UK Serial Killer Entombed in Underground Glass Box – What Makes Him So Dangerous?

Monster Robert Maudsley who is serving a life sentence for murdering four people has been locked away in a glass box in Wakefield Prison for more than 40 years.

Maudsley, from Toxteth, Liverpool, was just 21 when he committed his first murder in 1974.

The serial killer, who had been working as a rent boy at the time, butchered one of his clients, John Farrell.

The murder was so violent, cops named him “blue” because of the colour of his face.

Maudsley was arrested and eventually convicted of murder. He was jailed with the recommendation he should never be released.

Serial killer Robert Maudsley
Monstrous Maudsley has been kept on solitary confinement for more than 40 years (Image: BBC)

Then he was sent to Broadmoor Hospital – known to house some of the UK’s most violent prisoners.

His first three years behind bars were relatively quiet – until 1977, when he and fellow prisoner David Cheeseman barricaded themselves in a cell with child molester David Francis.

For the next nine hours the pair brutally tortured Francis – including Maudsley shoving a spoon so far into his ear, it wedged into his brain.

By the time guards broke the door down, Francis was dead.

The following year, monstrous Maudsley strangled and stabbed wife-killer Salney Darwood in his cell, before hiding the body under his bed.

Then he hunted prison corridors for his next victim – Bill Roberts, who had been jailed for sexually abusing a seven-year-old girl.

He stabbed Roberts to death before hacking at his skull with a makeshift dagger.

After the bloodshed, Maudsley calmly walked up to a prison guard and chillingly said there would be two fewer people at dinner that night.

His rampage rung alarm bells for prison bosses who deemed him too dangerous to mix with the general prison population and a special cell was constructed to keep him in.

Robert Maudsley as a schoolboy
Maudsley was dumped in an orphanage as an infant with his 11 siblings (Image: Liverpool Echo WS)

The cell, which was completed in 1983, was dubbed the glass cage – as it resembled Anthony Hopkins’ cell in Silence of the Lambs.

At 5.5mx4.5m, it’s surrounded by bulletproof glass which prison guards peer into to keep a close eye on him.

The only furniture is a table and a chair, which are both made of compressed cardboard, while his toilet and sink are bolted to the floor.

Maudsley’s bed is a concrete slab and the door is made of solid steel, which opens into a cage just inside.

The see-through walls contain a slit through which guards pass him meals and other things he needs.

He is entombed in the cage for 23 hours a day, only allowed out to exercise for one hour. When he goes to the exercise yard, he’s escorted by six guards and he’s never given access to any other inmates.

When interviewed, Maudsley said he felt “tortured” in solitary confinement and claimed his speech has suffered from never speaking to anyone.

He said: “I feel no officer takes any interest in me and they’re only concerned with when to open the door and then to make sure I get back in my cell as soon as possible.

“I think an officer could stop and talk a bit but they never do and it’s these thoughts that I think about most of the time.”

Maudsley has claimed the confinement has given him flashbacks to his childhood, when he was regularly locked away and beaten.

The serial killer had an abusive childhood at the hands of his father. After being dumped in an orphanage as an infant, his parents brought him and his 11 siblings home when he was eight.

He was regularly hit and often took extra beatings to protect his siblings. Once, he was locked in a room for six months, with his only human contact coming from beatings from his dad.

In the year 2000 Maudsley asked for the terms of his imprisonment to be relaxed – begging for a pet budgie or, if that request was denied, a cyanide capsule so he could end his life.

Both requests were turned down, leaving him to live out his days in the glass cell underneath Wakefield Prison

Is Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Finally Ending?

Britney Spears’ parents, Jamie and Lynne, have each spoken out after the pop superstar delivered explosive testimony at her conservatorship hearing on Wednesday.

Lynne Spears’ lawyer Gladstone Jones said in court on Wednesday that Lynne was a “very concerned mother” after hearing Britney Spears’ passionate remarks asking to end her “abusive” 13-year conservatorship. Spears told the court she had an abusive relationship with her father and was allowed very little freedom in her personal life.

Spears’ conservatorship (a complex legal arrangement that appoints a legal guardian for a person who is unable to make their own decisions) was put in place in 2008 after Spears experienced a series of public mental-health crises, including high-profile run-ins with the paparazzi.

“Today is the day while the world watches while we listen to Ms. Spears, that we put in place a plan,” Jones’ court statement from Lynne Spears said, according to Vulture. “That is her mother’s request, that we not leave the court without having a plan.”

Jamie Spears, who is divorced from Lynne, also had a lawyer, Vivian Lee Thoreen, present at Wednesday’s hearing. Thoreen read a statement from him after Britney Spears’ testimony, Vulture reported.

“He is sorry to see his daughter in so much pain. Mr. Spears loves his daughter and misses her very much,” Thoreen said on Jamie Spears’ behalf in a statement to the court, according to Vulture.

Jamie Spears gained control of Britney Spears’ estate, business decisions, and many parts of her personal life after her conservatorship was approved in Los Angeles in 2008.

After a number of changes over the past decade, he’s a coconservator alongside a third-party financial company, Bessemer Trust, that was selected by Spears and her legal team. Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney Spears’ younger sister, was also named a trustee to Spears’ estate in 2018.

Despite Jamie Spears’ long-running control of his daughter’s affairs, a New York Times report published on Tuesday said Britney Spears had expressed concern since 2014 over her father being her conservator.

According to the Times report, which cited records it obtained, Britney Spears said in 2016 that “she feels the conservatorship has become an oppressive and controlling tool against her” and said again three years later that she was “afraid” of her father.

She had previously asked a court to end the conservatorship at a hearing in May 2019, but her request was denied.

Britney Spears made several shocking allegations in her bombshell testimony

During the hearing, Spears also compared parts of her life under the conservatorship to “sex trafficking.”

“The control he had over someone as powerful as me — he loved the control to hurt his own daughter, 100,000%,” Spears said of her father on Wednesday.

“I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking,” Spears added. “Making anyone work against their will, taking all their possessions away — credit card, cash, phone, passport — and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them.”

In one of the most shocking revelations from Wednesday’s testimony, Spears said her conservatorship wouldn’t let her remove her IUD (a highly effective intrauterine contraceptive) even though she had expressed interest in having more children. She has two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

Spears has continued to have a flourishing career throughout her conservatorship, including multiple albums, a Las Vegas residency, and several perfume lines. She announced she was taking a break to focus on her mental health in 2019.

‘Hero’ Who Killed Cop Killer Shot Dead by Police

A “hero” who fatally shot a cop killer was then shot dead himself by another officer called to the scene.

Johnny Hurley, 40, shot Ronald Troyke after the latter had gunned down Colorado officer Gordon Beesley with a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun.

Video footage shows Troyke, who had described police as the “enemy” and “expendable”, driving his pick-up truck to an area near a library, shops and restaurants in Arvada, about seven miles from Denver.

He gets out of the vehicle carrying a gun before proceeding to kill Beesley and shoot out the windows of police cars in the area.

After returning to his pick-up to retrieve an AR-15 rifle, Troyke was confronted by Hurley, who shot him with a handgun.

When another officer arrived, Mr Hurley was holding Troyke’s AR-15 and the responder opened fire, killing him, the local force said.

A retail worker said Mr Hurley had been shopping when he heard shots and ran out of the store.

“He did not hesitate – he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction,” Bill Troyanos told Denver TV station KMGH-TV.

Mr Hurley fired five or six shots and Troyke fell against a parked vehicle, Mr Troyanos added.

Gordon Beesley was shot dead in Arvada. Pic: AP
Image: Gordon Beesley was shot dead in Arvada. Pic: AP

In a video statement, head of police Link Strate said Mr Hurley was a “hero” who had saved lives.

He did not offer an apology, however, describing Mr Hurley’s death as “equally tragic” to Gordon Beesley’s.

Mr State said: “The threat to our officers and our community was stopped by a hero named Johnny Hurley.

“Johnny’s actions can only be described as decisive, courageous and effective in stopping further loss of life.”

Police cars line up to pay tribute to Gordon Beesley. Pic: AP
Image: Police cars line up to pay tribute to Gordon Beesley. Pic: AP

Police said a document written by Troyke suggested he planned to kill as many Arvada police officers as he could.

Troyke wrote: “We the people were never your enemy, but we are now.

“This is what you get – you are the people who are expendable.”

Mr Hurley’s family said they had received support from the city and police and are waiting for the outcome of a third-party investigation into the shooting.

Skull Found in China Changes Everything We Know About Evolution

The discovery of a huge fossilized skull that was wrapped up and hidden in a Chinese well has forced scientists to rewrite the story of human evolution.

Analysis of the remains has revealed a new branch of the human family tree that points to a previously unknown sister group more closely related to modern humans than the Neanderthals.

The extraordinary fossil has been named a new human species, Homo longi or “Dragon man”, by Chinese researchers, although other experts are more cautious about the designation.

“I think this is one of the most important finds of the past 50 years,” said Prof Chris Stringer, research leader at the Natural History Museum in London, who worked on the project. “It’s a wonderfully preserved fossil.”

The skull appears to have a remarkable backstory. According to the researchers, it was originally found in 1933 by Chinese labourers building a bridge over the Songhua River in Harbin, in China’s northernmost province, Heilongjiang, during the Japanese occupation. To keep the skull from falling into Japanese hands it was wrapped and hidden in an abandoned well, resurfacing only in 2018 after the man who hid it told his grandson about it shortly before he died.

An international team led by Prof Qiang Ji at the Hebei Geo University in China drew on geochemical techniques to narrow down when the skull came to rest in Harbin, dating the bones to at least 146,000 years old. The skull has a unique combination of primitive and more modern features, with the face, in particular, more closely resembling Homo sapiens. One huge molar remains.

The skull, which is 23cm long and more than 15cm wide, is substantially larger than a modern human’s and has ample room, at 1,420ml, for a modern human brain. Beneath the thick brow ridge, the face has large square eye sockets, but is delicate despite its size. “This guy had a huge head,” said Stringer.

The researchers believe the skull belonged to a male, about 50 years old, who would have been an impressive physical specimen. His wide, bulbous nose allowed him to breathe huge volumes of air, indicating a high-energy lifestyle, while sheer size would have helped him withstand the brutally cold winters in the region. “Homo longi is heavily built, very robust,” said Prof Xijun Ni, a paleoanthropologist at Hebei. “It is hard to estimate the height, but the massive head should match a height higher than the average of modern humans.”

To work out where the Harbin individual fitted into human history, the scientists fed measurements from the fossil and 95 other skulls into software that compiled the most likely family tree. To their surprise, the Harbin skull and a handful of others from China formed a new branch closer to modern humans than Neanderthals.

The Chinese researchers believe the Harbin skull is distinct enough to make it a new species, but Stringer is not convinced. He believes it is similar to another found in Dali county in China in 1978.

“I prefer to call it Homo daliensis, but it’s not a big deal,” he said. “The important thing is the third lineage of later humans that are separate from Neanderthals and separate from Homo sapiens.” Details are published in three papers in The Innovation.

Whatever the name, one possibility is that the Harbin skull is Denisovan, a mysterious group of extinct humans known largely from DNA and bone fragments recovered from Siberia. “Certainly this specimen could be Denisovan but we have to be cautious. What we need is much more complete skeletal material of the Denisovans alongside DNA,” Stringer said.

Prof John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the idea of a new lineage of humans was “a provocative claim”, because skulls can look similar even among distant relatives. The skull being Denisovan was a good hypothesis, he added, though he was less keen on a new species name. “I think it’s a bad moment in science to be naming new species among these large-brained humans that all interbred with each other,” he said. “What we are repeatedly finding is that the differences in looks didn’t mean much to these ancient people when it comes to breeding.”

Mark Maslin, a professor of earth system science at UCL and the author of The Cradle of Humanity, said: “The beautifully preserved Chinese Harbin archaic human skull adds even more evidence that human evolution was not a simple evolutionary tree but a dense intertwined bush. We now know that there were as many as 10 different species of hominins at the same time as our own species emerged.

“Genetic analysis shows that these species interacted and interbred – our own genetics contain the legacy of many of these ghost species. But what is a sobering thought, is that despite all this diversity, a new version of Homo sapiens emerged from Africa about 60,000 years ago which clearly out-competed, out-bred, and even out-fought these other closely related species, causing their extinction. It is only by painstaking searching and analysis of their fossils, such as the Harbin skull, do we know of their existence.”

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