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Encyclopedia > John Bodkin Adams

John Bodkin Adams, (January 21, 1899July 4, 1983) was a general practitioner in Eastbourne cleared of murdering one of his patients. More than 160 of his patients died under suspicious circumstances.[1] January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... For the United States holiday, the Fourth of July, see Independence Day (United States). ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Shown within East Sussex Geography Status: Borough Region: South East England Historic County: Sussex Admin. ...

Contents

Early years

Adams's father Samuel was a watchmaker with a passionate interest in cars, which he would pass onto his son. He was also a member, and preacher, of an austere Protestant sect, the Plymouth Brethren. Samuel was 39 years old when he married Ellen Bodkin, 30, in Randalstown, Northern Ireland, in 1896. John was born in 1899 and a brother, William Samuel, was born in 1903. In 1914, Adams's father died of a stroke. Four years later, William died in the influenza pandemic. The Plymouth Brethren are a Christian Evangelical religious movement that began in Dublin, Ireland and England in the late 1820s. ... Randalstown is a small town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, located in the north-east of Ireland between Antrim Town and Toome. ... Motto:  (Latin for Who will separate us?)[1] Anthem: UK: God Save the Queen Regional: (de facto) Londonderry Air Capital Belfast Largest city Belfast Official language(s) English (de facto), Ulster Scots, Irish3, Northern Ireland Sign Language, Irish Sign Language Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of... Year 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar). ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by an RNA virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses). ... A pandemic (from Greek παν pan all + δήμος demos people) is an epidemic (an outbreak of an infectious disease) that spreads across a large region (example a continent), or even worldwide. ...


University

Adams matriculated at Queen's University Belfast, at the age of 17. There he was seen as a "plodder" and "lone wolf" by his lecturers[2] and, due partly to an illness (probably tuberculosis), which caused him to miss a year of studies, he graduated in 1921 having failed to qualify for honours. Queens University Belfast is a university in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a member of the Russell League (the UKs top 20 research universities). ... Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for Tubercle Bacillus) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by the mycobacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system, lymphatic system, circulatory system, genitourinary system, bones, joints, and even the... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for full calendar). ...


Eastbourne

Adams arrived in Eastbourne in 1922 to work as a general practitioner, where he lived with his mother. In 1929 he borrowed £2,000 from a patient, William Mawhood, and bought a house in Trinity Trees, a select address. When Mawhood died in 1949, aged 89, Adams visited his wife uninvited and took a 22-carat gold pen from her bedroom dressing table, saying he wanted something of her husband's. He never visited her again.[3] Shown within East Sussex Geography Status: Borough Region: South East England Historic County: Sussex Admin. ... Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ...


Gossip regarding Adams's methods had started by 1935, when he received the first of many "anonymous postcards", as he admitted in a newspaper interview in 1957. In 1935 Adams had inherited £7,385 from a patient, Mrs Matilda Whitton (whose whole estate amounted to £11,465). The will was contested by her relatives but upheld in court. 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Adams stayed in Eastbourne throughout the war, though he was not deemed desirable by other doctors to be selected for a "pool system" where GPs would treat the patients of colleagues who had been called up.[4] In 1943 his mother died. 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ...


After the years of rumours, on 23 July 1956 Eastbourne police received an anonymous call from Leslie Henson, the music hall performer, whose friend Gertrude Hullett had died unexpectedly while being treated by Adams. Adams was arrested on 13 December 1956 after an investigation. Adams had, by that time, become the richest doctor in England (in 1955 paying £1,100 supertax).[5] July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Leslie Lincoln Henson (3 August 1891 - 2 December 1957) was an English comedian, actor, producer and director. ... December 13 is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The investigation

The investigation was led by Detective Superintendent Herbert Hannam of Scotland Yard, then known for having solved the infamous Teddington Towpath Murders in 1953. The investigation focused on cases from 1946-1956 only. Of the 310 death certificates examined by Home Office pathologist Francis Camps, 163 were deemed to be suspicious. Many were given "special injections", of substances Adams refused to describe to the nurses caring for his patients. Detective Superintendent Herbert Hannam was a British policeman who worked for Scotland Yard. ... New Scotland Yard, London New Scotland Yard, it blowwsssss often referred to simply as Scotland Yard or The Yard, is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for policing Greater London (although not the City of London itself). ... The modern concept of Small Office and Home Office or SoHo , or Small or Home Office deals with the category of business which can be from 1 to 10 workers. ... Francis Camps was a famous British pathologist in the 1950s. ...


Hannam collected enough evidence in at least four of the cases for prosecution to be warranted. Of these, he was charged on two counts: the deaths of Edith Alice Morrell, and Gertrude Hullett. The police confronted Adams on 1 October 1956 with the suspicious circumstances surrounding the two deaths and the legacies. Adams replied that Morrell had wanted to die — and that it was no crime to ease the suffering of the terminally ill. He further claimed that a general practitioner could not possibly be held guilty for such an action. Edith Alice Morrell (?? ?? 1868 - 13 November 1949), was a resident of Eastbourne and patient of the suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. ... Gertrude Bobby Hullett (?? ?? 1906 - 23 July 1956), was a resident of Eastbourne and patient of the suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. ... October 1 is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The trial started on 18 March 1957. Three days later, a new homicide act came into effect; murder by poison became a non-capital effect. Adams would still face the death penalty if convicted. March 18 is the 77th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (78th in leap years). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Edith Alice Morrell

One of Adams's patients was Edith Alice Morrell, a wealthy widow. She had suffered from a brain thrombosis (a stroke), was partially paralyzed and had severe arthritis. In 1949 she had moved to Eastbourne, and came under Adams's supervision. He supplied her with doses of heroin and morphine to ease her symptoms of "cerebral irritation" and to help her sleep. Mrs Morrell made several wills. In some of them, Adams received large sums of money or furniture — in others, he was not mentioned. On 24 August 1949 she added a clause saying that Adams would receive nothing. Three months later aged 81, on 13 November, she died from a stroke, according to Adams. Despite Morrell's clause, the doctor received a small amount from Morrell's £78,000 estate (less than one of her nurses received and much less than her chauffeur), a 1939 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (valued at £1,500) and an antique chest containing silver cutlery worth £276, which Adams had often told her he admired. After Morrell's death, he took away an infra-red lamp she had bought herself, worth £60. It was later found at his surgery. A widow is a woman whose spouse has died. ... Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. ... Paralysis is the complete loss of muscle function for one or more muscle groups. ... Arthritis (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation; plural: arthritides) is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. ... Heroin, also known as diamorphine (BAN) or diacetylmorphine (INN), is a semi-synthetic opioid. ... Morphine (INN) (IPA: ) is a highly potent opiate analgesic drug and is the principal active agent in opium and the prototypical opiate. ... In the common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death. ... Economics offers various definitions for money, though it is now commonly defined as any good or token that functions as a medium of exchange that is socially and legally accepted in payment for goods and services and in settlement of debts. ... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... November 13 is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 48 days remaining. ... Rolls-Royce car may refer to vehicles produced by: Rolls-Royce Limited (1906-1973) Rolls-Royce Motors (1973-2003) Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (2003-present) // Rolls-Royce cars Rolls-Royce Limited vehicles 1904-1906 10 hp 1905-1905 15 hp 1905-1908 20 hp 1905-1906 30 hp 1905-1906...


Gertrude Hullett

On 23 July 1956 Gertrude Hullett, another of Adams's patients, died aged 50. She had been depressed since the death of her husband four months earlier and had been prescribed large amounts of sodium barbitone and also sodium phenobarbitone. She had told Adams on frequent occasions of her wish to kill herself. July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Barbital (marketed under the brand name Veronal), also called barbitone, was the first commercially marketed barbiturate. ... Phenobarbital (also phenobarbitone or luminal) is a weak acid with the chemical formula C12H12N2O3. ...


On the 19th most likely, she took an overdose and was found the next morning in a coma. Adams was unavailable and a doctor Harris attended with Adams arriving later in the day. Not once during their discussion did Adams mention her depression or her medication. They decided a cerebral hemorrhage was most likely, due partly to contracted pupils. This however is also a symptom of morphine or barbiturate poisoning. Moreover, her breathing was shallow, typical of an overdose-induced coma. A cerebral hemorrhage is usually accompanied by heavy breathing. Dr Shera, a pathologist, was called to take a spinal fluid sample on the 20th. He immediately asked if her stomach contents should be examined in case of narcotic poisoning. Adams and Harris both opposed this. The results of a urine sample taken showed Hullett had 115 grains of sodium barbitone in her body. Twice the fatal dose. These results were only received on the 23rd after her death. A cerebral hemorrhage is a bleed into the substance of the cerebrum. ... Morphine (INN) (IPA: ) is a highly potent opiate analgesic drug and is the principal active agent in opium and the prototypical opiate. ... Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and by virtue of this they produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to anesthesia. ... A grain is a unit of mass equal to 0. ...


Should poisoning have been suspected earlier? The coroner at Hullett's inquest definitely thought so. In fact, on the 22nd Adams admitted the possibility of barbiturate poisoning and gave Hullett a newly-developed antidote, 10cc of Megimide. The recommended dose in the instructions, as the inquest established, was 100cc to 200cc. Adams had even checked with a colleague at the Princess Alice Hospital in Eastbourne, who told police he had told Adams to give doses of 1cc every 5 minutes. He had then given Adams 100cc of Megimide. The coroner described Adams treatment as "merely a gesture". Bemegride is a CNS stimulant and antidote for barbiturate poisoning. ...


He also questioned why Adams only gave oxygen to the patient just hours before she died. The nurse had described Hullett as "cyanosed" (blue). Adams responded "There didn't seem to be any necessity". The coroner then asked why there had been no intravenous drip. Adams answered "She wasn't perspiring. She had lost no fluids". The nurse however described Hullett as "sweating a good deal" from the 20th till her death. An intravenous drip in a hospital Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the administration of liquid substances directly into a vein. ...


The inquest decided Hullett committed suicide. The jury were directed by the judge not to find Adams criminally negligent. In the criminal law, criminal negligence is one of the three general classes of mens rea (Latin for guilty mind) element required to constitute a conventional as opposed to strict liability offence. ...


After the inquest but before the trial in 1957, the [[DPP]'s office compiled a table of patients treated with Megimide and Daptazole for barbiturate poisoning at St Mary's Hospital in Eastbourne between May 1955 and February 1957. 17 patients were listed, 15 had recovered and 6 of those had been in the first half of 1956, before Mrs Hullett's death. All but one had been put on a drip and several had taken a higher dose than Mrs Hullett. Most importantly however, Adams had worked at this hospital for one day a week since 1941 when he had qualified as an anaesthetist. It was presumed by the DPP therefore, that he must have heard of these cases and their successful treatment. Why did an overdose not cross is mind, and why did he provide delayed and inaccurate treatment?


It is also worth noting that Adams called the pathologist to make an appointment for the post-mortem before Mrs Hullett died. The pathologist was shocked and accused Adams of "extreme incompetence". To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The term post mortem means after death. It is also short for postmortem examination, or autopsy. ...


Mrs Hullett left her 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn (worth at least £2,900) to Adams in a will dated 14 July. Adams changed the car's registration on 8 December and then sold it on the 13th. He was arrested on the 20th. Furthermore, Adams had also received a cheque for £1,000 from Hullett on 17 July, six days before her death. He took it to the bank the next day and was told it would clear by the 21st. He then asked for it to be 'specially cleared', to credit his account the next day. This was an unusual request since 'special clearance' was given in cases where a cheque might bounce and Hullett was one of the richest residents in Eastburne. The cheque was lost during the investigation. Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 14 is the 195th day (196th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 170 days remaining. ... December 8 is the 342nd day (343rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... July 17 is the 198th day (199th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 167 days remaining. ... The term Bounce has several meanings: Look up bounce in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The trial

Adams was first prosecuted regarding the death of Mrs Morrell. Defence counsel Sir Frederick Geoffrey Lawrence, QC, convinced the jury that there was no evidence that a murder had been committed, much less that a murder had been committed by Adams and that the indictment was based mainly on testimonies from the nurses who tended Mrs Morrell — and none of the witnesses' evidence matched the others. Also, only one of the prosecution's two expert medical witnesses was prepared to say that murder had been committed, and Lawrence was able to demonstrate that he was not a reliable witness. QC can stand for: Quezon City, a highly urbanized city in the Republic of the Philippines. ...


Adams did not appear in the witness box. The prosecution was not allowed to produce evidence from Gertrude Hullett's case — and therefore a nurse who had worked with Adams in caring for Hullett could not be called upon to repeat her words to Adams in July, 1956: "You do realise, doctor, that you have killed her?" Adams was found not guilty on 15 April 1957. April 15 is the 105th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (106th in leap years). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Other than the sensational aspects of the case, the trial is interesting for the admirable skill with which judge, counsel and expert witnesses avoided confusing the jury with the issue of whether palliative care which hastens death is a bad thing. This subject no doubt held great interest to the public but was irrelevant in this murder trial.


Was the trial prejudiced?

There is considerable evidence to suggest that the trial was interfered with by outside forces.[6]

  • Nurses' notebooks: These vital pieces of evidence, eight books of records made by nurses who had worked under Adams, were recorded in pre-trial police records but disappeared before the trial started, depriving the Attorney-General, Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, of the chance to familiarise himself with them. He was presented with only a copy of them by the defence on the second day of the trial. These books were then used by the fully prepared defence, to counter evidence given against Adams by the nurses, who had originally written the notes. Six years after the event, the notes could be said to be more reliable than the sisters' own memories. The defence was not required to explain how the books came into their hands, and the Attorney-General made no effort to pursue this matter, despite his nickname of "Sir Bullying Manner". As Lord Devlin later said of him: "He could be downright rude but he did not shout or bluster. Yet his disagreeableness was so pervasive, his persistence so interminable, the obstructions he manned so far flung, his objectives apparently so insignificant, that sooner or later you would be tempted to ask yourself whether the game was worth the candle: if you asked yourself that, you were finished."[7]
  • Adams gave three conflicting explanations for how the defence came to have the note books: they were given to him by Mrs Morrell's son when he found them among her affects and filed away at his surgery; they were delivered anonymously to his door after she died; they were found in the air raid shelter at the back of his garden. His solicitor meanwhile, later claimed they were found by the defence team in Adams's surgery shortly before trial. All this differs from the police records however: in the list of exhibits for the Committal Hearing given to the Director of Public Prosecution's office, they are clearly mentioned. The Attorney General therefore must have known they existed.
  • BMA: On 8 November 1956, the Attorney-General handed a copy of Hannam's 187-page report to the President of the British Medical Association, effectively the doctors' trade union in Britain. This document - the prosecution's most valuable document - was in the hands of the defence, a situation that led the Home Secretary, Gwilym Lloyd-George, to reprimand Manningham-Buller, stating that such documents should not even be shown to "Parliament or to individual Members". "I can only hope that no harm will result" since "the disclosure of this document is likely to cause me considerable embarrassment".[8]
  • Nolle prosequi: after the not guilty verdict on the count of murdering Mrs Morell, the Attorney-General, had the power to prosecute Adams for the death of Mrs Hullett. However, he chose to offer no evidence by entering a nolle prosequi — historically a power only used on compassionate grounds when the accused is too ill to be tried. This was not the case with Adams. Lord Justice Patrick Devlin, the presiding judge, in his post-trial book even went as far as terming this "an abuse of power".[9]

Sir Reginald Edward Manningham-Buller, 1st Viscount Dilhorne, Bt, KC, PC (August 1, 1905-September 7, 1980) was, as the 1st Baron Dilhorne, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain from 1962 to 1964. ... // A nickname is a short, clever, cute, derogatory, or otherwise substitute name for a person or things real name (for example, Bob, Rob, Robby, Robbie, Robi, Robin, Bobby, Rab, Rabbie, Bert, Bertie, Butch, Bobbers, Bobert, Beto, Bobadito, and Robban (in Sweden), are all nicknames for Robert). ... The Director of Public Prosecutions is the officer charged with the prosecution of criminal offences in several criminal jurisdictions around the world. ... BMA may stand for: Bandera-Medina-Atascosa Water District Battery-Minefield angle Berlekamp-Massey algorithm Bermuda Monetary Authority Block matching algorithm British Medical Association British Military Administration Stockholm-Bromma Airport This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... November 8 is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 53 days remaining. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The logo of the association. ... Gwilym Lloyd George, 1st Viscount Tenby, (4 December 1894 - 1967) was a British politician and cabinet minister. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Patrick Devlin may refer to Lord Devlin (1905–1992), a British Law lord L. Patrick Devlin, Professor of Communication at the University of Rhode Island Category: ...

Why interfere?

  • NHS: The NHS was founded in 1948. By 1956 it was stretched financially to breaking point and doctors were disaffected. Indeed, a Royal Commission on doctors' pay was set up in February 1957. A doctor sentenced to death would be the final straw. It would turn doctors away from working for it if they could be hanged for prescribing medication, it would ruin public confidence in the service, and would ruin confidence in the government of the time as well.
  • Harold Macmillan: On 26 November 1950, the 10th Duke of Devonshire had a heart attack. Adams tended him and was by his side when he died, 13 days after the death of Mrs Morrell. The coroner should have been notified since the duke had not seen a doctor in the 14 days before his death, however, due to a loophole in the law, Adams, though present at death, could sign the death certificate to state that the Duke died naturally. Bizarrely, the Duke's sister was married to Macmillan. Macmillan, who became Prime Minister in 1957 during preparation for the trial, had good reason not to have wanted this case to be investigated further: his wife had been having an affair with Robert Boothby, Conservative MP for East Aberdeenshire, since 1930. Though he loved his wife, he had no wish for the press to pry into her family affairs. An acquittal for Adams would assure that bygones were left bygones. It should also be noted that the Attorney-General, Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller, attended Cabinet meetings on a regular basis.
  • It is worth noting the surprising fact that Scotland Yard's files on the case and also those of the DPP, were closed until 2033. This was a very unusual decision considering the advanced age of the suspect, witnesses and others involved. The files were only recently opened, after special permission was granted, in 2003.[10]

The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly-funded healthcare system of the United Kingdom. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In states that are Commonwealth Realms a Royal Commission is a major government public inquiry into an issue. ... Combatants Israel United Kingdom France Egypt Commanders Moshe Dayan Charles Keightley Pierre Barjot Gamal Abdel Nasser Strength 175,000 Israeli 45,000 British 34,000 French 70,000 Casualties 197 Israeli KIA 56 British KIA 91 British WIA 10 French KIA 43 French WIA 650 KIA 2,900 WIA 2... July 26 is the 207th day (208th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 158 days remaining. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the former president of Egypt. ... Ships moored at El Ballah during transit Egypt: Site of Suez Canal (top). ... October 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 62 days remaining. ... November 5 is the 309th day of the year (310th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 56 days remaining. ... December 24 is the 358th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (359th in leap years). ... Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC (June 12, 1897– January 14, 1977), British politician, was Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including World War II and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957. ... Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986), was a British Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. ... Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986), was a British Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. ... November 26 is the 330th day (331st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Edward Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire The Most Noble Edward William Spencer Cavendish, 10th Duke of Devonshire (6 May 1895–26 November 1950), known as Marquess of Hartington (1908–1938), was Member of Parliament for West Derbyshire and a Minister in Winston Churchills wartime government. ... Blue plaque in Eaton Square, London Robert John Graham Boothby, 1st Baron Boothby, KBE (also known as Bob Boothby) (12 February 1900 – 16 July 1986) was a Conservative politician. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link is to a full 1930 calendar). ... A cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... DPP may stand for: Democratic Progressive Party, a political party in the Republic of China on Taiwan Director of Public Prosecutions, an officer of the law in several countries Danish Peoples Party, a political party in Denmark Directie van de Interne Dienst voor Preventie en Bescherming op het Werk... Centuries: 20th century - 21st century - 22nd century Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s - 2030s - 2040s 2050s 2060s 2070s 2080s Years: 2028 2029 2030 2031 2032 - 2033 - 2034 2035 2036 2037 2038 The year 2033 (MMXXXIII) in the Gregorian calendar corresponds to 5793-5794 in the Hebrew calendar. ... In the parlance of criminal justice, a suspect is a term used to refer to a person, known or unknown, suspected of committing a crime. ... This article is about witnesses in law courts. ...

Innocent?

Suspicious cases

It is worth quoting some of the evidence from testimonies gathered by Hannam during the investigation, but which was not aired in court. Taken together, they suggest a certain modus operandi: Modus operandi (often used in the abbreviated form MO) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as mode of operation. ...

  • August 1939 - Adams was treating Agnes Pike. Her solicitors however were concerned at the amount of hypnotic drugs he was giving her and asked another doctor, Dr Mathew, to take over treatment. Dr Mathew examined her in Adams' presence but could find no disease present. Moreover, the patient was "deeply under the influence of drugs", incoherent and gave her age as 200 years. Later during the examination Adams stepped forward unexpectedly and gave Mrs Pike an injection of morphia. Asked why he did this, Adams replied "because she might be violent". Dr Mathew discovered that Adams had banned all relatives from seeing her. Dr Mathew withdrew Adams' medication and after eight weeks of his care, Mrs Pike was able to do her own shopping and had regained her full faculties.
  • Another puzzling discrepancy is that Adams told the owner of the hotel where Pike was staying, that he would ask a Dr Shera to do a lumber puncture to relieve pressure on Mrs Pike's brain. Dr Shera himself told police that while he received the spinal fluid sample, he did not recall taking it himself.
  • 23 February 1950 - Amy Ware died aged 76. Adams had banned her from seeing relatives prior to her death. She left Adams £1000 of her total estate of £8,993, yet Adams stated on the cremation form that he was not a beneficiary of the will. He was charged and convicted for this in 1957.
  • 28 December 1950 - Annabelle Kilgour died aged 89. She had been attended by Adams since July when she had had a stroke. She went into a coma on 23 December, immediately after Adams started giving her sedatives. The nurse involved later told the police she was 'quite certain Adams either gave the wrong injection or of far too concentrated a type". Mrs Kilgour left Adams £200 and a clock.
  • 11 May 1952 - Julia Bradnum died aged 85. The previous year Adams asked her if her will was in order and offered to accompany her to the bank to check it. On examining it, he pointed out that she hadn't given her beneficiaries "addresses" and that it should be rewritten. She had wanted to leave her house to her adopted daughter but Adams suggested it would be best to sell the house and then give money to whomever she wanted. This she did. Adams eventually received £661. While Adams attended this patient, he was often seen holding her hand and chatting to her on one knee.
  • The day before Bradnum died, she had been doing housework and going for walks. The next morning she woke up feeling unwell. Adams was called and saw her. He gave her an injection and stated "It will be over in three minutes". It was. Adams then confirmed "I'm afraid she's gone" and left the room.
  • 22 November 1952 - Julia Thomas, 72, was being treated by Adams (she called him "Bobbums") for depression after her cat died in early November. On the 19th, Adams gave sedatives so she would feel "better for it in the morning". The next day, after more tablets, she went into a coma. On the 21st he told Thomas' cook; "Mrs Thomas has promised me her typewriter, I'll take it now". She died at 3 a.m. the next morning.
  • 15 January 1953 - Hilda Neil Miller, 86, died in a guest house where she lived with her sister Clara. They had not been receiving their post for many months previously and were cut off from their relatives. When Hilda's long-standing friend Dolly Wallis asked Adams about her health, he answered her with medical terms she "did not understand". While visiting Hilda, Adams was seen by her nurse, Phyllis Owen, to pick up articles in the room, examine them and slip them in his pocket. Adams arranged Hilda's funeral and burial site himself.
  • 22 February 1954 - Clara Neil Miller, died aged 87. Adams often locked the door when he saw her - for up to twenty minutes at a time. When Dolly Wallis asked about this, Clara said he was assisting her in "personal matters": pinning on brooches, adjusting her dress. His fat hands were "comforting" to her. She also appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
  • Early that February, the coldest for many years, Adams had sat with her in her room for forty minutes. A nurse entered, unnoticed, and saw Clara's "bed clothes all off... and over the foot rail of the bed, her night gown up around her chest and the window in the room open top and bottom", while Adams read to her from the Bible. When later confronted by Hannam regarding this, Adams said "The person who told you that doesn't know why I did it".
  • Clara left Adams £1,275 and he charged her estate a further £700 after her death. He was the sole executor. Her funeral was arranged by Adams and only he and Mrs Annie Sharpe, the guest house owner, were present. She received £200 in Clara's will. Adams tipped the vicar a guinea after the ceremony. Clara was later exhumed during the police investigation on 21 December 1956.
  • 30 May 1955 - James Downs, brother-in-law of Amy Ware, died aged 88. He had entered a nursing home with a broken ankle four months earlier. Adams had treated him with a sedative containing morphia, which made him forgetful. On 7 April Adams gave his nurse, Sister Miller, a tablet to make him more alert. Two hours later, a solicitor arrived for him to amend his will. Adams told the solicitor he was to be made a legatee to inherit £1000. The solicitor amended the will and returned two hours later with another doctor, Dr Barkworth, who declared the patient to be alert. Dr Barkworth was paid 3 guineas for his time. Nurse Miller later told police she had heard Adams earlier that April tell the "senile" Downs; "Now look Jimmy, you promised me... you would look after me and I see you haven't even mentioned me in your will." "I have never charged you a fee". Downs died after a 36 hour coma, 12 hours after Adams' last visit. Adams charged his estate £216 for his services and signed Downs' cremation form, stating he had "no pecuniary interest in the death of the deceased".
  • 15 November 1956 - Annie Sharpe, owner of the guest house where the Neil Millers passed away - and therefore major witness - died of "carcinomatosis of the peritoneal cavity" during the police investigation. Adams had diagnosed cancer five days earlier and made a prescription for her for hyperduric morphine and 36 pethidine tablets. Hannam had had a chance to interview her, but would never be able to have her questioned in court. She was cremated.

1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... February 23 is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 28 is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 3 days remaining. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... December 23 is the 357th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (358th in leap years). ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (132nd in leap years). ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... November 22 is the 326th day (327th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1952 (MCMLII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... February 22 is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library of Congress. ... An executor is a person named by a maker of a will to carry out the directions of the will. ... December 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... May 30 is the 150th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (151st in leap years). ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A sedative is a substance which depresses the central nervous system (CNS), resulting in calmness, relaxation, reduction of anxiety, sleepiness, slowed breathing, slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes. ... See Morphine (band) for the rock band. ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... A legatee, in the law of wills, is any individual or organization to whom has been bequeathed a portion (or all) of the testators estate or a portion (or all) of a devise, such as an inter vivos bequest. ... November 15 is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 46 days remaining. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In medicine, carcinoma apanting dog named rufis It is malignant by definition: carcinomas invade surrounding tissues and organs, and may spread to lymph nodes and distal sites (metastasis). ... In higher vertebrates, the peritoneum is the membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity - it covers most of the intra-abdominal organs. ... Morphine (INN) (IPA: ) is a highly potent opiate analgesic drug and is the principal active agent in opium and the prototypical opiate. ... Pethidine (INN) or meperidine (USAN) (also referred to as: isonipecaine; lidol; operidine; pethanol; piridosal; Algil®; Alodan®; Centralgin®; Demerol®; Dispadol®; Dolantin®; Dolestine®; Dolosal®; Dolsin®; Mefedina®) is a fast-acting opioid analgesic drug. ...

After the acquittal

In the aftermath of the trial Adams resigned from the National Health Service and was convicted later that year on 8 counts of forging prescriptions, four counts of making false statements on cremation forms, and three offences under the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1951 and fined £2,400 plus costs. That November he was struck off the medical register. He successfully sued several newspapers for libel. He stayed in Eastbourne, despite the common belief that he had murdered 21 people. It is worth noting that this belief was not generally shared by his friends and patients. He was reinstated as a general practitioner in 1961. , the information in this article describes the current English public health service. ... Shown within East Sussex Geography Status: Borough Region: South East England Historic County: Sussex Admin. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


That he was allowed to resume his medical career suggests his professional colleagues thought him neither guilty of murder, nor grossly negligent or incompetent in his work.


His life story is an illustration of a salient principle in English law: that one is innocent until proved guilty in a court of law. English law is a formal term of art that describes the law for the time being in force in England and Wales. ...


It is also an illustration of the fact that popular attitudes to professionals' remuneration can vary widely in countries with increasingly high income tax levels: in some instances the circuitous route of informally accepting untaxable legacies may become attractive to professionals eager to avoid unnecessary taxation. Adams began his medical career in the 1920s, when income tax in the United Kingdom was low. Tax avoidance, as opposed to tax evasion, is not a crime; indeed, the financial services industry greatly depends upon the distinction. Few rational people would have begrudged Adams arranging his affairs to pay less tax. Neither would the controlled easing of a dying patient's pain by a physician be regarded by many people as unethical. But the fact that Adams prescribed the very drugs which shortened the life of some patients who had also remembered him in their wills bred a cynicism, which developed into rumours and then into increasingly strident accusations, which pressured the police, then in charge of prosecutions, to act. The 1920s is a decade sometimes referred to as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, usually applied to America. ...


The case also illustrates that professionals may be at particular risk when working in particular environments. Eastbourne, in the 1950s and today, may be justifiably described as a seaside town with a huge number of elderly widows, many of whom will at any time be under medical supervision, and who may remain in the town until the end of their days. Thus, longstanding General Practitioners in a town such as Eastbourne will inevitably have cared for large numbers of elderly widows who have subsequently died. It is easy to see how in such circumstances unguarded talk can give rise to unedifying refections. Shown within East Sussex Geography Status: Borough Region: South East England Historic County: Sussex Admin. ... // Recovering from World War II and its aftermath, the economic miracle emerged in West Germany and Italy. ... A general practitioner (GP) or family physician (FP) is a physician/medical doctor who provides primary care. ...


Death

Adams slipped and fractured his hip on 30 June 1983. He was taken to hospital but developed a chest infection and died on 4 July of left ventricular failure. He left an estate of £402,970. He had been receiving legacies until the end. June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the United States holiday, the Fourth of July, see Independence Day (United States). ...


Popular culture

In 1986 The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams, a TV docudrama based on his trial, was produced starring Timothy West. 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Timothy West CBE (born October 20, 1934) is a British film, stage and television actor. ...


References

Cited references

  1. ^ Cullen, 2006
  2. ^ Cullen, 2006
  3. ^ Cullen, 2006
  4. ^ Cullen, 2006
  5. ^ Cullen, 2006
  6. ^ Cullen, 2006
  7. ^ Devlin, Patrick; "Easing the Passing", London, The Bodley Head, 1985
  8. ^ Cullen, 2006
  9. ^ Cullen, 2006
  10. ^ Cullen, 2006
  • Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9

General references

  • Sybille Bedford, The Best We Can Do
  • J.H.H. Gaute and Robin Odell, The New Murderer's Who's Who, 1996, Harrap Books, London
  • Percy Hoskins, Two men were acquitted: The trial and acquittal of Doctor John Bodkin Adams

Sybille von Schoenebeck (16 March 1911 – 17 February 2006) was a British author under her married name of Sybille Bedford. ...

See also

William Palmer (murderer) Dr. William Palmer (born 1824 in Rugeley, Staffordshire, died June 14, 1856) was an English physician who was convicted of multiple murder in one of the most notorious cases of the 19th century. ...


Harold Shipman Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was a British general practitioner who was the most prolific known serial killer in British history. ...


Michael Swango Michael Joseph Swango (born October 21, 1954 in Tacoma, Washington) is a physician and surgeon, who fatally poisoned at least thirty (and possibly many more) of his patients and colleagues. ...


External Links

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,867135-1,00.html - Time magazine's account of the story from Monday, 24 September 1956. September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/John Bodkin Adams (999 words)
John Bodkin Adams, (January 21, 1899 – July 4, 1983) was a general practitioner in Eastbourne.
Adams replied that Morrell had wanted to die — and that it was no crime to ease the suffering of the terminally ill. He further claimed the practitioner could not possibly be held guilty for such an action.
Adams began his medical career in the 1920s, when income tax in the United Kingdom was low.
John Bodkin Adams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (774 words)
John Bodkin Adams, born January 21st 1899 in Eastbourne, England, was suspected of the murder of at least two people.
Adams concluded it was a stroke that had killed her.
John Bodkin Adams died on the July 4, 1983, aged eighty-four.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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