Blitz Ripper

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by robin bird, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    While researching the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Helensburgh, I came across Gordon Frederick Cummins, executed for the murder of several women during London's Blitz. I know at at Helensburgh he was an aircraftman/corporal and presume he was previously based at Felixstowe? He left Helensburgh in 1942.I have spoken to a WAAF who was walked home along Rhu seafront by Cummins. He was a real ladies' man. I think he had a wife at Felixstowe and was probably in the MAEE there?

    robin bird
  2. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Run his name through the National Archives, 9 files there. Have you searched findmypast crime section? Can't remember what years that archive covers.
  3. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    thanks for feedback 'amberdog'. Most of the files on Cummins are still closed. He is only referred to as RAF. I only knew of the link with the MAEE Helensburgh because of first hand accounts from people who knew the 'Count'
  4. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    robin what is the actual information you need?
  5. Drayton

    Drayton Senior Member

    In matters of life and death, precision is of the essence.

    In accordance with the practice of the time, although Cummins was charged with the murders of four women, he was tried, convicted and sentenced for the murder of only one woman. His execution necessarily precluded the possibility of trial, let alone conviction, sentence or execution for the other three murders, which will remain on file, presumably until the end of time.

    ARPCDHG Member

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Name: Gordon Frederick Cummins
    Birth Date: 1914
    Birth Place: York, North Yorkshire, England
    Death Date: 25 Jun 1942
    Death Place: London, Greater London, England
    Cemetery: Wandsworth Prison Cemetery and Crematorium
    Burial or Cremation Place: Wandsworth, London Borough of Wandsworth, Greater London, England
    Has Bio?: Y


    Birth: 1914
    North Yorkshire, England
    Death: Jun. 25, 1942
    Greater London, England

    Gordon Cummins, known as the Blackout Killer, or the Blackout Ripper, was a serial killer who terrorized the streets of London from 1941-1942. He was known to have 4-6 victims, where he strangled and mutilated his victims. It took the Jury 35 minutes to convict him, he was sentenced to death by hanging, at the Wandsworth Prison. He was executed during an Air Raid, it was during World War II. He was an Aircraftman for the Royal Air Force. And he had been married to a Theater Producers Secretary in 1936. No known kids.

    Guy Hudson likes this.
  8. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    Thanks gentlemen. What I am trying to confirm is that he served with MAEE Felixtowe before MAEE Helensburgh. I know he was at Helensburgh from first hand accounts. robin
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Background in this book suggest he was in Felixstowe

    Possible marriage details - based on other sources stating that he married in 1936:
    Gordon F Cummins in the England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Gordon F Cummins
    Spouse Surname: Stevens
    Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1936
    Registration district: Paddington
    Inferred County: London
    Volume Number: 1a
    Page Number: 237

    Name: Marjorie Stevens
    Spouse Surname: Cummins
    Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1936
    Registration district: Paddington
    Inferred County: London
    Volume Number: 1a
    Page Number: 237

    I was hoping it might have taken place in or near to Felixstowe, but obviously not - however a copy might provide an address and occupation for him that might help.

    Guy Hudson likes this.
  10. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    I very much doubt if he was a Felixstowe if, he was it was for a very short time.

    What we need to find out is the date, when Gordon Cummins Joined the RAF.
    and the date the MAEE left Felixstowe.

    Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment.

    With the start of the Second World War the Establishment was moved to the more secure and safer location of Helensburgh in Scotland, and in 1940 was put under the control of the Ministry of Aircraft Production.[1] In addition to its earlier functions the Establishment became responsible for acceptance tests and trials of air-sea rescue apparatus and equipment and for aircraft armament research with bombs, depth charges and projectiles, including experiments and tests in water tanks. Being the sole official experimental establishment for marine aircraft in the country, particular emphasis was placed on research, especially into seaworthiness, stability and control on water, and water impact loads.

    Robin, according to you, Gordon Cummins only enlisted as the war started.

    <While researching the MAEE history, author Robin Bird obtained first-hand accounts of MAEE personnel who served with Corporal Cummins, the notorious ‘Blackout Ripper’ who was later hanged for murder.

    Robin discovered that when the war started Cummins enlisted with the RAF and was posted to RAF Helensburgh, leaving his wife behind in London.>

    If this is the case than it would be a small window of time to be stationed there.
  11. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    RCG. MAEE moved to Scotland on day one of WW11 and Cummins was at Helensburgh (two first hand accounts by people who served there with him)
    This is how I knew he was with RAF Helensburgh. It had never been recorded previously. While it is not essential to my research, I know a lot of RAF personnel transferred from Felixstowe to Helensburgh and I think Cummins could have been among them. He was a leading aircraftman who was promoted to the rank of Corporal at Helensburgh. Thanks for the feedback. Cummins had left MAEE when he murdered the women. An WAAF at RAF Helensburgh spoke of her surprise when she read about the trial in the newspapers.

  12. Pete Wood

    Pete Wood Member

    Cummins enlisted and joined No 2 (T) Wing, Henlow from 11 November 1935 to 20 November 1935

    He was at Felixstowe from 20th November 1935 to 25th October 1939.

    He was posted to Helensburgh from 25 October 1939 to 19 February 1941

    He was posted to Catterick from 20 February 1941 to 27 April 1941

    He was posted to Colerne from 27 April 1941 until 10 November 1941 (this includes being sent to Fairwood Common from 21 to 27 June 1941)

    He was posted to RAF Predanneck from 10 November 1941 and, while there, selected for Aircrew Training

    He arrived at the Aircrew Receiving Centre, Abbey Lodge (London) on 2 February 1942
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    CL1 likes this.
  13. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    It now looks as if Cummins was a pre WW2 serviceman, already in the RAF/MAAE from 1935, not 1939 and he went "rogue" after being transferred from MAEE - was that the trigger, had there been some "unpleasantness" involving a woman in Helnsburgh, rejecting him etc perhaps?
  14. robin bird

    robin bird Well-Known Member

    Cubbins was with the MAEE at Felixstowe and on the outbreak of war was one of those who went to Helensburgh, hence my interest in him.. He was put in charge of the Scion experimental seaplane, which he saw as his 'baby' according to an aircraftman who worked with Cummins. It would seem that this inspired his wish to fly and why he apply for a training course. It would not surprise me if he had woman troubles while at Helensburgh, although WAAFs walked home with Cummins from Rhu of an evening when he was a gentleman. If Cummins had caused trouble with a female the authorities would have acted quickly to move him on as RAF Helensburgh was a secret base.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018

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