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The Pottery Cottage Murders

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472143938

Price: £18.99

ON SALE: 5th March 2020

Genre: Biography & True Stories

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A psychopathic criminal on the run from prison. A family of five held hostage in their home. A frantic police manhunt across the snowbound Derbyshire moors. Just one survivor.

The definitive account of the terrifying 1977 Pottery Cottage murders that shocked Britain.

For three days, escaped prisoner Billy Hughes played macabre psychological games with Gill Moran and her family, keeping them in separate rooms of their home while secretly murdering them one by one. On several occasions Hughes ordered Gill and her husband Richard to leave the house for provisions, confident that they would return without betraying him in order to protect their loved ones.

Blizzards hampered the desperate police search, but they learned where the dangerous convict was hiding and closed in on the cottage. A high-speed car chase on icy roads ended with a crash and the killer being shot as he swung a newly sharpened axe at his final victim. This was Britain’s first instance of police officers committing ‘justifiable homicide’ against an escapee.

The story of these terrible events is told here by Carol Ann Lee and Peter Howse, the former chief inspector who saved Gill Moran’s life over forty years ago.

Peter’s professional role has permitted access to witness statements, crime scene photographs and police reports. Peter Howse and Carol Ann Lee have made use of these, along with fresh interviews with many of those directly involved, to tell a fast-paced and truly shocking story with great insight and empathy.


Praise for Carol Ann Lee's Roses from the Earth: The Biography of Anne Frank: Excellent . . . serious, sensitive and scrupulous.
Sunday Telegraph
Praise for Carol Anne Lee's The Murders at White House Farm: The definitive account.
Yorkshire Post
Praise for Carol Ann Lee's novel The Winter of the World: This brilliant story . . . resounds with truth. A novelist who writes of the subtlety of souls.
Le Monde
Praise for Carol Anne Lee's One of Your Own: The Life & Death of Myra Hindley: Brilliant . . . like In Cold Blood.
Frankie Boyle
Praise for Carol Ann Lee's The Hidden Life of Otto Frank: Significant and fascinating. An absorbing biography of Anne's father.
Financial Times
Praise for Carol Anne Lee's A Fine Day For A Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story: Worthy of Truman Capote . . . the finest account of awaiting execution that I have ever read.
Laurence Marks, screenwriter
Praise for Carol Anne Lee's A Fine Day For A Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story: A forensically researched book that casts a haunting new light on the last woman to be hanged in Britain.
Daily Mail
Praise for Carol Anne Lee's The Murders at White House Farm: Carol Ann Lee has written a true account.
Mike Ainsley, Senior Investigating Officer on the Bamber case