Colin Stagg spent 13 months in jail awaiting trial for the murder of Rachel Nickell - a crime he did not commit. The case against him was weak from the outset, but was a classic example of the way in which facts can be misrepresented in the hands of professionals, be they lawyers, psychologists, or police officers. When the case against Stagg collapsed, his life was made a living hell by the tabloid press, portraying him as a man who had got away with murder. Police leaks, and a book by a psychologist who had assisted them, led to the ongoing perception that Stagg was a murderer. This nightmare carried on for 14 years until a "cold case review" identified faults in the original investigation. This culminated in the identification of the real culprit - a man who had indeed slipped through the net and gone on to kill again....
©2008, 2011 David Philip Abraham Kessler (P)2015 David Philip Abraham Kessler
Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
In suburban south west London, a man with no criminal record walking his dog, fully cooperating with police following a murder, zero evidence of his guilt, finds himself in prison charged with murder. The role of the psychologist and the subservience of gullible police to his nonsense, plus the role of irresponsible media, are disturbing features of this injustice Stories of wrongful imprisonment have become more prominent lately, so when an innocent man spends less than two years wrongly incarcerated it is not one of the saddest of this genre. But the role of the psychologist gives this story an additional frightening element, and the fact that the victim was so ordinary and inoffensive, in fact one of the few involved in this story with any morality, really makes the point that it could happen to anyone.
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