by George Skelly - £19.50 Waterside Press (2011)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781904380726 | ISBN 10: 1904380727
The true story of Liverpool’s Cameo Cinema murders vividly demonstrates the need to guard against police corruption and legal manipulation.
George Kelly was hanged in 1950 for shooting dead two men early in 1949: the manager of the Cameo Cinema, Wavertree and his assistant. Undeniably from the wrong side of the tracks and involved in petty crimes of the post-Second World War era, Kelly and his coaccused Charles Connolly (who went to prison for ten years) found themselves expertly ‘fitted-up’ as riff-raff in a Kafkaesque nightmare.
This is the definitive book on the Cameo case — a superbly worked account of an astonishing miscarriage of justice. It is also a snapshot of social history, of a time when fabrication of evidence and denial of the right to a fair trial could be a means of ensuring ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’.
Nothing can put right a wrongful execution although in 2003 — following publication of the original version of this book — Kelly and Connolly were posthumously cleared by the Court of Appeal. The judgement condemned the ‘unsafe convictions’ and the ‘unfair trial’ as a tragic breakdown in the administration of justice, which was to be deeply regretted.
This new edition tells the whole story from investigation, trial, sentence and execution to posthumous pardon.
(Price & availability last checked: July 2019)