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Jan Klimkowski
03-18-2012, 10:38 AM
Tam Dalyell MP, "Father of the House" (of Commons), himself had very strong links with British intelligence.

The primary motive for the murder appears to be Hilda Murrell's anti-nuclear campaigning.

However, there are also troubling connections to one of the dirty secrets of the Falklands War, which the British government tried to suppress: namely the direction in which the Belgrano was sailing when it was sunk.

Finally, this case has its classic patsy, a boy from a care home for "troubled children" who was all of 16 years old.



Hilda Murrell murder: call to examine 'MI5 link' to murder of nuclear activist

Michael Mansfield QC wants to know what intelligence services knew about killing of anti-nuclear activist Hilda Murrell in 1984


Mark Townsend, home affairs editor

The Observer, Sunday 18 March 2012


One of Britain's leading human rights lawyers has demanded a fresh police inquiry to establish what the British intelligence services knew about the murder of a prominent anti-nuclear campaigner.

Michael Mansfield QC said new evidence meant that an independent police force should be appointed to examine enduring concerns and inconsistencies relating to the death of Hilda Murrell in March 1984.

Murrell, 78, was abducted from her home in Shrewsbury and her body was discovered days later in a nearby copse. A high-profile campaigner against nuclear weapons, she had been due to present evidence to the public inquiry into the proposed Sizewell B nuclear reactor in East Anglia. Her death triggered numerous conspiracy theories and allegations relating to the involvement of MI5, with one MP, Tam Dalyell, telling parliament that "men of British intelligence" were involved.

Subsequent claims from intelligence sources that they never even opened a file on the rose-growing anti-nuclear campaigner have now been dismissed by Mansfield as "completely ludicrous".

He said: "There must have been a file for a number of reasons. One of them being that she plainly was very active and very outspoken about a government policy that was extremely sensitive at that time – nuclear power.

"It was central to Margaret Thatcher's thinking. They would have been watching closely what she was up to, who she was associating with and so on.

"The victim was consumed with anxiety that something was going to happen to her. A look at why that might be involves the evidence she was about to give to the Sizewell inquiry."

The involvement of Mansfield, whose past cases include the Stephen Lawrence murder, follows the painstaking accumulation of evidence on the case by Murrell's nephew, Commander Robert Green.

The former naval intelligence officer was one of a handful of people privy to details of the sinking of the Argentinian ship the General Belgrano, during the 1982 Falklands conflict. Green became embroiled in allegations that he leaked intelligence to Dalyell that the Belgrano had been attacked while steaming away from the Falklands, a revelation that undermined Britain's justification for the sinking.

Just two days before Murrell was abducted, Dalyell began asking ministers detailed questions about the movements of the Belgrano when it was sunk.

Murrell's links to Green and her outspoken nature may have placed her in the spotlight of the intelligence agencies. "They [the security services] must have noticed his connection with her. Therefore they might have thought that she possessed information of a sensitive nature," said Mansfield.

Despite 28 years having passed since her death, Green will this week reveal details of what he claims are attempts to intimidate him in order to prevent him from investigating the case. Despite having moved to New Zealand, Green says he is the subject of continuing surveillance and that the tyres of his car have been slashed, his mail intercepted and, occasionally, his house broken into.

He has continued to investigate, arriving in London this week to share fresh evidence collated for his book on the murder, A Thorn In Their Side.

Among questions raised about the case are those casting fresh doubts on the conviction of a burglar, Andrew George, who was jailed for life in 2005 for Murrell's murder. George was aged 16 at the time and in care at a children's home near her home. The prosecution believed that he panicked during a burglary before abducting Murrell.

George's DNA was found to match samples taken from the scene, yet a previously undisclosed witness statement made by a forensic scientist in the case, Michael Appleby, indicates that he found DNA under Murrell's fingernails from another man.

Green claims that this information was withheld from the trial jury.

Another troubling aspect of the case relates to the testimony of the owner of the copse where the body was discovered. On the day after the murder, Captain Ian Scott visited the copse to check for trees that needed felling. Despite visiting the exact spot where her body was found, Scott somehow missed it. Yet photographs clearly show the body being visible from a distance. Subsequent police inquiries suggested that he was looking up at trees and would not have been studying the ground.

"There was no way that somebody of his calibre, of his knowledge, would have overlooked Hilda's body," said Mansfield. "Together, these factors require a reinvestigation in relation to material that never really surfaced in any of the judicial proceedings, either the inquest or the trial itself."

Jan Klimkowski
03-18-2012, 11:55 AM
Yet again, the official story appears to be a crock.

The official narrative of the 16-year-old bungling a burglary, and then abducting Hilda Murrell, driving her across a busy town centre, then assaulting her, and dumping her in some woods, where she eventually died of hypothermia, is totally implausible.

Firstly, burglars almost never abduct their victims. Even if seen, they will almost always run and not risk a larger prison sentence for an aggravated burglary or abduction.

Secondly, the 16-year-old could not drive. Whilst the driver seen by witnesses in Shrewsbury town centre was described as being in his 20s or 30s.

A more likely scenario is that the 16-year-old was nosing around, potentially to commit the crime of burglary, stumbled upon the surveillance, and ultimately became the patsy for a fatally bungled intelligence operation.

The witness testimony of Captain Ian Scott who walked his dogs in the precise area where the official story claims Hilda Murrell's body was lying on the Thursday afternoon, and did not see a corpse, is devastating. If Scott had not found the body, his dogs would have. Especially since new photographic evidence reveals that the official final resting place of the corpse was not even obscured by the undergrowth: it was clearly visible from a distance.

The "Plumbers" did a very bad job.

A job eerily reminiscent of the suiciding of Dr David Kelly.

Source. (http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/john-osmond/murder-of-hilda-murrell-abiding-mystery)


The murder of Hilda Murrell, an abiding mystery?

John Osmond, 5 December 2011


About the author

John Osmond is Director of the Institute of Welsh Affairs ↑ and a member of Plaid Cymru.


A Thorn In Their Side ↑ by Robert Green, published by Rata Books of New Zealand and is available online (NZ$60, including p@p) through accessing Robert Green’s website www.hildamurrell.org ↑

There are many layers to unravel about the grotesque murder of a 78 year old rose-growing spinster in Shrewsbury 27 years ago. The first lies in the character and campaign of the extraordinary woman at the centre of what became a murderous melodrama, Hilda Murrell. She was among the first women to graduate from Cambridge, obtaining her degree in 1927, after which she returned home to Shrewsbury, eventually to take over the family horticultural business. In her later years she became much exercised by the dangers of the nuclear industry. At the time of her violent death she was about to give detailed evidence to the inquiry into the proposed Sizewell B nuclear reactor in East Anglia.

Hilda had two major concerns with nuclear power. First, the by-product of its generation is plutonium, a highly hazardous material which will create radioactive fallout should there be a breach in safety. Secondly, this nuclear waste needs to be stored for hundreds if not thousands of years in a secure environment – typically below ground – before its radioactivity diminishes to safe levels. The continuing relevance, indeed urgency, of Hilda’s concerns was demonstrated in March this year when catastrophe struck Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that eviscerated the nuclear power plants at Fukushima. Two thousand square kilometres of land were contaminated. Radioactive caesium from the disaster is still circulating in the currents of the Pacific Ocean and will return to the shores of Japan in 20 or 30 years time.

Will Fukushima be allowed to fade in the memory just as have the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor meltdown in Pennsylvania in 1979, and the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine in 1986? Not if the memory of Hilda Murrell has anything to do with it.

A second layer in the story surrounding Hilda’s death was the military and political events that became closely associated with the event. In December 1984 the Labour MP Tam Dalyell got up during an all-night sitting of the House of Commons and announced that “men of British Intelligence” had been involved in her murder nine months before. How could this be?

The link, or coincidence, was the fact that Hilda’s nephew, Commander Robert Green had been part of the naval intelligence operation at Northwood, London, at the time of the Falklands War in May 1982. He was one of only 20 or so people who knew the detailed circumstances around the sinking of the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano. It was torpedoed by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror on 2 May 1982, with the loss of 321 Argentine lives.

In the months that followed Tam Dalyell pursued the truth behind the sinking with dogged tenacity. He became convinced that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had authorised the attack in order to precipitate an all-out conflict and secure the victory that propelled her to success in the 1983 general election. Intelligence that was leaked to him revealed that at the time it was attacked the Belgrano was steaming away from the exclusion zone that Britain had placed around the Falklands, and so could not be claimed to be presenting a threat to British forces.

In early 1984 Dalyell’s Parliamentary questions about the episode, fuelled by persistent leaks, threatened to completely undermine the government’s position on the Belgrano. There was growing anxiety within No 10 about the source of the leaks. Then, on 19 March 1984 – two days before Hilda Murrell was abducted from her home in Shrewsbury – Dalyell hand-delivered a letter to Michael Heseltine, then Secretary of State for Defence, in which he asked nine new questions about the Belgrano’s exact position and movements, indicating that it was steaming away from the Falklands.

For those who subsequently investigated Hilda Murrell’s murder one proposition became that her nephew Robert Green would have been subject to investigation as a potential source of the leaks. After all, he was among only a handful who had intimate knowledge of the details around the Belgrano’s sinking. It was later revealed that objectors at the Sizewell nuclear inquiry had been subjected to investigation and surveillance by private investigators. The theory gained ground that this provided further evidence to support the suggestion that Hilda Murrell would have been caught up in the search for who was leaking information about the Belgrano. Would her nephew have left papers with her for safe-keeping?

Put in this compressed way the question sounds so far-fetched as to be absurd. However, a reading of Robert Green’s recently published book A Thorn in Their Side – the Hilda Murrell Murder ↑ which traces his 27-year quest for the killer or killers of his aunt, may well persuade you otherwise. For one thing, Green himself was initially extremely reluctant to pursue let alone believe this theory. If true it would mean that, however, indirectly, he was in some way responsible for his aunt’s death. Instead, for many years he was convinced that Hilda had been killed because of the threat she posed to the nuclear industry.

In his book Robert Green constructs a scenario, based on evidence accumulated over many years – much of which, it has to be said, is largely circumstantial – which points to Hilda’s murder being the result of a bungled surveillance exercise aimed at discovering whether he was responsible for leaking evidence about the sinking of the Belgrano. As time passes it becomes ever more difficult to pin down what exactly happened. One potential source of enlightenment would be if Tam Dalyell would finally reveal the identity of the “reliable source” who first told him that British Intelligence were involved in Hilda Murrell’s murder. That source has died, as has his widow. Dalyell has contacted the family who have requested that he keep his commitment of secrecy. In his book Green quotes Dalyell as telling him, “As a man of my word, I will carry this man’s name to my grave.”

A third layer surrounding the murder of Hilda Murrell is the behaviour of the West Mercia police who investigated the affair. Throughout they have clung to the belief that the bizarre sequence of events that accompanied the killing was the responsibility of a lone walk-in burglar. However, Robert Green’s book raises a raft of questions that throw substantial doubt on this theory. In the concluding chapter he summarises fifty outstanding concerns and unanswered questions about Hilda’s case.

Consider: on the late morning of Wednesday 21 March 1984 Hilda Murrell returns home from a shopping trip to disturb an intruder or intruders in her home. Following a struggle in which there is evidence that she is assaulted, she is bundled into her car parked on the drive alongside her house. She is then driven through the middle of Shrewsbury town centre past the police station. She is slumped in the passenger seat and is wearing a floppy hat that covers her face. The driver is reported to be in his late twenties or early thirties with short light brown hair and a clean-shaven appearance.

There are more the 20 witnesses to the car’s progress as it passes through the town and is then driven erratically into the countryside beyond. After a few miles the car swerves in a narrow lane, crashes and comes to rest on a wide verge off the road. The driver’s door is jammed against a low grassy wall in a way that prevents it being opened. Hilda Murrell manages to grab the car keys and leave the car. Staggering off she places the keys in her pocket where they are later found.

The driver follows her after exiting through the passenger door. He catches her up and drags her through a gateway into a field across the road. Here Hilda is assaulted again, losing her hat and spectacles. Then she is either dragged across a large ploughed field and dumped in a copse about half-a-mile away, or just left against the hedge at the side of the field and later crawls into the copse by herself.

In any event three days later, on the morning of Saturday 24 March 1984 Hilda’s body is discovered by the police in the copse. A post-mortem finds that her torso has been stabbed several times and her hands are cut, revealing signs of a struggle. However, death was the result of hypothermia and she died at some time between the Wednesday and Friday nights.

All these are the police assumptions of what happened. In 2005, after they had re-opened the case they secured a conviction. Their alleged culprit was Andrew George who at the time of the murder had been a 16-year-old truant from a home for looked after children in Shrewsbury. Despite all the improbabilities, including the facts that at the time George was unable to drive and that he did not fit witness descriptions of the driver of the car, he was convicted at the High Court in Stafford on the basis of DNA evidence found in Hilda Murrell’s house. He is currently serving a 13-year sentence

Robert Green’s new book provides evidence that George’s conviction is likely to be unsafe. This is because subsequent to the trial and appeal it emerged that some DNA evidence that was discovered was not put to the jury by the prosecution. This was DNA on the underside of Hilda’s fingernails from a male that did not match that of Andrew George.

So, although the DNA evidence – and also fingerprints – prove that Andrew George entered Hilda Murrell’s house at some point on the Wednesday or Thursday, no doubt with the intention of stealing whatever he could find, it is also possible, if not probable, that as a result he found himself caught up with events and people over which he had no control. Indeed, new evidence revealed in Robert Green’s book suggests this is the case.

In his book Robert Green calls for George’s release and for a Commission of Inquiry into the case, led by an independent figure who has no connection either with the police or the British security system. I would suggest that figure should be Michael Mansfield QC who provides an important Foreword to Robert Green’s book.

I first became aware of the murder of Hilda Murrell in May 1984 when the late Gerard Morgan Grenville, founder of the Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth, suggested that Wales This Week, the HTV Wales programme I was then working for, should look into it. He had known Hilda for some years and was advising her on the paper she was preparing to put to the Sizewell B nuclear reactor inquiry. In February 1984, a few weeks before her death, he had taken a phone call from Hilda at his home near Crickhowell. At the end of an unusually long call, which lasted about half-an-hour, she had uttered what became fateful words, “If they don’t get me first, I want the world to know that one old woman has seen through their lies.”

Gerard put me in touch with Robert Green and I began an investigation that led to us producing three programmes that were broadcast during the first half of 1985, and then a fourth in 1994, on the tenth anniversary of the murder. Our programmes focused mainly on the improbable events that surrounded the first three days of the affair, and especially the lost 24 hours following Hilda’s abduction when the police failed to follow up repeated calls about her abandoned car. The car was reported to the police within hours of it crashing at around 1.30pm on the Wednesday. It was seen by two local people who discussed the car on the phone before agreeing that one of them should report it to the police. It is acknowledged that the first 24 hours following a murder are likely to prove the most productive in any murder investigation, after which the trail becomes increasingly cold.

When I was investigating the case I repeatedly contacted the police asking for a background briefing and an interview but was refused. On the evening before the transmission of our first programme, at about 8pm, while we were editing the film, I took a call from the police in Shrewsbury. They were now very anxious to see us, they said. When I told them the prpgramme would be broadcast the following night they said it was vital they should see us first. They would travel down to Cardiff o see us by 9am the following morning.

Two officers duly arrived and spoke with myself, the reporter on the programme David Williams, and HTV’s solicitor for several hours. They were very concerned, they said, that we had filmed inside Hilda Murrell’s home. They were worried that we might reveal details that would interfere with their conduct of the case. They wanted to hold back some information so they could check the veracity of witnesses and suspects. We agreed to most of their requests, as is usually done by journalists when a police investigation is underway. But we also took the opportunity of questioning the police about their handling of the inquiry.

Their demeanour surprised us. Normally, the police are brisk and businesslike when dealing with journalists. They have the information. Usually they are looking for the co-operation of the media to publicise a case, but they call the shots. In this case it was different. The officers who came to see us were on the defensive, even embarrassed. We seemed to know as much about the case as they did. They were unable, or unwilling to give us satisfactory answers to many of our questions. We suspected they had come as much to find out what we knew and what we intended to report as to protect their operational handling of the case.

One of the main new revelations in our initial programme was our account of an interview with the owner of the copse where Hilda’s body was found, Captain Ian Scott. He was a member of the local squirearchy and a witness of some credibility. He was unwilling to be interviewed on camera but told us that on the Thursday afternoon, the day after Hilda was abducted, he was in the wood with his dogs counting his trees for felling. He said he paced over the spot where Hilda’s body was found and she was definitely not there at that time – about 3.30pm on the Thursday afternoon. “There is very little undergrowth in the wood at that time of year,” Scott told us. “If there had been a dead rabbit in that wood I would have seen it.”

In Robert Green’s book he publishes for the first time police photographs which came into his possession in 2006, after the case was closed following the conviction of Andrew George and his failed appeal. Among them are Hilda’s body in the wood at the time it was discovered. One is a long distance shot, another a close up. The ground is bare. Hilda is clearly visible at some distance.

Of course, if Scott was right and Hilda was not in the wood on the Thursday afternoon this would undermine the case against Andrew George that he was the lone walk-in burglar, solely responsible for the murder.

But the police discount Ian Scott’s story. In March 1985 the West Mercia Police brought in two outside senior detectives from the Northumbria force to review the case. This was completed in June that year following a three-month investigation. The police refused to publish it at the time. However, it was leaked to Robert Green in 1996, and it is now posted on a website devoted to the Hilda Murrell case. In their report the Northumbria police give a good deal of credence to Scott as a witness. However, they suggest that since he was counting his trees when he walked through his wood on Thursday afternoon 22 March 1984 he would have been gazing upwards and not looking at the ground.

Jan Klimkowski
03-18-2012, 12:48 PM
A biography of Hilda Murrell from her supporters' website.

It's clear that the Volkland Security apparatus would not have been able to transform ths "fierce but fundamentally gentle warrior, a Bunyan-like soul" into a Bin Laden style bogeyman.

So, it seems that other means were resorted to, to dispose of this Constant Gardener....

Photos of Hilda Murrell can be seen at the link here (http://hildamurrell.org/home/).



Hilda Murrell was born on 3 February 1906 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in the West Midlands of England, and lived there all her life. The elder of two daughters, she came from a family of nurserymen, seedsmen and florists going back to 1837. Her grandfather Edwin Murrell established and ran Portland Nurseries until his death in 1908.

A gifted pupil at Shrewsbury Girls’ High School where she was head girl, Hilda won a scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge (1924-27). She graduated with an MA in English and French literature, and Modern and Mediaeval Languages.

Having no brothers, in 1928 Hilda was persuaded by her father Owen to join what was by then a successful and well-known family rose nursery and seed shop business run by him and his elder brother Edwin Foley Murrell. She quickly developed outstanding horticultural and business skills, and took over as Director in 1937.

Her energy and organisational flair proved assets during World War II in her voluntary work for the care and resettlement of Jewish refugee children in Shropshire foster-homes and schools, making lifelong friends of some of those she helped. Her fund-raising efforts included arranging recitals in Shrewsbury by such world-famous performers as the pianist Dame Myra Hess and violinist Jelly d’Aranyi.

Under her management, Edwin Murrell Ltd enjoyed its final golden years from 1949-70. Hilda had become an internationally respected rose-grower and authority on rose species, old-fashioned varieties and miniature roses. The firm regularly won top awards at Chelsea and Southport Flower Shows as well as at the oldest annual flower show in the world in Shrewsbury. She sold roses to the Queen Mother and the Churchills, and helped Vita Sackville-West design her White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. Her annual rose catalogue was widely known and respected both for its information and elegant writing; and she also designed many gardens. In a final tribute, David Austin gained her approval to name a rose after her just three weeks before she was murdered.

Walking, especially in hill country, was one of Hilda’s favourite leisure activities from an early age; and she had a passion for mountaineering and even rock-climbing until arthritis limited her in later life. With this she developed a deep concern to preserve the countryside and wildlife of the Welsh Marches. She was a founder-member of the national Soil Association promoting organic horticulture, and of what is now the Shropshire Wildlife Trust; and in the 1970s she worked unpaid with her customary energy for the Shropshire branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England.

On her retirement in 1970, the rose business was sold and she had time and resources to devote to emerging environmental problems and threats to Shrewsbury ‘s rich architectural heritage. She also indulged her love affair with the Welsh Marches by building a Canadian cedarwood chalet high up on the Welsh side of Llanymynech Hill near Oswestry with a stunning view up the Tanat Valley to the Berwyn Mountains, where eventually her ashes were scattered.

She became an expert botanist, and extracts from her nature diaries were published in 1987 illustrated with her coloured photographs and brilliantly executed botanical drawings. She was also deeply knowledgeable about megalithic monuments and the history of the British landscape. Other enthusiasms included antiques, spinning and weaving, and birdwatching; and she was a skilled cook and dressmaker, and a voracious reader.

Hilda’s central concern in later life was for the growing pollution crisis in the environment. She brought together carefully researched knowledge, a deep love of the natural world, and an ability to anticipate threats to it. She was also an indefatigable and fearless campaigner to bring these issues to the attention of those who had the power and responsibility to effect solutions.

Having predicted the 1973 oil crisis, Hilda became increasingly concerned by the hazards posed by nuclear energy and weapons. With characteristic thoroughness, she began to research this highly technical field. In 1978, she wrote a paper entitled What Price Nuclear Power? in which she deployed her financial flair to challenge the economics of the civil nuclear industry. After the 1979 US accident at Three Mile Island, she turned her attention to safety aspects, and homed in on the problem of radioactive waste, the disposal of which she concluded was the industry’s Achilles heel. In 1982, the Department of the Environment published a White Paper (pdf) on the British Government’s policy on radioactive waste management.

Hilda, now in her late 70s, wrote a critique of it, which she developed into her submission An Ordinary Citizen’s View of Radioactive Waste Management to the first formal planning inquiry into a nuclear power plant in Britain, the Sizewell B Pressurised Water Reactor in Suffolk.

Hilda’s Times obituary, by Charles Sinker, ended: “Her close friends remember her as a fierce but fundamentally gentle warrior, a Bunyan-like soul on a lonely and constant quest for the real path of the spirit. She died in tragic circumstances, alone in the empty countryside. It is an almost intolerable irony that a life so dedicated to peaceful pursuits, and to the pursuit of peace, should have been terminated by an act of mindless violence.”

Magda Hassan
05-18-2013, 04:11 AM
Hilda Murrell: A death in the private sector (http://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/hilda-murrell-a-death-in-the-private-sector/) Those who look closely at care home abuse scandals, including Kincora, Elm Guest House, and North Wales, will often sense, if not clearly see, the insidious hand of right wing factional elements within the security services.
I was intrigued by the mention of ‘Zeus Security’ in the ‘After Dark’ episode on British Intelligence and Paul directed to me to this interesting story in Lobster 16 Magazine- Here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/126084948/Lobster-16)
We’ve transcribed it here for easier reading.
Hilda Murrell: A death in the private sector
This is the first anonymous article we have ever printed. However we know the identity of the author and have absolute confidence in the person who provided is with the document. In places we have removed small sections, I indicated by the use of brackets (—), which provided personal details which would have made identifying the author easier than it already is.
During (—) I was accepted as a member of the Institute of Professional Investigators. My experiences between (—) until the present time are all relevant to the (Hilda) Murrell murder in that it can be plainly seen there is a very close link between the IPI and government agencies who were responsible for monitoring the activities of nuclear protesters.
during my (—) year of membership in the IPI I came into contact with various officials, serving members of the Security Service. I was surprised to learn that the IPI was not private members institute but also included officials from all branches of the Armed forces, Intelligence, Foreign Office, as well as Special Branch and Police, Customs, etc. These official individuals openly fraternised with Private Investigators and security consultants who, in some cases, were employing convicted criminals.
During the latter part of (—) I was contacted by an official of The Ministry of Defence. We met a government address in Whitehall, where I was introduced to Officers from M15. fter a number of meetings and discussions, I agreed to act as a freelance operative, which I did until (—).
During this period I found my various Operational controllers most unprofessional. I was asked to provide bugging equipment and, at one stage, it was suggested that I take a “target” for a ride in my private aeroplane and drop him out over the North Sea. There was no doubt in my mind that was a request to act as an assassin. Had I agreed to perform any of the many illegal acts requested I would have found myself in the clutches of the Security Services for the rest of my life.
At the time of my resignation there was an attempt to blackmail/force me to continue, but as soon as I revealed that I had maintained copy reports and tape recordings of most of my dealings with the various Operational Controllers, I was allowed to go my own way.
During my duties with M15 I also maintained a very close personal and professional relationship with an officer from the Secret Intelligence Service (M16). Whilst a serving SIS officer (he) joined a private detective agency with which I was associated, and carried out private investigations of a covert nature. He also arranged for a number of very sensitive assignments to be passed to me through an internationally known security company based in London.
As a result of my relationship with M15 and the SIS officer mentioned, the general knowledge I accumulated regarding the various methods of operation adopted by the Security Services and SIS became overwhelming. Certain information, I now realise, coul be e very relevant to the case of Hilda Murrell, which was that all security and intelligence aims of H.M.Goverment utilise private investigators or security companies for various types of covert operations, including surveillance, collecting specific information, and monitoring the activities of individuals and groups in the UK and abroad.
During my membership with the IPI I also had contact with numerous private investigators who also acted for the government, carrying out surveillance, investigations etc. for official spy masters. At one stage I was a Director sitting on the board of governors, dealing with the day to day affairs at the Institute. during this period I had access to very sensitive data on serving intelligence officers and am now able to identify senior high ranking officials who had been members of, or associated with, the II. On three occasions private investigators of the IPI actually attended training sessions with the Army and Air Force Special Investigation and Counter Intelligence branches.
(—) having by now become very friendly with Barrie Peachman, the President of IPI, I became aware that he was engaged in a very sensitive surveillance of anti-nuclear protesters at Sizewell. He indicated that it was a secret government operation passed to him by a fellow member of the IPI, ex-Army Intelligence Major, Peter Hamilton, of Zeus Security. Peachman expressed his concern at the possibility that this operation might become known to the media.
The late Mr Peachman sounded very uneasy about this surveillance operation ad seemed out of his dept. My opinion on this point is that although a successful businessman, Peachman was not a formally trained investigator and always subcontracted complicated assignments to a Vic Norris, alias Adrian Hampson, a convicted felon with a criminal record for various sex and violence offices. Despite his background, Norris had a natural flair for covert operations and was to eventually inform me during a taped interview that he was working for the Home Office carrying out ‘dirty tricks’ with which they do not wish to be associated.
On April 17th 1984 Barrie Peachman shot himself. A note was left on his desk stating ‘Shirley refused to help me’, Shirley being a Shirley Ann Smith a Director of Sapphire Investigations, not just an administrative director, but a woman who assisted in the Sizewell surveillance. She received and dispatched information to and from Zeus Security and generally assisted in the operational running of this and other sensitive assignments for the company.
Shortly after Peachman’s death I had access to his files and was able to eventually obtain a copy of the Sizewell investigation reports. Included in these documents are letter from Norris referring to:
1. “Can put a stop on cND iif required, will send further report”.
2. “spectacular news I mentioned briefly on the telephone, this could really be big money so it will be interesting to see how your Principals react”.
Also listed in the file is exactly how the surveillance was activated and what Zeus Security specifically required. There are also numerous names of groups, individuals etc., who were targeted for investigation. Hilda Murrell’s name is not displayed on these lists but there are a number of names of people who were in contact with her. This ivery important, as will be discussed later in this report.
Sometime between the date Miss Murrell was murdered and the date Peachman shot himself, I received a very distraught telephone call during which Peachman informed me that he was “In terrible trouble”. He also stated that he could not go on and intended to kill himself. At this time I assumed Peachman’s state of mind was caused as a result of an investigation carried out into the affairs of IPI. Breaches of security and the misappropriation of the Institute’s money by fellow officers of the Board had been discovered. At that time I was totally unaware that an anti-nuclear protestor associated with the Sizewell protesters had been murdered in Shropshire. Peachman eventually shot himself on April 17th 1984 outside the home of Shirley Ann Smith, his mistress and fellow Sapphire Investigations director.
Shirley Ann Smith
This lady enjoyed an open common-law relationship with Peachman and was in fact the mother of a 9 year old son fathered by him. Their 15 year old relationship was no secret to Mrs Peachman and the family, who were also fellow directors of Sapphire Investigations and responsible for day-to-day activities on most investigatory operations. Miss Smith had been accepted into the business as a director and mistress and payed an integral part in the operational side of general activities. She was also a member of the IPI, as were Mrs Jean Peachman, wife, and Mark Peachman, son. This general information is vital to anyone hoping to resent an accurate picture of the Sapphire/Sizewell/IPI set-up. Miss Smith mysteriously left the company a few months before Miss Murrell’s murder. To this date no-one has managed to achieve an in-depth relationship with the Sapphire Investigation company.
(—) I gradually pieced together the picture of the Sizewell surveillance, along with the involvement of Victor Norris and Peter Hamilton of Zeus Security. Eventually the Sizewell story broke. A report was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution, but to date no charges have been laid and no action taken in respect of the allegations re Miss Murrell.
Peter hamilton (Zeus Security)
He is a former member of Army Intelligence where he held the rank of Major. Documents and tapes in my possession link this man to the highest echelons of British Intelligence. He is a long-standing member of IPI and, as with all private practitioners in the Institute, would use the nation-wide network of IPI agents scattered over the UK. Details of these individuals are available in the published IPI Register available only to members. Up until 1984 the IPI would actually publish a list of their private practitioners along with their official serving members. However since certain adverse publicity in 1984/5 they have creased this practice ad now only publish a list of private practitioners.
Zeus Security, operated by Hamilton, when formed and registered with Companies House, was constructed in such a way that it could legally operate electronic bugging equipment on behalf of government departments. A careful examination of the Zeus company file shows that, according to the Articles of Association, the company was virtually a private secret service with full electronic back-up.
During my investigation I successfully recorded conversations with Hamilton admitting his services were being utilised by the Economic League. Evidence also exists to show that the Central Electricity Generating Board subscribed to the Economic League in return for their special services.
The Economic League
During the last (—) years I have spoken with dozens of operational Special Branch and Security Service operatives and have satisfied myself that the practice of using private companies for covert government operations is still taking place. I have tape-recorded conversations with other detectives who openly admit to have these contacts and in some cases these detectives have named their official contacts in Scotland Yard.
During 1986/7 there was an investigation into members of the IPI suspected of breeches of the Official Secrets act. The result of the enquiry was that certain individuals have been sentenced to trial at the Old Bailey on OSA charges. colleagues of the defendants were discovered as having been involved in a political tapping operation in London which resulted in the assassination of an oversea diplomat. The individuals were sentenced to terms of imprisonment during February 1987. One particular defendant, a bugging expert, admitted to working for Zeus Security and in particular Peter Hamilton. This individual also admitted to carrying out electronic surveillance of the Sizewell protesters. He was recruited and handled by another private investigator who was an established member of IPI. Hamilton has refused to elaborate on his relationship with these people and I am attempting to make an approach to the bugging expert who appears to have gone underground since his release from prison.
Hilda Murrell (deceased)
Much has been written by journalists who have attempted to present their own picture of what occurred the week she was murdered. The obvious facts to someone with experience of covert intelligence operations are as follows:
Utter chaos! This is the only way describe the events of Wednesday/Thursday/Friday of the week in 1984. The methods of operation of official intelligence operatives are standard in planned operations. It is vital to appreciate the following.
If a decision is taken at a high level to abduct and kill an intelligence target by the use of official operatives, it has to be confirmed first of all that such a course of action is really necessary. If such an operation is decided, carefully laid plans are prepared and would include:
1. A surveillance to confirm the target’s daily movements and personal lifestyle etc.
2. The address would be checked for access and the best time and location for the abduction would be decided.
3. The destination of the victim and method of disposal would have to be decided, ie., an accident death by natural causes, etc.
These are but a few of the considerations in a planned operation. In any event, the perpetrators would take every precaution to ensure that they did not attract attention to the operation. Unbelievable technical facilities would be available as a back-up and in the case Hilda Murrell, she would simply have vanished in the dead of night or, alternatively, “did under natural circumstances”, or in a carefully prepared “accident”.
If a decision had been made to simply break and enter the home of Miss Murrell for the purposes of a “search”, quite frankly official operatives would not have been caught. A number of agents would have been used after a long pre-entry reconnaissance. Miss Murrell would have been followed whilst the search was taking place and the “burglars” warned of her return, giving them time to withdraw.
The events surrounding the death of Miss Murrell were not the events of a carefully conceived intelligence operation.
Alternatives
My investigation finally led me to a former Captain in Military Intelligence I have checked his credentials and am satisfied as to his authenticity. He has agreed to make an on-the-record statement but I have agreed to withhold his identity from any organisation/individual who cannot guarantee an accurate presentation of what he has to say. I also consider it vital to his personal safety to carefully control the use of his identity and details of his statement. On (—) I tape-recorded an interview with my informant. The object of this interview was to confirm the methods of operation utilised by the Security Service, discuss basic training given o agents and, in particular, to identify further organisations used as a cover for ‘dirty tricks’ operations. My informants revealed the following:
1. He informed me that he qualified as a Military Intelligence Officer (MIO) while serving in the regular Army he held the rank of Captain.
2. His MIO training took place at a secret location outside London. He identified this location and the nature of his training His training included lock picking, breaking and entering, surveillance, making explosives and generally most areas of covert operations.
3. After training he was secretly recruited by M16 butt also with and and under the direction of M15, also Special Branch and the SAS.
4. He described in details unlawful killings carried out on the instructions of M15. In some cases killings were carried out by renegade SAS ‘types’, “for kicks”.
5. He discussed methods of operation and, in particular, described how a Security Service covert break-in or assassination would be carried out.
6. Much to my surprise, he informed me that the Special Air Service are no longer just a military unit, ut are now being used as a political arm of the government in domestic assignments.
7. He named people who have been associated with unlawful killings and who are now in private companies in London.
8. He described the practice of how the Security Service utilised the services of private companies for ‘dirty tricks’ operations. He also named these companiesand Zeus Securities is one of them. Chubb Security is also named, along with numerous other organisations, as well as a famous International Charity. He is adamant that the organisations named are all utilised by the Security Service as a cover for their intelligence operations. He also confirms that the Security Service not only uses existing private companies but also go the the extent of forming their own companies for a similar purpose.
9. Journalists are also named as being M15/M16 informants. He has in fact provided me with a comprehensive list of such individuals who are currently employed in TV and other areas of the media.
From my own knowledge and experience, also conversations with this informant, I now have a clear picture of what can only be described as a labyrinth of secret agents and informants scattered throughout the world. The general opinion one forms is that most people involved in secret operations for HMG are capable of very serious criminal acts, especially murder.
Hilda Murrell
I have described the events surrounding the death of Hilda Murrell to my informant and he has given his expert opinion as to what he believes would have occurred.
He is positive that Miss Murrell was the victim of a private operation with minimal back-up facilities. He is adamant that official operatives would not have created the events that occurred in Shrewsbury. He suggests. however, that someone in official circles could have indirectly suggested “would someone not rid me of this woman”.
Having examined the use of private investigators and knowing the standard method of operation in such cases, the following sequence of events would have occurred:
Once Hamiton/Zeus Security had obtained the initial reports from Peachman, it would have been standard operation procedure (SOP) to investigate the protester name, via the UK network of IPI agents. It would have been just a matter of time before certain protesters would have been linked to Miss Murrell. From that moment she would have been monitored by the Security Service, Special Branch, Nuclear Special Branch, also Zeus Security. In addition to the above situation, it is vital for you to appreciate the Belgrano angle and Lt Commander Rob Green, the nephew of the late Hilda Murrell.
I have been able to confirm that Rob Green was positively vetted by Navy Security throughout his intelligence career. As a former Vetting Investigator, I am familiar with the system and am able to report that had Rob Green not declared his Aunt’s anti-Nuclear views on his initial vetting application, she would have been discovered very quickly by Navy Vetting officers. As it happens, Commander Green revealed frankly his aunt’s views throughout his service and he made not attempt to deceived his superiors.
This means that Miss Murrell would have been monitored long before she embarked on her anti-Sizewell campaign. She would have been the subject of an investigation with the following departments:
(a) Navy Security Vetting
(b) M15 whose registry would have been checked by the Navy Vetting Officers
(c) local Special Branch, liaising with the Navy.
Again. this would have been SOP
Long before her anti-nuclear campaign started Miss Murrell would have been a target of the Security Service – not with any degree of intensity, but just a casual monitoring of her activities to ensure that she would not have compromised her nephew, Rob Green. It is public knowledge that, prior to her anti-nuclear campaign, Miss Murrell was in the habit of writing her opinion to various national newspapers. Again, this
would have have been bought to the notice of Special Branch and the monitoring of this lady would have increased somewhat because of her link to Rob Green.
Finally, because of her anti-nuclear views, she would have been monitored by M15/British Atomic Energy Constabulary, liaising with M15 via their Special Research Department. The degree of intensity applied to the monitoring of Miss Murrell must have been quite severe before the final introduction of the Balgrano angle. at the end of the day Miss Murrell must have been the target of nearly every covert agency in the country including:
1. Special Branch
2. British Atomic Energy Constabulary
3. Navy Security
4. M15
5. Zeus Security Services Ltd
If any of the official agencies had conceived the abduction and assassination plan as suggested by Don Arnott, the job would have been a swift, clean, professional operation, not the panic-stricken shambles it was.
I am not suggesting for one moment that officials in government service did not suggest a certain course of action. On the contrary, I am confident that officials o the Security Service at a very high level suggested/condoned the break-in and immediately after Miss Murrell’s death, inhibited the police investigation so that progress was impossible.
From my investigation to date, I am confident beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt that the death of Miss Murrell was caused by private investigators or security consultants acting on behalf of a government department. I do not believe that their brief was to abduct and kill Miss Murrell, but to break and enter her premises for the purposes of search for sensitive information. Her unexpected return home resulted in utter panic amongst the culprits and the eventual death of Miss Murrell.

http://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/hilda-murrell-a-death-in-the-private-sector/

David Guyatt
05-18-2013, 07:03 AM
This has the ring of truth to it, I think.

I shouldn't wonder that similar off-the-books operatives took care of DR. David Kelly too.