Injured Parties (Paperback)

Monica Weller


On 9 November 1966, popular GP Dr Helen Davidson was battered to death in dense woodland while birdwatching and exercising her dog a few miles from her Buckinghamshire home. Her body was found the next day, her eyes having been pushed into her skull. 'She had binoculars round her neck, spied illicit lovers, was spotted, and one or both of them killed her,' surmised Detective Chief Superintendent Jack 'Razor' Williams of New Scotland Yard. He had received fifty police commendations in his career, yet not one for a murder enquiry. Unsurprisingly, within weeks the police operation was wound down, Williams retired, and another cold case hit the statistics. Fifty years later, amateur sleuth and author Monica Weller set about solving the murder - without the help of the prohibited files. As she sifted the evidence, a number of suspects and sinister motives began to emerge; it was clear it was not a random killing after all. Weller uncovered secret passions, deep jealousies, unusual relationships and a victim with a dark past. Her persistence and dedication were dramatically rewarded when she uncovered the identity of the murderer - revealed here for the first time.

Product Details

  • Product code: AYWLO
  • ISBN: 9780750966955
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dimensions: 13.1cm x 19.8cm
  • Pages: 256
  • Publish date: Thu May 12 00:00:00 BST 2016
  • Book points: 0

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Helen deserves some justice -

Helen deserves some justice. An absorbing review of a wholly unsatisfactory murder investigation finally yielding a probable result. An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE, Head of Chambers and Reviews Editor, "The Barrister", and Elizabeth Robson Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers One of the most fascinating aspects of criminological history is the sheer number of what are termed "unsolved" murders. This is one of them. The book is an excellent and detailed explanation of the shocking death of Doctor Helen Davidson. Written and researched by Monica Weller over seven years, "Injured Parties" is an important contribution to the growing "unsolved" file of homicides where the truth will now never be fully known because of "cover ups". But, as with all homicides, we have a good idea of the person responsible without "conspiracy theory" syndrome, but just good careful detection fifty years later. And it is clear who probably committed the murder. What makes Helen's story so fascinating for me is that I spent the first 20 years of my life in Amersham (Old and Top). I remember what happened quite vividly even now with all the rumours, the places, and the closeness of the local communities of that time quite fresh to me. Monica has produced a first class piece of legal research which reads as a mix of intelligence reports, witness statements and serious applied criminology "fit for purpose". I found the conclusion particularly revealing for the saddest of reasons and feel now that Helen has some late justice as we know, on a balance of probabilities, who killed her and why. Read the chapter entitled "In the Frame" (I don't do spoilers) for your answer when you weigh up the evidence Monica has produced. I know all the locations Monica refers to and remember the Wood vividly as it was, and the roads and all the gossip even now when all the leading players are dead. As a barrister, I never normally draw personal conclusions about individuals but I will make one exception here with the sadness I have for what happened to Helen, and the aftermath in what was such a different era from today. It was a particularly nasty homicide (there are no "nice" ones) but this was frenzied and exhibits all the hallmarks of a twisted sexual crime at a time of homosexual reform which took a further thirty five years to become even partly accepted in today's society, now including transsexual persons who many would never accept or thought existed in 1966 when, in fact, they did. Such matters are, of course, raised in courts but there was tremendous reserve and little reporting at that time because of the subject-matter. And on 100th anniversary of Helen's birth we have come a long way quite quickly on the issue of attitude. One area remaining in urgent need of reform is policing. Monica is even handed throughout her narrative and not critical (in the way others would be) about the way the investigation was carried out. The word "poor" features prominently for me with the phrase "cover up" apparent concerning the inquiry- both quite unacceptable approaches even for "the couldn't care less" 1960s . If it could ever be of any comfort to Helen, we might (eventually) get something positive from what Monica has researched: "A Royal Commission on Modern Policing for 21st Century Requirements". This, after 40 years' of PACE, the creation of the CPS, DNA discoveries and profiling, repeated failures to discover unused/undisclosed material, and reform of decisions to close or seal files allegedly to protect living persons - a legal fiction if ever there was one when we, the public, pay and have a right to know. Alas it goes further with the negligent destruction of evidence, documentary or real, here which remains a grave action for which there appears to be no justification. And I bet the files have all now gone. "Injured Parties" is a meticulous account of all involved in what happened to the central figure: the failures; the many unpleasant people; class; a lack of intelligence by people and organisations; a sadness for the community who thought a maniac was on the loose when that was not the case; and the lack of humanity to the end for the victim. The story would make a great film- and the events actually happened. Thank you, Monica, for the seven years you gave for Helen. Please keep safe the names of those not named for the day that will come when we can be told and the perpetrator finally, formally unmasked: that is always the beauty of history!

Phillip Taylor MBE , Mon Jan 22 22:42:25 GMT 2018

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