About the book
- Author: Carol Ann Lee
- Published: 2015
- Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
I am reviewing the Kindle version of this book, but this is also available in hardback and paperback. I think most people, certainly in England, have heard of Jeremy Bamber. On 7 August 1985 June and Nevill Bamber, their adopted daughter Sheila, and Sheila's 2 twin children, Daniel and Nicholas, were found dead in the family home. When the police searched the house, they found a gun on top of Sheila's body along with a Bible. It was originally assumed that Sheila had killed her family, then took her own life. Jeremy had called Chelmsford Police Station claiming that his father, Nevill, had phoned him saying that 'Sheila has gone beserk.' Then the line went dead. What turned out to be a very cleverly orchestrated plan, Jeremy had made it look like his sister had murdered the family then took her own life. But in reality, Jeremy had killed his entire family for financial gain.
But from reading this book, it gives the reader a different perspective on the story. It's well-known that Jeremy was seen seemingly distraught at the funeral of his family, who was being aided by his then girlfriend, Julie. The author has done extensive research on this case and has had interviews with family members, authorities and with Jeremy Bamber himself, who is currently serving a whole life sentence in jail. Jeremy has always said he is innocent of these crimes, and still admits this to this day. But more than 30 years later, he is still in prison for this terrible crime. Although in the beginning it seemed obvious that Sheila had committed these crimes, things started to come to light when other family members started questioning Jeremy's actions and temperament after the killings. For instance, it is noted that, as I mentioned, he was rather quite emotional and upset at the funeral. But away from the cameras and back in the car, he was smiling and back to seemingly uncaring. It is things like this that the extended family picked up on and had no problem in telling the police this. It was so easy for Jeremy to blame Sheila for this terrible crime as she was suffering with schizophrenia.
The book covers both Jeremy and Sheila's early lives and how Nevill and June Bamber came to adopt them. The Bamber's were quite a wealthy family and had their own farm. June was a deeply religious woman and Nevill was a hard worker on the farm. Growing up, it is said in the book that Jeremy was jealous of Sheila as he thought she was being getting better treatment than he was, especially financially. He resented this as he worked on the farm and felt she didn't warrant the extra money as she didn't work for it. He didn't always see eye to eye with his parents and wasn't really enjoying working on the farm. The book covers the whole of Jeremy's life from the beginning, the murders at the farm, and his time in prison right up to the present day when the book was published in 2015. It gives a gripping account of what happened on the night and the subsequent police inquiry and trial. With unpublished documents and interviews with people who were closely involved with the case, including the twins father, Colin, this book is an absorbing and gripping read and will shed new light to those that read it.
As I said, this case made national news and was a very complex case at the time. And bearing in mind this was the mid 1980's, so didn't have the technology we have today. Yes, the police made mistakes. For instance, moving and taking up evidence before they should of done. I think certain members of the police force jumped to the wrong conclusions before getting to the bottom of it. Jeremy had done a very good job at covering his tracks. It was all do easy to blame Sheila as she had mental health problems. But thanks to certain members of the police force, and members of the Bamber family who wouldn't give in, they finally got to the bottom of it.
This is a gripping story of the Bamber family, right from the very beginning of when Sheila and Jeremy were adopted into the Bamber family, the family business, the murders, the police investigation and the subsequent trial. It covers every inch and aspect of the murders and trials, including Jeremy's reaction at being found guilty of all 5 murders and how he still pleads his innocence to this day. There is even a website dedicated to his innocence and trying to get him released from prison. I think Carol Ann Lee has meticulously researched this story and gives the reader an insight from another angle. It is also easy to see how Jeremy deceived the people around him into believing his was innocent and that Sheila was guilty the guilty party. This is well worth the read.
© 2020 Louise Powles
Nuzhat Tabassum from Bangladesh on July 27, 2020:
Thank you for such an informative review. True crimes have always been an intriguing subject for me.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 25, 2020:
This is quite a succinct review of the book. Would certainly make for an absorbing read. Thanks for sharing.
Ankita B on July 24, 2020:
A very interesting review of the book. A true gripping story.
FlourishAnyway from USA on July 24, 2020:
Thanks for highlighting this book. It seems well worth the read. I wonder if modern advances like DNA testing have been able to shed new light on the case?
Danny from India on July 24, 2020:
Very nice review. Gripping! Well presented, Louise. Looks like an interesting piece.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 24, 2020:
This book sounds very good. I think you wrote a very good book review and I appreciate it. I am always looking for a good new book to read. Thank you, Louise.
Lorna Lamon on July 24, 2020:
This is a excellent review Louise and you can't help wondering that with the advancement of technology, do other cases need to be brought under the spotlight, whether rightly or wrongly accused.
Liz Westwood from UK on July 24, 2020:
This sounds like an interesting book. You have reviewed it well. I can't believe so many years have passed since this happened.