Crimes that transfixed the nation through sheer horror Image: Could not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email From political assassinations and train robberies to pre-teens who became killers, these are the crimes that dominated the news of their time. Their macabre details were pored over by millions and discussed in households and workplaces across the country.
Suspecting the men might be part of a planned prison break from the jail, and because the car had no tax disc, Detective Constable David Wombwell and Detective Constable Chris Head got out of their car to speak to the occupants.
After a few moments' conversation one of the men in the car, professional criminal Harry Roberts, produced a hidden Luger pistol and shot DC Wombwell dead. Detective Sergeant Fox tried to run back to the police car but Roberts chased him and killed him with a bullet to the head.
The police murders sparked huge public outrage with demands that the recently abolished death penalty be re-instated. The funeral of the three police officers Image: Daily Mirror Witney and Duddy were quickly arrested but Roberts stayed on the run, hiding in Epping Forest until he was captured in Hertfordshire three months after the massacre.
All three men were jailed for 30 years. Duddy died in Jail. Witney was released but murdered by another criminal in Roberts, now aged 77, is still considered a risk to the public and remains in prison. Daily Mirror Airey Neave, a leading Conservative MP and shadow cabinet minister, was assassinated as he drove his car out of the car park under the House of Commons on 30 March A bomb, activated by a mercury tilt switch, exploded under his Vauxhall as the 63 year old politician drove up the exit ramp.
Neave, who had been appointed shadow Minister for Northern Ireland by Margaret Thatcher, died hours later from terrible injuries. The incident was the only ever murder of a politician inside the Houses of Parliament and caused public outrage. Years later a debate raged over who actually killed him, with some politicians claiming Neave was murdered by MI6 and the CIA because he was going to expose spies inside Western Intelligence.
No one has ever been convicted of his murder. James Bulger was abducted, tortured and murdered in Liverpool in February Image: Reuters James Bulger, who was just short of his third birthday, was murdered in February by two ten-year-old boys who lured him away from a Liverpool shopping arcade while his mother was distracted. The boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, led the crying toddler on a two and a half mile walk across the city to Walton.
Robert Thompson, 10 years of age, poses for a mugshot Image: Jon Venables in his police picture aged 10 Image: Getty There, on a rarely used piece of railway, they used bricks and sticks to beat and torture him and finally killed him by repeatedly dropping a 22lbs piece of steel railway track on his head.
The killers then placed his body across a rail hoping people would think he had been killed by a train. When he was found two days later his body had been cut in half by a freight train but police examinations showed he was already dead before he was run over. CCTV from the shopping centre showed him being led away by the two older boys, who were soon caught. Thompson and Venables were tried and convicted, becoming the youngest murderers ever in British history.
Daily Mirror on 17 February