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True story of Romford officer's murder

PUBLISHED: 12:58 13 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:31 11 August 2010

A newspaper sketch of the shooting in 1885

A newspaper sketch of the shooting in 1885

VALANCE House historian and co-author of The Dagenham Murder will bring another grizzly story from days gone by to life with her next book – The Romford Outrage. Linda Rhodes and Kathryn Abnett will send a shiver down your spine in their latest story of m

VALANCE House historian and co-author of The Dagenham Murder will bring another grizzly story from days gone by to life with her next book - The Romford Outrage.

Linda Rhodes and Kathryn Abnett will send a shiver down your spine in their latest story of murder most foul based on true events.

Following the success of The Dagenham Murder, which was written in collaboration with Lee Shelden and told of the infamous killing of PC George Clark, Linda and Kathryn have teamed up again.

This time the murder and intrigue takes place in neighbouring Romford.

In the year 1885 on a cold January day Inspector Thomas Simmons, of Romford police, was shot and killed in Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch.

The sensational Victorian murder led detectives on a country wide manhunt - from the big smoke of London all the way up to rural Cumbria.

Court cases and executions followed soon after the villains were caught.

In their latest book Linda and Kathryn trace the murder investigation in vivid detail.

The Romford Outrage delves into the methods of the police as well as the desperate attempt by those responsible to avoid justice.

Linda said: "The response has been really good. I have had quite a few people who read The Dagenham Murder tell me they enjoyed this too.

"The two books are in the same vein but of course in The Romford Outrage the criminals were convicted and executed whereas the other is still a mystery.

"It took about 18 months to write our latest book and it has lots of interesting bits of local history in it.

"We are now working closely with Essex police to create a memorial for Inspector Simmons, which they think is a great idea."

Linda and Kathryn are raising money with Essex Police Memorial Trust to place a memorial near the site of the shooting, close to Bretons House.

If you would like to make a donation you can contact Linda at Valence House on 020 8270 6896.

On Monday March 2 they met with readers to give an illustrated talk about their new work of non-fiction at Harp House in Helmore Road, Barking.

As well as The Dagenham Murder, which won the Crime Writers' Golden Dagger in 2006, these two talented ladies are also the authors of Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Barking, Dagenham and Chadwell Heath.

The Romford Outrage was published by Pen and Sword Books in February and is available from Waterstones and Swan Books priced £12.99.


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