‘Chasing Dark Shadows.’

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It was late August in 1967 and New Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Kevin Devlin was about to be thrown into another turmoil of horrific scenes across the UK.

From, the psychedelic drugs and cheap booze fuelled streets of London in 1967, where there was widespread corruption and depravity at all levels of society, including the police. Then there were the violent gangs, rapes of both boys and girls, murders, not to mention an MI5 vigilante group were operating across the UK with tentacles reaching into the higher echelons of UK society.

To, up north in the UK into the uncompromising blues of the ‘no mean city’ streets of Glasgow, as ‘they’ tore the heart out of Kevin Devlins’ hometown. Among many other things, he uncovers murder within his own family during the demolition of the Gorbals.

Then, just around the corner for Kevin in Glasgow, the ‘new’ Irish troubles were starting to emerge.

In less than two months during the summer of 1967, since joining NSY from Glasgow as a Detective Sergeant, Kevin had already investigated, with his then DI Andy Spearing, multiple murders, rapes of both boys and girls, and both detectives had been shot by one of the MI5 vigilante group who they were seeking for the murder of Sir Mark Wright, none other than the London Mets Commissioner of police, the top police officer in the UK. 

Sir Mark had been investigating corruption throughout NSY, which included many officers in the pockets of London gangs. He was about to have a clear out of the corrupt officers when he was murdered with an injection of poison. Although at the time it could not be proved, a NSY Detective Chief Superintendent John Sutherland was suspected to be involved with the murder, in cahoots with the MI5 vigilantes.

Ian Johnstone, who was Kevins’ old boss in the Glasgow city police, took over from Sir Mark and quickly completed the clear out of the corrupt officers, but DCS Sutherland escaped because of the lack of proof, although it was made obvious his career in NSY was finished.

During the clear out of NSY officers, Kevin had been promoted to become, at twenty-seven years old, the youngest ever DI in NSY.

To start the modernisation of NSY, before his murder Sir Mark had hired several ex-university graduates like Kevin, and they had collectively become known as the ‘Trained Brains,’ or for some old hands, more sarcastically as the ‘Trained Bairns.’ At the same time Andy Spearing, the old style NSY detective, had been promoted to Detective Chief Inspector.

The problems with trying to modernise NSY in 1967 was, unbelievable as it may seem in today’s modern culture, there was no Personal Computers, no Internet, no I Pads, no Mobile Phones. The nearest thing to Mobile Phones was Walkie-Talkies which the police used, but they were huge awkward blocks with a long aerial’s using old radio technology and in the city’s they had notoriously bad reception. Also, using Walkie-Talkies police conversations and calls could be listened into by the criminals simply byusing the police frequencies.

The other problems for the police in 1967 was CCTV was in its infancy and was only about to be trialled in central London for the first time. In addition, as far the police were concerned at that time, DNA meant ‘Does Not Apply.’ – The use of DNA in criminal investigations was still practically twenty years away!

So, the police needed help and were forced to use good old fashioned leg work and brain power, which at that time was not in abundance within the police.

Of course, they still created and paid informants who were mostly criminals associated with the gangsters, which in many cases helped to create widespread corruption within a lot of police forces, but within NSY it was particularly bad.