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article imageTwo new books by Jonathan Oates Special

By Alexander Baron     Nov 8, 2012 in Crime
London - Jonathan Oates is Archivist for the London Borough of Ealing, an accredited historian and a popular true crime writer. He has two new books out.
The first of Dr Oates' books concerns the evergreen case of Evans & Christie. The perceived wisdom is that Evans was the victim of a miscarriage of justice, a view that was developed by Michael Eddowes and especially Ludovic Kennedy, but a dispassionate examination of the facts demonstrates that the case against Evans was a lot stronger than most people believe. Among other things his confessions to the police and others were spontaneous and uncoerced.
AB: Welcome back, last time we spoke about your new book on serial killer John Reginald Halliday Christie. I gather it is out now.
Jonathan Oates: I think the publication date was October 18, but I saw it in the shops on October 15.
AB: Google Books says October 30. It also says “Evans who was executed for murders Christie later confessed to...” - I take it you didn't write that.
JO: No, I am not responsible for the comment on Evans!
AB: Did you have an official launch?
JO: There isn't really a launch as such but there is an event at Kensington Library this Thursday evening [today] in which I and two others are speaking on the topic.
AB: Do you regard this as an academic book or a popular one?
JO: A mixture of the two, really, since it is properly footnoted but it is aimed at anyone interested in the topic, and no prior knowledge is assumed.
AB: When is the paperback out?
JO: Next year with a print run of 1,000.
AB: There are two reviews on Amazon, and one reviewer clearly isn't a member of your fan club. What do you say to that?
JO: Obviously I disagree with the 'badly written' section. The book is certainly full of facts and perhaps some more context could have been given, but then I was dealing with a pretty tight word limit.
I have tried hard to be objective; previous readers have not been so. However, I have allowed some comments but these seem justified by the facts as known. For example I tend to think that people are not either black or white in personality and that even nominally 'bad' men have virtues and 'good' men have defects. That seems pretty obvious but clearly not to everybody, so if that's a personal view, then so be it.
AB: You have another book out too.
JO: This is Ealing Then And Now, a pretty uncontroversial book about pictures of Ealing in the past, and current pictures of the same view. It should be popular. My co-author is pretty laid back and so we got on well - once I turned down the opportunity to co-write a book because the other man was not easy to get on with.
The two of us are giving an illustrated talk at Ealing Library on November 15. Joint talks are often better received than single speaker talks because the audiences are given variety in voices.
AB: Do you have anything else in the pipeline?
JO: I have a book about Buckinghamshire Murders coming out this month too; a study of about a dozen murders in the county of my birth, from the Nineteenth Century to the early Twentieth.
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Books by Dr Oates can be found on his publisher's website, and also on Amazon.
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