murder managed to
baffle a whole police team
three OF A SIX
PART SPECIAL ARTICLE by
- - My initial commitment to the
Erroll biography began far away from Kenya's Rift Valley, five years
ago in London at 'Julie's Bar', when like the white rabbit in 'Alice
in Wonderland', I was running late for a dinner appointment, with
the young editor, Emma Pery, who had worked on my last biography, "The
Lives of Beryl Markham", months before.
This was a social
occasion and while I am notoriously punctual, that evening I was
almost an hour late, having spent the day in Haywards Heath.
I had been interviewing
an ex-policeman, Cohn Imray and was so preoccupied with what I had
absent-mindedly boarded a slow train back to Victoria.
My head was buzzing with
information of names and places many of which would prove invaluable
in days to come when Emma and I were working on the final mss. but
that was far away in a future which neither of us envisaged that
Using E.M. Forster's
premise "Only connect" I found myself confiding to Emma all
that I had discovered since Rodwell had talked to me about Idina, and
how with what I had been told that day in Hayward's Heath already I
suspected that there had been a massive cover up.
Yet, for the life of me,
I could not begin to imagine why; who on earth would want to bump off
a worthless playboy ?
Why had Imray told me
how he had been interviewed as a possible recruit for M.I.5 or M.I.6
after his stint in Kenya, when allegedly he had become obsessed with
Erroll murder, while stationed there in the late Forties.
Even beforehand, while
working on the Gold Coast, he had long discussions with Waiter
Harragin, prosecuting for the Crown during the Broughton trial and to
Arthur Poppy, the inspector who had arrested Broughton.
Imray had heard that a
Somali had been hired to do the killing but also that a woman had
pulled the trigger.
By now I suspected that
whether the assassin was a man or woman, white or black, this killing
had been carried out in cold blood.
As I researched, that
suspicion only gained credence as each clue implied that Erroll's
murderer had not only been ruthless but highly organised, managing to
baffle a whole police-team carrying out the investigation.
While re-reading "White
Mischief" I was struck by the sloppy way in which
the initial investigation had been carried out.
This was why I travelled
to Hayward's Heath to cross-question Cohn Imray.
However a key piece
evidence was yet to come.
This would be presented
to me by Roddy Rodwell himself, virtually on my own doorstep at Mtwapa
I had pestered him
questions, and more questions after I learned from one of his articles
that he had received an anonymous phone call following publication of
Deeper goes the Happy Valley Mystery."