Author Topic: 'Bubble Car Murders'  (Read 21695 times)

wilksie

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'Bubble Car Murders'
« on: June 19, 2011, 02:48:05 PM »
Here's a riddle on a Sunday: What were the 'bubble car murders' about? I have searched the internet after someone at work showed me a reference, but I can't find it any more.
 ???
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Rob Dobie

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 05:46:02 PM »
I found this piece on http://www.bygonederbyshire.co.uk/stories/1960s-stories-making-news-Derbyshire-1965/article-1805505-detail/article.html

The year 1965  saw the conviction of the so-called Carbon Copy Murderer. The mystery had begun in 1960 with the discovery of the body of 60-year-old William Elliott in a quiet lane in Baslow. He had been violently assaulted.
As the hunt began for the brutal murderer, Mr Elliott’s bubble car was discovered in Chesterfield. The following year, the body of another man, George Stobbs, was found in the same Baslow lane. His car was also abandoned in the same street as the first victim.
Former soldier, Michael Copeland, was eventually identified as the prime suspect in both murders and in the murder of a German boy who had been found dead near Copeland’s Army barracks.
A trial at Birmingham saw Copeland convicted and sentenced to death but the abolition of the death penalty saw his sentence commuted to life imprisonment.


Does anyone know what make of bubblecar William Elliott owned?

« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 05:53:35 PM by Rob Dobie »
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Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 01:21:34 AM »
I found a bit more on another site, the murders were more generally referred to as the 'carbon Copy' murders as they were so similar, but only one involved a bubble car which was apparently dumped in Park Road Chesterfield.

Quote
'Bubble-car Killings' in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, during the 1960's
Regarding the bubble car murders, the killer was caught. His name is Michael Copeland and he lived in Chesterfield. He was a repressed homosexual who killed homosexuals. He met two of his victims in the Spread Eagle pub, went and killed them and then staged car crashes. He killed a man in Germany whilst on military service. He claimed to have killed the man because he saw him and the man's girlfriend having sex like he had seen his mother having sex many times before. He confessed to the crimes on numerous occasions but refused to make a formal confession. Eventually detectives determined they had enough evidence and charged him. He was sentenced to death but it was commuted to life imprisonment. I think he killed four in total. Three in Chesterfield. It may have been three victims, i forget and don't have my notes at hand.
Copeland was a self confessed psychopath but his conviction surprised a lot of people who knew him. They regarded him only as a petty crook and some still refuse to accept he carried out the murders, but his guilt is beyond doubt.

Here's a like to some newspaper reports about the case (no mention of the make of bubble car though)
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=S-dAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=PacMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4816,5093936&dq=william+arthur+elliott+bubble+car+murder&hl=en
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NhU1AAAAIBAJ&sjid=5KULAAAAIBAJ&pg=3745,4977011&dq=william+arthur+elliott+bubble+car+murder&hl=en

Not the only murder case involving a bubble car though!

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=wVxBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NKcMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6127,3188408&dq=bubble-car+murder&hl=en
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Jonathan Poll

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 07:23:27 AM »
Woah, seeing the topic name, at first I thought it was about people killing the cars by leaving them in their garden, or microcar fans buying Nobels (and other cars), taking the engine and scraping the rest!
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wilksie

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 09:04:16 AM »
Naaa, don't worry - nothing quite as serious as that.

But honestly, as soon as the Chesterfield link came up, I remembered some more. Apparently these were men of esoteric interests. And by that I don't mean collecting bubble cars.

The thing about the internet is that several sites come up, but they all are rewrites of each other. The guy at work said these were either Isettas or Messerschmitts, but I guess the uninitiated always come up with those two names when micros or bubble cars are mentioned. The more knowledgable remember Heinkels and most younger people think about 'Robin Reliants' (sic) or disabled carriages.
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Big Al

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 09:25:08 AM »
Might explain the haunting of my last Messerschmitt which was the most frustrating car I have ever owned. It never worked correctly despite being entirely rebuilt after being entirely rebuilt after a restoration. Glad to see the back of the darned thing. Not haunted? Two days after I sold it the car was driven into a bollard by the guy at a bodyshop charged with making it look better! Make of that what you will......

Most bubblecars stuggle to mount a sleeping policeman. I am impressed that one managed to run over and kill a person. Thinks, new and improved field event for National to liven things up a bit at the end of the raffle.
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Bob Purton

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 04:42:58 PM »
Naaa, don't worry - nothing quite as serious as that.

But honestly, as soon as the Chesterfield link came up, I remembered some more. Apparently these were men of esoteric interests. And by that I don't mean collecting bubble cars.

The thing about the internet is that several sites come up, but they all are rewrites of each other. The guy at work said these were either Isettas or Messerschmitts, but I guess the uninitiated always come up with those two names when micros or bubble cars are mentioned. The more knowledgable remember Heinkels and most younger people think about 'Robin Reliants' (sic) or disabled carriages.

Whats a Robin Reliant then?

Rob Dobie

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 06:14:56 PM »
It's what thicko's call plastic pigs. ::) 

Sorry about that Author Stuart.  ;D
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Big Al

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 06:51:18 PM »
Naaa, don't worry - nothing quite as serious as that.

But honestly, as soon as the Chesterfield link came up, I remembered some more. Apparently these were men of esoteric interests. And by that I don't mean collecting bubble cars.

The thing about the internet is that several sites come up, but they all are rewrites of each other. The guy at work said these were either Isettas or Messerschmitts, but I guess the uninitiated always come up with those two names when micros or bubble cars are mentioned. The more knowledgable remember Heinkels and most younger people think about 'Robin Reliants' (sic) or disabled carriages.

Whats a Robin Reliant then?

Could be a new factory based spares service - Robin, Reliants.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
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For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 11:10:35 PM »
That reminds me, I must book my 'Punto Fiat' in for its MOT.

g-o-g-g-o

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 11:21:58 PM »
Hi
       I remember the Policeman being murdered it was in the road next to where I was being trained as a Toolmaker - The Policeman tried to stop a car and his uniform or coat got stuck in the car ( I think it got stuck in the wing mirrors ), and he was dragged down the road for about 200 yards and was killed in the process.
   I was not sure whether it was a Isetta or a Heinkel that killed him - years later I bought a Heinkel from Plumstaed that had stood in someones garden for 25 years, it was advertised in a shop window for £25 - I offered him £20 and I got towed home in it. It had a damaged door and wing, I did intend to ressusiate it but a friend offered me £40 for it and I sold it to him.
                                                                                                                                                              Mike

Big Al

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 07:52:10 AM »
Hi
       I remember the Policeman being murdered it was in the road next to where I was being trained as a Toolmaker - The Policeman tried to stop a car and his uniform or coat got stuck in the car ( I think it got stuck in the wing mirrors ), and he was dragged down the road for about 200 yards and was killed in the process.
   I was not sure whether it was a Isetta or a Heinkel that killed him - years later I bought a Heinkel from Plumstaed that had stood in someones garden for 25 years, it was advertised in a shop window for £25 - I offered him £20 and I got towed home in it. It had a damaged door and wing, I did intend to ressusiate it but a friend offered me £40 for it and I sold it to him.
                                                                                                                                                              Mike

Which is more difficult now? To be trained as a toolmaker in London or to be dragged down the road by or bumped by a bubblecar.

I was watching the curse of the Kennedy's last night. NIce shot, err - sorry - film, of Jackie in London with KR200 behind.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
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Bob Purton

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 08:55:43 AM »
Ah you saw that too then, Its easy to lose sight of the fact that microcars were everyday transport in the sixties and were dotted around the streets of London [and everywhere else] I dont know why I am always suprised to see them on the streets in period footage but I am. I guess its because we only see them now out of there natural habitat, caged in collections or on the rally field. Interesting Insight into the Kennedy family though. What were you doing when you got the news of JFK's shooting? I remember it well and was playing ball in garden with my mate Beefy Watkins!

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 11:03:25 AM »
I was on a grassy knoll with a rifle some guy gave me to shoot a 'varment' while on holiday in Dallas. I thought it was some sort of bird. Seemed an awful who ha when I missed but Grampa sorted it out OK.

I really do not recall what I was doing but I remember it happening and everyone being upset about it. I was probably born cynical.
Messerschmitt set, Goggo Darts, Heinkel 175, Fiat Jolly, Autobianchi, Fairthorpe Electron Minor, Borgward, Isuzu Trooper
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For sale - Vellam Isetta, Bamby, AC Type 70, Velorex, Church Pod, Reliant Mk5, KR200,  Saab 96, Bellemy Trials, Citroen BXs

g-o-g-g-o

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Re: 'Bubble Car Murders'
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 02:46:20 PM »
Hi Al
        I think your comment is in bad taste.

  I was at a youth club meeting teaching my girlfriend how to play the guitar - it was a Friday evening and we heard the news about 20.00 hrs - I also been tto the grassey knoll in Dallas where he was shot and been round the Kennendy Musuem there and seen the place where the shots were fired.
                                                                                                                                                                                               Mike