There is a newer version of this book – The Cameo Conspiracy (Revised 3rd Edition).
The definitive book on the case – updated, freshly edited, typeset and with new images and fully indexed for the first time in this new third edition. The true story of Liverpool’s Cameo Cinema murders vividly demonstrates the need to guard against police corruption and legal manipulation. George Kelly was hanged in 1950 for shooting dead two men early in 1949: the manager of the Cameo Cinema, Wavertree and his assistant. Undeniably from the wrong side of the tracks and involved in petty crimes of the post-Second World War era, Kelly and his coaccused Charles Connolly (who went to prison for ten years) found themselves expertly ‘fitted-up’ as riff-raff in a Kafkaesque nightmare. This is the definitive book on the Cameo case — a superbly worked account of an astonishing miscarriage of justice. It is also a snapshot of social history, of a time when fabrication of evidence and denial of the right to a fair trial could be a means of ensuring ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’. Nothing can put right a wrongful execution although in 2003 — following publication of the original version of this book — Kelly and Connolly were posthumously cleared by the Court of Appeal. The judgement condemned the ‘unsafe convictions’ and the ‘unfair trial’ as a tragic breakdown in the administration of justice, which was to be deeply regretted. This new edition tells the whole story from investigation, trial, sentence and execution to posthumous pardon.
As featured in the BBC’s Murder, Mystery and My Family (February 2018).
‘George Skelly writes from the heart‘: John Schlesinger
‘One man’s hunt for the truth‘: Liverpool Echo
‘Skelly is a good writer‘: Norman Mailer
‘A truly brilliant book‘: John Howley
George Skelly is also the author of the forthcoming Waterside Press publication Murderers or Martyrs, about an equally disturbing case and in which he argues that the Cameo case was no isolated instance police corruption and legal manipulation.