Crime Museum Uncovered – A Preview

The Crime Museum Uncovered
A Preview
at Museum of London
Opening 9th October 2015

The Museum of London has a new exhibition opening later this year and yesterday they held a preview to announce some more details of what will be on show.

The Metropolitan Police’s Crime Museum, sometimes known as the Black Museum, was established by the Met in the 1870s and must be one of the most private museums in the world. This collection of objects relating to some of the UK’s most notorious crimes has until now been only accessible to the police themselves and their specially invited guests.

This October the Museum of London will be hosting a new exhibition, The Crime Museum Uncovered, which will reveal to the public for the first time ever the secrets of this incredibly exclusive collection.

To get a taste of what we can expect in the autumn, The Crime Museum yesterday gave a few of their precious objects a day trip to the Museum of London, amongst them:

A rare ‘Notice to Occupier’ flyer appealing to the public 
to come forward with any information regarding 
the infamous Jack the Ripper murders in 1888
An empty bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne 
and a tin of Andrews Liver Salts recovered from 
the Great Train Robbery gang’s hideout at Leatherslade Farm in 1963

Some other highlights of the forthcoming exhibition announced yesterday include:

  • A laptop computer recovered from a car involved in the 2007 Glasgow Airport terrorist attack. Although badly burned, police were able to recover 96% of its data, crucially helping the investigation
  • Microdots containing secret messages and microdot reader found in Mrs Kroger’s handbag when arrested for her involvement in the Portland Soviet Spy Ring (1961)
  • A published memoir containing handwritten notes in the margin by Donald Swanson, senior investigating officer on the Jack the Ripper investigation in the late 1880s. Swanson reveals personal thoughts, naming Aaron Kosminski as prime suspect for the unsolved murders. A rare ‘Notice to Occupier’ flyer and poster calling for public information in response to the infamous ‘Dear Boss’ letter will also feature
  • Violin, tools, false arm and folding ladder belonging to notorious cat-burglar, Charles Peace. Musician serenading households by day; returning robber by night, Peace was convicted and executed for killing his mistress’s husband (1878)
  • Death mask of Daniel Good, executed outside Newgate prison on 23 May 1842 for the murder of his wife, Jane Jones. Due to the delay encountered in catching Good, the case resulted in the formation of a dedicated detective team within the Metropolitan Police to address this

At the same time as showing these objects that have never before been seen in public, The Crime Museum Uncovered exhibition will also seek 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 resides 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. Although the Crime Museum does hold the weapon used to murder her racing driver lover, David Blakely, in 1955.

The Crime Museum Uncovered will undoubtedly be a hot ticket and looks to be one of London’s must-see exhibitions of 2015.

The Crime Museum Uncovered runs from 9th October 2015 – 10th April 2016

Map of museum of londonWhere?
Museum of London
150 London Wall
London EC2Y 5HN

Tickets available from £12.50 online
£15 on the door
Wednesdays only tickets from £10

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