Unsolved Murder Mysteries
Term Starting 25 April
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Wed 25th April: Marilyn Monroe
Walk into any popular art shop and pictures of the iconic Marilyn Monroe are still for sale. Pop superstar Sir Elton John, a legend in his own right, composed a song about Monroe that was modified for Princess Diana’s funeral. Marilyn Monroe holds a fatal attraction even forty years after her death. Was it a simple case of suicide or something more sinister? What did she know that placed her life at risk? And how close did she get to those in power? Who had reason to benefit from her death? This lecture takes a look at the evidence and seeks to explore some of the myths which surround her mysterious death.
Wed 2nd May: JF Kennedy
Do you remember where you were when John F Kennedy was shot? His shock assassination on 22 November 1963 reverberated across the world. Lee Harvey Oswald was finally convicted of his murder. In spite of a conviction, conspiracy theories still abound about the motivations and real killer. Who was behind Oswald and pulled the strings? This week explores some of the theories and possible triggers surrounding JFK’s untimely death.
Wed 9th May: Rasputin
Russian monastic mystic and ‘healer’, Rasputin allegedly had something to do with the downfall of the Tsar and the Russian Revolution. Before the revolution took full hold in the country, Rasputin was dead. Conspiracies abound over the cause of his assassination. Was it a lone fanatic within his own country? Or, as some scholars have suggested, did the British Secret Service assassinate him? What possible motivations led to his death?
Wed 16 May: Robert Maxwell / Barney Barnato
Business tycoon Robert Maxwell and billionaire diamond merchant Barney Barnato both suffered a similar fate, although their deaths occurred nearly a century apart. Their bodies were found overboard from their luxury yachts in the Atlantic Ocean off the Canary Islands. Was it a case of suicide? Both men had their hated enemies and owed huge sums of money. Did they take their own lives? Or were they murdered?
Wed 23rd May: Jack The Ripper
Perhaps the most famous serial murders which continue to ‘fascinate’ us and evade a solution are the Ripper murders. In the late 19th century the East End was terrified by the prowess of one person who evaded capture. Who was Jack the Ripper? Why, after the murder of six prostitutes, did the killings stop? Has the Metropolitan Police and Special Branch been involved in a cover-up over the true identity of the Ripper? This week takes a look at the key suspects and the evidence for and against them. Can we get any closer to solving the mystery?
Dr Helen Fry is a historian and biographer who has written over 20 books, including Churchill’s German Army, Music & Men, Freuds’ War, From Dachau to D-Day, and Inside Nuremberg Prison. She is currently engaged on a number of script-writing projects for film and TV, based on her work. Her website: www.helen-fry.com
- Wed 25th April 12
- Wed 2nd May 12
- Wed 9th May 12
- Wed 16th May 12
- Wed 23rd May 12