Monday, 31 December 2007

THE RANGE ROVER MURDERS

On the evening of December 6th 1995, three men were shot at point blank range on an isolated farm track in Rettendon, Essex. The bloody remains of Pat Tate, Tony Tucker and Craig Rolfe were discovered by local farmers in a range rover, their faces so disfigured that they could only be identified by fingerprints. The trio were involved in organised crime and had recently had a fall-out with Michael Steele; a local drugs dealer who had reputedly supplied them with a shipment of 'bad drugs'. Tate had allegedly boasted he would kill Steele, who had formed a close relationship with Tate's former girlfriend. Two men were arrested for the murders, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Since then, Jack Whomes and Michael Steele have always protested their innocence, and two appeals against their convictions have been turned down. In the light of new evidence, a new appeal is underway, and it seems there could well be another reversal of a miscarriage of justice hitting the headlines in the not-too distant future. Whomes and Steele's convictions were purely down to the word of one man: Darren Nicholls - drug peddler and police informant - turned Queen's evidence and testified that he received a phone call from Whomes asking him to pick up Steele and himself from the scene of the murder. Years later, fresh examination has revealed that none of the calls made from Whomes' mobile were made from the scene of the crime. 'Supergrass' Nicholls now has a new identity and is living in secrecy, doubtless looking over his shoulder and wondering if the underworld will one day track him down. So, did Nicholls lie in court? Well, he was facing a lengthy jail sentence after being caught in possession of 10kg of cannabis, so lying to the court was certainly a get-out-of-jail card if ever there was one, with the assurance of police protection and a new career in a new town. He also received royalties from a book written pre-trial ("Bloggs 19"), and part-payment for a TV programme that was never aired. Bloggs, followed by a number, is used to identify inmates of the Protected Witness Unit (which does not officially exist). It houses members of criminal gangs who have decided to break the underworld code and turn 'supergrass'.
Now, over 10 years later, we may be moving closer towards the truth but if Whomes and Steele are innocent, who carried out the murders? Carlton Leach, a close friend of the trio, doesn't know the answer but Julian Gilbey's film does offer a few very interesting theories. I'll be continuing my look at this controversial story with a review of Gilbey's film and the DVD throughout the course of this week.

7 comments:

  1. YOUR MUM WAS THE RANGE ROVER KILLER!!!! I RAPED HER SO SHE TRIED TO KILL ME! SHE KILLED THE WRONG GUYS AND SO I SHOVED THAT SHOTGUN UP HER ARSE AND DID HER AGAIN!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ACTUALLY IT WAS UP HER PUSSY AS WELL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nafanual, you're bang on there. Guy needs a good kicking.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i thought that this actually may have had something to do with the death of Leah Betts. The girl who was said to have died from bad ecstasy.
    They may have been her distributers and her father was an ex cop, making it easy to get away with murder.
    just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been doing alot of reserch r.e. this case I also think the cops done the three. Just think craig saposily cop'ed it first surly 3 hardened crims would of reacted to the first shot by escaping out the door of car. failing first shot surely 2nd 1 but all 3 coping it hard to take in, steel was ment to only get his gun off to finish all 3 off. there was more than one shooter { i.e. Jack Whomes } the old bill done the shooting and used the rumours on the essex streets that pat tate was going to do steel _ over the bad drugs shit. thats the m.o. covered these 2 lads ( steel & whomes are innosent men ) the cops know any mis carrage of justise takes many many years to clear up in the appeal courts by that time the real shooters are well out the frame made up ali bys etc etc etc : cops are more currupt perverse than any essex crim- fucking wanker copper bastards old bill done the shootings mark my words there will be a film made about this ( the real story ) 2 innosent men served life for a crime thay didnt commit now come to light by a former police supergrass the real shooters = D.I such and such gun man 1 D.S such and such gunman 2 and gun man 3 was me i collected the guns in after the deed and got rid of them in M&S - scrap metal merchants' thats the way it went down. From a ex police officer (essesx Dept)

    ReplyDelete
  6. both films dont really portray the real story and no one will ever know the complete truth,the rettendon two may well be innocent but even then they were well known drug trade criminals and as it stands they were the contacts that supplied the gang with the dodgy ecstacy that in turn did kill leah betts

    ReplyDelete