First Radio Appeal for Help by Police
The 28th of August 1933 AD
Isn’t technology wonderful? Just as in 1910 Dr Crippen is thought to be the first criminal tracked down through the use of ship-to-shore wireless, so was the killer Stanley Hobday captured thanks to the first radio appeal for help by the police.
Hobday had burgled a butcher’s shop in West Bromwich , leaving enough evidence that even Clouseau could have identified him; he then broke into a nearby house. When surprised by the owner, Mr Fox, Hobday murdered him with a Bowie knife.
The killer fled, stealing a car that took him to Cheshire before he crashed it. On foot Hobday reached Cumbria , close to Gretna Green and the Scottish border, where a cowman recognized him from the description given by the BBC broadcast on August 28 – Hobday was very short, reserved, and with his hair brushed back with oil. Found guilty of murder in November, Albert Pierrepoint carried out his execution at Birmingham ’s Winson Green Prison four days after Christmas.
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