“DELPHINE LaLAURIE: MONSTER of ROYAL STREET” and 2 More True Tales! #WeirdDarkness

DELPHINE LaLAURIE: MONSTER of ROYAL STREET” and 2 More True Tales! #WeirdDarkness

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IN THIS EPISODE: Winnie had two trunks when she arrived at the train station – trunks that contained the severed body parts of her two best friends. She had murdered them, it seems, all in the name of love. (Winnie Ruth Judd: Trunk Murderess) *** Was British government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly murdered? (Many Dark Actors: Dr. David Kelly) *** Madame Delphine LaLaurie, made popular by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven, was a first class monster. A figure of high society, she was well known for her mistreatment of slaves. But no one knew just how sick she truly was. (The Monster of Royal Street)

SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“The Monster of Royal Street: Delphine LaLaurie”: https://tinyurl.com/ssf9lm3
“Many Dark Actors: Dr. David Kelly”: https://tinyurl.com/uf4jv5m
“Winnie Ruth Judd: Trunk Murderess” by Troy Taylor: http://ow.ly/kpFb30nhABS

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TRANSCRIPT:

DISCLAIMER: Stories and content in Weird Darkness can be disturbing for some listeners and intended for mature audiences only. Parental discretion is strongly advised.

INTRODUCTION=====

One slave, terrified of punishment from Delphine, threw himself out of a third-story window, preferring death over torture. The third story window was then cemented shut, and remains so to this day. The other report was regarding a twelve year old slave girl named Lia. Lia was brushing Delphine’s hair, and pulled just a little too hard. Delphine flew into a rage and whipped the girl. To escape further punishment, the girl climbed out and onto the roof, where she leapt to her death. Delphine was witnessed burying Lia’s corpse, and police were forced to fine her $300, and made her sell nine of her slaves. However, mistreatment of slaves by the wealthy and socially

I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.

SHOW OPEN=====

Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.

Coming up in this episode…

Winnie had two trunks when she arrived at the train station – trunks that contained the severed body parts of her two best friends. She had murdered them, it seems, all in the name of love. (Winnie Ruth Judd: Trunk Murderess)

Was British government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly murdered? (Many Dark Actors: Dr. David Kelly)

Madame Delphine LaLaurie, made popular by Kathy Bates in American Horror Story: Coven, was a first class monster. A figure of high society, she was well known for her mistreatment of slaves. But no one knew just how sick she truly was. (The Monster of Royal Street)

If you’re new here, welcome to the show! And if you’re already a member of this Weirdo family, please take a moment and invite someone else to listen. Recommending Weird Darkness to others helps make it possible for me to keep doing the show! And while you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com where you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, and you can also join the Weird Darkness Weirdos Facebook group.

Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!

STORY: 
MONSTER ROYAL STREET=====

Delphine LaLaurie was born Marie Delphine Macarty on March 19, 1787 in New Orleans, Louisiana, as one of five children in Louisiana’s Spanish-occupied territory. Her father, Louis Barthelemy McCarthy was an Irish immigrant, and her mother, Marie-Jeanne was a French woman. Louis shortened the family’s surname to Macarty, and together they all emigrated to the United States in 1730. They lived in the White Creole Community, and engaged in many profitable ventures. One of Delphine’s uncles, esteban Rodriguez Miró was a governor, and her cousin, Augustin de Macarty became Mayor of New Orleans from 1815 to 1820. Remaining family members were wealthy merchants, army officials, and slavers.

Delphine was beautiful, and men were quite interested in her. When she hit the tender age of thirteen, it wasn’t hard for her family to find her a suitable groom. She was married in June 1800 to a high ranking Spanish official by the name of Don Ramon de Lopez y Angulo. A major part of New Orleans was under Spanish occupation, so when Don was appointed consul general of Spain, Delphine became one of the most powerful women in the state.

In 1804, Don Ramon received a letter with a royal command stating that the young Spanish officer was “to take his place at court as befitting his new position.” Don Ramon and a very pregnant Delphine departed the United States and paused in Havana, Cuba. While there, Don Ramon became very ill, and died, just days before his daughter was born. She was named Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angula de Candelaria, but became best known in later years as “Borquita,” meaning “Little Borja,” from the fact that she was named after her father’s grandmother.

Widowed, and with a newborn baby, Delphine returned to New Orleans where she lived comfortably in her mansion. In 1808, she married a second time to one of the richest men in the region, who was also a well settled merchant, banker, and lawyer. Jean Blanque bought them a house on Royal Street, which became known as Villa Blanque. He and Delphine had four children, Marie Louise Pauline, Louise Marie Laure, Marie Louise Jeanne, and Jeanne Pierre Paulin Blanque. Delphine remained a figure of high society, spending time with the other socialites.

Her marriage to Jean Blanque did not last long, albeit longer than her marriage to Don Ramon. In 1816, Jean Blanque died, after just eight years of marriage.

She remained a widow for the next nine years, and that was when she met Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie. He had come to New Orleans from Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France, and was ready to setup a practice. Although he was much younger than Delphine (twenty years), the couple were married on June 12, 1825.

As a busy doctor, Leonard was not at Delphine’s side often. In 1831, Delphine purchased a three-story mansion at 1140 Royal Street in the French Quarter, complete with attached slave quarters. She lived there with Leonard, and two of her daughters (as her other children had moved on and married), while maintaining her central position in New Orleans society.

The LaLaurie’s maintained several slaves in their attached quarters. While out in public, Delphine was often observed being generally polite to black people, and even concerned for her slaves’ health. She had even manmuted two of her slaves, Jean Louis in 1819 and Devince in 1832. However, other accounts of her treatment of slaves was not so kind. For example, British social theorist and Whig writer, Harriet Martineau, wrote in 1838 that she had witnessed Delphine’s slaves to be “singularly haggard and wretched.” She also wrote that public rumors about Delphine’s mistreatment of her slaves were so widespread, that a local lawyer had to visit her home to remind her of the laws for the upkeep of slaves. However, during his visit, he found no evidence of wrongdoing or mistreatment of slaves.

Beyond the treatment of her slaves, Delphine was having marital problems. Neighbors reported hearing loud arguments and noises coming from the home. In 1834, the couple officially called it quits, and Leonard moved out of the house. It is said, that after three tragic/failed marriages, Delphine went mad.

Rumors spread about Delphine’s slaves living in constant fear as she mistreated them a lot. One rumor claimed that she kept her 70-year-old cook chained to the stove, starving. Another claimed she kept secret slaves for her husband to practice Haitian voodoo medicine on.

Two reports of mistreatment are on record as being true. One slave, terrified of punishment from Delphine, threw himself out of a third-story window, preferring death over torture. The third story window was then cemented shut, and remains so to this day. The other report was regarding a twelve year old slave girl named Lia. Lia was brushing Delphine’s hair, and pulled just a little too hard. Delphine flew into a rage and whipped the girl. To escape further punishment, the girl climbed out and onto the roof, where she leapt to her death.

Delphine was witnessed burying Lia’s corpse, and police were forced to fine her $300, and made her sell nine of her slaves. However, mistreatment of slaves by the wealthy and socially connected was not a matter for the police at the time, so they didn’t flinch when she bought her nine slaves back.

Then, on the afternoon of April 10, 1834, the LaLaurie Mansion went up in flames. When police and marshals barged into the house to get the fire under control, they found a 70 year old slave woman chained to the stove, while Delphine frantically tried to save her valuables. The police set the woman loose, and she led them up to the attic, where it was believed that slaves would go and never return. There they found seven slaves, tied with spiked iron collars. As the authorities were releasing the slaves, they discovered that their bodies were badly mutilated with their limbs deformed, and in some cases, their intestines had been pulled out of their bodies and tied to them. They also discovered discarded corpses and mutilated body parts.

Other slaves were found chained in their quarters. Once the fire had been extinguished, the 70 year old woman confessed to setting the fire, because she was afraid of the punishment Delphine was going to give her. Those that had helped free the chained up slaves were indignant, and on April 15, a mob charged the LaLaurie mansion and began to wreck it. They were only dispersed when a company of United States Regulars (of the Regular Army) were called out by the helpless sheriff.

During the chaos, Delphine and Leonard took to their carriage and escaped the city with their Creole black coachman, Bastien driving. It was written in 1838 by Harriet Martineau that they fled to a waterfront, and boarded a schooner. They traveled to Mobile, Alabama, and then to Paris.

While the LaLaurie’s made their escape, a mob of nearly 4,000 townspeople ransacked their mansion, smashing windows and tearing down doors. The slaves were taken to a local police station where they detailed the atrocities carried out on them. They told takes of Delphine performing medical experiments on them, including removing their skin, breaking bones and setting them into peculiar positions, amputating limbs. They were forced to wear spiked collars, spoke of an exposed brain being stirred with a stick, and of a friend having their lips sewn shut after Delphine placed animal feces in their mouth.

The slaves were then presented for public viewing, which fueled the rage already burning within the townspeople. By the time it was over, the LaLaurie mansion was in ruins.

Neither Delphine, nor Leonard ever returned to New Orleans. She was respected and lived a good life in Paris, until the day s he died. Her death is somewhat of a mystery, however, with some claiming that she died during a boar hunting accident, and others claiming she secretly returned to New Orleans to live a secret life of anonymity. Looking through official documents, you will find that Paris has recorded her death as December 7, 1849.

Unsettling, however is the old, cracked copper plate found in the late 1930’s in the New Orleans’ Saint Louis Cemetery, bearing the name “LaLaurie, Madame Delphine McCarty.” The inscription, in French, claims that Madame LaLaurie died in Paris on December 7, 1842. To this day, the remains of Madame Delphine LaLaurie have never been found.

BREAK=====

Up next… Winnie had two trunks when she arrived train station – trunks that contained the severed body parts of her two best friends. She had murdered them, it seems, all in the name of love.

That story and more when Weird Darkness returns.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: WINNIE RUTH JUDD, TRUNK MURDERESS=====

On October 18, 1931, Winnie Ruth Judd, an attractive 26-year-old secretary from Phoenix, Arizona, arrived by train in Los Angeles. She had some very strange baggage with her when she rolled into the station – trunks that contained the severed body parts of Winnie’s two best friends. She had murdered them, it seems, all in the name of love.

The bizarre tale began in Arizona. Winnie, along with her two friends — Agnes “Anne” LeRoi, 32, and Sarah Hedvig “Sammy” Samuelson, 24 – were all in love with the same man. His name was Jack Halloran and he was a good-looking playboy who never let the fact he was married stand in the way of a good time. The whole affair was a mess. Not only were Anne and Sammy occasional lovers, but both of them were also seeing Jack. Winnie met Jack when she was working as a nanny for his next-door neighbor. Like Jack, Winnie was married, but her doctor husband was often away on business, so the pair began secretly seeing each other. Their affair began on Christmas Eve 1930 and continued until that dark day in October 1931, when Winnie ended the lurid activities with murder.

A lot of the case remains shrouded in mystery, which is largely due to Winnie’s varying accounts and the baffling details of the murders. What is known is that Anne and Sammy were shot to death in Phoenix and that their bodies were discovered a few days later at the Los Angeles train station. They had been stuffed into steamer trunks. Sammy’s body had been cut into pieces of various sizes and placed in different cases. It was the blood that was oozing out of the seams that alerted station agents that something was seriously amiss.

Winnie immediately became the prime suspect, but police wondered how the petite woman had managed to kill, cut up, and pack up the bodies of two other women. Why would she do it? Did she have help? And why did she catch a train to LA and bring the grisly luggage with her?

The commonly accepted version of events starts on Friday, October 17. Winnie was at home, fuming over her friends’ affairs with Jack. She snapped that night, grabbed a knife and gun, and went over to Sammy and Anne’s bungalow. When she arrived, she left her shoes and the knife outside the back door. She mustered up the courage and broke in. She first went to Anne’s room and pulled the trigger from the doorway. When Sammy heard the shots, she rushed to the room. She jumped on Winnie and managed to take the gun from her. Winnie fled to the back door and retrieved the knife. She lunged at Sammy and stabbed her in the shoulder. The women struggled. Sammy shot Winnie in the left hand as Winnie fought her for the gun. She finally got it away from Sammy and shot her in the head.

When the struggle ended, Winnie questioned what to do with the bodies. Anne’s corpse fit into a large traveling trunk, but Sammy required a lot of work. Winnie had to cut her into pieces and she stuffed her into a series of traveling bags. She managed to load all of it into her car and returned home. Then, on Sunday, October 18, she – along with the case that contained Anne and the three cases of Sammy – boarded the Golden State Limited Train that was bound for Los Angeles.

When the train arrived in LA, the pungent stench and bloody trail left by Winnie’s luggage got the attention of the station agent. He confiscated the bags and demanded that they be opened. Winnie claimed that she had no keys for trunks, and then fled the station.

The agent called the police and detectives arrived to crack open the luggage and discover the gruesome contents. A search immediately began for Winnie Ruth Judd. On October 23, she finally surrendered at a funeral home. The news of the ghastly murders spread quickly and the story was splashed across the front pages of newspapers. The Phoenix bungalow became a morbid tourist attraction and Winnie’s case became a media sensation.

Winnie’s trial began on January 19, 1932. Winnie’s unofficial version of events was that the murders were committed in self-defense, after the other women had attacked her. Her lawyers, meanwhile, claimed she was insane. The prosecution maintained that it had all been premeditated – the work of a jealous woman. What Winnie actually thought during the trial remains unknown. She never took the stand in her own defense. On February 8, 1932, she was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by hanging on February 17, 1933.
By this time, Winnie had managed to drum up a lot of sympathy and a lot of support. There were accusations of shoddy police work, belief that she was defending herself, and, of course, her lawyer’s continued assertions that she was mentally ill. Supporters – including Eleanor Roosevelt — petitioned the state of Arizona to reconsider the death penalty in her case.

And then the story took another turn. In January 1933, a grand jury indicted Jack Halloran as an accomplice to the murders. Winnie became the star witness in the preliminary hearing that followed the indictment. She was still claiming self-defense but added that Jack had helped her with the disposal of the bodies – including Sammy’s dismemberment. It had been Jack’s idea, she said, that she should board a train with the bodies and travel to LA, where another accomplice would get rid of them for good. Halloran never took the stand. His defense maintained that Winnie’s testimony was that of a “crazy person.” Apparently, the judge agreed. The case was dismissed against Halloran that month.

Meanwhile, Winnie was still set to hang. Then, just days before he execution, a panel declared her to be insane. She was spared the noose and sent to the Arizona State Insane Asylum.

But, with a story this bizarre – that’s not the end. Not long after Winnie arrived at the asylum, she escaped. And then she escaped again, and again – a total of seven times. Her last escape was in 1962 and she stayed on the loose for seven years, living in Northern California under an assumed name – Marian Lane. The police finally caught up with her in 1969. But in 1971, Arizona Governor Jack Williams granted her a pardon. She returned to a quiet life as Marian Lane and passed away in her sleep in 1998 at the age of 93.

And nope – still not the end. In 2014, a confession letter that was written by Winnie to her lawyer in 1933 was found in a security box in the Arizona state archives. The startling account – 19 pages in Winnie’s cursive handwriting – reveals every sorted detail of the crime. Is the letter the rambling of a mentally ill woman or a cold-blooded killer? You can decide for yourself if you’d like. I have a link to those pages of the letter in the show notes.

BREAK=====

When Weird Darkness returns…

Was British government weapons inspector Dr David Kelly murdered? You can decide when I bring you the evidence for and against the theory, up next.

<COMMERCIAL BREAK>

STORY: 
MANY DARK ACTORS – DR DAVID KELLY=====

In September 2002, British Prime Minster Tony Blair stood up in parliament and declared that Iraq was a serious threat to the UK’s national security and must be invaded.

Waving a dossier of intelligence, Blair said Iraq was capable of striking British forces with weapons of mass destruction within ‘45 minutes’.

The intelligence would later be shown to be false, but on the basis of the dossier the UK parliament approved the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

In May 2003, journalist Andrew Gilligan reported on BBC radio that he had learned from his sources that the Blair government had “sexed up” the dossier in order to exaggerate the threat Iraq posed.

This caused a storm of controversy and Blair’s government fiercely attacked the BBC over the report. Gilligan’s source was quickly revealed by the media as Ministry of Defence weapons expert, Dr. David Kelly.

Kelly was an expert in biological warfare and a former UN weapons inspector. He was sure the Blair government had exaggerated the intelligence about Iraq and told Gilligan in an off the record discussion.

On June 15th, Kelly was summoned to appear in front of a parliamentary committee were he was intensely questioned about his actions. 48 hours later he was dead.

Kelly, it seemed, had committed suicide. He had gone for a walk in woodland near his home, slit his wrists and overdosed on painkillers.

Kelly’s death plunged the Blair government into a major crisis and the next day they launched an official investigation, chaired by Lord Hutton — it’s remit to investigate “the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly”.

There was speculation that perhaps Kelly had been hounded to his death, even murdered, by the some element of the government or intelligence services.

Kelly’s exposure of the government’s lies over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had cost him his life. Did the strain of been barracked in public by politicians and revealed as the source of Gilligan’s story put an unbearable strain on him?

Or had he been assassinated by some sinister forces within the government, seeking to silence him for exposing the lies that led to an illegal invasion of Iraq?

Was Dr Kelly murdered?

On the morning of the 17th July, Kelly sent his friend, American author Judith Miller, an email. In it he complained ominously that there were “many dark actors playing games”.

In other emails he sent at the same time, Kelly does not sound like a man about to end it all. He says how much he is looking forward to getting back to work and mentions his plans to travel to Iraq the next week.

Kelly took a phone call mid-afternoon, then left the house at about 3:20pm. Just before midnight, after not returning, his family reported him missing.

Dozens of police, neighbours and volunteers soon formed search parties and set out to find Kelly. There is, however, reason to believe he was already under surveillance before he went missing.

The scientist had become the focus of a huge political and media storm — one with international repercussions. The day before he was even interrogated by MI5 in a safe house.

Kelly had already told friends he feared his body would be “found in the woods” and was reportedly working on a ‘tell all’ book about WMD. He was both a target and a potential security threat.

He must surely have been subject to some, as yet undisclosed, surveillance operation. The police seemed to think so — that night, whilst the search parties looked for Kelly, they stripped the wallpaper in his house, presumably looking for bugs.

It already seemed evident the police knew more than they have admitted — the official investigation into Kelly’s death, ‘Operation Mason’ was opened before he was even reported missing.

Meanwhile, the search continued. At 3am, a police helicopter fitted with heat-seeking cameras flew over the very spot Kelly would be found just 6 hours later and didn’t find him.

How could Kelly not be there? The pathologist estimated he died somewhere around this time, how could the helicopter not pick up the warmth of his body?

The heat-seeking cameras either failed to do their job or Kelly had died somewhere else and his body was moved.

A further mystery surrounded reports of another helicopter landing at the Kelly’s property then leaving soon after. FOI requests revealed only a heavily redacted set of names. Who was on board?

Kelly’s body was finally found around 9am in woodland clearing at Harrowdown Hill, a local beauty spot close to his home. His head and shoulders were slumped against a tree.

Many doctors, paramedics, politicians and journalists were troubled by the circumstances of Kelly’s death and odd details at the crime scene.

Louise Holmes, a search and rescue volunteer, discovered Kelly’s body and along with her colleague Paul Chapman gave clear testimony about the crime scene.

“He was at the base of the tree with almost his head and his shoulders just slumped back against the tree”, Holmes told the Hutton Enquiry.

This was consistent with her police statement — “I saw that this person was slumped against the base of the tree with his head and shoulders resting against the trunk.”

On their way to alert police Holmes and Chapmen met Detective Constable Graham Coe. At Hutton, Coe was asked who he was with when he met the pair. For reasons never adequately explained, he lied.

Coe told Hutton he was with one other man — Detective Constable Shields. In fact, the two were with an unidentified third man, a lie later admitted by Coe.

Coe now claims the third man was a police trainee who he didn’t want to name. Why would Coe risk been exposed as a liar at an official inquiry over something so innocuous?

Coe’s odd lie was particularly telling in light of what happened during the next hour — somebody had moved Dr Kelly’s body.

Coe claimed he stood and ‘guarded’ the body until the arrival of police alerted by Holmes and Chapman. But by the time the other officers arrived, Kelly’s body had changed position.

PC Sawyer arrived first, accompanied by two paramedics. One of the paramedics, Dave Bartlett, described the scene — “He was lying flat out some distance from the tree. He definitely wasn’t leaning against it”.

Kelly was now so far away from the tree that Bartlett was even able to get in behind Kelly as he checked for signs of life. Who had moved Kelly’s body and why?

The obvious implication is DCI Coe or the men he was with had altered the crime scene. Already caught out in one lie, Coe’s suspicious behaviour has never been explained.

The medical evidence surrounding Kelly’s death proved to be highly controversial. The official verdict was that he had died due to a self-inflicted injury to the ulnar artery and an overdose of his wife’s co-proxamol tablets.

Many medical professionals disagreed. In a series of letters to the national press, a number of concerned doctors disputed the official verdict. They felt the injuries to Kelly could not cause his death.

They pointed out people rarely die by wrist cutting. The arteries immediately begin to close up and constrict the blood loss. Dr Bill McQuillan, who had dealt with hundreds of wrist accidents said — “I have never seen one death of somebody from cutting an ulnar artery.”

The choice of the ulnar artery was particularly odd. The ulnar artery is deeper in the wrist and covered by nerves and tendons, which would require considerable force to cut. Why would Kelly choose that rather than the easy to access radial artery?

Nor could the painkillers have caused his death. The levels of the drug found in his stomach and bloodstream were much too low to have killed Kelly. 3 empty blister packs were found on Kelly’s body, but this was no proof of ingestion.

The paramedics agreed with the doctors. David Bartlett and Vanessa Hunt, the first medical professionals to tend to Kelly were so baffled as to the lack of blood at the scene they went to the press.

“I’ve seen more blood at a nosebleed than I saw there”, Bartlett said in an interview. The arterial spray should have covered Kelly and the whole area with blood but very little was found.

“There just wasn’t a lot of blood … When somebody cuts an artery, whether accidentally or intentionally, the blood pumps everywhere”, Hunt said.

Dr Bill McQuillan concurred. If Kelly has slit his ulnar artery “…his clothes, face and any surrounding structures would show evidence of that with the blood scattered as from a watering can”.

Some blood was found at the scene, but it takes around 3–4 pints of blood loss for an adult male to die — a huge amount that should have been apparent to all present.

According to police reports, various items were found at the scene — a small water bottle, a gardening knife, a painkiller blister pack, his glasses and his watch.

No fingerprints were found on any of the objects. Whilst it is common to find no identifiable fingerprints on such evidence, to find no prints at all is unusual. No mention of this was made at Hutton.

The water bottle found near Kelly’s body was still half full. It’s difficult to see how Kelly could have swallowed 29 co-proxamol tablets, as alleged, with such little water.

Worse still, Hutton failed to mention reports that Kelly suffered from ‘unexplained dysphagia’ a syndrome that makes it difficult for the subject to swallow pills.

Hutton failed to cover another medical issue. Kelly had fractured his left elbow earlier that year and according to friends was “unable to cut a steak” with his right hand. Why then, would Kelly choose to cut his wrists with his right hand?

Kelly, an expert in the ‘science of death’ had chosen an unlikely suicide method. Kelly would have been well aware that wrist slitting was unlikely to kill him; it is normally associated with young people and a ‘cry for help’.

Hutton also glossed over some disturbing details from the autopsy.

Various scuffs, abrasions and cuts were found, but they were blithely dismissed as been caused by Kelly ‘stumbling’. Could they have been evidence of a struggle with a third party?

Acetone was found in Kelly’s blood and urine, which may have indicated he died much later than thought — later than 1am. If so, the obvious question is why Kelly would disappear then wait some 8 hours or more to commit suicide?

These problems with the suicide scenario, along with the improbability of it proving fatal led to a campaign by a group of Doctors to have an official inquest opened into Kelly’s death.

The Hutton inquiry was set up the day after Kelly’s death and it immediately shut down and superseded the corners inquest.

Inquests are routinely opened in the case of violent, sudden or suspicious deaths. They are legal bodies that have the power of subpeona and evidence is given under oath.

In contrast, the Hutton inquiry had no legal authority, failed to call many key witnesses and no evidence was given under oath. Amazingly, even the head of the police investigation into Kelly’s death was not called to testify.

This caused disquiet and concern even amongst those who believed Kelly killed himself. Replacing an inquest with a political inquiry was unique in all British legal history.

Hutton’s subsequent report was widely regarded as a whitewash that was designed from the outset to declare Kelly’s death nothing more than a tragic suicide.

The suicide scenario was further reinforced in the media by several individuals claiming to have an insight into Kelly’s mental state.

The most prominent of these was Tom Mangold, a veteran journalist with links to the intelligence services. As soon as lunchtime on the day of Kelly’s death, Mangold began an exhaustive series of tv and newspaper interviews.

Always described as a ‘close’ or ‘long-time’ friend of Kelly’s, the journalist repeatedly told the media how certain he was Kelly had committed suicide.

As a personal friend, Mangold seemed to have an insight into Kelly’s trouble mind. The scientist was apparently stressed, unhappy and upset he had been publicly exposed.

Mangold, a reputable mainstream journalist, had perhaps more than anyone, helped to fix the idea that Kelly was in a suicidal state of mind.

However, it soon became clear that Mangold was, at the very least, exaggerating his relationship with Kelly.

At Hutton, it was revealed Mangold had actually known Kelly just 5 years and met him only a few times. Kelly was strictly a contact who he had talked to occasionally regarding stories he was working on.

Why then, did Mangold bombard the media with interviews claiming to be a close personal friend of Kelly? Why had he told us with such certainty Kelly was suicidal when he hardly knew him?

Many of Kelly’s own communications at this time, including one where he rebuffs supposed friend Mangold, actually show him to be optimistic and looking forward to getting back to work.

He was also a hardened UN weapons inspector, used to dealing with intense pressure and confrontation. The idea he was so troubled by the media attention that he killed himself seems unlikely.

Mangold’s tireless attempts to portray Kelly as suicidal appeared to be part of a larger media campaign to rubbish the idea that his death could have been murder.

Numerous ‘debunking’ articles and documentaries appeared which tried to shut down debate using misleading evidence and attributing false claims to the sceptics.

MP Norman Baker, who wrote a book alleging Kelly was murdered, provoked some positive news coverage but was largely singled out for ridicule.

In 2011, Attorney General Dominic Grieve refused the campaigning Doctor’s request for an inquest. Despite all the contrary evidence Grieve told parliament the evidence Kelly had committed suicide was “overwhelmingly strong”.

Several commentators have cast doubt on the motive for killing Kelly.

Most alternative accounts have Kelly murdered for his role in exposing the US and UK government’s lies over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

However, with the story already out, what could be gained from murdering him? His death only deepened a global controversy, attracting even more coverage and scrutiny to the false WMD claims.

This is a compelling argument. Sanctioning the murder of Kelly would have been an insane act that could have only made the situation for the perpetrators worse.

However, Bob Coen in his film Anthrax Wars proposes a more credible alternative motive.

Kelly was heavily involved in classified biowarfare research at a top-secret facility at Porton Down. Coen suggests Porton Down may have been involved with South Africa’s Project Coast, a project designed to create a ‘race weapon’.

Could worries that Kelly had been talking to journalists and may have been working on a ‘tell-all’ book about biowarfare have led to his murder?

If it became public that the US and UK had been involved with illegal and unethical research into bioweapons that would target only black people, the consequences would be dire.

SHOW CLOSE=====

Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at darren@weirddarkness.com – and you can find the show on Facebook and Twitter, including the show’s Weirdos Facebook Group on the CONTACT/SOCIAL page at WeirdDarkness.com. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, click on TELL YOUR STORY – or call the DARKLINE toll free at 1-877-277-5944. That’s 1-877-277-5944.

The following stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true:

“The Monster of Royal Street: Delphine LaLaurie” from The Scare Chamber

“Many Dark Actors: Dr. David Kelly” from The Unredacted

“Winnie Ruth Judd: Trunk Murderess” by Troy Taylor

You can find link to all of these stories in the show notes.

WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions.

Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” – Titus 2:11

And a final thought… “Doubt is the enemy of the soul and the biggest threat to the humane. It should be taken with the greatest type of seriousness and eradicated without mercy.” – Vasile Munteanu (mon-ton-AYE-oo)

I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.

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