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Fun, Games And Silliness / Obit
« on: June 19, 2022, 04:35:33 PM »
A lady sent in a long obituary. The paper called and told her the cost was so much per word.  "Oh, my" she said, "Just change that to 'George died.'"

The paper then told her that there was a five word minimum.  "Well," she said, "make that 'George died, Buick for sale.'"


Prince Harry 'would have gone home feeling depressed about what he has given up' after realising he and Meghan are no longer 'centre stage' during Jubilee visit, royal experts claim

    Duke and the Duchess of Sussex missed the Platinum Jubilee Party and Pageant
    made only one public appearance, despite flying in from US with their children
    couple didn't appear on Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour

By Jessica Green For Mailonline

Published: 09:12, 10 June 2022 | Updated: 09:22, 10 June 2022

Prince Harry 'must have gone home feeling very depressed for what he has given up' after he and Meghan Markle decided not to be more visible in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations because 'they did not have centre stage seats', royal experts have claimed.  The Duke, 37, and the Duchess of Sussex, 40, missed both the Platinum Jubilee Party and Pageant as well as the Epsom Derby during the four-day festivities.  They made only one public appearance, despite flying in from the US with their two children Archie and Lilibet.  The couple didn't appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour, and were also seemingly relegated to the second row during the Thanksgiving service.  Vanity Fair's Katie Nicholl told True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat that the couple weren't at other celebrations because 'they did not have centre stage seats'.  Meanwhile, historian Hugo Vickers added: 'Harry has given up being Captain of the Royal Marines, who were out in force. I think he must have gone home feeling very depressed for what he has given up.'

Katie said: 'I honestly think it’s [because] they knew that they wouldn’t be in that front row.  And why did they leave the Royal Family? They left because they weren’t in the front row. I believe that’s why they weren't at the other celebrations as they did not have centre stage seats.'

Elsewhere, royal biographer and journalist Duncan Larcombe said the Platinum Jubilee celebrations will haunt Prince Harry for the rest of his life, as he and his family were relegated to minor roles and decided not to participate in some events.  He said: 'Those four days will haunt Prince Harry for the rest of his life. They [The Duke and Duchess of Sussex] were relegated to sitting behind the Duke of Gloucester [at the Thanksgiving service].  They didn't take part in any way, shape or form visibly at the Trooping of the Colour [Harry] will be fuming about the way he and his family were treated if it was Prince William and the Royal Family who said, "you’re not coming to the royal box", whilst other minor non-working Royals were at those events.'

Discussing the key images from the celebration, Katie told the programme: 'If you’re going to take one image away from the weekend, it has to be [the one of the Queen and her three heirs standing on the Buckingham Palace balcony].  A Jubilee isn't just a moment to reflect on the 70 years, but to look forward to the future. The Queen’s message is very clear, this is the future and for the first time in history, we have four generations of royalty.  It is extraordinary. Also, it was deliberately engineered. If you watch the sequence of this, Camilla steps to the side, whilst Kate takes the two youngest children, and leaves the Queen with her three heirs.'


Mum accused of murdering Logan Mwangi retches in dock as extensive injuries read out

WARNING DISTRESSING CONTENT: Logan Mwangi was found dead in a river next to a park after suffering the kind of injuries usually found in car crash victims, Cardiff Crown Court has been told

By Philip Dewey

17:46, 21 Mar 2022 Updated 19:27, 21 Mar 2022

A mother accused of murdering her five-year-old son cried and retched as prosecutors detailed the full extent of her son's catastrophic injuries.  Logan Mwangi was found dead in a river next to a park after suffering the kind of injuries usually found in car crash victims, Cardiff Crown Court was told.  His mum Angharad Williamson, 30, and her partner John Cole, 40, alongside a youth are accused of murdering the youngster.  Logan suffered more than 56 injuries before his body was dumped like "fly tipping". All three deny being responsible for his death and are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court.  On Monday, jurors were warned that the evidence will be "difficult to listen to" ahead pathologist Dr John Williams' testimony, reports WalesOnline.  Dr Williams performed a post mortem on Logan on August 1, 2021, the day after his body was found in the River Ogmore near Pandy Park in Bridgend.  The witness told the jury he found 56 external injuries on Logan’s body in total.  Dr Williams later added: “The court heard there were features indicating a period of survival following injuries being sustained which may have been up to several hours.  The findings do not indicate death occurred immediately after injuries were sustained."

He said the severity of these injuries may be expected with a fall or collapse, and absent of a high velocity accident, the injuries are consistent with “a blow or blows, a kick or kicks or impact of impacts with a weapon”.

The medical cause of Logan’s death was given as blunt force abdominal injury and cerebral injury including brain swelling, hypoxic ischemic neuronal injury and traumatic brain injury.  At a number of points during the evidence, Williamson could be heard crying the dock - and retching at one point.  As part of its case, the Crown says while it cannot show exactly what happened, all three defendant's had tried to "desperately cover up their involvement in his death".

The trial has previously heard that Willamson phoned 999 at 5.46am on August 31 to report her son missing a call that the Crown alleges Logan's mum was "playing the part of a distraught mother to the full extent of her acting abilities".

All three defendants also accused of perverting the course of justice, including moving Logan’s body to the river near Pandy Park, removing his clothing, washing bloodstained bed linen, and making a false missing person report to police.  Williamson, from Sarn, Bridgend, and the youth pleaded not guilty to both offences. Cole, of Maesglas, Ynysawdre, Bridgend, has denied murder but admitted perverting the course of justice.  Williamson and Cole were also charged with causing or allowing the death of a child, which they both denied.  The trial continues.

Fun, Games And Silliness / The Handyman
« on: March 31, 2022, 04:04:58 PM »
A handyman was working for a temple in Allentown, PA, had asked for a raise and was turned down. He decided to quit and went out to look for work.  First he went to a Catholic church and was told that in order to work there he would have to answer one question.  The priest asked, "Where was Jesus born?"

The man answered, "Pittsburgh," and was shown the door.

He then went to a Baptist church. The minister told him that in order to get a job there he would have to answer a question.  He was asked, "Where was Jesus born?"

The man answered, "Philadelphia."

He was dismissed.  Walking away, he encountered the rabbi who was looking for him. The rabbi exclaimed, "The board approved your raise. Please come back immediately."

The man said to the rabbi, "I will come back only if you answer a question. Where was Jesus born?

The rabbi says, "Bethlehem."

"HA!," cries the man. "I knew it was somewhere in Pennsylvania."

Fun, Games And Silliness / Cookies
« on: March 31, 2022, 04:02:11 PM »
A husband took his young daughter to the grocery store with him. In addition to the healthful items on the carefully prepared shopping list, they returned with a box of sugar-laden cookies.  The man noticed the glare of his wife and said, "This box of cookies has one-third fewer calories than usual."

"Why is that?" the mother asked.

"We ate a third of the cookies on the way home," he replied.


'Edward VIII's treachery is mind-boggling': Viewers of Britain's Traitor King question 'why Duke of Windsor wasn't executed for treason' after he told Nazis to keep bombing England during WWII

    Edward is said to have encouraged the Nazis to bomb Britain into submission
    He then wanted to be re-installed as King of a puppet state in Britain
    Claims were made in Channel 4 documentary Edward VIII: Britain's Traitor King
    Many were horrified by the claims and said his 'treachery was mind-boggling'

By Harriet Johnston For Mailonline

Published: 12:47, 28 March 2022 | Updated: 16:08, 28 March 2022

Viewers of Edward VIII: Britain's Traitor King last night questioned 'why the royal wasn't executed for treason' after learning he told Nazis to keep bombing England during WWII.  The former king, who abdicated in 1936 to marry the divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson, also passed information to Germany that aided the fall of France in 1940, according to the Channel 4 documentary which aired last night.  It used evidence such as captured German documents that are held in the Royal Archives to support the claims.  The damning allegations come after years of academic research into how close to the Nazis the Duke of Windsor was and the effect of his friendships on the war.  Andrew Lownie, upon whose book the documentary was made, explained: 'The Duke definitely believes the continued severe bombing would make England ready for peace.  It is extraordinary here is the former king of Britain saying if you bomb his family and country, it's the best way to bring the pursuit of peace.   He's prepared to go to those lengths to achieve those aims. It's chilling and sinister and very shocking.'

Later the same year, the Germans bombed Buckingham Palace, literally missing the King and Queen by feet.  One stunned viewer commented: 'Mind boggling the treachery and vanity of the man.'

Another wrote: 'Can't believe what I'm waiting. shocking what a traitor to the country he was.'

Appearing in the documentary, A.N. Wilson explained how the Duke was attracted to Hitler who was 'flashy' and 'trendy.'

Anna Pasternak said the former king was 'blinded' by the fact Wallace 'hadn't experienced the pomp of the royal tour.'

He explained: 'He was so susceptible to that kind of flattery and he succumbed.'

Wilson continued: The Duke once said to one of his friends in exile, he didn't have a drop of English blood in him. He was pure German.'

Meanwhile Andrew explained: 'The Duke was very firmly pro-Nazi and a firm supporter of Hitler.'

Wilson added: 'He felt like a wounded child and the person who came into the playground to pick up the wounded child was Adolf Hitler.  In May 1939, the Duke, who had an office in Paris, made a broadcast in which he said Britain should be doing all in its power to come to terms with Nazi Germany and not have a war.'

Anna added: 'He didn't listen to advice that didn't suit him, he was a naive fool.'

In a May 1939 speech which was never broadcast, and accessed by the historian through the BBC Sound Archive reference card, the Duke asked the British to surrender to Hitler before the war began.

Wilson said: 'The BBC were furious, they felt the impartiality of the BBC would be infringed and they felt the Nazis were using the duke for their own propaganda, which they were of course.  No one quite knew what was going to happen in May, but later it was fairly obvious.'

Anna explained the Duke was 'terrifyingly open to Germany and 'what they could offer him.'

Meanwhile Andrew said there were repeated references to the Duke's 'hope to be restored to the throne' by the Germans in telegrams.   Anna explained: 'Anyone who could make him feel powerful and important, he succumbed to that.  His motivation was his sense of rejection from England. i think he never really got over that.'   

The documentary goes on to detail how the Duke gave information on weaknesses in the French military to a Nazi informant.  The former King was living in Paris and had written four reports on the French First Army describing its poor leadership and morale.  The reports were ignored by British officials but captured German diplomatic cables showed that Edward then gave the information to his close friend, Nazi informant Charles Bedaux.  The subsequent German invasion of France targeted the weaknesses Edward had identified.  During the invasion, Edward and Mrs Simpson fled to Lisbon, Portugal where they socialised with German agents and sympathisers.  In another captured diplomatic cable from the German ambassador to Portuguese authorities, the Duke is said to have told representatives of Francoist Spain that 'continued severe bombing would make England ready for peace'.

Andrew said: 'Edward wanted to come back as a pro-Nazi leader. He characterizes himself as a firm supporter of a peaceful arrangement with Germany.  'He was so disloyal to his brother, he was calling for the bombing of Britain as a way of subjugating them.  The Duke encouraged the Germans to bomb London and indeed, that's what they do.'

On 13th September 1940, they bomb Buckingham Palace, literally missing the King and Queen by feet.  He continued: 'Let's look at it in personal terms, this is a man who will stop at nothing to usurp the throne, even if it requires the death of his own brother.'

Meanwhile Wilson added: 'In my mind that is the most appalling thing he ever did to say the people of your own country should be bombed.'

Freddie Sayer, editor of Unherd, questioned if he had a sense 'vindication would be delivered' if the 'whole house of cards come crashing down.'  Then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill removed the Duke from Europe, making him the Governor of the Bahamas.  While travelling there, Edward sent a coded telegram to a Nazi associate saying he was willing to return to Europe.  Dr Lownie argues that this indicates Edward was aware of Operation Willie, the German plan to put the Duke back on the throne as the head of a puppet state.  The allegations are also detailed in Dr Lownie's upcoming book Traitor King, which will be published in May.  The documents used by Dr Lownie as evidence have been in the Royal Archives for decades but a recent policy change allowed greater access for researchers with new documents emerging.  In 1937, Edward and Wallis, met Hitler and his officials during a tour of Germany.  Whilst there, Edward was infamously photographed giving a Nazi salute and later also toured industrial facilities and even a concentration camp, whose guard towers were said to have been explained to him as meat stores.  The former king was reported to have said as late as 1941 that Hitler was the 'right and logical leader of the German people'.

Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII: A scandal that rocked a nation

January 1931 - Wallis meets Prince Edward in January 1931, after being introduced via her friend Lady Furness

1931- 1934 - The American divorcee and the heir to the throne see each other regularly at various parties

August 1934 - Wallis admits she and Edward are no longer just friends, after joining him on a cruise

January 1936 - King George V dies. Edward asks Wallis to watch the proclamation of his accession with him from St. James's Palace

August 1936 - The pair enjoy a cruise around the Adriatic sea with friends. Details of their relationship appear in the American press

December 11, 1936 - Edward announces his abdication

June 3, 1937 - The couple get married in the south of France. Wallis was formally known as the Duchess of Windsor, but was not allowed to share her husband's title of 'Royal Highness.'


'Some Women Have Penises': Placard-wielding trans rights protestors besiege feminist campaigners' meeting held to discuss women-only spaces

    Women's Place UK were holding meeting to discuss single-sex spaces
    Event in Manchester was protested by around 200 trans-rights demonstrators
    They claim the women's rights group is 'transphobic' and 'exclusionary'
    Police officers were called to the event as a 'precaution', but no arrests made

By William Cole For Mailonline

Published: 10:42, 26 March 2022 | Updated: 15:11, 26 March 2022

A women's rights group meeting to discuss single-sex spaces was protested by trans activists leading to police being called.  Around 200 protestors holding up placards that read 'Some women have penises' and 'If you are transphobic do one' gathered outside a venue in Manchester where Women's Place UK were holding their discussion.  The group was hosting its annual conference to consider 'the importance and future of single-sex provision in policy and law'.

The protest was organised by the Manchester Trans Rise Up group, which described Women's Place as a 'transphobic hate group'.  Later, Greater Manchester Police said that officers attended as a 'precaution', but no arrests were made.  Police did help move the crowd apart so the Women's Place attendees could leave the building safely.  Activists at the protest said some group were trying 'to push a narrative that trans women are predators' adding that they saw Women's Place's stance on single-sex spaces as 'b*******'.  'We believe Woman's Place UK is trying to make women-only spaces that exclude the existence of trans women,' two attendees told the Manchester Evening News. 'We feel that it’s important to stand up against that.'

In a statement, Woman’s Place UK denied they were 'transphobic'. They also said they welcomed those with opposing views to attend their events and 'debate with us directly'.

A Woman’s Place UK spokesperson said: "We are a grassroots women's campaign. Accusations of transphobia are entirely unjustified and are often used as a tactic to shut down discussion which many women have valid concerns about the retention of our right under the Equality Act 2010 to single sex spaces, services and sports.  Our last meeting in Manchester was held in 2018, where Kristina Harrison, who is trans, spoke from the platform alongside Ruth Serwotka and Bea Campbell.  Our events are public and we welcome people with opposing views to attend, listen to our concerns and debate with us directly.'

The feminist group thanked Greater Manchester Police for what it said was a 'very supportive police presence'.  Joanna Cherry, the SNP MP, said: 'The women holding this meeting have a right equal to those of the protesters to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  'We support the right to protest. But the right to harass, intimidate, abuse or silence? No.'


Young rugby player tragically dies after suffering injury scoring try

Talented young rugby player Jack Jeffery suffered an injury while scoring a try during a match for Evesham RFC against Berkswell and Balsall on Saturday and has tragically died

By Nathan Ridley

12:51, 13 Feb 2022Updated13:28, 13 Feb 2022

A talented young rugby player has tragically died in hospital after he suffered an injury while scoring a try during a match.  Jack Jeffery was playing for Evesham RFC against Berkswell and Balsall in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, when he was hurt on the pitch on Saturday.  He suffered the injury while gaining points for his team and was rushed to Walgrave Hospital.  Jeffery sadly died later that day and has received tributes from Premiership stars Freddie Burns and Elliott Stooke as well as the RFU.  In a club statement, Evesham labelled him "too good for even the All Blacks" as a gifted rugby player, and was also described as "calm, respected and highly thought of."

"It is with immeasurable sadness that we have to report the tragic loss of our beloved Jack Jeffery following our Seniors League fixture at Berkswell and Balsall yesterday, February 12," they added.

"Jack was adding another try to his phenomenal record and during the act and subsequent challenge of scoring he was injured. He was taken to Walgrave Hospital where he tragically lost his fight.  A more committed, loyal 'Clubman' is hard to find. He would often return from London for training and was always at the heart of club activities.  He served his club, his teammates and the county with distinction and provided much satisfaction to the club supporters in knowing exactly where the whitewash was.  As a club, we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support and goodwill from the rugby community. Jack was calm, respected and highly thought of.  Our club and community have lost such a bright light."

Worcester Warriors shared their condolences, with their tribute reading: "The thoughts of all at Sixways are with the family, friends and team-mates of Evesham RFC player Jack Jeffery who tragically lost his life after yesterday's match at Berkswell and Balsall."

The Rugby Football Union then tweeted: "On behalf of everyone at the RFU, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Jack Jeffery who tragically died yesterday. The thoughts of everyone in the game are with @EveshamRFC, their players, members and the wider rugby community."

London Wasps star Stooke also posted on Sunday: "Thoughts are with the family of jack Jeffery and everyone @EveshamRFC this morning. An old school colleague and team mate of mine."

He was followed by Leicester Tigers fly-half Burns, who said: "So sad to hear about the passing of Jack Jeffery. A young rugby player who sadly lost his life whilst playing the sport we all love. My thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone @EveshamRFC #RIP."

And the North Midlands RFU wrote: "It is with immeasurable sadness that we have to report the tragic loss of North Midlands player Jack Jeffery from Evesham Rugby Club yesterday 12th February 2022. The whole of North Mids sends their sincere condolences to all those who knew Jack and affected by this tragic loss."


Meghan Markle 'really upset' Kate Middleton in 'foot-stamping rant', author claims

Royal author Tom Quinn described an alleged incident where Meghan Markle felt she was not being treated with the same respect as Kate Middleton while she and Prince Harry lived at Kensington Palace

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

19:53, 11 Feb 2022Updated21:43, 11 Feb 2022

Meghan Markle's treatment of one of Kate Middleton's staffers during a “foot-stamping rant” at Kensington Palace left the Duchess “really upset”, a royal author has claimed.  Tom Quinn, author of Kensington Palace: An Intimate Memoir from Queen Mary to Meghan Markle, has claimed palace insiders told him about an incident when Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “lost her temper” at a staffer.  Speaking to the Daily Star, Quinn described an alleged incident where Meghan felt she was not being treated with the same respect as Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, while she and husband Prince Harry lived at the Palace.  "Meghan and Harry were living in what's called Nottingham Cottage and it's probably the only bit that you genuinely really could say, is actually quite small,” Quinn said.

"And so, I think that reminded Meghan that she was, as it were, second place or as the runner-up.  So, when Harry and Will got together and sometimes Meghan and Kate as well because there was this tension occasionally, famously Meghan slightly lost her temper with a member of Kate's staff in front of Kate.  And it was that incident, that I was told by someone who was actually there, who said it was really uncomfortable because Meghan just lost it with this person.  The reason she lost it with Kate's member of staff was that she, Meghan, didn't feel that this person was giving her the sort of attention she deserved.  It was almost as if in that one encounter, it encapsulated for Meghan the problem that she had, that she's a Princess and she's number two."

He added: "She was very successful, coming into this alien environment where people behave towards you according to where you are in the status of who becomes King or Queen next, that's just alien to her.  The way it was described to me was, there were raised voices and foot-stamping."

It is further claimed that the incident left Kate feeling "really upset".  Mr Quinn continued: "Meghan asked this person, I know who it was, but I can't say because it will give away my source, who works for Kate who was basically asked to do something by Meghan and said, 'I'm really sorry I can't do that because I work for Kate'.  And Meghan really felt she had been slightly put in her place because if you become a Princess, you kind of assume that staff when you ask them to do something, they are going to do it."

He added: "She (Kate) was horrified, she was really upset because she's very fond of this particular member of staff and she thought that Meghan almost bowling out this person was just completely unacceptable.  She's very sensitive about not being treated with the same respect that she feels Kate is, so can react badly and doesn't take it lying down."

The Duchess of Sussex has been contacted for comment.


2nd January
Details of Essex's unsolved murders dating back 60 years
By Rebecca Creed @Becky_Creed Digital Audience and Content Editor

MULTIPLE murder cases remain unsolved across Essex after many years of investigations.  The lack of closure for families when losing a loved one in such tragic circumstances can be just as devastating as losing them.  Both Essex Police and Suffolk Police say cases are never closed and they are regularly reviewed with the hope of bringing the culprits to justice.  Today we look at some of the unsolved murder cases which still hang over loved ones’ heads.  Anyone wanting to give information on an unsolved case can call 101.  If people are concerned about their safety in reporting crime, they can share information anonymously with the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or

Mary Kriek

Mary Kriek a Dutch au pair was killed in January 1958 after getting off a bus at Foxes Corner in Eight Ash Green at 10.45pm.  The 19-year-old never made the 300 yard walk to her home in Bullbanks Farm and was found dead by a cyclist a 20 minute drive away in Dedham Road near Boxted having been beaten over the head with a tyre lever.  No one has ever been convicted in connection with her death.

Linda Smith

Linda Smith, who lived in Foundry Lane, Earls Colne, was found four days after she disappeared while running an errand on Monday, January 16, 1961. Her body was discovered in a ditch in Hadleigh Heath, Polstead, Suffolk about 12 miles from her village.  Detectives believe the tragic youngster, who was aged 12, had been strangled with her own school scarf.  Linda was killed after leaving her great aunt’s house in Earls Colne to go to the newsagents. She did the errand most days and it would normally take about 15 minutes.  She was seen by a number of people as she made her way down Burrows Road. Linda was also seen looking through the newsagent’s window, but didn’t go into the shop.  Minutes later she had crossed the road and was chatting to a local cobbler.  Although there were many people in the High Street, Linda was not seen alive again.

Ivy Davies

The house was ransacked and a ligature left around her neck, although it was not the cause of death.  The murder weapon, a metal pry bar, was found near her body. No-one has ever been charged with her murder.  Two men were initially questioned on suspicion of carrying out the 1975 murder shortly after her death, but they were never charged.  They remained the prime suspects for more than 30 years until the case took an unexpected turn in 2006 when detectives arrested a third man, aged 68 from Basildon, on suspicion of murder.  He too was later released without charge.

Alison Morris

The trainee teacher, aged 25, was stabbed multiple times in Ramsey as she walked down a footpath to the River Stour, 250 yards from her home in Wrabness Road on September 1, 1979.  The case remains unsolved.  Essex Police did consider whether Peter Sutcliffe may be a possible suspect, however he was ruled out for a number of reasons including his involvement in a crime in Bradford on the same day.

Diane Jones

Diane was the 35-year-old wife of a doctor living in Coggeshall.  On July 23, 1983 the couple went for a drink at their local public house, leaving at about 11 pm to drive to their home.  Diane was last seen at the front gate to their house, having got out of the car whilst her husband parked it.  She was not reported missing until nine days after this event, at which time Essex Police commenced enquiries.  On October 22, 1983, some three months after she was last seen, Diane’s body was discovered in a copse adjacent to the A1093 road at Martlesham, Suffolk.  Mrs Jones, who was two months pregnant, had multiple skull fractures.  Police believed she had been battered with a spiked hammer shortly after she went missing, but the weapon was not found.  Extensive enquiries were made in Suffolk and Essex at the time and the investigation continued in the years since as further pieces of information came to light.  But to date, Diane’s killer has not been brought to justice.

John Marshall

The execution-style murder of Billericay car dealer John Marshall re-mains a mystery as the £5,000 cash he took with him the day he disappeared was left un-touched by his murderers.  The 34-year-old left his home at 10am on May 15, 1996, to finalise a business deal in Kent.  Although his black Range Rover was seen crossing the Queen Elizabeth II bridge at noon, he failed to return home or keep any other appointments that day.  A devoted family man, his disappearance was completely out of character and devastating for his wife Toni and their three children.  Seven days later, on May 22, an officer found Mr Marshall's body under straw in the unlocked boot of his Range Rover, parked in Sydenham, South London.  He had been shot twice in the head and chest, but not with a shotgun.  The Range Rover keys, a grey Head sports bag, two mobile phones and a Patek Philippe 18ct gold watch with a blue face were missing.

Ronald Fuller

 Ronald Fuller was found bleeding to death on his front doorstep after he was gunned down by a motorcyclist.  The painter and decorator was shot several times as he left his house in Parkside, Grays, at 7.45am on August 29, 2000.  The murder was carried out by a lone motorcyclist, who sped off towards the old A13 via King Edward Drive on a modern, step-through motor scooter displaying L plates.  The year before his death, Mr Fuller had been working as a doorman at Epping Forest Country Club and had been arrested for public order offences following the stabbing of Darren Pearman.  Charges were later dropped and police say there is no apparent link between the incidents.

Andrea Daly

Andrea, 40, died of smoke inhalation in the blaze, which broke out at her mid-terrace house in Rochford Road, on November 10, 2005.  Andrea's sons, aged 17 and 20 at the time, jumped from a first-floor bedroom window.  But Andrea became trapped in her bedroom and died as a result of inhaling smoke.  Extensive enquiries have been carried out to try and find those responsible. But despite these efforts, they remain at large and their motives for starting the fire are unknown.  A further appeal for information was made in 2015, on the tenth anniversary of her death, and again in 2017. The killer has still not come forward or been found.

Paul Duckenfield

 Paul Duckenfield, who lived with his wife and two children in Portugal, was 41 when he was last seen alive arriving at Stansted airport on Monday, September 15 2008.  He regularly returned to the UK on business flying from the continent to Stansted or East Midlands and was believed to be involved in dealing steroids used by bodybuilders and athletes.  Mr Duckenfield is believed to have visited gyms and leisure facilities when he visited the Great Saling and Braintree areas.  On the day he was last seen he was picked up from the airport by a business partner he had known for several years.  The last independent sighting of Mr Duckenfield was in the evening of September 15, 2008 at the Palm Trees restaurant in Great Saling.  He had planned to return home to his family on September 19 or 20 by flying from East Midlands Airport to Faro but did not make the flight and has never been seen or heard from since.  Despite the fact Mr Duckenfield's body has never been recovered, detectives believe he was murdered in the Essex area on or around September 16.

Albert Williams

Albert Williams, 67, was found dead in his small flat in Cedar Close, Southend, on August 8, 2015.  Mr Williams had been stamped on, strangled and set on fire.  Two men Simon Smith, of no fixed address; and Anthony Smith, of Ceylon Road, Westcliff were cleared of his murder in December 2016.  However, they were jailed for eight-and-a-half-years each for a violent burglary at his home seven days before his death.  They were said to have exploited his vulnerabilities and targeted him because of it, kicking and punching him taking a box containing £2,000.

Ladi Benson

Shop owner Ladi Benson, 27, was stabbed to death in Chelmsford in November 2015. He was from Westcliff.  The father-of-two ran a shoe and clothes shop called Numero 88, based in Princes Street.  An inquest held into his death in 2016 heard his friends have refused to cooperate with the police.  As a result, they have not been able to follow lines of enquiry and his killer has never been identified.


Son of Irish singer Bridie Gallagher remembers 'The Girl from Donegal' on tenth anniversary of her death
Bridie Gallagher was Ireland's first international pop star (PICS: Jim Livingstone)

BY: Fiona Audley
January 05, 2022

SINGER Bridie Gallagher is widely recognised as Ireland’s first international pop star.  Born in Donegal on September 7, 1924, she would go on to carve a 50-year career in the music industry which was her selling out concerts across the world.  From small halls across Ireland to huge audiences at the likes of the London Palladium, Royal Albert Hall, the Lincoln Centre in New York and Sydney Opera House, she was one of the first Irish singers to truly go global.  She is also credited with bringing glamour to showbusiness in 1950s Ireland, while giving a new lease of life to otherwise forgotten Irish ballads.  She sold millions of records and her rise to fame in the mid 1950s was marked by enormous crowds wherever she appeared, winning the hearts of legions of fans in Ireland and overseas.  But she wasn’t only a successful showbiz personality, she was also a wife and mother.  Bridie left Donegal for Belfast in 1948 where she met Bob Livingstone who she would marry and have two children with.  Her son Jim Livingstone, now 69, was born in 1952.  A second son, Peter, followed in 1955.  He sadly died in a road accident in 1976, aged 21.  That was an incident which broke his mother’s heart, according to her surviving son Jim Livingstone, a trained psychologist who worked in the civil service in Ireland for 43 years before retiring in 2012.  Bridie Gallagher died on January 9, 2012 which prompted him to write a book documenting her fascinating life.  This week, as the tenth anniversary of her death falls, Mr Livingstone, a father-of-four who lives in Belfast with his wife Paula, told The Irish Post how they would be marking the day.

Your mother had a remarkable career, you must be very proud as a family?

I and my family are immensely proud of her as a mother, grandmother and performer.  She achieved so much in a short time during her career that few Irish artists before her had done previously.  She has been described as Ireland’s first international pop star, although I think if she were alive today, she would laugh heartily at that description.  Indeed, many who met her or knew her will recall her infectious and hearty laugh.

How will you be marking your mother’s anniversary?

Probably the same as every year, with an anniversary Mass (both in Donegal and Belfast), chats with old friends of hers who regularly make contact and listening to some of my favourite tracks from her albums Cuttin’ the Corn in Creeslough and Kylemore Pass being my usual choices.

What was it like growing up with a mother widely deemed Ireland’s first international pop star?

As young children we were largely unaware that we had a famous mum.  She was away a lot certainly. But when she returned from tours, she rarely talked much to us about where she had been or the famous people she met (Par Boone, Ginger Rodgers, Mary Reeves, etc).  She was more likely to be checking on whether our homeworks were up to standard, our piano practice was on schedule, and that we had been behaving at school and locally.  She was a fastidious mum, always insisting we were washed and suitably dressed wherever we went, and particularly keen on good manners.  We were used to lots of visitors to our house, mainly other artists, show dancers, producers, managers. We just thought it was normal.  As teenagers we became more aware of her stardom and spent many exciting nights backstage at some fantastic venues in Ireland and Britain.  In my 20’s I started touring with her as her musical accompanist during my holidays from university.  That’s when I saw up close the adulation and love that Irish people around the world had for the Girl From Donegal.

What are your fondest memories of your mother?

Many of course are included in my book Bridie Gallagher The Girl from Donegal, but my special memories include firstly that day in July 2000 when the people of Creeslough and Donegal paid tribute to her led by Daniel O’Donnell and Margo and she unveiled the sign that still welcomes visitors to Creeslough “Welcome to Creeslough, the home of Bridie Gallagher, the Girl From Donegal”.  Secondly, six months after the untimely death of my brother Peter in a road accident, I stood behind her on stage in the Ardri Ballroom in Manchester and watched as she sang tearfully on stage for the first time since the tragedy that broke her heart, and I was overwhelmed at her courage.  And thirdly, in later life when she was retired, watching her play with, and endlessly spoil, my son Peter, her only grandson who she adored.  And the pride and joy in her eyes when she saw her three granddaughters especially when they played their music.

What would you say is your mother’s greatest legacy?

Her legacy in terms of performing includes the fact that she brought popularity back for Irish ballads.  Anyone listening to radio in the early 50s, including in Ireland, would rarely hear Irish ballads performed.  Bridie brought them back to popularity. She became especially important to Irish immigrants around the world.  She was one of the first Irish artists to travel and perform internationally and so gained a solid following in the Irish diaspora which has remained to this day.  Thirdly, she brought glamour to Irish showbusiness.  She was well known for her beautiful dresses and added a sparkle to peoples’ lives in difficult times.


'Princess Anne doesn't get full-time security and her protection officer was shot!': Prince Harry is told Met Police is NOT for hire as ex-royal cop warns he 'can't pick and choose when he wants to come to UK'

    Harry 'should not expect bodyguards supplied when he decides to return home'
    Dai Davies said that Anne does not despite her ex-bodyguard being shot in 1974
    It comes as sources suggested Queen will not help her grandson in his attempts
    The insiders claimed the Monarch has no intentions of 'caving into his demands'

By James Gant For Mailonline and Rebecca Camber and Rebecca English and Emine Sinmaz for the Daily Mail

Published: 09:25, 17 January 2022 | Updated: 12:38, 17 January 2022

Prince Harry 'cannot pick and choose' when he wants to visit the UK and receive protection, a former head of royal protection has warned.  The Duke of Sussex should not be expecting bodyguards supplied to him when he decides to return home, Dai Davies said.  The ex-Met Police officer pointed out Princess Anne was nearly kidnapped and her protection officer was shot but she does not get full time protection.  It comes as sources suggested the Queen will not help her grandson in his demand for security personnel when he comes to Britain.  The insiders claimed the Monarch has no intentions of 'caving into his demands' for protection from the Met and Home Office.  Prince Harry faced outrage yesterday over his threat of legal action against Her Majesty's Government.  He is seeking a judicial review of the decision to strip him of his UK police protection team, claiming it is too dangerous to visit without Scotland Yard bodyguards.  Last night there was anger at the unprecedented legal threat against the government as sources hit back saying: 'Scotland Yard is not available for hire'.

Mr Davies, who was Operational Unit Commander for the Royals from 1995, told GMB: 'He chose to go to America, that's his prerogative.  And it's our prerogative to ensure when we look at any aspect of protection, any member of the Royal Family that we actually look and assess it through various security agencies. That's the crux.  And it's been decided in this level, one they won't supply him with protection because the risk at this stage is deemed low.  However should there be a risk when he comes then clearly the Metropolitan Police would be duty bound.'

He went on: 'Clearly it has been reviewed in the same way as so many other royal security have been done.  Princess Anne for instance, his aunt, she doesn't get full time protection we're told now and yet arguably in 1974 she was nearly kidnapped and/or murdered.  Her protection officer was shot. However, with regards to Harry, he can't pick and choose when he wants to come.  There has never been a precedent where somebody pays for their security in this country. If it's required, it will be provided.'

Princess Anne's former bodyguard Jim Beaton was shot three times as he put himself between her and a gunman during the botched kidnap bid in March 1974.  Mr Beaton, who was later awarded the George Cross, was shot in the arm, hand and chest as he stopped Ian Ball, then 26, from kidnapping her from a Rolls Royce.  Lawyers acting for Harry, who stepped down from royal duties two years ago, have written a 'pre-action protocol' letter to the Home Office.  It threatened to go to the High Court if his family are not provided with security while they are in Britain, which they have offered to pay for.  The ultimatum is the culmination of nearly two years of discussions with ministers about his security arrangements, the Daily Mail revealed.  Legal representatives say the duke wants to fund the security himself, rather than ask taxpayers to foot the bill.  But experts pointed out the Met does not have specially trained officers sitting idle, adding: 'You can't just hire the services of Scotland Yard as and when you feel like it.'

Meanwhile the Queen reportedly has no intention of helping her grandson in the case.  A royal source told the Sun: 'This is not a matter for Her Majesty. She certainly won't cave in to his demands.  It is a matter for Her Majesty's government. Who gets protection is not a gift the Queen can decide to give or take away.'

Another insider added: ''Quite frankly, with the Queen's health concerns and Prince Andrew facing a sex-abuse trial, a battle between her grandson and the Government is the last thing she wants to get drawn into.'

Harry, Meghan and their family would automatically be protected by royal security if they were to visit the Queen or were in residence at Frogmore in Windsor.  The issue would be if they wanted to undertake potentially lucrative private business, charitable or social activities elsewhere.  Insiders said it would unprecedented for the judiciary to get involved in matters of royal protection, which are decided by an independent committee and signed off by Miss Patel.  But his lawyers hope a High Court judge will overturn a pivotal review by the Royal and VIP Executive Committee, sparked by the couple's move to America in 2020.  The committee, which determines royal security, is made up of the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police's royalty protection command and palace officials.   Buckingham Palace said yesterday that it was 'a matter for the Home Office and Sussexes', and that they never commented on security matters.

But one royal insider, with more than a hint of exasperation, said: 'Once again, when it comes to the Sussexes, it has to be pointed out that you can't have it both ways.  They have chosen to leave the institution and the country and live their lives as private individuals.  They can't just pick and choose which bits they think should apply to them.'

Another source said the offer to pay for the use of officers while they were here was 'immaterial, as I am sure they know'.

They pointed out that all of the police who had been assigned to them when they were working members of the Royal Family had either left the force when the Sussexes settled in the US, or were moved to other duties.   'The Met does not just have a pool of specially trainers officers on tap for whenever they decide to just pop over the Atlantic,' they said.

Ultimately, the decision to strip Harry and his wife of their taxpayer-funded security was taken by Miss Patel on the basis of the committee's recommendations.  Since then Harry has made no secret of his fury, telling Oprah Winfrey last March that he 'pushed back' at the decision.  The row was reignited when the duke briefly returned from LA last year for the July 1 unveiling of the Diana, Princess of Wales memorial statue.  On June 30 he also met seriously ill young people at a WellChild event in Kew Gardens, west London.  He claims his American security team, who are not allowed to bear arms in the UK or access Scotland Yard's intelligence systems, were 'compromised' after he was chased by photographers.  In a statement released after The Mail on Sunday broke the story, the duke's lawyers said: 'The goal for Prince Harry has been simple to ensure the safety of himself and his family while in the UK so his children can know his home country.   During his last visit to the UK in July 2021 to unveil a statue in honour of his late mother his security was compromised due to the absence of police protection, whilst leaving a charity event.  After another attempt at negotiations was also rejected, he sought a judicial review in September 2021 to challenge the decision-making behind the security procedures.'

Yesterday former head of royalty protection at Scotland Yard, Dai Davies, said: 'You can't just hire the services of Scotland Yard as and when you feel like it.  These are highly trained personal protection officers with access to sensitive intelligence, it is not like when football clubs pay for officers to be at football games.'

Harry has indicated he is unwilling to bring son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet, who is yet to meet her great-grandmother the Queen, to visit from the US without proper protection.   'The UK will always be Prince Harry's home and a country he wants his wife and children to be safe in,' the duke's legal representative said.

The monarch is understood to have been made aware of her grandson's action, which is thought to be the first time a member of the Royal Family has brought a case against her government.  A Government spokesman said: 'The UK Government's protective security system is rigorous and proportionate. It is our long-standing policy not to provide detailed information on those arrangements.'

Scotland Yard said the Met does not comment on royal security.
Why can't he understand that giving up his royal role means losing his privileges?

By Ken Wharfe for The Daily Mail

Police protection should not be for sale. Prince Harry has an outrageous cheek, demanding a full royal security detail to be reinstated when he visits the UK.  For the Queen and her government to accede to his demand and set this precedent is unthinkable.  Harry is now a private citizen, domiciled in a foreign count ry entirely by his own choice. None of the royals wanted this to happen, least of all his father and brother, but it has.  If he is granted the services of the Metropolitan's royal protection squad, for which he has magnanimously offered to pay, every visiting Hollywood star and wealthy celebrity may as well expect the same privileges.  Britain would face the humiliating prospect of hiring out our highly trained and armed officers to any reality television narcissist or tinpot dictator's children who can foot the bill.  The Duke of Sussex made a decision two years ago to leave the UK and live a new life with his wife on the other side of the Atlantic.  He thought at first he would be able to keep one foot in the Royal Family, hanging on to his military honours and charity patronages as well as his status as His Royal Highness.  The Queen immediately disabused him of that fantasy. When he left, he knew the score.  The statement he and Meghan issued yesterday made it clear he was also told in January 2020, at the family summit in Sandringham, he would not be permitted to 'pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family'.

He cannot claim he was not told. For him now to be threatening legal action against the Government, and by extension against the Queen herself, is completely unprecedented for any royal, even one who has abdicated his official duties.  If his mother Princess Diana was still alive and a working royal, I imagine she would actually would back his demands although persuasion, rather than threats of court action, was more her style.  I expect that if he came back without protection, she would tell her own police protection officers to 'go and look after Harry for a few days!' knowing that the palace would be obliged to send more to ensure she was never without security staff herself.

But then, if Diana was alive, this situation would not have arisen. Her influence would have prevented the breach between her sons.  Without the benefit of his mother's loving counsel, Harry has demonstrated an incredible insensitivity. I simply can't fathom what he is thinking.  He's fully aware of all the difficulties Her Majesty must shoulder in this, her platinum jubilee year, which ought to be the crowning celebration of a lifetime of exceptional public service.  Her younger son Andrew is disgraced, stripped of his duties and facing a court case over sex allegations.  She is grieving the death of her beloved husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh, whom she buried last year.  And Harry has already done lasting damage to the fabric of the Royal Family, with the interview he and Meghan gave to Oprah Winfrey last year in which they alleged a senior royal made a racist remark about the skin colour of their unborn child.  Now he seems to think he can simply turn up in Britain and that royal protection can be turned back on like a tap.  The only justification for armed protection by officers would be if the intelligence services have identified clear dangers to Harry and his family, from terrorists or other criminals while he is on British soil.  I am not convinced those dangers exist. Of course, if there is a credible threat, the police should without question guard against it even if this means warning Harry he should not come to Britain.  But the only security issue during his most recent visit the country, as far as I am aware, came after a charity function when paparazzi photographers tried to get pictures of the Duke.  This is a free country. Press photographers are entitled to do their job, however much of a nuisance that might present to camera-shy celebrities.  Harry's antipathy to the paparazzi is well documented. He holds them largely responsible for his mother's death in a car crash at the Pont de l'Alma tunnel, Paris, in 1997.  Ever since I left the police 20 years ago, I have argued that the press didn't kill Diana. The cause of that tragedy was the incompetence of security staff provided by the family of her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, who was killed with her, and the drunkenness of their chauffeur, Henri Paul, who also died in the crash.  Harry does not need armed police to protect him from the paparazzi. He was given police protection for the funeral of Prince Philip, because that occasion was seen by the security services as a potential terrorist flashpoint.  But he did not have the same protection when, for the unveiling of his mother's statue at Kensington Palace, he returned to Britain three months later. And that evidently rankles.  If he did not realise before, that visit will have taught him his private security staff are not automatically allowed access to UK intelligence. They also will not be given the freedom of royal palaces without the necessary clearance.  In short, it is next to impossible for independent security contractors to match the standards of police protection – and not just because they cannot provide those dramatic moments where motorcycle outriders surround a limousine like mounted knights.  In Britain, unlike America, it is illegal for anyone except police and the military to carry firearms. If Harry arrives in a private jet escorted by men with sunglasses and pistol holsters, they will have to surrender their guns immediately.  There do exist reciprocal arrangements with foreign heads of state, including the US president, which allow their bodyguards to carry guns.  But Harry is emphatically not an official representative of any government. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to shrug off any responsibilities of state.  And I'm sorry to say that, with those responsibilities go the privileges. Yet now he wants those privileges back.  No matter how entitled he and Meghan believe they are, no matter how much money they have banked since leaving the UK, they cannot reclaim what they threw away two years ago. Royalty doesn't work like that.

How Princess Anne's bodyguard took THREE bullets to protect her from kidnapper in 1974

Jim Beaton, a former Metropolitan Police inspector, was shot three times as he put himself between Anne, who was just 23 at the time, and a gunman during the failed kidnap bid in March 1974.  The former security officer, now in his late 70s, who was later awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian honour for gallantry, was shot in the arm, hand and chest as he stopped Ian Ball, then 26, from his attempt to kidnap her from a Rolls Royce in exchange for a £2million ransom.  Reliving the frightening moment their path was blocked on the evening of March 20, Jim told The Times: 'I thought it was somebody who wanted to be a pain in the neck. There was no hint of what was to happen.'

Revealing he was shot straight away, causing him to miss when he shot back and jamming his gun, he explained how the security measures changed immediately after the incident.  He said: 'I had nothing. There was no back-up vehicle. The training was non-existent; but then again, we thought nothing was going to happen. They are highly specialised now, highly trained.'

What it really costs to guard Sussexes

THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex's security team in Canada was made up of at least six £60,000-a-year Scotland Yard protection officers.  But experts say the true cost of each officer would have been closer to £100,000 a year when taking into consideration overtime, flights back and forth to the UK, pension contributions and living expenses.  The couple spent more than three months in Canada before moving to California in March 2020 when they are reported to have hired top-of-the-range security firm Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA), used by A-listers including Jeff Bezos, Tom Hanks and Madonna.  The team from GDBA described as a 'secret service for famous people' is rumoured to cost about £7,000 per day, or £2.5million a year.  Harry and Meghan are likely to have been provided a team of six bodyguards, which could include former intelligence officers from the FBI and CIA, who work in rotation, with four on duty by day and two at night.  The couple's American security would have no jurisdiction in the UK or access to intelligence information.


Man becomes oldest executed inmate in US history for killing ex-girlfriend in 1985

Bigler Stouffer, 79, was put to death on Thursday by lethal injection despite pleas for his clemency over concerns regarding Oklahoma’s last two botched executions

By Christopher Bucktin United States Editor

20:43, 9 Dec 2021Updated22:08, 9 Dec 2021

America has carried out an execution on its oldest person in history.  Bigler Stouffer, 79, was put to death on Thursday by lethal injection despite pleas for his clemency over concerns regarding Oklahoma’s last two botched executions.  The convicted murderer, convicted in 1985, was given a lethal injection around 10am at the State Penitentiary in McAlester.  He was pronounced dead 16 minutes later.  According to witnesses Stouffer was seen laughing and joking with his spiritual advisor before uttering his final words.  He said: “My request is that my Father forgive them. Thank you.”

For his last meal, he had a chicken burger, two slices of bread, broccoli, mixed fruit, two biscuits, a fruit drink, one bottle of water.  He was given the meal on Wednesday evening, the night before his execution.  Stouffer was the first person killed by Oklahoma since John Grant convulsed on the gurney and vomited during his lethal injection in October as the state ended a six-year execution moratorium brought on by concerns over its protocols.  The pensioner had maintained his innocence over the 1985 attack that left schoolteacher Linda Reaves dead and her boyfriend, Doug Ivens, seriously injured. Stouffer was convicted and sentenced to death in 2003 after his first conviction and death sentence were overturned.


Exclusive: Meghan Markle's aunt 'still hasn't heard from her' 3 months after uncle's death

Meghan Markle's uncle Joseph ‘JJ’ Johnson died at the age of 72 following a long battle with congestive heart failure on August 27. Widow Pam said she received no 'no words of condolence' from Meghan

By Peter Sheridan & Emma Pryer Senior Writer

20:37, 20 Nov 2021Updated17:05, 21 Nov 2021

The grief-stricken aunt of Meghan Markle has revealed she has still not heard from her niece – nearly three months after the duchess’s doting uncle died.  Joseph ‘JJ’ Johnson, who once described Meghan as “magical”, passed away following a battle with congestive heart failure on August 27. He was 72.  “I know that Meghan knows about his passing because her mother, Doria, knows. And she is certain to have told Meghan. There’s no way Meghan doesn’t know.  Some of my family members are upset that she hasn’t reached out.”

Pam also revealed Joseph hoped for a reconciliation before he died.  And she is still hoping that Meghan will reach out now.  Her revelations come three days after Meghan appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ US chat show.  In an hour-long interview, she promoted her children’s book The Bench, which is based on husband Harry’s relationship with their son Archie.  The former Suits actress, 40, also took part in comedy pranks including sucking milk from a baby’s cup in a market.  Pam said: “I understand with her royal status Meghan has a lot going on. But still it hurts not to have heard from her.”

Joseph often spent time with Meghan when she was a child. His mother Jeanette Meghan’s grandmother helped raise her when Doria was busy working.  Later, when Jeanette suffered a stroke, Meghan visited the family home in Fresno, California, to help nurse her gran, cooking for her and holding her hand.  Pam, 68, said: “Meghan was very close to us, spent many nights at our house and was good friends with my son, Sean.  She looked after Jeanette, took her to doctors appointments and really helped care for her. But as she grew up and became an actress, like many families, we drifted apart.”

Pam said the duchess had not spoken to her or her uncle since December 2017, when he shared photographs of her with the press.  And when Meghan married Prince Harry in May the following year, they were not invited to the wedding at Windsor Castle.  Pam said: “I’m not sure why she would be angry about the release of such beautiful pictures, which showed a lot of the family.  I think it’s time for forgiveness if there’s anything to forgive.”

Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle Sr, was cut off in much the same way after he secretly collaborated with a photographer to take pictures of him preparing for her wedding.  JJ was an artist and sculptor. He ran a successful studio near his home in Fresno a four-hour drive from Hollywood where Meghan was raised.  He and Pam were married for 41 years but in recent months his health began to fade.  Pam said: “He was in and out of hospital. He had a pacemaker, but that made little difference. It got to the point where the doctors couldn’t do much for him.”

But JJ never stopped loving his niece. Pam said: “He truly admired Meghan, and all that she’d achieved.  He was really proud of her and if her name was mentioned in the news he’d tell people, ‘Hey, that’s my niece!’ That was a real joy for him.  He would have loved to have reconciled with Meghan before he died, but that wasn’t to be.  It was stressful for JJ. Now he’s passed, I hope Meghan can reach out. I don’t want any more of that type of grief between our two families.”

The pictures Joseph shared four years ago included a previously unseen shot of Meghan as a five-year-old bridesmaid at his sister Saundra’s 1986 wedding.  At the time he told how Meghan was raised by “two strong, proud black women” Doria and Jeanette, who was born into poverty in Cleveland, Ohio.  Joseph said: “The women were the backbone of the family and turned Meghan into the woman she is today.  I want the world to know the truth about Meghan’s real family, her roots and where she came from.”

He added: “We would spend weekends, holidays, together. She has always been magical.”

Joseph and Saundra, now 69, are Doria’s half-siblings because Jeanette had Doria with a different husband.  But they always considered themselves “united, equally loved”. And Joseph told how the family overcame bigotry and racism to create “a big, beautiful, blended family”.  But he admitted they heard less and less from Meghan as her career in acting took off. He last spent time with his niece in 2000, when Jeanette passed away at the age of 71.  Speaking ahead of her wedding to Harry, Joseph said: “She started doing her own thing and got so successful. We’ve always been so proud of her.  The idea our little Meghan is going to be a princess is something none of the family ever even dreamed of.  The Royal Family just isn’t part of our world. But we couldn’t be more proud of Meghan.  Her mother taught her to be brave and travel and embrace adventure. And now she’s setting off on her biggest adventure yet. We’ll always love her and be proud to call her family.”

Meghan waxed lyrical about her own family life when she spoke to Ellen Degeneres this week and revealed how content she is living in California with Harry, 37, Archie, two, and five-month-old baby daughter Lili.  She told the chat show queen: “We’re just happy.”

Her solo appearance on the NBC show came eight months after she and Harry gave their bombshell interview to Oprah Winfrey, when she claimed a member of the royal family made a racist remark about Archie’s skin colour.


So who could have taken them THERE? Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein lounge in Queen's log cabin at Balmoral in stunning picture revealed in US sex trial

    Wearing a blue checked shirt, the British socialite is seen resting her arm on Epstein's knee as they sit in cabin
    They are sitting in the exact same spot in which the Queen has been pictured relaxing in the past
    It has previously been reported that the former couple were invited to Balmoral by Prince Andrew in 1999

By Harry Howard For Mailonline and Kayla Brantley For

Published: 18:38, 8 December 2021 | Updated: 00:59, 9 December 2021

A picture of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein relaxing in the Queen's log cabin at Balmoral has been shown at her sex trafficking trial.  Wearing a blue checked shirt, the British socialite is seen resting her arm on Epstein's knee as they sit in the exact same spot in the hut in Glen Beg that the Queen has been pictured relaxing in.  Although it is not clear when the image was taken, it was previously reported that the former couple were invited to Balmoral by Prince Andrew in 1999.  The jury in Maxwell's trial in New York were shown the image and many others of the couple yesterday as prosecutors characterised them as 'partners in crime'.   Another image shows Maxwell massaging Epstein's feet on his private jet, which was named the Lolita Express.  A third showed her kissing his cheek with her arms wrapped around him, while in a fourth the couple were seen sitting on a motorbike together.  The trove of photographs were seized by the FBI in 2019 from Epstein's Manhattan mansion after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. He then took his own life in prison while awaiting trial.  Another image of members of the Royal Family in the log cabin showed Prince Philip with his great-granddaughter Mia, again on the same bench.  Whilst a cup of coffee or tea was seen resting on the wall of the cabin behind Maxwell and Epstein, the Queen had propped a cold drink in the same spot and Philip had put his pint of beer there.  Prince Andrew, who was friends with both Epstein and Maxwell, has been mentioned three times in the high-profile trial so far: by Epstein's pilot who said he flew with the disgraced financier; alleged sex trafficking victim Jane who said she remembered Andrew on the plane; and by his former housekeeper who said Andrew was 'always polite and a very nice guy. He was the only guy who left us a tip'.

Last week, Andrew was pictured horse riding with a companion near his home at Windsor Castle while bombshells continued to flood out of his old friend's court case.  The royal was also seen looking stony-faced as he drove his Range Rover through the grounds before taking to the saddle with his companion.  Prosecutors in New York allege that Maxwell 'served up' girls for former lover Epstein to abuse and also took part in abuse herself. She denies the allegations.    One of Maxwell's accusers, Virginia Roberts, is the woman who claims that Epstein loaned her out to Prince Andrew for sex when she was 17, allegations he denies.  Maxwell's second accuser Carolyn said under cross examination that she had seen a photo in Epstein's home of Maxwell 'nude and pregnant.'  Maxwell is not known to be a mother, and no further details of the alleged pregnancy were given in court.  Taking the stand earlier on Tuesday, FBI analyst Kimberly Meder identified photos found by the FBI during a 2019 raid of Epstein's Manhattan mansion.  She testified as the court was shown 19 photos of Epstein and Maxwell found on CDs taken from the Manhattan home.  During cross-examination, Meder said she did not know if the images had been altered.  The nature of Maxwell and Epstein's relationship has come under question throughout Maxwell's trial, with prosecutors characterizing them as 'partners in crime' while others have testified they appeared to be a couple or as having a business relationship.  This came after another photo of the pair kissing was submitted into evidence.  That photo showed Maxwell with her arms wrapped around Epstein as they passionately kissed. It sat on a table in Epstein's Palm Beach mansion.  Earlier in the day Tuesday, the court heard from FBI computer analyst Stephen Flatley who talked the jury through hard drives seized during the 2019 FBI raid.  One Microsoft Word document was created in October 2002 by Maxwell on a hard drive for a computer that was registered in Maxwell's name.  It was not clear who the document was for but appeared to be something Maxwell was writing for somebody else.  The document stated: 'Jeffrey and Ghislaine have been together, a couple, for the last 11 years. They are, contrary to what people think, rarely apart. I always see them together.  Ghislaine is highly intelligent and great company with a ready smile and an infectious laugh.'

The document stated that Maxwell and Epstein 'share many mutual interests and are a lot of fun together,' adding that they both had 'inquisitive minds.'  The document said: 'Jeffrey and Ghislaine compliment each other really well and I cannot imagine one without the other. On top of being great partners they are also best friends.'

Another Word document on the same hard drive, also created by Maxwell, was an ad she wrote in September 2001.  It read: 'Help wanted. Are you a massage therapist? Work in Palm Beach home. Excellent pay. Mostly weekends. Please call 351-1000. Leave message.'

The same hard drive contained emails sent by Maxwell in May 2001 berating Epstein's Palm Beach house manager Juan Alessi, who she referred to as John.  Maxwell wrote to a woman named Sally that Alessi was 'doing a truly awful job.'  Maxwell complained about the 'filthy pool' and how Epstein's 'massage creams' were not tidied up.  Maxwell said that 'I am at a loss' about how to get John to follow her orders.

Maxwell also asked about the progress of the 'household manual', which appeared to refer to the 58-page booklet with hundreds of checklist items for running the residence which was already admitted into evidence.  Another document from September 2002 created by Maxwell was titled: 'Palm Beach new shampoo and massage products'.

The list contained 16 different shampoos and 13 massage products to be used in the home including some from high end brands like Kiehls.  Also on Tuesday, Maxwell's second accuser Carolyn, who is going by only her first name instead of a pseudonym, testified that she was introduced to Jeffrey Epstein by Virginia Roberts when she was 14 years old, and went to Epstein's Palm Beach mansion where she gave him a massage.  Carolyn, wearing an orange, white and black striped sweater with shoulder length red hair, told the jury was met by Maxwell at the door.   'Maxwell came in and felt my boobs,' Carolyn said. 'She told me that I had a great body for Mr Epstein and his friends.'

She added that Maxwell 'took pictures of me nude' and also photographed 'the stuff with Epstein.'

Becoming emotional, Carolyn said that Maxwell 'took off her clothes' and Carolyn left her bra and underwear on. Carolyn said Virginia Roberts was also there.  Carolyn said after 45 minutes of massaging his back, Epstein turned over, and Epstein and Virginia Roberts began having sex. She said she watched from the couch and earned $300.  When asked why she continued to go back to Epstein's home, Carolyn said it was because she was young and '$300 was a lot of money.'

Carolyn's bombshell testimony came on Day Seven of Maxwell's trial.  She explained that she dropped out of school in seventh grade and never went back. She moved to Florida from New York when she was a child and had a troubled upbringing as her mother was an alcoholic and drug addict.  This serves the prosecution's case that Maxwell and Epstein targeted young girls from broken homes.  Her grandfather abused her from the age of four, Carolyn told the jury.  She met Epstein when she was 14 through her boyfriend Shawn, who was 17.  Shawn was friends with Tony Figueroa who was dating Virginia Roberts, the Epstein victim who claims that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.  Carolyn said that the four of them used to hang out and 'smoke pot' until one day Roberts brought up Epstein.  Carolyn said: 'Virginia asked me if I wanted to go make money.'

Carolyn added that Roberts said: 'We were going to go to her friend's house in Palm Beach island…I would give him a massage. I was going to make a lot of money'.

On her first visit to Epstein's Palm Beach home, Carolyn said she entered through the kitchen with Roberts and met Maxwell.  She said she was an 'older lady with an accent and shoulder length black hair. Carolyn called her Maxwell because she had trouble pronouncing her first name.  Roberts told Maxwell: 'This is my friend Carolyn'.

Maxwell said: 'You can bring her upstairs and show her what to do'.

Carolyn said that they went upstairs to Epstein's bathroom and Roberts got out the fold-up massage table and showed her where the massage oils were.  Carolyn said: 'Virginia had taken her clothes off and she asked me if I would be comfortable taking off mine. I told her I would like to keep my bra and underwear on'.

Epstein came into the room and lay face down on the massage table and for the next 45 minutes the two girls 'massaged the backs of his legs up to the buttocks', Carolyn said.

She said: 'After 45 minutes he turned over, Virginia got on top of him. They were having sex.'

Carolyn said: 'I was sitting on the couch right in front of them'.

Afterwards Carolyn was paid $300 in $100 and on the way out gave her phone number to Maxwell, she told the jury.  Carolyn told the jury that she would go on to visit Epstein's house 'over 100' times more from the ages of 14 to 18, with some kind of sexual activity happening every single time.  Maxwell would call her to schedule the appointment, and sometimes it was her assistant Sarah Kellen.  Carolyn said she sometimes called Epstein to set up an appointment because she was 'young and $300 was a lot of money'.  Sometimes Maxwell would call Carolyn's home and her mother would take the call, shouting to her daughter that she had a call.  Carolyn said that she used the money to pay for 'marijuana, cocaine, alcohol' to 'block out' her feelings so she could get to the next appointment with Epstein.  She also said she was addicted to painkillers.  Carolyn said that each time she went to the house she would go into the kitchen where she would see Maxwell. If Epstein was out she would say he would be back soon.  Carolyn admitted to Maxwell and later Epstein that her mother was an alcoholic and that she had been abused as a child, she told the jury.  One time Maxwell asked her if she wanted to travel to an island, which Carolyn took to mean Epstein's private island in the Caribbean.  Carolyn said: 'I told her there was no way in hell my mom was going to let me leave the country. I told her I was 14.

Asked by prosecutor Maurene Comey how old she was, Carolyn said: 'I was 14'.

After a grueling afternoon of cross examination, Carolyn sobbed uncontrollably when asked by Comey why she was giving evidence.  She said: 'Money will never fix what that woman did to me because what she did was wrong and she picked vulnerable young girls and trafficked them.  I am so petrified that my daughters are going to be trafficked'.

The emotional moment came after Maxwell's defence lawyers revealed that Carolyn got $446,000 after settling a 2009 civil claim against Epstein.  She also got $2.8m after filing a more recent claim with the Epstein victims compensation fund.  In a bizarre exchange Maxwell's lawyer Jeff Pagliuca asked Carolyn if during her interviews with prosecutors she talked about a 'seeing a photograph of Ms Maxwell pregnant?'

He asked: 'You claimed you saw a photograph of her in Epstein's house, pregnant?'

Carolyn replied: 'Nude and pregnant'.

She was shown a photograph but said that was not the image.  At the end of the day prosecutors said they could rest their case as early as Thursday meaning the final accuser, Annie, is likely to be called next.

The six charges against Maxwell:


Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (5 years max sentence) 

 Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (20 years)

Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (20 years) 

Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (10 years minimum, life maximum)

Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

Sex Trafficking of a Minor

Ghislaine Maxwell also faces two charges of perjury but those counts are due to be tried after her sex crimes trial.  The charges relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre. 


Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein.   They are not named in the indictment, but she allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.  Maxwell, it is alleged, would befriend the girls by asking them about their life and their schooling. She would put them at ease by taking them to the movies and taking them shopping, winning their trust to later deliver them to Epstein, it's alleged.  To 'normalize' the abuse that would come later, prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions.  She then not only facilitated Epstein abusing them, prosecutors say, but took part in some of it herself.   The alleged sex abuse includes 'sexualized group massages'.   The indictment also says Maxwell made the girl feel 'indebted' to Epstein by encouraging them to take money from him and let him pay for their education and travel

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