony from an ex-girlfriend and the discovery in a cupboard at the farm of a rifle silencer with specks of Sheila’s blood on it.

The silencer appeared to absolve Sheila. There was no way she could have lain on the ground, shot herself twice, then stood up, removed the silencer from the rifle, and hidden it away before she died.
With such an overwhelming case against him, Jeremy Bamber was duly convicted in 1986 and sentenced to 25 years.

Later this was raised to a “whole life” term, which means that he will probably never be released.

In fact, given his youth at the time of the killings, he may end up serving the longest sentence in British penal history.

But that is no more than he deserves, given the scale of his monstrous barbarity.

His is one of the most gruesome but compelling sagas in the annals of British crime, which is why the new ITV production should make for powerful viewing.

The series stars Cressida Bonas as the vulnerable Sheila Caffell, while Bamber is played by the dashing Freddie Fox, who brings out the murderer’s mix of dark charm and cruel psychopathy.

Sheila’s estranged husband Colin Caffell recently described Bamber as an “extremely seductive and charismatic person”, which helps to explain why he initially fooled the Essex police.
Deluded campaign
Yet he is still fooling people. Despite the strength of evidence against, there is a noisy campaign to have Bamber declared innocent.

Peddling its propaganda through websites, social media, and left-wing journals, this deluded brigade argues that Bamber is the victim of a “miscarriage of justice.”

He did not receive “a fair trial” because the proceedings against him were “highly irregular”, says the veteran human rights activist Peter Tatchell, while Eric Allison, patron of the official Bamber Campaign, calls the failure to release all the documents in the case “a shocking state of affairs.”
A vast range of conspiracy theories are said to be behind Bamber’s unsafe conviction, including a police cover-up, the greed of relatives angry at Bamber’s inheritance, the spite of his ex-girlfriend Julie Mugford, and shadowy political vested interests.

This is all offensive nonsense. The campaign is not only a moral disgrace but also had not a shred of justification.

It is shameful to see these zealots lining up behind a child killer whose defence is so threadbare and whose record is so evil.

In 2002, when the Court of Appeal upheld the original verdict for the second time, the judges declared, “The more we looked into this case, the more likely it seemed that the jury was right.”

Those words are just as correct today.

Even Bamber’s own shrill defenders admit that there are only two possible suspects: him or Sheila.

But the idea that petite Sheila, who suffered from anorexia, was capable of such violence is laughable.

She had no interest in guns, no experience of using them. Nor could she have got into a struggle with her 6 foot 4 inch tall father Nevill.

Her feet, hands and nightdress were almost free of blood and gun residue, hardly indicator of someone who has been on a shooting spree.

And even Bamber’s staunchest supporters have no convincing explanation for the discovery of the silencer, beyond the usual lurid claims that it was “planted.”

On the other hand, Jeremy Bamber was used to handling guns, had an air of menace about him and harboured a deep hostility towards his adoptive parents.

“I must never turn my back on him,” Nevill once said, fearing that “there might be a serious shooting.”

Bamber planned the whole killing spree meticulously, from disconnecting the phones at the farm to stop any emergency calls to misleading the police at the scene with his talk of Sheila being “a nutter”.

In fact, he eagerly told his girlfriend at the time, Julie Mugford, what he contemplated saying, “tonight or never,” as she later reported to the police.

The “Bamber is Innocent” mob argue that Ms Mugford acted purely out of revenge, Bamber having dumped her soon after the murders.

But it is highly unlikely that she would have risked a perjury charge in such a serious murder case on such an emotive basis.

Tellingly, the late Bob Woffinden, a forensic journalist with a record of fighting miscarriages of justice, used to think Bamber was innocent, but later became convinced of his guilt, after he researched the story in depth.

“I am now certain that the murderer was indeed Jeremy Bamber,” Woffinden wrote in 2011.

Those who still cling to the belief in a miscarriage of justice should remember the case of James Hanratty, who went to the gallows in 1962 for murder and rape in a lay-by off the A6 after he hijacked a car at gunpoint.

For decades, there was a loud campaign to pardon Hanratty, who was portrayed by supporters as nothing more than a harmless petty crook.

Yet in 2002, advances in DNA proved conclusively that Hanratty was in fact the A6 killer.

The campaign for Hanratty had been utterly baseless.   If the ITV drama has any integrity, it will reinforce the same grim truth about Bamber.

White House Farm airs on ITV from 9pm on Wednesday