Whatever Happened To…Geena Davis.


She is tall and beautiful with a dazzling smile and auburn hair. She is an American film star, most dominant in the eighties, who has been in classic movies like Thelma and Louise, Beetle Juice, The Fly, Earth Girls Are Easy and Stuart Little. She has recently starred in successful U.S series Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Nicole Herman. She is set to star in a Hollywood movie, currently in post production, called Majorie Prime.

Geena Davis discovered from an early age that she was musically gifted and could take to playing piano, flute and organ. She is fluent in Swedish, graduated with a bachelors degree in drama, is a member of Mensa, was a model at Zoli Modelling agency and wait for it, there’s more! … Davis was short-listed for the 2000 Olympics…as an archer. Is there nothing this girl can’t do! I hate her! No, only joking. I love the woman.

And I love her even more for her forays into the nature of inequality in the workforce, particularly in the creative entertainment business. Never mind Hollywood, sexism is prevalent everywhere, the work force, the sex force, the love force, the creative force, the just being friends force.

She has married, settled down and has children, but Our Geena won’t settle down into safe apathetic middle age. She doesn’t want to watch repeats of NCIS in the afternoons or camp down with Haggan Daz, and say f*** the world, I have a blissful middle class life. Who cares about the new sexy tight bodied female actors coming up in the world. Like I care. I got banana ice cream with caramel and cookie swirls and chocolate peace signs on this sofa. Or if it was me, cheesecake with Greek yoghurt and  blueberry swirls.

It was a bit like the scene in Labyrinth where Sarah is temporarily hoodwinked into thinking life is good and all she’ll ever need is her teddy bears and her dolls and her hidden object games. She’s in a safe and very blissful place, just having a happy girlish time.

Anyhow, Geena said, hang on a mo, wait there a sec, there’s something not quite right here peoples. I’ve just noticed, I’ve done the math  (As we noted before, she’s a member of Mensa) and  I’ve been watching films and I’ve noticed that women are a bit like mushrooms. Kept in the dark and fed s***.

Well she didn’t say anything like that. Apparently, she was sitting down to watch children’s telly with her daughter one evening, when she noticed an inequality in male to female roles. Perhaps she saw that in children’s programming first, because she was watching with her children, and then in t.v and movies generally. She must have thought, hang on, I’m smarter than the average pigeon. One word, Mensa.

Having read, studied and appeared in theatre plays, I have noticed, rather gradually (as I’m a slow learner) and rather indignantly, that male roles are first and foremost. They are always the most meaty ones, with the most lines, not necessarily the most poignant or meaningful but they are just there. It seems to be about air time, whether it’s theatre, t.v  or film, it’s about maximum male exposure. It’s the flasher made legal. They can be a cad, a rapist, a mad scientist, gangster, a writer, a war hero, an entrepreneur, lodger, bum, it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re male.

Having written theatre plays, I realise I may have been guilty, particularly as a youngster, of placing men in central roles, which is a product of deep seated conditioning, my environment, being a youngster, and a reflection of the social norms of the time. Having recognised that, I hope I can learn from it.

Male actors are always going to get more air time, more importance, more exposure and usually top billing. While men are the central character, always the maypole, the female(s) are not the reason for the story or the plot, they are always the bounce off, the supporting cast,the girl on the arm, the appendage, the trophy.

Geena officially investigated and intensively researched gender in children’s entertainment with the help of  the Annenberg School For Communication at the University Of southern California., It was discovered that there were nearly 3 males to every 1 female character in the almost 400 children’s movies analysed.

‘When my friends and I would act out movies as kids, we’d play the guy’s roles, since they had the most interesting things to do,’

– Geena Davis.

This happened to me too. Between the ages of 8 and 11, I role played a 27 year old ladies man called Keek Jones. I played him in little original plays and scenarios thought up by me and my on and off screen brother (whose pseudonym was Georgie Jones. We were a kind of Bodie and Doyle from The Professionals. I was Bodie, of course) and got so deeply involved in the character,that I didn’t know I was female and twelve, until I was about twelve.

Geena may not be in main roles in blockbuster movies any more but she is still making a splash in the awareness of gender issues in the entertainment/media industry. Like perhaps many other women, I couldn’t fail to notice discrepancies in gender imbalances in the entertainment industry, but have never thought it any big deal, just accepting it as ‘our lot’ as women. Although the studies have only been done in children’s television entertainment, it sweeps across the board. You don’t need a study from a university to prove it, but it helps.

What would help disprove sexual and gender inequality? Well things like, if Geena had a main female role in a major movie and not be relegated to the sidelines as somebody’s mother …and to be cast as the love interest. Yes, that might do it.

Guys like Harrison Ford are in their seventies and yet, it would be perfectly acceptable for them to sleep with younger women characters. Doesn’t usually work the other way around. There we have the inequality that is ignored, denied and not recognised among the Hollywood moguls, or perhaps in any workforce or walk of life. Girl power never existed. It was the usual lip service, patronized by powerful patriarchs behind closed doors. The Spice Girls just created an illusion designed to make men breathe a little easier.

Geena is currently looking into gender equality in all areas at the moment, not just in children’s entertainment, which doesn’t surprise, as it would be a natural progression. I’ll bet she’s opening up a whole can of worms in that area.  She says, “Amazingly, the ratio of male to female characters is exactly the same as it was in 1946. We see The Hunger Games come out and we think … things are changing, but the numbers haven’t changed.’

But apparently, there is an improvement in T.V, as opposed to movies, where women have stronger and more prominent female characters. An example being new marvel phenomenon Jessica Jones. Yet, women constitute just 12% of protagonists in both T.V and film. Only 17 percent of the screenwriters featured on the 2015 Black List were women. The Black List is what people behind the scenes are reading in Hollywood. Men predominantly write the scripts, a place where women are women and men like it. It’s only natural that men have a tendency to write from their perspective, a male one, so until women are represented equally in scriptwriting terms, until those scripts are chosen, until they are allowed to have a voice that writes from a female point of view, equality is not going to happen. What makes it worse, is that the Black List is the result of a survey of 250 entertainment executives, that is 40 percent female.

Geena Davis suggests that, although ground breaking films like ‘Thelma and Louise’ get made and are anticipated to induce a plethora of similar movies, in reality, this is just not the case. While people enjoy movies with female protagonists, they very rarely lead to any long term breakthroughs in gender presence. Instead, they remain simply novelties, designed to patronise and sedate.

Equality of the sexes is still a long, long way away. I open doors for men, as I open doors for women, (just because they’re human) and men get confused, as men do, and think I’m trying to get off with them, and the women never say thanks. I must have SOME motive? Sarcasm? Bitchiness? Likewise, I’ve seen men open doors for women (just because they’re human) and they get short shrift. (Probably, again, because they think the men are trying to get off with them or somehow trying to patronize them). Why can’t people just accept that maybe, just maybe, people are being polite and it has nothing to do with gender. When you open a door for someone, it’s about kindness and thoughtfulness and is just a very basic consideration from one human being to another. Or at least it should be. Why make it a gender issue. Let’s make it a person issue. The same goes for movies.

“Gender discrimination drives me crazy,” Streisand said. “Women are still treated as second-class citizens in the workplace and are not equally represented in Congress.”

Barbra Streisand and Geena Davis have offered a solution. The way forward is for women to join forces with each other in the industry. Women basically need to work together to change things. Nice idea. Well,  we all know how uncompetitive women are with each other and how they don’t have a bitchy thought in their heads. If there are self confident women, secure in their own bodies, like Geena and Barbra around, then it’s gonna work, let’s hope it does, but it might take a bit more time and a bit more of a mind shift for others.

And we’ll let Geena have the last word here…


Step 1: ‘Go through the projects you’re already working on and change a bunch of the characters’ first names to women’s names. With one stroke you’ve created some colorful unstereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch. What if the plumber or pilot or construction foreman is a woman? What if the taxi driver or the scheming politician is a woman? What if both police officers that arrive on the scene are women — and it’s not a big deal?

Step 2: When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, “A crowd gathers, which is half female.” That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise. Maybe first ADs think women don’t gather, I don’t know.

And there you have it. You have just quickly and easily boosted the female presence in your project without changing a line of dialogue’.

Sounds like a plan.




Last Great Female HellRaiser

betty may
Tiger? Me? I’m just a little puddy dat.

When nature calls and we really need the bathroom, we might cross our legs, like a four year old at nursery school, and somewhere along the way, eventually, we have to pee, or run the risk of soiling ourselves. Betty May would simply cock her leg to mark her territory and she wouldn’t even need to go.

Physically, Betty May is long gone, but she is still here somewhere. Her will, personality, character and integrity is strong enough to penetrate the present time and is still very pertinent to this age and to the women of today. In spirit, Betty May is still alive. And that’s why I’m going to talk about her as if she is still alive and kicking. Kicking hard.

Betty May is the type of woman who doesn’t care what people think of her. At all. This is a  woman who has no sense of self consciousness whatsoever. But that isn’t all. She isn’t just a rebel without a cause. She doesn’t do things just because she can. She has no sense of that awful destructive sin of pride. One of the worst. Or are they all named equal? Sometimes it depends on your perspective.

Her autobiography first published in 1929, is entitled ‘Tiger Woman. My Story. The Incredible Life That Inspired the musical, Betty May. Tiger Woman Versus The Beast’.

Who is the beast? Why, the most famous/infamous magician of all, Aleister Crowley. She takes him on and wins. Or rather, she doesn’t bow down to him or give him the time of day. She sees right through him. She knows he is probably just a creep, who couldn’t get girls when he was an adolescent. He may have internalised this, it may have built and built, as things do, into a rage against the female of the species and the obsessive thirst for that Golden and easily obtained Knowledge of ‘how to control women’ (A least half a dozen of his girlfriends had nervous breakdowns, the other half committed suicide) leading inevitably into deeper misogynistic thinking, paranoia and eventually impotency. Therefore, it’s only natural that he may learn other ‘methods’ of potency. i.e. killing defenceless animals.

Oh no, don’t go up against your local muscle bound peers or even your intellectual ones or your morally superior ones, ‘cos you can’t hack it can you Mr. Crowley? Don’t try to better yourself emotionally, mentally, educationally or spiritually to get ‘power.’ Instead, just act like any poorly brought up, ill educated teenage boy from an impoverished council estate…and kill the local moggy. Oh yes, Mr. Crowley, that is so manly.  But you can’t even kill it yourself can you? You have to order other people to kill the cat, because you don’t have the stomach. (Please skip the rest of this paragraph, if you’re of a nervous deposition and/or love animals, especially cats) You would then order others to drink the blood of these animals. What a challenge it must have been for you to catch and kill something so much weaker than yourself, eh, Al? How Satan must have loved you for being able to catch and kill a cat. Where is the challenge in kicking a kitten and taking candy from a baby? Taking the wide road has always been incredibly easy, rather sad, and without challenge, and a real attraction to snivelling cowards.

I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual, and, I am in, a rather bad rant.

Ahem, Cough. Let me out. I apologise and compose myself. No, forget that, apologising is a sign of weakness and I take it back but I should state here that Crowley emphatically denied the cat killing/blood drinking incident. He also attempted to censor the book but was unsuccessful. Some people may think, ‘Well if Betty May fabricated some of the story, who’s to say what is truth and what is lie.’ Fair point but this book is a puzzle that needs to be unravelled and perhaps never solved and therein lies the beauty and the intrigue. So who is this Betty May? Why is she The Tiger and why is she connected with Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast, as he liked to call himself?

Would you let this man pet-sit Fluffy?

Betty May was born in 1893 in Canning Place, into abject poverty. She lived with her mother and brother initially, but, her mother, tired of working tirelessly, to ineffectively support two young children, sent Betty and her brother to her estranged husband. He lived in a brothel, an idle drunken slob and that is where Betty and her sibling stayed for some time. That was  until her grandfather, her dad’s dad, arrested him and sent him off to jail. He was an inspector and long tired of his son’s lifestyle choices.

After spending the next couple of years in an  idyllic existence, in the countryside with an strait laced and aunt and uncle, Betty escaped to London and became involved in the bohemian world of the Cafe Royal. She would only be matched, decades later, in her drinking, dancing and hell raising by her future male counterpart, Oliver Reed.

Whilst also being worldly in other matters, she was strangely innocent in others. She took a steam boat to Paris one evening with a lecher who tried to rape her at the end of the evening. She stabbed him with a pair of nail scissors and fled, ending up on the street, without fare back to England. Homeless and wandering, she inadvertently and rather haphazardly stumbled into a Parisian underworld rather like a French Mafia, called Les Apaches. A tough knife wielding female gang member was set upon her, as a kind of test. She gave as good as she got and then some. Thereafter she was nick named The Tiger.

I have a feeling that much in that last paragraph may be a fictional account in Betty May’s autobiography. She admitted that the book was ghost written but a large part of the resource was taken from articles she had written herself. She said the first part of her life is wholly true, as is the latter, but there are bits in between which aren’t. The continental Oliver Twist section feels contrived and rather romanticized but there is no way of knowing for sure.

So let’s just say, when eventually she escaped the gang and was able to return to London, she meets a  man named Miles L. Atkinson, (1888–1917), nicknamed Bunny. He was a cocaine addict who quickly got her into the habit. He went to war in 1914 and was killed in action in 1917, but May was by now a heavy addict. She married again. Her new husband cured her of her addiction, by using the short sharp shock treatment of making her go cold turkey.

By the end of 1918, May had divorced her husband when she discovered he had been unfaithful. Husband number three was Raoul Loveday, an Oxford graduate. They lived in one room and Betty supported them by sitting as an artists model for sculptors Jacob Epstein and Jacob Kramer. Raoul meanwhile wrote poetry and was a bit of a tortured soul, as poets often are. He became bewitched by all things occult and found solace in the teachings of his friend and mentor, Crowley.

May gave her husband an ultimatum and he her. Stay or else, from her. Go or else, from him. They upped sticks and went to Sicily, taking up residence in the sparsely furnished and threadbare Abbey of Thelema. It was here she became cook and bottle washer for Crowley and his cronies, in exchange for sour cheese and bread every day and the most excellent wine she had ever tasted.

Crowley seems to have spent most of his time pouring over books, studying in the library and meditating like a proper old style monk. Apparently there were no orgies or anything remotely satanic going on at the Abbey, apart from the feline murder and the drinking of its blood.

I’m very cuddly really. I don’t have sex with goats or anything.

Betty herself is no stranger to the orgy and had partaken of many in her time. She says nothing like that ever happened at the abbey. The worst thing there was the lack of toilet facilities. No basin or lavatory to be seen. Betty even went rock climbing with Crowley on Sunday afternoons, as a special treat and they had a lovely time. Apparently, he couldn’t half climb rocks. He’s beginning to sound more like a benevolent Uncle, with each new piece of information, gleaned.

A few days after the blood drinking incident, Raoul, Betty’s current husband, and one of Crowley’s most obedient male sycophants, died. At first glance, it appears the ritual had something to do with it, but he drank some dodgy spring water that Crowley had warned him not to. Crowley to the rescue, once more. It’s like an Enid Blyton novel. Take these hard boiled egg sandwiches and lashings of ginger ale and have a wonderful time, but remember children, don’t drink the water.

At least his misogynistic view would be in line with Blyton literature. Remember, Betty May, let the boys put up the tent, ‘cos you’re a girl. (I had that said to me as a kid, but without the Betty May bit and the tent). Saying that, Cuddly Crowley did take Betty May rock climbing. That’s not so misogynistic. Oh, he’s such a mass of contradictions.

With Raoul gone, Betty got out of there fast and returned to London. Unlike Raoul, she resisted drinking the water on that thirsty outing out. I say, Betty May, that’s pretty smart…for a girl.

The book fizzles out somewhat and you just get the impression that she’s about to ride off into the sunset for some more wonderful and exciting adventures and perhaps a fifth husband, of which there is rumour. She apparently moved a bit further north in her twilight years, did some charity work for orphans, stopped having orgies (or perhaps not) and died when she was 86 in about 1986, which wraps it up nicely.

The thing is, the book may have been ghost written, it may be fictional in some parts. (I hope it’s the cat bit, ‘cos I love animals, but I only think it’s true, ‘cos I’m not a big fan of Cuddly Crowley and it seems like just the kind of thing he would do. Well, he was the most ‘Wicked Man In Britain’, no wait, it’s worse than that, the world.Betty_May_tiger_woman

Betty May seems like such a natural soul, so innocent and sweet in some ways, apart from the orgies of course, but we all have our little foibles. She is spontaneous and impulsive and responsive with the people she comes into contact with, a prerequisite for orgies, I think, but also for being warm hearted and lovable. Not sure if we can be lovable if we over think things and it’s so easy to over think things. I’m not sure she did a lot of thinking but she got Cuddly Crowley’s number, and that was rare, for after his schooling in the art of pick up, he was reputedly, hard to resist.

Maybe, this scene will sum up what I’m trying to say about Betty May. I think it says something nice about this woman, hell raiser or not.

She works in a hairdressers and has heard a newspaper report that a woman had caught leprosy from a Chinese hair net. Maybe it’s the drugs, paranoia or both but guess what product she has just started unpacking while she was in the hairdressers? Yes, you guessed it, Chinese hair nets. So she runs out into the street and onto a packed bus, tells everyone to keep away from her. Gives the fare to the bus driver and tells him not to touch it because she has leprosy (she doesn’t) and makes a complete spectacle of herself in front of very many people. She may also have been off her face on drugs, but she cares and that’s the main thing, she genuinely cares.


The Last Woman

ruth ellis
Ruth Ellis 1926-1955

Imagine you’re doing a quiz somewhere, let’s say down the local pub. The Quiz Master asks, ‘Who was the last woman to be executed in Britain?’

Your pen/pencil is poised. That’s easy. It went into human consciousness years ago. It’s like being asked ‘Who won the 1966 World Cup?’, or ‘Who was British Prime Minister between 1979 and 1990?’ It’s a no-brainer really, certainly for people of a certain age. You know that you can afford yourself a self satisfied smile, which passes between you and your team mates, as you smugly supply the answer on your quiz sheet.

I wonder though, if, in that smoke free but boozy bar room, the quiz master asked another question instead. ‘Who was the last person to be executed in Britain?’ There is a silence. You can hear people thinking, a few glasses clink at the bar. People shift buttocks. The teams confer with puzzled expressions. They start to cast surreptitious looks to the other teams and their closely guarded papers. It’s a bit like being at school suddenly. Hmm, you tap the pencil on your knee/chin/beermat/glass. Then the quiz master says something you did not expect, a generous clue. ‘It’s a trick question this one.’

He has further added to the confusion, he said person, not woman, still, same thing isn’t it? Maybe that’s where the trick question is. After all, this is the cliché standard answer to a standard question and there is the scratchy sound of pencil on paper as most people write ‘Ruth Ellis’

Now before we get too bogged down in this mythical pub, we’ll come back to that later,  it’s been 50 years, this year, that the Sidney Silverman’s Murder Act was passed, abolishing the death penalty in Britain. The famous Ruth Ellis murder trail and her subsequent execution, played no small part in a social awareness evolution. An evolution that was to eventually end capital punishment in Britain.

Ruth Ellis was brought up in a poverty stricken working class home. Her father abused the female members of the family, resulting in him fathering two children to Ruth’s sister, Muriel.

As soon as she  was able, Ruth reinvented herself. She escaped to London and into the sleazy, yet often exciting world, of west end night life. The nerdy, bespectacled and rather mousy young woman hid her inhibitors to glamour (her glasses) in a place where they would not offend her, usually her handbag. Then, she bleached her hair an eye catching platinum blonde. She began taking modelling courses, became a hostess and eventually ran a nightclub herself, turning quite a profit.

In this environment, she met the public school boy educated David Blakely and they had an tempestuous off and on affair.

The rest as they say…is history.

Ruth and David make the future Sid and Nancy look like Andy Pandy and Looby Loo, yet, just like the yet-to-be Sid and Nancy, Ruth and David were lost souls, helplessly gravitating towards each other, drowning in their misery, gasping, as they are grasping, and destroying each other accordingly.

In some of the accounts in the biography, ‘A Fine Day For A Hanging‘ The Real Ruth Ellis Story’ by Carol Ann Lee, it appears Ruth was a victim of domestic violence. Many witnesses in her circle, at the time, spoke of the very many and numerous bruises covering her body on a daily basis. The book talks about one incident where she disrobes in front of a man and he was so shocked and disturbed by what he saw (she was so badly bruised) that their night of sexual congress was aborted.

She was punched in public by her lover, two days before she shot him and was often seen with black eyes. She acquiesced to his need to drink and became a drinker herself. It is alleged that she was drinking a bottle and a half of Pernod a day (after meeting David)

The problem was, like most victims of systemic physical or psychological violence, the victims are ashamed and often believe they are deserving of the treatment and/or do not feel they have the strength to leave, or to end the relationship. They are unsure how to resolve the situation and are unable to see any avenues for a way out.

When Ruth gave her statement to the police, there was no solicitor present and during the trail there was very little reference to any physical violence she may have endured at her lover’s hands. Her defence team were woefully inadequate in that department and so, a plea for manslaughter was never in it.  Although, it has to be said, Ruth would not help herself in this matter. She would not ‘accuse’ anybody of anything. Apparently, during the trial, she never had a bad word to say about anyone. Wouldn’t. She thought it was ‘traitorous.’ It was very frustrating for her defence team.

Perhaps it was a kind of honour. Certainly, where I come from, there’s a culture where people  don’t ‘grass’, don’t tell on other people, even if those other people are to blame and even if it might save our skins. S.O.S. Maybe it’s a foolish kind of honour, but there it is. It’s better to save our souls than save our skins.

However, a plea of provocation was introduced.

Her legal team, credit where credit’s due, did make a concerted effort to make a plea of  ‘slow burn’ provocation, but it was not a term recognised either in America or Britain at the time, and this was obviously the case here.

‘Provocation- defined as an act that might reasonably cause a person of sound mind to suffer a sudden and temporary loss of self control, rendering the accused  so subject to passion as to make him or her not master of his mind.’

‘With diminished responsibility not yet a legal term, it may be this is why David’s violence over the past eighteen months, together with his persistent infidelity and emotional abuse, were deemed irrelevant in court.’

From ‘Eve Was Framed‘- Helena Kennedy

And then there’s the other angle. The angle of the gun. Desmond Cussen was the other man in the love triangle. He adored Ruth and disliked his love rival, David Blakely. Cussen did seem like a decent guy, but the theory was, he had not only provided Ruth with the murder weapon, he reputed to have regularly oiled it, loaded it, taught Ruth how to shoot and goaded her into shooting David, when she was drunk and deeply emotionally disturbed. There were even accusations that he had been the one to drive her to the scene of the crime. None of this stuck however, as Cussens was never fully cross examined in the witness box and certainly not on this issue. He did perspire in that box however, unnaturally and profusely, like a stuck pig.

Less than twenty four hours before she was due to hang, part of Ruth’s defence team, Mishcon and Simmons, questioned her once more about how she obtained the gun. There was still a slim chance that she could escape the noose. She was keeping it zipped until one of them mentioned how her children would feel if the truth didn’t come out. Then she started to talk about how she had indeed been taught how to shoot by Cussens and more. She had been drinking on the night of the murder. Indeed, so had Cussens. She mentioned how jealous he was of Blakely and how they despised each other. She said he gave her the loaded gun and drove her to the scene of the crime. Mischons and Simmons took her new statement to Whitehall. The person they really needed to speak to wasn’t there, so the information was passed on to somebody else. The Home Office did not delay the execution in the light of new information.

And now back briefly to our mythical pub, when the quiz master gives out the answers. ‘Question 18, ‘Who was the last person to be executed in Britain?’ The answer is ‘Gwynne Evans and Peter Allan. Two men from Preston who had killed a man in  a botched robbery.

But does anyone remember them? And do we know who was the last of these men to be hanged? Was it Evans or was it Allan? Indeed, it was a trick question. It wasn’t Ruth Ellis at all. She was the last woman and not the last person, and it wasn’t one person at all. It was two. Two men.

Why then, was Ruth Ellis the one who provoked such incredible feelings from the public? Did it resonate somehow, this crime of passion? Was it because her defence was so abysmally weak? Did we feel it wasn’t a fair trail? We are sticklers for fairness in Britain, are we not?

Or was it because she wouldn’t save her skin? Or was it down to the polite and utterly dignified composure she exhibited during her trial from start to finish? Did her calm resignedness strike a nerve with the stiff upper lips of the nation?

Or was it simply that we, as a nation, had reached an evolution, a certain perception and outlook regarding capital punishment? Britain was getting queasy, squeamish, soft, or maybe just more humane?

‘This was a crime of passion under considerable provocation.’

Raymond Chandler

‘I pray to Almighty God to cause this disgraceful sin (execution) to pass from among us and to cleanse our land of blood.’

Victor Gollanz.

‘I reject the death penalty because of its absolute nature, it’s questionable nature and its revolting nature.’

Bishop Of Stepney, who visited Ruth Ellis shortly before her death.

‘Executions are unnatural crimes.’

Fredric Raphael

Ruth Ellis wanted to die. She wanted to be with the man she had killed. She believed she deserved to die. And for that, I think she deserved to live.

‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,’ said Ruth. ‘A life for a life. I took David’s life and I don’t ask you to save mine. I don’t want to live.’ And for once, in her short and turbulent life, Ruth finally got what she wanted.