ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gordon Cummins, the "Blackout Ripper"

Updated on October 12, 2011

Gordon Cummins- the Blackout Ripper of London

In 1942 following increased enemy bombing attacks the blackout was strictly enforced. Heavy curtains were pulled over windows and lights were dimmed so that they could not be spotted from the air by German bombers. Even cars and buses would move around with dimmed lights for there was not too much traffic on the roads owing to petrol rationing.

In February when London was engulfed in one of its darkest murkiest times four murders took place in one week in London. This was in contrast to the crime statistics which showed that murders fell during wartime.


On Sunday 9th February Evelyn Hamilton a teacher ,was found in an air raid shelter having been strangled. Her handbag, believed to have contained £80 had been stolen. There were no signs that she had been sexually attacked. The next day, Monday 10th February Evelyn Oatley an ex dancer was found at home, on her bed, with her throat cut and she had been sexually assaulted by using a tin opener. On Tuesday 11th February Margaret Lowe was found strangled with a silk stocking and sexually mutilated by a razor blade whilst the next day Doris Jouannet was found having been strangled and mutilated. On Friday 14th February Mrs Greta Hayward was attacked near Piccadilly circus but the attack was disturbed by a delivery boy. The man ran off but in his hurry dropped his gas mask and case which by law all citizens were supposed to carry. On the case was stencilled the No525987 which would allow the authorities to trace who had dropped it. However his night was not yet over. Denied his first choice he cruised Piccadilly until he found a prostitute Kathleen King whom he accompanied back to her home and tried to throttle- she managed to fight off his attempts to kill her and he left, throwing her a £5 note as he went, but leaving his trouser belt behind.


From the information contained in the gas mask case the police were able to identify the man as Gordon Cummins a 28 year old Leading Aircraftsman, who had neither a criminal record nor a history of violence , although he did have pretentions that he was the illegitimate child of the aristocracy, his colleagues would call him “The Count”. On 16th February the police were at Cummins billet and arrested him. At the billet they found possessions of several of the women he had murdered.. The police had taken fingerprints from the mirror in Margaret Lowe’s room and the tin opener found near Evelyn Oatley. Prints were taken from Cummins and when they were compared to those found at the scene of Evelyn Oatley’s murder clearly showed that he was the killer.


Cummins trial started at the Old Bailey on 27th April 1942. He was charged with the murder of Evelyn Oatley as the police had the prints as evidence against him. The evidence was overwhelming and the trial took just one day, with the jury being out for 35 minutes only. The trial judge, Mr Justice Asquith sentenced Cummins to death by hanging.

Gordon Cummins received the death sentence and was hung in 1942 at Wandsworth Prison during an air raid. Police at Scotland Yard later claimed that they believed that he had killed two women in 1941


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)