Thursday, 5 November 2015

Crime of Passion

London Walks guide and Daily Constitutional Associate Editor Richard III reports from the Crime Museum Uncovered exhibition at the Museum of London…

This is the gun used by Ruth Ellis to kill David Blakely – a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver..

It is in the exhibition The Crime Museum Uncovered at the Museum of London.

Ruth Ellis was the last woman in Britain to be hanged.

The incident that led her to the gallows all started at her London flat (we go there on the Knightsbridge Pub Walk, Friday 7pm, South Kensington tube). Finding Blakely had left the Knightsbridge drinking den The Little Club with another woman she went back to the flat and started drinking. 

Desmond Cussen, jealous of Blakely, procured the gun, led her to Blakely and she shot him.

Nothing came out in the trial about Blakely who was a vicious sadist who had beaten Ellis black and blue, or the role Cussen played. She was vilified in the press and hanged in Holloway prison in 1955. 

In our photo, the gun is set against a photo of The Magdala pub in Hampstead where she shot him. You can still see the bullet holes on the tiles outside the pub.

Here's how to find The Museum of London…

…where The Crime Museum Uncovered exhibition runs until April 2016.

A London Walk costs £10 – £8 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at

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