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EVANS SKINNER CRIME ARCHIVE

Peter Howse

Carol Ann Lee and Peter Howse

The Pottery Cottage Murders

The terrifying true story of an escaped prisoner and the family he held hostage

Robinson (March 2020)

Lee Howse The Pottery Cottage MurdersFor three days Billy Hughes played psychological games with Gill Moran and her family, while secretly murdering them one by one. Blizzards hampered the police manhunt, but they learned where the dangerous criminal was hiding and closed in on the cottage. A desperate car chase ensued, ending with a shoot-out and the killer’s death. There was just one survivor.

The plot for a great crime novel? No, it all actually happened in January 1977.

The Pottery Cottage Murders is a gripping, fast-paced account of a criminal case that reads like fiction but is terrifyingly true. What took place at a family home on the Derbyshire moors in 1977 made the name Pottery Cottage synonymous with horror: an address briefly as infamous as 112 Ocean Avenue in the US town of Amityville, where a young man had murdered his entire family three years earlier, and the home of married killers Fred and Rosemary West on Cromwell Street in Gloucester.

Afterwards, the determination of sole survivor Gill Moran to prevent any written or dramatic accounts of the case saw ‘Pottery Cottage’ largely vanish from public consciousness, yet those events were important milestones in the history of British crime.¬† At last, the real story has been told by Carol Ann Lee and her co-author, Peter Howse, the former Chief Inspector, who bravely saved Gill’s life over forty years earlier, as Hughes held her hostage in the final shoot-out on the moors.