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On August 12th 1966, three detectives in an unmarked police 'Q' car spotted a battered Standard Vanguard estate car containing three men parked in a side street near Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London.

Suspecting the men might be part of a planned prison break from the jail, and because the car had no tax disc, Detective Constable David Wombwell and Detective Constable Chris Head got out of their car to speak to the occupants.

After a few moments' conversation one of the men in the car, professional criminal Harry Roberts, produced a hidden Luger pistol and shot DC Wombwell dead.

Detective Sergeant Fox tried to run back to the police car but Roberts chased him and killed him with a bullet to the head.

At the same time another of the car’s occupants, John Duddy, armed with a Webley revolver, ran up to the police car and shot dead Pc Geoffrey Fox as he sat behind the steering wheel.

The police murders sparked huge public outrage with demands that the recently abolished death penalty be re-instated. 

Witney and Duddy were quickly arrested but Roberts stayed on the run, hiding in Epping Forest until he was captured in Hertfordshire three months after the massacre.

All three men were jailed for 30 years. Duddy died in Jail. Witney was released but murdered by another criminal in 1999.

Roberts, now aged 77, is still considered a risk to the public and remains in prison.

 

Source from Daily Mirror News

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