Grisly Secrets Of The Black Museum To Go On Public Display For First Time

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 32 months ago
Grisly Secrets Of The Black Museum To Go On Public Display For First Time
The Acid Bath Murderer: Objects relating to the murder of Mrs Olive Durand-Deacon by John Haigh, 1949
The Acid Bath Murderer: Objects relating to the murder of Mrs Olive Durand-Deacon by John Haigh, 1949
Counterfeiting and Forgery: Implements used for counterfeiting seized by Metropolitan Police
Counterfeiting and Forgery: Implements used for counterfeiting seized by Metropolitan Police
Death mask of Robert Marley, 1856
Death mask of Robert Marley, 1856
Drinks cans used in drug smuggling, seized by Metropolitan Police
Drinks cans used in drug smuggling, seized by Metropolitan Police
Execution ropes, 19th and 20th Century
Execution ropes, 19th and 20th Century
Masks used by the Stratton Brothers - the first criminals to be convicted in Great Britain for murder based on fingerprint evidence, 1905
Masks used by the Stratton Brothers - the first criminals to be convicted in Great Britain for murder based on fingerprint evidence, 1905
A forensics kit used by detectives attending crime scenes
A forensics kit used by detectives attending crime scenes
Personal possessions of Ronnie Biggs and other members of the Great Train Robbery gang recovered from their hideout at Leatherslade Farm, 1963
Personal possessions of Ronnie Biggs and other members of the Great Train Robbery gang recovered from their hideout at Leatherslade Farm, 1963
Inside the Metropolitan Police's hidden Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard, 2015
Inside the Metropolitan Police's hidden Crime Museum at New Scotland Yard, 2015
Shrapnel from an unexploded Fenian bomb found at Paddington Station 1884
Shrapnel from an unexploded Fenian bomb found at Paddington Station 1884
Talcum powder tin used to conceal microfilm by the Krogers, members of a Russian spy ring, 1961
Talcum powder tin used to conceal microfilm by the Krogers, members of a Russian spy ring, 1961
A briefcase with syringe and posion intended for use by the Krays against a witness at the Old Bailey (never used), 1968
A briefcase with syringe and posion intended for use by the Krays against a witness at the Old Bailey (never used), 1968

All images © Museum of London

Shrapnel from a bomb, masks worn by the first criminals to be prosecuted by fingerprint evidence, and execution ropes will go on public display for the first time.

Previously hidden in the Metropolitan Police Service's Crime Museum — known as the "Black Museum" — around 500 objects will give a fascinating glimpse into the history of policing in London, since officers started the museum in 1875.

The Crime Museum is only open to serving police officers and invited guests so the exhibition at the Museum of London will, for the first time, allow the public to see evidence from some of the UK’s most notorious crimes, including the Acid Bath Murderer of 1949, the Great Train Robbery of 1963 and the Millennium Dome Diamond Heist of 2000.

The Museum of London exhibition also aims to dispel some of the myths that have been incorrectly associated with the Crime Museum over the last 140 years. For example, Jack the Ripper’s ‘From Hell’ letter is housed at the National Archives, and not at the Crime Museum. Similarly, the rope used to execute Ruth Ellis — the last woman executed for murder in the United Kingdom — is not part of the collection. Yet the Crime Museum does hold the weapon used to murder her racing driver lover, David Blakely, in 1955.

Aside from police professionals, the Crime Museum’s visitors’ book reveals an eclectic list of high-profile guests over the years. King George V, Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illusionist Harry Houdini and comedy double act Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy have all stepped inside the infamous museum, currently housed within the Metropolitan Police’s HQ, New Scotland Yard.

We'll have to wait until October to join the list of people who've seen these objects, but you can get a glimpse of what'll be on display in the gallery above.

The Crime Museum Uncovered runs from 9 October-10 April. Tickets are £12.50 online; £15 on the door, available from the museum's website.

Last Updated 19 March 2015

bravenewmalden

Wonder if they'll show the lovingly constructed wooden box used by the Richardson gang to electrocute the testicles of their enemies.