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Gordon Cummins, often referred to as the "Blackout Ripper" or the "Air Raid Killer," was a notorious criminal figure in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty of World War II. His name became synonymous with a series of serial killings that sent shockwaves through wartime London. Cummins' reign of terror during the early 1940s remains a chilling chapter in London criminal history, as he preyed upon the city's blackout conditions and the anxiety of air raids to commit a string of heinous crimes. In this Experience, we will delve into the dark and haunting story of Gordon Cummins, exploring the events that led to the legacy of fear he left in his wake during one of the most challenging periods in British history. Specifically, former Detective Chief Inspector Steve Gaskin will forensically explore:
- What was the background of Gordon Cummins?
- The geography and life in war-torn London.
- WHY did he start committing offences?
- The victims
- The work of Sir Bernard Spilsbury-Home Office Pathologist and Detective Chief Superintendent Cherrill (one of the world's leading fingerprint experts at the time)
- Duration: 60 mins
- Online Zoom event: Join from your computer, phone or tablet (a recording will be available)
Meet the Host, Steve
Steve successfully applied for the Metropolitan Police Service. Following basic training, he graduated as the “Top Student”. This was to prove an excellent catalyst and turning point in his life. He worked in Central London and after only 3 years passed the Sergeant’s examination and was rapidly promoted. During this time, he specialised in crime detection. In the early 80’s he dealt with some notable cases, such as the Hyde Park Bombings and attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador.
As a senior detective, he undertook serious criminal investigations (murder and terrorist activities), specialising in drug investigation, money laundering, and serious major incidents.
Steve worked at New Scotland Yard combating drug trafficking at the highest level, often working undercover. Later he worked with the Home Office and helped formulate the current money laundering laws. Steve was promoted further to Detective Inspector and won a scholarship to University where he studied Forensic Psychology and Mathematics. He graduated with an excellent degree.
Subsequently, he ran the Central London Child Protection Team and the South London Drug Squad and became involved in school work, with an educational and preventative edge. Steve retired from the Met as Detective Chief Inspector. He completed a PGCE and started teaching mathematics at a London school.
For the past 18 years, Steve has been running immersive Crime Scene events for corporate companies, high-end speaking opportunities, as well as working with journalists, production companies and in education settings. His services have been delivered all over the globe including: - Australia, New Zealand, USA, India, Eurozone and the UK. During the lockdown, he crafted 50 online interactive talks.
In 2023 Steve moved his focus purely to speaking at events, taking the best parts of all of his experience to offer completely unique experiences. He is well known for major TV dramas. The most recent was “Wayne Couzens-Killer in Plain Sight” (Channel 5 June 2023)
Preparing for the Event
For the best experience, you will need to have Zoom downloaded onto your computer. Please ensure you're connected to broadband/wifi rather than using your mobile phone connection (3G/4G).
We also recommend that pets are either calmly sitting on your lap or in another room, and any refreshments you may require are within your reach!
What if I can’t make the event?
If a recording’s available for the event, you can still register for it and we will send you an email with a link to a recording shortly after it ends.
Will my camera be on and will I be visible to the other people?
Your camera and microphone does not need to be on for you to enjoy the event. The choice about whether to do this is completely yours.
How do I watch the live event?
Rest Less events are hosted on Zoom, a computer application that allows you to attend online events just by clicking a link. For detailed instructions, please go to our "FAQ" page, which you can find a link to in the nav bar at the top of the page.
How do I sign-up for and access the recording? (Recorded events only)
Book the event as normal (as if you are attending live). After the event ends you will automatically receive a post-event email with a link to the recording, as long as the event was recorded. You do not need to do anything else and there is no separate booking process for recordings only. Please note it can take up to 24 hours for Zoom to process recordings.