Duncan Verity – “The Murder of John Speed”

On the 18th of March the speaker who had been booked to talk to the Forum was unable to attend.  Speaker Finder Duncan Verity keeps a number of video presentations in reserve for these occasions and he produced one for this meeting.  It was entitled “The Murder of John Speed”.

The video was put together by the BBC Crimewatch programme and used actors and real policemen to reconstruct the crime of the shooting of a Police Sergeant in Leeds in 1984 and the subsequent enquiries which resulted in the arrest of the murderer.  A colleague of Sergeant Speed, PC John Thorpe, was also badly injured in the incident but he recovered to provide vital information to the crime investigators.

The investigation followed a number of false leads in a two and a half year period which resulted in the arrest of 224 criminals and the solution of a number of unconnected crimes.  Eventually the murderer David Griceworth, a career criminal from Middleborough, was involved in a police chase when he accidently shot himself in the stomach and died shortly afterwards.  His girlfriend admitted that he had killed Sergeant Speed and the police were able to arrest his accomplice.

The Forum members were stunned into silence by this excellent video and left in a reflective mood.