LOOKING BACK: The murder that sent shockwaves through Blackburn...

Detectives take samples from the area where the body was found

Detectives take samples from the area where the body was found

First published in News

THE murder of John Kirby in Corporation Park in 1973 sent shockwaves through Blackburn.

The 32-year-old, who lived in Whalley Road, Samlesbury, was found in a pool of blood by a dog walker near Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School on the morning of November 4.

Lancashire police immediately launched a huge appeal to find the accountant’s killer.

Mr Kirby had spent a Saturday night drinking at the Merchants Hotel in Darwen Street, Blackburn, a popular gay pub at the time.

Ken Pilling, then-licensee of the Merchants Hotel, acted as a link man between Blackburn’s gay community and police. He said Corporation Park was a popular late-night meeting place for gay men.

After six days of frantically combing the park for clues, with police dogs and all five major Lancashire Task Forces involved, unemployed labourer Anthony Craig was arrested by detectives on November 10.

During his trial the following February, 26-year-old Craig, of Kendal Street, Blackburn, told Lancaster Crown Court he pretended to be gay so that he could rob him in the park.

Once there, Craig hit Mr Kirby twice with a brick. He stole just 2p.

Realising that his victim may not be dead and scared that Mr Kirby might recognise his attacker, Craig returned to the scene and struck him again on the back of the head with another stone.

Police displayed six bloodied stones to the jury at his trial. Craig, who had initially pleaded not guilty and said he used the bricks in self-defence, admitted he had lied under oath.

He revealed he had burnt the clothes he had worn on the night. A policeman had spotted him enter the park on November 3, nine hours before Mr Kirby’s body was discovered.

A pathologist said Mr Kirby died because the base of his skull had been shattered.

After a six-day trial, an all-male jury took a mere 45 minutes to find Craig guilty.

Craig, who had previous convictions for burglary and the possession of offensive weapons, was jailed for life. In February 1995, Craig went on-the-run for a month after absconding from prison in HMP Haverigg, Cumbria, to visit his sick brother.

He handed himself over to police in Manchester, and remained behind bars until he fled prison again in 2002 and headed for the Irish Republic, where he was arrested in February 2013.

Comments (3)

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9:56pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Old Alzheimer says...

....and the point of the article id ???
....and the point of the article id ??? Old Alzheimer
  • Score: 3

10:40pm Tue 5 Aug 14

woolywords says...

How ironic..
That right now, LT chooses to look back..
It's so fallacious, as to be, almost phallic...
...
As we tick back the clock..
To look at times gone past..
I want you to think...
June Anne Devaney,
a crime, where a child was battered to death.
Where a man named Peter Griffiths, did an horrendous thing to that child. So heinous, that I won't write it here...
To solve the crime, the police fingerprinted every male over the age of 16 who was in Blackburn on the night of the murder.
A landmark episode..
...
There have been few crimes like this one, and for LT to rake up one crime, when it suits their spurious cause, is to cast doubt upon what was considered, the impartiality of the Press.
Where were you people, all them years ago, when you were first told, by teletype, of his escape?
Did you then, try to engender, such a furore, as you do now?
I think not!
...
And if you wish to take me on, face to face..
email, woolywords@yahoo.ca.

...
This article is doing nothing more than to raise some spurious hate campain that never existed before today.
...
Personally, I think that, for any responsible newspaper, to print an article such as this, flies in the face of the accepted standards of journalism, and by that, is nothing short of comtempible.
It's as if your deliberatly obtuse article, were posted to test the waters, before this article; to see if your asinine followers had credence.
What utter fallacy!
Ye Gods, many of them won't understand the concept of, with malice aforethought, as it's out of their reading skills, let alone, comprehension.
You would do well to read the famous 'let him have it case'..Google it.
To make any decision on what is right or wrong..
...
You, with your anoymous by-line, are supposed to write impartially of the news.
The whom, what, when, where and how...
And never to speculate beyond your pay grade.
...
I take serious issue with what is allowed to pass before your sub-editor in this article. Either he/she is not doing the job and blue lining this article, entirely, or waiting for me to take it on, upstairs, like the others.
...
Have other articles, from this paper, under review with PCC for it's content. I make no comment here, about those.
This one, is being referred.
Should have been blue lined by a sub editor, before print.
...
Since the Good Friday Agreement; Courts, both in the mainland and in
Eire, have had legal hegemony, where you cannot disparage anyone under sub judice...
And here you are..writing this...
...
Can I have a job, as I'm more au fait, than they are, than goldfish in the top office?
most people would type, ofay..
...
The standard of writing here, embarrassing.. for what passes as English, let alone truth.
...
woolywords@yahoo.ca
...
Paddy, there are two shovels, take your pick..
he's still confused.
How ironic.. That right now, LT chooses to look back.. It's so fallacious, as to be, almost phallic... ... As we tick back the clock.. To look at times gone past.. I want you to think... June Anne Devaney, a crime, where a child was battered to death. Where a man named Peter Griffiths, did an horrendous thing to that child. So heinous, that I won't write it here... To solve the crime, the police fingerprinted every male over the age of 16 who was in Blackburn on the night of the murder. A landmark episode.. ... There have been few crimes like this one, and for LT to rake up one crime, when it suits their spurious cause, is to cast doubt upon what was considered, the impartiality of the Press. Where were you people, all them years ago, when you were first told, by teletype, of his escape? Did you then, try to engender, such a furore, as you do now? I think not! ... And if you wish to take me on, face to face.. email, woolywords@yahoo.ca. ... This article is doing nothing more than to raise some spurious hate campain that never existed before today. ... Personally, I think that, for any responsible newspaper, to print an article such as this, flies in the face of the accepted standards of journalism, and by that, is nothing short of comtempible. It's as if your deliberatly obtuse article, were posted to test the waters, before this article; to see if your asinine followers had credence. What utter fallacy! Ye Gods, many of them won't understand the concept of, with malice aforethought, as it's out of their reading skills, let alone, comprehension. You would do well to read the famous 'let him have it case'..Google it. To make any decision on what is right or wrong.. ... You, with your anoymous by-line, are supposed to write impartially of the news. The whom, what, when, where and how... And never to speculate beyond your pay grade. ... I take serious issue with what is allowed to pass before your sub-editor in this article. Either he/she is not doing the job and blue lining this article, entirely, or waiting for me to take it on, upstairs, like the others. ... Have other articles, from this paper, under review with PCC for it's content. I make no comment here, about those. This one, is being referred. Should have been blue lined by a sub editor, before print. ... Since the Good Friday Agreement; Courts, both in the mainland and in Eire, have had legal hegemony, where you cannot disparage anyone under sub judice... And here you are..writing this... ... Can I have a job, as I'm more au fait, than they are, than goldfish in the top office? most people would type, ofay.. ... The standard of writing here, embarrassing.. for what passes as English, let alone truth. ... woolywords@yahoo.ca ... Paddy, there are two shovels, take your pick.. he's still confused. woolywords
  • Score: 5

11:09am Wed 6 Aug 14

The Seagull has landed says...

woolywords wrote:
How ironic..
That right now, LT chooses to look back..
It's so fallacious, as to be, almost phallic...
...
As we tick back the clock..
To look at times gone past..
I want you to think...
June Anne Devaney,
a crime, where a child was battered to death.
Where a man named Peter Griffiths, did an horrendous thing to that child. So heinous, that I won't write it here...
To solve the crime, the police fingerprinted every male over the age of 16 who was in Blackburn on the night of the murder.
A landmark episode..
...
There have been few crimes like this one, and for LT to rake up one crime, when it suits their spurious cause, is to cast doubt upon what was considered, the impartiality of the Press.
Where were you people, all them years ago, when you were first told, by teletype, of his escape?
Did you then, try to engender, such a furore, as you do now?
I think not!
...
And if you wish to take me on, face to face..
email, woolywords@yahoo.ca.


...
This article is doing nothing more than to raise some spurious hate campain that never existed before today.
...
Personally, I think that, for any responsible newspaper, to print an article such as this, flies in the face of the accepted standards of journalism, and by that, is nothing short of comtempible.
It's as if your deliberatly obtuse article, were posted to test the waters, before this article; to see if your asinine followers had credence.
What utter fallacy!
Ye Gods, many of them won't understand the concept of, with malice aforethought, as it's out of their reading skills, let alone, comprehension.
You would do well to read the famous 'let him have it case'..Google it.
To make any decision on what is right or wrong..
...
You, with your anoymous by-line, are supposed to write impartially of the news.
The whom, what, when, where and how...
And never to speculate beyond your pay grade.
...
I take serious issue with what is allowed to pass before your sub-editor in this article. Either he/she is not doing the job and blue lining this article, entirely, or waiting for me to take it on, upstairs, like the others.
...
Have other articles, from this paper, under review with PCC for it's content. I make no comment here, about those.
This one, is being referred.
Should have been blue lined by a sub editor, before print.
...
Since the Good Friday Agreement; Courts, both in the mainland and in
Eire, have had legal hegemony, where you cannot disparage anyone under sub judice...
And here you are..writing this...
...
Can I have a job, as I'm more au fait, than they are, than goldfish in the top office?
most people would type, ofay..
...
The standard of writing here, embarrassing.. for what passes as English, let alone truth.
...
woolywords@yahoo.ca
...
Paddy, there are two shovels, take your pick..
he's still confused.
Don't expect this to stay on long. Editor Kim Jong Un from the Pyong yang telegraph will have it off before you can say freedom of speech violation.
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: How ironic.. That right now, LT chooses to look back.. It's so fallacious, as to be, almost phallic... ... As we tick back the clock.. To look at times gone past.. I want you to think... June Anne Devaney, a crime, where a child was battered to death. Where a man named Peter Griffiths, did an horrendous thing to that child. So heinous, that I won't write it here... To solve the crime, the police fingerprinted every male over the age of 16 who was in Blackburn on the night of the murder. A landmark episode.. ... There have been few crimes like this one, and for LT to rake up one crime, when it suits their spurious cause, is to cast doubt upon what was considered, the impartiality of the Press. Where were you people, all them years ago, when you were first told, by teletype, of his escape? Did you then, try to engender, such a furore, as you do now? I think not! ... And if you wish to take me on, face to face.. email, woolywords@yahoo.ca. ... This article is doing nothing more than to raise some spurious hate campain that never existed before today. ... Personally, I think that, for any responsible newspaper, to print an article such as this, flies in the face of the accepted standards of journalism, and by that, is nothing short of comtempible. It's as if your deliberatly obtuse article, were posted to test the waters, before this article; to see if your asinine followers had credence. What utter fallacy! Ye Gods, many of them won't understand the concept of, with malice aforethought, as it's out of their reading skills, let alone, comprehension. You would do well to read the famous 'let him have it case'..Google it. To make any decision on what is right or wrong.. ... You, with your anoymous by-line, are supposed to write impartially of the news. The whom, what, when, where and how... And never to speculate beyond your pay grade. ... I take serious issue with what is allowed to pass before your sub-editor in this article. Either he/she is not doing the job and blue lining this article, entirely, or waiting for me to take it on, upstairs, like the others. ... Have other articles, from this paper, under review with PCC for it's content. I make no comment here, about those. This one, is being referred. Should have been blue lined by a sub editor, before print. ... Since the Good Friday Agreement; Courts, both in the mainland and in Eire, have had legal hegemony, where you cannot disparage anyone under sub judice... And here you are..writing this... ... Can I have a job, as I'm more au fait, than they are, than goldfish in the top office? most people would type, ofay.. ... The standard of writing here, embarrassing.. for what passes as English, let alone truth. ... woolywords@yahoo.ca ... Paddy, there are two shovels, take your pick.. he's still confused.[/p][/quote]Don't expect this to stay on long. Editor Kim Jong Un from the Pyong yang telegraph will have it off before you can say freedom of speech violation. The Seagull has landed
  • Score: 2

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