'Negro to Hang for Coffee Stall Murder' read the headline of the dailies on 16 March 1945. But this was neither a killing nor an underworld shooting. Philip Berry, known as The Creeper, was the 37-year-old Nigerian accused of shooting a Dutch seaman at a coffee stall just off Euston Road in London. His case brought out several prominent people, including the famous Richard O'Sullivan KC who was appointed as leading defence counsel with two prominent Nigerian lawyers as junior counsels. At the judgement of death, the defendant was unmoved. A few days before execution, Berry was reprieved. Then, while being transferred from HMP Pentonville, Berry escaped from the prison van and vanished from history. In this compelling book, Peter Haining and Peter MacAlan attempt to unravel the mystery, the cover ups, the context and the outcomes of the murder. Why did the trial proceed when so much of the evidence was conflicting? Why did Superintendent George Hatherhill, a senior office of the Special Investigation Branch (joint Scotland Yard and Military Intelligence) take charge of such a seemingly open and shut case? Now revealed after 60 years, the true story of The Creeper, and crime and espionage in war time London. Peter Haining was a former journalist, magazine editor and publishing executive, has written extensively on unique aspects of World War II, such as the highly acclaimed The Jail That Went To Sea, and Where The Eagle Landed, The Chianti. Peter MacAlan is a former journalist and magazine editor and has investigated hidden aspects of World War II in best-selling novel form such as The Judas Battalion, The Doomsday Decree and The Windsor Protocol.
Used availability for Peter Haining's Creeper's Secret War
March 2009 : UK Hardback