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The Looking Glass A look back at the old, but not forgotten, murders and other violent crimes of the past.

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Old 01-18-2007, 01:04 PM
Gary Dee Gary Dee is offline
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Lightbulb UK 1967: Notorious gangster whose body was found floating in the bay

FORTY years ago two off-duty Sussex policemen, PCs Jim Taylor and Dave Goldsmith, were out for a day's fishing in Seaford Bay when they made a gruesome catch.

‘Scotch Jack’ Buggy


They found the trussed body of a man which they towed behind PC Goldsmith's outboard dinghy to the shore. Detectives were called and the corpse was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, where it was subject to an examination by the famous Home Office pathologist Dr Francis Camps. Camps was the most famous pathologist in England at this time, having made his name during the murder trial of Eastbourne doctor John Bodkin Adams at the Old Bailey.

The post mortem revealed that the man had probably been in the sea for about a week and the cause of death were two bullets to the head, although he was also bruised, suggesting that he had been kicked before he had died. The body was gagged and had been wrapped and tied with wire, although rope 'handles' had been attached to the bundle for ease of carrying.

The following day a crime conference was held at police headquarters in Lewes chaired by Detective Superintendent William Rostron, head of the East Sussex CID. Among those present were Detective Superintendent Arthur Butler, Detective Inspector John Burke and Detective Sergeant Ton of the Metropolitan Police. They were investigating the disappearance of a notorious London gangster, John James Buggy who, although an American, was known as 'Scotch Jack'. The body was identified by scars and a tattoo of a heart and clasped hand on his right arm.

Buggy had been released from prison six months earlier in December 1966 having served six years imprisonment for shooting a man outside the Pigalle Club in Piccadilly. Buggy had last been seen a few weeks before his body was found on May 12, 1967 when he was wearing a black polo neck sweater and grey trousers and later that day Scotland Yard received an anonymous phone call reporting that he had been shot in a gambling club in Mount Street, Mayfair. The police attended and although his red MG sports car was seen nearby Buggy was not found. A search of the premises found no signs of a struggle, bullet marks or blood.

A few days later Buggy's girlfriend, Ann Phillips, reported him missing. She told police that he had been warned that he would be shot if he did not pay debts of £30,000 and that he was involved in 'protection rackets'. Speaking from her Surrey home she said that he was a 'wonderfully kind man' who hoped to marry her and set up in business. His car was later found in Maida Vale where police frogmen searched the nearby canal.
The inquest for Buggy, opened and adjourned on June 7 was concluded in October. The coroner was told that he had been found wearing the same clothes as when he was last seen indicating that the anonymous calls to Scotland Yard may have been correct and that he may indeed have been killed at the club. Seven years later the owner of the club, Francis Daniels and a mini cab driver Abraham Lewis (known as 'little Alf') were arrested for the crime but were found Not Guilty at court.

The murderers of John Buggy have never been brought to justice. At the time the police believed that he may have been a banker for the Great Train robbers. It was said that he had spent the money entrusted to him and that this may have been the motive for his untimely death. Arthur Butler, the policeman in charge of the case, later made news when he put together a theory about England's most famous series of Victorian murders when he suggested that the culprit was a woman – 'Jill the Ripper'.

http://www.seafordtoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=1436&ArticleID=1980298
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