"The Most Dangerous Weapon in the World" with John Eddleston

11 January 2018

John Eddleston

In this talk John will discuss a form of research on drugs, weapons, forgery, fraud and other crimes and after the break will demonstrate The Most Dangerous Weapon in the World.

John is the writer of 23 true crime books, lectures to schools, on cruise lines and to local groups and has recently helped Chalkboard TV in the research for a new crime series which will be on our screens in February next year.



Review of the meeting


Could the most dangerous weapon be Corbyn or an innocent kitchen knife? John said the computer is the most useful weapon. One of his pet hates is ‘lazy’ errors. He found a record one thousand, two hundred and thirty seven errors in a book titled The Hangman’s Record. When he sent the list to the publisher, they told him there were only three hundred. We were fascinated by some of the facts he has unearthed by meticulous research, which minimises the chance of errors:

Your character might buy a credit/debit card reader on line. They could use it to copy individuals’ details on to a magnetic strip on any other card. Eight hundred and seventy three people have legally bought a card reader for eighty-four pounds.

A man found out that nineteen fifty-one pennies sell for seventy-five pounds. He bought old pennies and melted them down. He sold them and made seventy-two pounds twenty five profit per coin.

Suppose the character is planting a thermite bomb – using five ounces of Burana? If they have a recipe, they can buy chemicals on eBay. But what if your story involves kidnapping? The most difficult bit is collecting the money. Use BitCoin!! Crypto currency or any manufactured currency not backed up by Bank of England. Ukraine kidnappers got $1m for a Bit Coin analyst they snatched. Bit Coin will not give away the identity of the recipients of the money.

Fancy a bit of poison for your fictional murder victims? They could imbibe ricin seeds, like Georgi Markov who was assassinated on a London street via a micro-engineered pellet containing ricin, fired into his leg from an umbrella. If people chew the seeds then they die – as per the rough justice of old tribes who say you must be guilty if you bite on the seed, then die.

If you think you couldn’t be a victim of fraud, John’s example (illustrated on the screen) should make you think again. He has done talks on a cruise. It’s a cash free world. When you pay, the crew brings two pieces of paper that you sign and you each keep one. He found a customer copy receipt, it only took two and half hours to find out so much about this man, just from a cabin cruise receipt that John could easily apply for a loan . He has contacted the man who is going to destroy his receipts in future. So, look after yourselves and guard your identity.