Great Crimes by John Escott

By John Escott

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He said excitedly. ’ And he hurried away to find his boss - Georges Benedite. m. that afternoon, people were asked to leave the Louvre. ‘The museum is closing,’ they were told, but were not given any explanation. It was not until they read the newspapers the next day that most of them discovered the reason. Someone had stolen the Mona Lisa! The museum was closed for a week. Police believed that the famous painting might still be hidden somewhere inside, and they began to search. Everyone working at the museum had their fingerprints taken.

He was sent to prison for one year and fifteen days, but this was later shortened to seven months. Some people believe that Perugia was working with other criminals, one of whom was a painter, and that they offered the missing Mona Lisa to rich Americans who collected paintings. Each of the American collectors bought their Mona Lisa secretly, not realizing that it was forged by one of the criminals and that other forgeries were being sold, too. Could it be true? We may never know. ■ Tom Keating, a man who repaired and repainted old and damaged pictures, forged more than two thousand pictures, pretending that they were by famous painters, before finally telling people in 1976 that he had been doing this for twenty-five years.

Then, in December, 1909, Cora discovered that her husband and Ethel Le Neve were lovers. She warned Crippen that she would leave him, and take most of his money with her. Dr Crippen ■ Walter Dew was one of the policemen who worked on the famous Jack the Ripper murders in London, in 1888, when five women were murdered in Whitechapel, in the east of London. ) Dew left the police a few months after he arrested Crippen, and became a private detective. He died in 1947. Ethel Le Neve Cora On January 31, 1910, two of Cora’s theatre friends, Paul and Clara Martinetti, came to dinner with the Crippens, and during the evening Cora and her husband argued violently.

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