Thursday, November 01, 2007

Christie and Craig-y-nos

Dr Carole Reeves, Outreach Historian

One rumour circulating in the Swansea Valley for over half a century is that John Christie, serial killer and necrophiliac of 10 Rillington Place fame- worked in Craig-y-nos during the 1940’s.

But there is no evidence that John Christie ever visited Wales, let alone worked there, says Dr Carole Reeves, Outreach History with The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine University College London.

Her research in the National Archives in Kew produced exhaustive material on every minutiae of Christie’s life, even down to every visit he made to the doctor which he did frequently because he was a hypochondriac.

So how did such an extraordinary story originate in the first place?
Well, there was a man working at Craig-y-nos during the 1940s called Mr Christie.
He did have a northern accent, and he was something of an odd ball character, a man who kept himself to himself.

But that’s where the similarities end. If true it would have been one of the most sensational horror stories of the century. So, unless anyone can produce some startling new facts the “Christie and Craig-y-nos” story will forever remain an urban myth, an example of how half a story grows legs and becomes rooted in local history.

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