The Murder Gang review: A look at Fleet Street’s crime writers | Books | Entertainment
Now he returns to Fleet Street to look at the lives and careers of Fleet Street’s crime reporters from the 1930s until the 1960s – known as the Murder Gang.
They drank in the same pubs on the Street of Shame, knew the same paid-up villains and paid-up coppers and ruthlessly pursued the same stories.
Ruthless being the key word. It was said of one newspaper they would assign four cars to each scene of a crime, one containing its reporters and three to block the road to stop their rivals.
The most powerful of the all-male coterie was Percy Hoskins of this parish who ruled the roost virtually from the 1920s until the 1980s. So important was he that proprietor Lord Beaverbrook provided him with a grace and favour home on Park Lane – ah, those were the days.
Neil Root chooses some big cases and shows how the Murder Gang covered the stories. He also reveals fascinating tales about their lives.
Apart from Hoskins, one of the most well-known was E.V. Tullett – a former copper who became the crime correspondent of the Daily Mirror and the biographer of celebrated pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury.
Crime stories had a huge audience to entertain – in those heady days the News of the World was selling seven million copies every Sunday and its rival The People shifted five million.
The Murder Gang is a worthy follow-up to Frenzy!