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Neville George Clevely Heath (June 6, 1917 – October 16, 1946) was an exceptional Walt. Unlike our common-or-garden LumpenNordWalten Heath's pathological fantasies of military rank and recognition was fatally intertwined with sadistic fantasies of sexual domination. Responsible for the murders of at least two young women, he finally Met With Albert at HMP Pentonville in 1946.
Born to a lower middle class family in Essex, his barber father wasted considerable cash to educate the mediocre lad privately. Heath joined the Royal Air Force in 1937, but was soon dismissed for going AWOL. Caught obtaining credit by fraud, he was later sent down for Borstal training for housebreaking and forgery. On his release he started using a number of pathetically Wodehousian aliases including "Lord Dudley" and "Lieutenant-Colonel Armstrong".
At the outbreak of WW2, Heath joined the Royal Army Service Corps, and was posted to the Middle East. He lasted less than a year. Whilst being shipped home he escaped the guard and headed for the fledgling Jo'burg Careers Centre For Self-Regarding Military Fuck-ups. Joining the South African Air Force, he rose to the rank of Captain (no doubt due to a neatly clipped tache, a nice stick and no competition). He was court martialed for wearing medals to which he was not entitled. He returned to England in 1946.
In June, 1946, "Lieutenant-Colonel" Neville Heath took a room at a nondescript hotel in seedy (pre Julia-and-Hugh) Notting Hill. With him was his "wife", Yvonne, whom he'd just met. Heath had promised to marry her, so she spent the night with him and returned to her home the next day.
A few days later, Heath spent the evening with separated mother and good-time-girl Margery Gardner. A part-time "actress" she was well known in the pubs and drinking clubs where the underworld London circles of artists, queers, junkies, tarts, fences and general low-lives intersected. Quentin Crisp recalled her as an incautious slum-tourist in his brilliant autobiography "The Naked Civil Servant". The morning after her date with Heath, the hotel manager found
Margery’s bound body on the bed: there were 17 slash marks on her body, her nipples had been savagely bitten, and the fireplace poker had been violently inserted into her vagina. All injuries were ante-mortem: inflicted before death by suffocation. Slash marks on her back showed the distinctive diamond pattern of a woven leather riding crop.The FME, Professor Simpson, told the police "Find that whip and you’ve found your man".
Meanwhile Heath went to Worthing to see Yvonne. Her parents were impressed with the "Lieutenant-Colonel", but when his name appeared in the newspapers in relation to Margery's murder, he left for the Tollard Royal Hotel in Bournemouth under the alias "Group Captain Rupert Brook". A few days later he met Doreen Marshall, who was staying at the Norfolk Hotel. They spent the day together, had dinner at Heath's hotel, and talked until midnight. Doreen ordered a taxi back to her hotel but Heath persuaded her to cancel it and offered to walk Doreen back. She was not seen alive again.
The manager of the Norfolk remembered Doreen had taken a taxi to the Tollard whose manager said she may have been with "Group Captain Rupert Brook." Although Heath/Brook denied this, he phoned the old bill to tell them he "might be able to help", then went to the police station where he identified Doreen's picture as the girl he'd been with, saying he left her at the Norfolk. The detective recognised Heath as the man wanted by Scotland Yard, and asked "Isn't your name Heath?" Heath denied it, then said he wanted to return to the hotel for his coat. The police fetched it, searched it, and found a railway cloakroom ticket, which led them to a case with a riding whip with a diamond pattern weave. Professor Simpson identified it as the that used on Margery Gardner. Heath admitted his real identity and was transferred to London where he was charged with the her murder.
Meanwhile, the body of Doreen Marshall was discovered. Her clothes had been removed, apparently without a struggle, but wounds on her hands suggested she had grasped defensively at a knife. She had received blows to her head and been tied at the wrists and ankles and vaginally assaulted in a similar manner to Mrs Gardner. One nipple had been bitten off and her throat slashed.