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Thread: George Kelly Cameo Cinema Murder

  1. #61
    Chris48
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    Peter, I have sent you a private message.

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    I find this case absolutely fascinating. The Cameo murders were something I heard about all my life - particularly as George Kelly's family contininued trying to have the case reopened.

    I then read George Skelly's book - excellent. I am quite convinced that the two men were set up by Balmer. Charles Connolly admitted to the crime - after George Kelly was sentenced to death - at a separate trial. Basically his legal counsel hinted that being sentenced to death would likely happen to him also. Therefore I'm not surprised he "admitted" to the crime. After I had read the book, I emailed George and he emailed back - great bloke and author with a sense of justice most of us lack.

    A couple of months ago I was telling my friend about the book and the story behind it. She then asked if I remembered Charles Connolly who came into the local grocers regularly. She said he was a very dour man quite nasty. I believe he lived in St Oswald's Gardens. I don't remember him. Given what the poor man had been through, no wonder he appeared not to like people.

  3. #63
    Chris48
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    I never met Charles Connolly unfortunately but I believe that he was a very nice man, a gentle giant who wasn't bitter but wanted the truth to be told. George Skelly will tell you the same as will Lou Santangeli who were both instrumental in reviewing and presenting buried evidence that subsequently overturned the convictions. You must also read the Appeal notes at

    Search results for: kelly

    Balmer lied and the appeal judges have recognised that. He has also done the same in another infamous murder case whereby 2 innocent men were hanged but I'll let George tell you all about that in his next book. The shame of it is that in this year of culture, Liverpool City Council have named Bert Balmer as one of the 800 people that shaped this city for what it is!


    The Cameo Conspiracy really was that, a Conspiracy. George Skelly is a hero as far as I am concerned and his book is brilliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris48 View Post
    I never met Charles Connolly unfortunately but I believe that he was a very nice man, a gentle giant who wasn't bitter but wanted the truth to be told. George Skelly will tell you the same as will Lou Santangeli who were both instrumental in reviewing and presenting buried evidence that subsequently overturned the convictions. You must also read the Appeal notes at

    Search results for: kelly

    Balmer lied and the appeal judges have recognised that. He has also done the same in another infamous murder case whereby 2 innocent men were hanged but I'll let George tell you all about that in his next book. The shame of it is that in this year of culture, Liverpool City Council have named Bert Balmer as one of the 800 people that shaped this city for what it is!


    The Cameo Conspiracy really was that, a Conspiracy. George Skelly is a hero as far as I am concerned and his book is brilliant.
    Hello Chris and burkhilly

    While I can't condone what was evidently done, i.e., the "fitting up" of Charles Connolly and George Kelly as the men responsible for the murders at the Cameo Cinema, in a way I kind of understand the way it happened. That is, that the Liverpool police wanted to achieve a quick resolution to the crime, to eradicate what they saw as the introduction of American-style gangster gun crime on Merseyside. So thus, Kelly and Connolly seem to have been made the scapegoats in this situation. That's no excuse for what was done to them but it does kind of explain what occurred. The ironic thing though of course is that the actual crime of 1949 at the Cameo Cinema in Wavertree seems very small and insignificant compared to what has been happening more recently in Liverpool. Hopefully today's crime also can be eradicated, though without hopefully bending the rules of justice!

    All the best

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
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  5. #65
    Chris48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hello Chris and burkhilly

    While I can't condone what was evidently done, i.e., the "fitting up" of Charles Connolly and George Kelly as the men responsible for the murders at the Cameo Cinema, in a way I kind of understand the way it happened. That is, that the Liverpool police wanted to achieve a quick resolution to the crime, to eradicate what they saw as the introduction of American-style gangster gun crime on Merseyside. So thus, Kelly and Connolly seem to have been made the scapegoats in this situation. That's no excuse for what was done to them but it does kind of explain what occurred. The ironic thing though of course is that the actual crime of 1949 at the Cameo Cinema in Wavertree seems very small and insignificant compared to what has been happening more recently in Liverpool. Hopefully today's crime also can be eradicated, though without hopefully bending the rules of justice!

    All the best

    Chris
    Hi Chris,

    I don't know if it was the crime that was seen as insignificant or if it was Kelly and Connolly that were considered so. They were fitted up and then they got a certain kind of justice that had never been heard of before whereby co-accused had their trials split and Connolly either faced 10 years or certain execution. There has been a lot of rubbish written about Kelly. Whittington -Egan is one of the culprits who has not apologised for what he said in his book "Liverpool Roundabout". George Kelly - The Little Caesar of Lime Street - What a load of rubbish. He was a small time crook and that was all.

    Balmer recieved the Kings Police and Fire Service medal in 1950 after this and because of this case. He also got the O.B.E. in 1961. I have personally tried to have those awards rescinded but the Home Office said that they cannot be posthumously withdrawn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hopefully today's crime also can be eradicated, though without hopefully bending the rules of justice!

    Chris
    I fear that will not happen though Chris. Especially when you see the 'fitting up' of Barry George for the murder of Jill Dando...
    It is Accomplished

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    in a way I kind of understand the way it happened. That is, that the Liverpool police wanted to achieve a quick resolution to the crime, to eradicate what they saw as the introduction of American-style gangster gun crime on Merseyside.
    I'm sorry Chris but I can't see that fitting up two innocent men and leaving the real gun culprits on the street at large is solving anything. That's like saying jailing Billy bloggs for the Yorkshire ripper murders would have prevented Sutcliffe carrying on his merry way. The gunman/men knew hanging was a probability if caught.
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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Chris 48

    The informtion on Charles Connolly is heresay, because I know that other people described him as a gentle giant.

    I totally agree that both these men were set up by the police at that time.

    I am absolutely facinated by cases of criminal misjustice, and have spent hours reading judgements on the CCRC website, including GK/CC decision, when the orginal verdict was overturned as it was unsafe.

    As I said in my first post the Cameo crime facinates me and it really is a travesty of justice that one man was hanged, whilst the other was in prison for a decade and then spent years trying to clear his name.

  9. #69
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    burkhilly,

    welcome to the Cameo fascination club and the George Skelly appreciation society! Its compelling isnt it and it makes me wonder if any of the main players are still alive. Balmer died in 1970 and Jackie Dickson is believed to be dead having moved back to Manchester. Northam is rumoured to have opened a garage in Wallasey but as for the rest such as Graham and and the Johnsons, who knows?

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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris48 View Post
    burkhilly,

    welcome to the Cameo fascination club and the George Skelly appreciation society! Its compelling isnt it and it makes me wonder if any of the main players are still alive. Balmer died in 1970 and Jackie Dickson is believed to be dead having moved back to Manchester. Northam is rumoured to have opened a garage in Wallasey but as for the rest such as Graham and and the Johnsons, who knows?



    I think it's doubtful if any of the main players are still with us, and therefore we'll never know what exactly happened in 1949, wouldn't it be brilliant if someone came forward with definitive evidence.

    Saddo that I am I've been to Webster Road, and actually know someone who lives there. I told them about the murders, but she wasn't that interested. I've also been and looked at the various pubs mentioned in GS's book. One by one the pubs seem to be closing and some cases demolished.

    I'm not generally facinated by murder just when coupled with injustice.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by burkhilly View Post
    I think it's doubtful if any of the main players are still with us, and therefore we'll never know what exactly happened in 1949, wouldn't it be brilliant if someone came forward with definitive evidence.

    Saddo that I am I've been to Webster Road, and actually know someone who lives there. I told them about the murders, but she wasn't that interested. I've also been and looked at the various pubs mentioned in GS's book. One by one the pubs seem to be closing and some cases demolished.

    I'm not generally facinated by murder just when coupled with injustice.
    Me too. I've even photographed them all! You may be suprised who is still alive from old cases like that. Can't say too much just in case the Slemen appreciation society are about.

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    My dad knew George and when he had a pint he would go on and on about him being hung. Now my dad was never in with the criminals or the hard cases and I think it is a good indication, that the oral tradition that kept George?s memory alive was the unassuming Liverpool folklore. So who really hung George? Public opinion I think played the biggest part. The Liverpool Echo had George labeled from the outset and they created a myth that George was the little Caesar of the underworld. I think those who knew George would have challenged that view, people like my Dad who knew him for who and what he was. Georges biggest crime is it seems was to be a smart dresser. I think the book I read in Liverpool Central library sums it all up. The night before they hung him his dad had the last words with him and he said to George ?did you do it lad? and George said ?NO? that?s good enough for me and most Liverpool people.
    Last edited by Paddy; 11-27-2008 at 09:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmagill View Post
    Hi

    My name's Emma Gill and George Kelly's my late Great Uncle. He was my Grandma's brother. I am doing a lot of research at the moment into the case. I have just discovered this website and have read some of the members' comments regarding my Uncle Georgie. I am sure I can rely on the knowledge and warmth of all you scoucers with this most importantly if any of you know of any details of the case being made into a film etc.

    There is an awful lot that I do know, privately within my family and I wish sometimes it were known publicly of the mental torment and heartbreak endured to my great grandparents and grandparents and great uncles during the trial and after Uncle Georgie's execution. To this day we still carry the scars and heartache in many different ways.

    I know there is still a lot of interest in the Cameo Cinema Murder in Liverpool. I don't live in the City but am up there regularly and follow the Mighty Reds all the time. Fingers crossed with Barca next month!!

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who has any thoughts.

    All the best.

    Emma Gill

    Hello I'm brand new here so I hope I'm doing this right.
    My aunt was seventeen when she had a relationship with Kelly (yes I know he was married)and she has since died. She told me that once he took her back to his mothers house for tea where he had made her a cake and had attempted to ''tidy up'' because she was coming . She was very touched by this and smiled recalling that lots of people thought he was very tough and considered ''hard''. My uncle was very concerned about the relationship considering his reputation and warned Kelly off several times. Probably not very useful information but it just shows a side of Kelly that people didn't see. When my aunt died there was a little diary among her effects with a panel cut out of the front with his name written on it .

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    Default love to know more

    wow.. all sounds amazing, I've just been reading a book (Canadian) of a similar story,, read a book called "Cameo Conspiracy". Was just wondering was there ever an investigation done on the two men murdered. Maybe they were into something?
    Quote Originally Posted by emmagill View Post
    Hi

    My name's Emma Gill and George Kelly's my late Great Uncle. He was my Grandma's brother. I am doing a lot of research at the moment into the case. I have just discovered this website and have read some of the members' comments regarding my Uncle Georgie. I am sure I can rely on the knowledge and warmth of all you scoucers with this most importantly if any of you know of any details of the case being made into a film etc.

    There is an awful lot that I do know, privately within my family and I wish sometimes it were known publicly of the mental torment and heartbreak endured to my great grandparents and grandparents and great uncles during the trial and after Uncle Georgie's execution. To this day we still carry the scars and heartache in many different ways.

    I know there is still a lot of interest in the Cameo Cinema Murder in Liverpool. I don't live in the City but am up there regularly and follow the Mighty Reds all the time. Fingers crossed with Barca next month!!

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who has any thoughts.

    All the best.

    Emma Gill

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    Default read a book

    I just read the book on your Uncle. They ever pin the real murderers? Was there ever an investigation into the two men murdered? Maybe the guys working at the Cameo were into something? The book really got me and I'd love to know anything that was "kept under the table". Just wanted to add how happy I was to see both me exhonerated for something they didn't do...
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    Hi Chris my name is Peter Connolly (charlies newphew) I would like to have a chat with you



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    Default Cameo

    I am fascinated... love to hear more heresay and what people at the time thought? What's this all about "Little Ceaser of Lime Street" stuff?

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    Why would there be an investigation into the victims who were in there just doing their job and killed?
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    The Liverpool echo created that label. George was a very smart dresser and liked to look good for the ladies his family sold fruit and veg on a stall down town. George was a small time jack the lad character. The label was powerful and the public perception of a big time villian facing the gallows was created.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

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    Default Little Ceaser of Lime Street

    Can you or anyone please tell me what this "Little Ceaser" thing was? Did they start calling George Kelly that after or before the trial? Sounds kinda biased to me? Did the newspapers start calling him that? The more I read the more interested I am...

    Quote Originally Posted by emmagill View Post
    Hi

    My name's Emma Gill and George Kelly's my late Great Uncle. He was my Grandma's brother. I am doing a lot of research at the moment into the case. I have just discovered this website and have read some of the members' comments regarding my Uncle Georgie. I am sure I can rely on the knowledge and warmth of all you scoucers with this most importantly if any of you know of any details of the case being made into a film etc.

    There is an awful lot that I do know, privately within my family and I wish sometimes it were known publicly of the mental torment and heartbreak endured to my great grandparents and grandparents and great uncles during the trial and after Uncle Georgie's execution. To this day we still carry the scars and heartache in many different ways.

    I know there is still a lot of interest in the Cameo Cinema Murder in Liverpool. I don't live in the City but am up there regularly and follow the Mighty Reds all the time. Fingers crossed with Barca next month!!

    I look forward to hearing from anyone who has any thoughts.

    All the best.

    Emma Gill

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    Default no motive

    sorry, didn't mean to offend,, just never anywhere did i see a motive outside of the 50quid is all... no motive was ever mentioned

    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Why would there be an investigation into the victims who were in there just doing their job and killed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianLad View Post
    They ever pin the real murderers? ..
    When Kelly was pardoned in 2003 the police said they wouldnt be re-opening the case, I suppose even 50+ years later they wouldnt want to admit a fit up was done.

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    I'e read as much as I can about the "Cameo Murders". It wasn't them IMO. They were "fitted up" by the Police with false testimony and evidence. George Kelly was hung and Charles Connolly suffered for the rest of his life. Their convictions were quashed as unsafe.

    Read the "Herbert Balmer" thread on this site, he was the senior police officer in the case.

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    Hi , I have just read the interesting comments you have all written about the `Cameo Murders`.
    I was involved, in a way, from day one.
    I was in my house when the the door burst open and Balmer and his men stormed in and searched upstairs and down while Balmer held me by the throat slapping my face. They thought my brother was a suspect, he was on his way to Japan on a ship at the time. They kept my parents in the Police Station all night being questioned about the where abouts of my brother, they did not believe he was on his way out East. This was proved two weeks later when a letter arrived home, confirming where he was. The Police admitted that was correct, no apology was given after Mother and Dad had two weeks without sleep. They were told a man had confessed to the killings. This was one of the Johnson Brothers. He was aquited after being defended by Rose Heilbron KC.
    I sailed with Charles Connolly`s father on the `GEORGIC`on a five month trip to Australia and the far East in 1955. We got to be friends and he told me that Charles was completely innocent. He said that Balmer forced him into a "Confession" with the threat of a death sentence if he didnt. This was just after George Kelly was convicted and sentenced to death, after being defended by Rose Heilbron, KC.
    At this time Charles was serving his ten year sentence in Wakefield Top Security Prison.
    A few years later, Charles told me he shared a cell with the killer of PC Miles, Christopher Craig, whose partner in the crime was Bentley, who was hanged for the murder that Craig committed.
    In November 1956, I was in Melbourne, Australia, on a ship, the Dunedin Star.

    A Liverpool bum, known as a `beachy`, came on board and was bumming food and supping our beer that we had brought back on board, the pubs shut at six pm in those days so we got carry outs and drank in the messroom.
    This bum was sleeping in the messroom, eating and drinking for free. He was getting very objectionable, no one liked him. He had stowed away on a ship to Australia and spent his time on a ship and then when it sailed he went aboard another.
    One night he got hold of one of my beer bottles and began to drink it. I gripped his wrist and I said I would break it if he didnt let go.
    He threatened to kill me and said he had "done it before and got away with it".
    I said who was that, and he replied he "had killed two men at the Cameo".
    Now this was more than seven and a half years after and 12000 miles away.
    and of all the people he had to say it to was me.
    I dived over the table smashed him to the deck and battered him. All hands were dragging me off him. Whats the matter some one said. He killed two men at the Cameo I told them, but no one knew anything about the murders, most of the crew were from London and Glasgow. It was a sheer coincidence that it was me that he told. and even I do not come from Liverpool and have never lived in Liverpool.
    I dragged him out on deck and threw him down the gangway. In hind sight I should have held on to him and found out who he really was but in the heat of the moment and being young I didnt think about it.
    A few years later I was introduced to Charles Connolly and we eventually became very good friends, after I had passed various tests. Charles had been used by a lot of people in the past and so was always very wary of people, until they proved they were genuine. I spent a long time searching around the streets and pubs in Preston for the fellow called Graham who had lived there. Charles wanted him to confess he had told lies for Balmer. There was no sign of him so we thought he must have died or moved on. A friend in Age Concern also tried to search for him but he wasnt on their books.
    I also spent a lot of time searching around the Trafford area of Manchester looking for Jackie Dickson, I could not find her, I believe she was a consumptive and could have died at an early age.
    Charles also introduced me to his very good friend Lou Santangeli, who was a man who was impressed by Charles`s` sincerity, and decided to help Charles in his quest to clear his name.
    A couple of writers wanted to write the story of the Cameo Murders. Charles wasnt too impressed at first.. He thought they were trying to make names for themselves at his expence.
    I met George Skelly and we got on very well with each other and then Charles co-operated. George Skelly was the only man that Charles trusted to write the story. He wrote the book, "Cameo Conspiracy" after a lot of very detailed investigation. No one else has written the story the way that Charles would have wanted, the True story.
    A few people tried, I had to warn one writer, that Charles was still alive, he thought he was dead, he was writing from old newspaper cuttings and knew nothing about it at all, he was implying that Charles and George Kelly were gangsters. I soon put a stop to him. So not all the books written about the case are authentic. Stick with the "Cameo Conspiracy"
    Unfortunately Charles died in Norris Green ASDA whilst out shopping, he had been experiencing a lot of stress with various investigations in his quest to clear his name. Charles was a Gentleman. I am still in contact with his widow, a lovely lady who didnt deserve the heart ache.
    When the appeal went to London I wrote a statement about the Liverpool Bum who I had battered in Melbourne, who had confessed to me that he had done it, and gave it to the Solicitors as evidence that he could possibly be the original murderer.
    Afterwards a lady wrote to say she had thoughts that a long deceased relative may have been the killer, his description was very similar to the `bum` I met in Australiia.
    After all these 60 years, there are very few people alive now who had any connection to the Murders.

    At last the appeal went through and Charles and George Kelly were finally cleared of the murders. Unforunately too late for them both.
    George Kelly was exhumed from under the car park at Walton Gaol and had a funeral service at the Roman Catholic Cathedral. George Skelly and I went there and the family refused us entry, they had security men on the door. Very sad, we were part of the enquiry to clear his name.
    We took photos of the funeral as they came out after the service and left in their cars.
    Now George Skelly has a lot of work on in other investigations and I am sure you will find out the results when he feels he can release a statement.
    I hope I have covered some ground into this very sad and tragic story.
    Brian Aspinall.

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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting Brian. I've read George Skelly's book. It was brilliant. I remember reading the chapter concerning your family's involvement - it must have been awful for your parents.

    Without doubt both George and Charlie were victims of a dreadful miscarriage of justice.

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    I grew up with this story too and read the book with interest. I think that for alot of people the very fact George was framed has left mistrust even after all these years.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Thats right,
    There is such a lot more to the story, it seems to go on for ever. I have had it with me for all these nearly 60 years.
    One or two odd items of coincidences.

    Balmer was a patient in bed in the Hospital, Tina, Charles`s daughter was the Sister on the same ward looking after him, Charles went to visit Tina at work and in the first bed was Balmer, he turned white when he saw Charles entering the ward.

    My son was a Doctor in the operation theatre in Liverpool Royal and Tina was the Theatre Nurse.
    Unfortunately Tina died a couple of years ago.

    Charles never ever knew George Kelly, he swore to me of that fact.

    He told me that Balmer is the only man to commit the `Perfect Murder`.

    He got the law to kill them for him.

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    Great recollections Brian, thanks for sharing.

    No offence taken CanadianLad, just couldn't see where you were coming from as the motive seemed to be plain robbery.
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    As far as I can be sure, I dont think any money was stolen on that night,the fifty pounds in takings was still in the office, Charles was charged with Robbery and Conspiracy to Rob even though no money was robbed and was sentenced to ten years.

    I have just found a cutting from the distant past. It is from a book that some idiot has written and hasnt got a clue about the facts.

    Quote............
    George Kelly, 28 years old, thug, and titular head of the Kelly Gang, a bunch of mainly Irish ruffians dredged from the slums of Liverpool`s dockland and Charles Connolly, 26 year old member of Kelly`s gang. Connolly had been delegated to act as lookout while Kelly committed the Robbery, but on hearing shots he fled from the scene in panic,........Un Quote.


    These distortions and lies have caused all the controversy over the years and have hampered the quest for the truth.

    Also I still have the newspaper cuttings from the Liverpool papers of the trials in 1950
    Last edited by captain kong; 01-08-2009 at 09:49 PM.

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    Default The Liverpool man.

    The Liverpool Echo had him demonized to such an extent the second trial was a formality he was for the rope in the publics eye. My dad always went on about him after a pint. I knew there was something in it.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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    Charles Connolly, had a good service record in the Royal Navy during the war on the Malta Convoys.
    He was also the Royal Navy boxing champion, if my memory serves me right, he had 27 unbeaten fights, he fought Randolph Turpin and beat him , Turpin went on to become World Champion.
    He was a big man, and well disciplined, as Boxers are and after serving in a wartime service.
    According to prosecution allegations, he was George Kelly`s `lacky`.
    Can you imagine a man like that being told what to do by George Kelly?? who was a much smaller man. He was reported to have been delegated to act as a look out, and fled in panic on hearing shots. Can you again imagine a man like Charles doing that??.
    He was obviously set up by Balmer.

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