Available for download. Not available in stores. During the s a group of Protestant paramilitaries embarked on a spree of indiscriminate murder which left thirty Northern Irish Catholics dead. Their leader was Lenny Murphy, a fanatical Unionist whose Catholic-sounding surname led to his persecution as a child for which he took revenge on all Catholics.
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The rest of the Butchers came to trial during and early On 20 February , eleven men were convicted of a total of 19 murders, and the 42 life sentences handed out were the most ever in a single trial in British criminal history. Moore pleaded guilty to 11 counts of murder and Bates to The trial judge, Lord Justice O'Donnell, said that he did not wish to be cast as "public avenger" but felt obliged to sentence the two to life imprisonment with no chance of release.
However, Bates was freed two years after the paramilitary ceasefires of , and Moore released under the Good Friday Agreement of Martin Dillon's own investigations suggest that a number of other individuals whom he was unable to name for legal reasons escaped prosecution for participation in the crimes of the Butchers and that the gang were responsible for a total of at least 30 murders.
In summing-up, Lord O'Donnell stated that their crimes, "a catalogue of horror", were "a lasting monument to blind sectarian bigotry". At this time McLaverty lived under police protection in Dublin, where he had been given a covername. His sentence for the firearms conviction complete, Murphy was released from prison on 16 July One day later, his killing spree resumed when he beat to death a local Protestant man with a learning disability in the Loyalist Club in Rumford Street. His body was dumped in a back alley over a mile away. Murphy began to assemble a new gang.
When suspicions of being an informer fell upon Galway, Murphy decided to kill him. Galway was shot in the head at a building site in the village of Broughshane near Ballymena and buried on the spot. His decayed body was not found until November The location of the body was pointed out in by a person in custody for other charges.
Murphy poisoned the man in a Shankill club before shooting him from the rear of a passing motorcycle as he sat in a car driven by Murphy's friend, and leading Red Hand Commando member, Sam "Mambo" Carroll. The next evening, although he had been warned by the UVF Brigade Staff against abducting anyone, Murphy decided to kidnap a Catholic, ostensibly to demand Cochrane's release in exchange for the Catholic hostage. He hijacked a black taxi, which one of his men drove to the Falls Road.
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Joseph Donegan, a middle-aged Catholic on his way home, hailed the vehicle and got in. Murphy immediately attacked the man as the taxi was driven back to the safety of the Shankill area. At a house owned by Murphy in Brookmount Street, Donegan was tortured sadistically by Murphy, who according to Dillon, pulled out all but three of his teeth with pliers. Murphy's associate, Tommy Stewart, battered Donegan to death with a shovel. Murphy telephoned a prominent Catholic politician, Cormac Boomer, to demand that Cochrane be set free.
Murphy ordered that Donegan's body be removed from his house, but the plan was disturbed by passers-by and the victim had to be dumped in an entry behind the house. After discovery of the body on the morning of Monday 25 October, Murphy and two others were arrested; but without evidence that Murphy had been party to this crime, it was not possible to charge him. Cochrane's body was found a week later. Murphy was assassinated by a Provisional IRA hit squad early in the evening of Tuesday 16 November outside the back of his girlfriend's house in the Glencairn estate where four of the Butchers' cut-throat victims had been dumped.
No sooner had he parked his car than two gunmen emerged from a van that had been following him and fired a hail of more than twenty bullets, killing him instantly. After several days' speculation as to those responsible for the shooting, the IRA issued a statement claiming responsibility for what it termed Murphy's "execution":.
The Shankill butchers ( edition) | Open Library
Lenny Murphy master butcher has been responsible for the horrific murders of over 20 innocent Nationalists in the Belfast area and a number of Protestants. The IRA has been aware for some time that since his release recently from prison, Murphy was attempting to re-establish a similar murder gang to that which he led in the mids and, in fact, he was responsible for a number of the recent sectarian murders in the Belfast area. The IRA takes this opportunity to restate its policy of non-sectarian attacks, while retaining its right to take unequivocal action against those who direct or motivate sectarian slaughter against the Nationalist population.
The location of the murder, in a loyalist stronghold, and the timing of the shooting to coincide with Murphy's movements suggested the IRA received help from UVF members who deemed Murphy "out of control" or, equally plausibly, that information had been given by an enemy of Murphy. Dillon suggests that Jim Craig , a leading Ulster Defence Association UDA godfather whose protection rackets had made him rich and feared in equal measure, fit the description. He was known to have clashed with Murphy on the latter's release from prison earlier that year and may have wanted him out of the picture.
In support of this theory, Craig was later executed by his UDA colleagues for "treason", an inquiry having found some evidence of his part in the murder of other top loyalists by the IRA. Murphy's family denied he had had a violent nature or was involved with the Butchers: "My Lenny could not have killed a fly", said his mother Joyce. The UVF gave Murphy a paramilitary funeral attended by thousands of loyalists and several unionist politicians, at which Mr A and John Murphy played prominent roles.
On 9 February , Murphy and three of his gang shot and killed two Protestant men, Archibald Hanna and Raymond Carlisle, wrongly believing that they were Catholics on their way to work across the Shankill.
Bates was involved in a gun attack on a bar in Smithfield, not far from the Shankill, that killed several people, both Catholics and Protestants, on 5 June The first was Thomas Easton, who made the mistake of becoming involved in an argument with McAllister, and died after being hit by falling beer-barrels on 21 December McAllister's guilty plea to a manslaughter charge was accepted by the Crown. McAllister received a minor punishment shooting for the murder of Easton. Members of the gang also carried out a bombing mission on the Falls Road that killed a year-old Catholic boy on 10 April John Murphy received three years' imprisonment for his part in this incident.
Campbell, whose investigations put the spotlight on Jackson's activities, was seriously wounded but survived. All members of the Butchers gang were released a number of years ago. The first to be freed was John Townsley, who had been only 14 when he became involved with the gang and 16 when arrested. In October , Bates was released;  he had reportedly "found religion" behind bars.
William Moore was the final member of the gang to be released from prison in August , after over twenty-one years behind bars. He died on 17 May , from a suspected heart attack at his home and was given a paramilitary funeral by the UVF. In November , the Serious Crime Review Team in Belfast said they were looking into the unsolved death of Rosaleen O'Kane, aged 33 at the time of her death, who was found dead in her home in September Her family and authorities believe the Shankill Butchers may have been involved in her death.
The following were members of the gang and were convicted of various crimes. Colin Meloy , lead singer and guitarist for the indie folk rock band The Decemberists , wrote a song titled "Shankill Butchers" recounting the faction's grisly exploits.
The song appeared on the group's fourth album The Crane Wife , which was released by Capitol Records in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Decemberists song, see The Crane Wife.
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The Shankill Butchers: A Case Study of Mass Murder
Killed in a drive-by shooting while walking along Cliftonville Road.
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