Hilda Murrell

Dedicated to Hilda Murrell, murdered in UK in 1984

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In 1984 Hilda Murrell, a 78-year-old distinguished rose-grower turned anti-nuclear campaigner, was found brutally murdered outside her home town of Shrewsbury, England. The case became one of the biggest, most bizarre and baffling British murders of the 20th century involving political conspiracies surrounding the nuclear industry and the Falklands War.

After a cold case review, in 2005 Andrew George, who was a 16-year-old petty thief from a foster home, was convicted. In 2011, Hilda’s nephew, former British Navy Commander Robert Green, published his book ‘A Thorn In Their Side‘ about his pursuit of the truth, in which he revealed fresh evidence which almost certainly would acquit George. An updated UK edition has just been released by John Blake Publishing.

A Thorn In Their Side Bformat Cover2 CMYK_The Crossbow killer

REVIEWS OF ‘A THORN IN THEIR SIDE’

“The former Royal Naval commander in charge of nuclear weapons , and his prominent Kiwi peace campaigner wife, blow the lid off this and many other British security scandals in an explosive tell-all book printed up in complete secrecy at the dead of night by their Masterton publisherit is a gripping read. Something to rival le Carre or Fleming.” – THE PRESS – Saturday 8th October 2011

“This is a tale of mystery and intrigue which touches all our lives. Carefully researched and lovingly told, you cannot remain unmoved. The questions come thick and fast. There is always another stone to be overturned. Far more than a ‘who dunnit’, it is also a ‘why’ and ‘what dunnit’. Echoes of the death of David Kelly. It is a story which uncovers the life-threatening risks that have to be endured by a few for the many who ‘dare not speak’. – Michael Mansfield QC

More Reviews Online…

The Source Documents page on this website contains a list of other anti-nuclear campaigners who were killed or intimidated because they were trying to get information to Rob Green about the murder, or they spoke out about contentious nuclear issues. There are links to scans of the original documents referred to in the book, including the death threats and the suppressed 1985 Northumbria Police report on their review of the handling of the case by West Mercia Police.

The History page on this website outlines the ‘The Belgrano Connection’, ‘The Nuclear Motive’ and a link to the ‘An Ordinary Citizen’s View of Radioactive Waste Management’ paper which Hilda was going to present at the first public inquiry into a new nuclear power plant in Britain, at Sizewell.

20 Responses to “Home”

  1. Marian Joy Harland said

    Incredible book: gripping, courageous, and very timely. I have a waiting list of people here wanting to read it, and I am sending the link to others back in NZ. love and thankyou, M J H .

  2. Jenny Snadden said

    Here in NZ in 1985 the Greenpeace protest vessel Rainbow Warrior was blown up and a crew member murdered in our own waters by French secret agents under orders to discourage us from protesting against their country’s nuclear testing in the South Pacific. I am reading this book with similar dismay at the apparently limitless reach of (in this case) the British state to squash such dissent. The fragility of democracies in the face of such power is very dispiriting, but a book like this bravely continues the battle to get information out there, and is also a heartfelt message to the author’s beloved aunt that she has not died in vain. Thank you Rob Green. JS.

  3. Marian Joy Harland said

    Now it seems that the Hilda Murrell story fits into a hugely wider context.
    See: http://nuclearcrimes.org/toc.php.
    Also the documentary “Thrive”.
    with love, MJH

  4. Nel Listet said

    Unless people who know what happened in this
    and in numerous other State sanctioned murders,
    keep researching, shouting, writing and reporting
    the Truth, our ‘freedom’, ‘democracy’ and society
    Degenerate and become worthless.
    Nel. (London)

  5. Nigel Chamberlain said

    Extremely well researched and meticulously analysed. Difficult to follow for readers without some background understanding. Chilling for those of us with relevant memories of the times. Disturbing to think such collusion could have happened and such ineptitude be covered up. Incredible that the police settled for the prosecution and conviction thus achieved. Implications for the truth coming out, eventually, hardly bear thinking about but the effort to achieve that objective is deserving of wider support. Amazed at the author’s fortitude and tenacity. More than ably supported in bringing these revelations to publication by the skills and determination of the author’s wife and collaborator.
    Nigel Chamberlain
    Cumbria, UK

  6. Sue Cook said

    I heard the fascinating interview you gave to Litopia. I was presenting Crimewatch back in 1984 and Hilda Murrell’s murder was one of the first cases we ever appealed for the public’s help with. I’ve always felt certain there was a huge amount more to her murder than met the eye. I am now going to buy your book and look forward to finding out whether some of my theories were right or not.
    Sue Cook

  7. Jean Sims said

    I read this book last November and was moved by the story. I was pleased to see several copies on the counter at Pennys, Chartwell Square, Hamilton this afternoon and have been thinking about it ever since. I plan to go back tomorrow and buy a copy for a grandson who will find it a gripping read.

  8. roy edwards said

    Having worked with Andy George when he worked for Dorricott Construction I was convinced he was capable of the murder of Hilda but since reading Rob Green’s book A Thorn in Their Side I am now sure that Andy George is innocent . There should be a proper inquiry into the case again with all the evidence that is available brought to light .

  9. Kristine Taylor said

    Unbelievable to kill an old woman who had the courage and the right to be heard. Shame on the Government and shame for sentencing an innocent man to life. We complain about injustice in places like Iraq, Iran, Somalia but this murder is probably only the tip of the iceberg at home.
    Kris

    • Averil Wood said

      I fear you are right and we may, at this moment be hearing about the possibility of another death that may well be by the same perpetrators. How dare we go demanding Democracy has to be ‘imposed’ on other Nations when we are only paying lip service to it. ?
      Wonderful book Rob, I dont know how you find the heart to continue your research in the face of such bullying opposition.
      Best Wishes, Averil

  10. simonreah said

    My family moved into the house on Sutton Road in the 80’s after Hilda Murrell. Just about to write a blog on it, I have found reading information from so many sources fascinating. So many things just don’t add up!

  11. Gavin King said

    Can I please invite you to see and listen to Do You Lie? by Heeley King on Youtube. Written and recorded in the mid 80’s. Thanks.

  12. gordon dale said

    Rob, Kate your unending desire for the truth gave both myself and wife Patsy(RIP) great strength to carry on with
    our search for the truth.

  13. peter norton said

    My view: we have followed this mystery since 1984 – a time when right-wing UK politics under Thatcher ran riot as did left-wing UK politics under Blair in more recent times. We seem to elect delusionists and megalomaniacs in the UK. Hilda Murrell was a victim, amongst many, of Thatcher. She had given the signals that lured the Argentinians into invading the Falklands so she could play Boadicea and repel them. Popularity Politics.

    Hilda Murrell was in her way after the General Belgrano went to the bottom, the victim of Thatcher’s order to sink her with a nuclear sub. Murrell was found dead in a wood near her home after being kidnapped and tortured for information about what Cmdr.Robert Green could prove, about the sinking. She was already on the watch list as an anti-nuclear nuisance.

    Years later, Blair lured the UK Parliament into invading Iraq. Doctor Kelly was in Blair’s way after denying that the war was justified by weapons of mass destruction. But, Kelly could prove it. We know the rest. Unlike the continuing furore by Robert Green and because Kelly’s relatives, by comparison, have been subdued, it hasn’t been necessary to stitch anyone up for Kelly’s death.

    After Jill Dando, where they fitted up a bloke surnamed ‘George’ to avoid admitting that foreign hit-men operate with impunity in the UK (George, so police said, had a microscopic SINGLE piece of gun residue in his pocket – so he musta put a gun in there, huh?), and another bloke with the same surname has now been fitted up for Hilda’s death-by-exposure (he couldn’t drive and had small feet, but he WAS in her house – so he musta dunnit, huh?), they’ll need another sucker with the surname George to fit up for Dr.Kelly if the political pressure gets to be too much. Got to complete the set.

    By the way, at Andrew George’s trial for MURDER (altho’ it was manslaughter at best) the prosecutor, Latham, stated that Hilda died on 21st March – that’s generally the date of the Spring Equinox innit? It can’t be true so why did he say it? And why was she dumped in that particular spot?

    For those who live near Hunkington Moat: see if you can get into the copse area from Hunkington Lane. According to Latham, Andrew George dumped the car there, just by the concrete pad, forced a taller person to stumble a couple of hundred yards across a rough field – without being seen – made her cross a deep drainage ditch, with or without the barbed-wire, through the line of trees beyond, to the clearing where she was left. And then, now alone, went back the same way to escape the area, walking along Huntington Lane to ‘safety’ in one direction or the other. You try it without being seen by ANYONE at all, while agitated and disheveled.

    YOU try it – even on your own it’s difficult ‘cos the drainage ditch is DEEP and too wide for an old lady to jump. But, hang on, why not DRIVE in, hidden by the line of trees from Hunkington Lane, using the dirt road from the North? Dump the victim and drive out the same way. Why take a chance and WALK at all? Curious, huh?

    Who says Andrew George is just a patsy with the wrong surname? Everybody should!

  14. Brian Britten said

    As I have not scanned all the information so far can anyone tell me if there are links to the author, James Rusbridger who died at his cottage on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. He was carefully `rubbished` by the media at the time..
    His background confirmed that he worked for the Intelligence services, and was causing a disturbance over the chemical weapons establishment at the RAF Nancekuke base. Weapons of mass destruction buried deep out of sight – for how long? Now officially declared as a contaminated landsite, but out of bounds to the public, and protected by hungry RAF guard dogs. Rusbridger also claimed that he was working on a new book on the Royal Family.His death was another case of `suicide` Get back to me if you have any material that could throw more light on the subject. bwbritten@gmail.com

  15. Anon said

    David Myatt was boasting on his Wikipage about ‘getting his hands dirty’ for MI5 in the Hilda Murrell murder.

  16. PETER GILBERT said

    I remember growing up in the column area of Shrewsbury being introduced to Hilda (everyone called her miss murrell) by my late father a cid officer with the old Shropshire constabulary she gave me a sweet I remember her as a very nice lady.
    When I was 17 I worked on the forecourt of the old column garage she used to come in driving I think a maroon wolseley 1500 always friendly and very polite.
    I am sure that I would never of shared her Liberal views but I find myself holding much respect for her zeal in fighting for her beliefs and courage despite her fear.
    I have little doubt this was a cover up and more then a botched investigation by West Mercia police.
    My own passion is fighting Britains membership of the European union I used to think governments were reasonabley trustworthy not any more with what I now believe ruthless and desperate political figures will go to great lenghs to cover up wrongs and protect themselves and yes that could include santioning murder.
    Even today Princess Diana and Dr David Kelly come to mind I think Rob Green’s BOOK IS EXCELLENT I could not put it down.

    • PETER GILBERT said

      Since I last posted on here I have enjoyed several email conversations with Rob who comes across as a decent chap.
      I would have attended the meeting in Shrewsbury and this entire sorry tale continues to intrigue me.
      What is good is that it is being kept alive and kept in the media spot light.
      I wish all involved in this well and hope that the eventual out come will expose what really happened although I believe Robs book is not far off the mark.
      Regarding the book I can confirm its national distribution having seen it across the country and on ebay and Amazon.
      Good Luck and God bless.

  17. card2 said

    Now we know about the 100% recall of torpedoes late 70s on Bahamas sea trials. The PCBs all had the wrong Fairchild chip on. None could have worked. 100% had been signed off as passing factory test.

    Now we have information that similar factory test falsification was occurring re manufacture of Sea Wold at Portsmouth.

    We know that 1981 was the first report from an engineer of sabotage at Petbow backup generators. And we know the alleged saboteur had pre-planned his explanation by exposing yet another case of factory falsifying end of production test records.

    We know that early 90s USA took a number of UK manufacturers through their courts to recover money for the supply of duff products to US Military.

    We know that Rob was at least trained in Reliability Analysis.

    We know that Gwent Special Branch was investigating Plessey. And coming up with all sorts of suspicions of saboteurs etc

    We know that my explanation (albeit prosaic and ruling out sabotage there) was agreed by two MOD experts and we know that early 90s MOD Plod took over Gwent SB inquiry.

    So we know that Sizewell Inquiry and Belgrano sinking share common ground. Reliability of systems. Belgrano was sunk outside EZ by obsolete torps because RN knew the modern torps were unreliable. Why should anyone believe nuclear assurances they can achieve better system reliability than RN with on site MOD Procurement monitored manufacture ?

    We do not know whether a war crime (Sinking outside the EZ) was planned for before the Task Force even put to sea. A decision based on Mrs Thatcher being briefed on the shortcomings of reliability of RN weapons systems. And company fraud in the supply chain.

    Dave Myatt is a strange ubiquitous figure. Surrounded by the mist created by Searchlight magazine. But if Column 88 were really involved in founding League of Saint George it may be worth mentioning that Theresa May’s police corruption inquiry by National Crime Agency has just been given 3 L of St G lines of inquiry. Paramilitary training fronts (Bodyguard training) created by unlawful use of Deal Barracks Kent 1976 to 83. Mercenary attacks on Mandela Regime (Tutu Commission of Inquiry 1994) and paramilitary live fire training in Kent.

    Supplementary to this are questions about who was the source of bodyguard work to Det sgt John Davidson of Lawrence case (moonlighting work five officers were disciplined for in 1995). Did another member of the Deal barracks “Bodyguard” groups work from 1996 for Mayfayre Associates ? Did the senior member work for Clifford Norris associate Charlie Kray ? So Leveson Inquiry and Mark Ellison QC review questions mingle in with the Lof St G Kent concerns.

    We know that Kent Police Authority called for inquiry and report 1997. We know Kent Chief constablen refused and we know that Kent Plod conducted Lawrence Inquiry for MacPherson and Straw whilst refusing to report to their own police authority.

    We also know that the notorious Parker twin paedophile mercenaries of warwickshire were among the mercenaries who attacked Mandela Regime in 1990s.

    We also know that the query raised with Kent Police 1992 about how they had handled comprehensive security warnings on Deal Barracks before the 22.9.89 terrorist bombing that killed 11 Royal Marines. We know the query was raised by me after I had a phone conversation with Robert Green about Plessey and he went into GLADIO history. And we know that 1992 is the start of Kent Police silence on the subject. A silence they maintained throughout Lawrence Inquiry and to the present day in spite of calls for inquiry from their own police authority.

    We know that Michael Mansfield’s group British Irish Rights Watch failed to include the truths known to them, in their submission to Rosemary Nelson Tribunal. We know that the whole Lawrence team knew that Kent Police were compromised to conduct Lawrence Inquiry and all said nothing (including Mansfield). We know about Alex Leightons arrests of UDA at Margate 1992 and we know that led to the David Norris murder trial 1993 and we know that Michael Mansfield was a UDA defence brief. We know that senior Met witnesses at the ongoing trial became concurrently the Lawrence case murder inquiry team. And pop goes the Mansfield there he is again as Doreen Lawrence brief.

    We know or suspect that the DNA used to convict Dobson and Norris is open to question. A huge assumption that the only time Lawrence blood was spilled was his murder. What about earlier fights ??? And we know that the DNA was destroyed in the testing so cannot be second guessed. And we know that the forensics scientist was already pretty much peer discredited for his Dr David Kelly Hutton Inquiry evidence.

    Perhaps Michael Mansfield is not the best person to be casting doubt on DNA in the Hilda Murrell case when he accepts the DNA situation in the Lawrence case ??

    Especially as he ran the private prosecution that failed in the 90s and we don’t know who for the private prosecution accessed the police forensics handling chain.

    And we know that Bernard Knight Home Office pathologist missed a trick in the Matron McGill Decd case. Being helpful 9as he was in Hilda Murrell case ?) he somehow missed that the 1972 autopsy on Matron McGill had recorded ileac crest bruising. Whoops Prof that is an indicator of attempted anal rape mate isn’t it ? Perhaps you were having a bad day.

  18. peter norton said

    Having had a run in with local police informants I too found myself followed by a car – by the pikers themselves and then with an accomplice. I was also followed twice by motorcycles but made them get ahead of me and chased them on wet roads until they got too near their police station. Yes, they were policemen and I later found the bikes in the police station car park… Unluckily for them the roads were wet at 6am and they were noticeably terrified that I would have to run over them if they fell off. Also, these people hate cameras…In case I’m wrong, always carry something that can be made to be painful, but ‘innocent’, in your car (hair spray is good especially if you smoke), be prepared to use it without mercy, seal your letter box and alarm your doors and windows, make sure your company solicitor knows what’s going on and report every event to the local police. The police will be in on it so it’ll really hack them off.

    They’ll attack your mail, harmless really but they think you’re frightened by it, they’ll monitor your phone, ditto, threaten your employment (as they tried to do with me) and get into your back garden. In my case they brought a big dog – but what they found out in the dark was that the fence was wired with rows of three pronged fish hooks – on short wires – and wooden strips below the soil spiked upwards with sharp nails. They never came back but left the evidence on those hooks that were left behind. Three-pronged fish hooks are the very devil to extract…especially from a dog. Gotta be prepared to meet fire with fire. Once they knew I’d retaliate it didn’t last long, but it was fun while it lasted.

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