Horrendous murders in the 1970's and 1980's.
During my period of being a policeman, firstly in Brighton Borough Police and after amalgamation in Sussex Police there were a number of horrendous murders, and the two that stand out in my mind occurred in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
I worked the beat in the area where I was brought up for several years, that being the streets between Queens’s Park Road and the Valley, close to the Level.
In the early part of 1973, the body of Clive ‘Ollie’ Olive, aged 16 years was recovered from the harbour at Shoreham. The body had lain in the harbour, weighted and tied, as well as being half eaten by crabs and fishes. The body came to light after a cargo ship had disturbed the watery grave.
Later enquiries revealed that Olive was still alive when he was thrown into the water, after being beaten, tied and had attached two large breeze blocks, in order to take him to the bottom of the harbour. This was about eight weeks prior to his body being recovered.
Olive had been reported missing from his home in St Aubyn’s in Hove two months previously. The police were informed and very soon a murder squad, of experienced Police Officers was formed. Their enquiries took them into the realms of teenage drug takers and the violent world of the Hell’s Angels.
Olive was very ‘street cred,’ and although only a youngster, he had a substantial police record for crime. He often boasted about his sexual prowess and had at least six aliases. He was a member of the ‘Sussex Mad Dogs,’ which was an offshoot of Hell’s Angels but was just as sordid as the ‘parent’ organisation. The ‘Mad Dogs’ could be identified as the poor relations, unable to afford motor cycles and therefore roamed the streets around the town on foot.
Olive’s initiation into the local Group was undertaken on the beach at Brighton. He was made to remove his jeans and ‘T’ shirt, placing them on the stones and then allowed every member, male and female to urinate over them. When everyone present had done this act he was made to put his clothes back on, vowing never to wash them. That was one part of the initiation, the other part being that he had to prove his courage in fights with other local groups, before he was awarded his ‘colours’ and accepted in the group.
Various Police officers, who had certain skills in murder enquiries, were drafted in, and very soon progress was being made, but not before several red herrings and false trails were put to bed. In Ollie’s pocket was found a very soggy copy of ‘The Maracot Deep, ‘by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the book described life at the bottom of the sea, a very cruel joke.
The various leads of enquiry unearthed a horrible picture of violence, aggression and degradation among the members of the ‘Mad Dogs’ and ‘Hell’s Angels.’ Several of the hardened detectives taking part agreed that reading some of the statements made them feel sick at such foul activities.
The Police made a wide sweep and brought to the police station dozens of youths and girls known to be associated with the ‘Angel’s Groups. One of this number was a 21 year old named Brian Stephen Moore, he was not interviewed as a suspect but just as someone who was loosely connected with Olive.
Brian Stephen Moore
Moore made a statement to the effect that he had overhead three members of the Hell’s Angels plotting to get Olive and he stated that he even heard his own name mentioned. Some detectives wasn’t too sure about this, it seemed too much of a coincidence. Moore lived with his parents in Pankhurst Avenue, an area I knew well.
He used to work as a zoo keeper, but at this time was engaged as a cleaner. Also living at the same address, was Moore’s sister, Christine, aged 18 and her husband Albert Dorn, a little man, known as ‘Mouse, ‘ or ‘Little Al.’ All of them were either members or had been members of the Hell’s Angels. They all knew Olive, which was a significant fact.
During the investigations a black van was mentioned, believed in some way linked to the murder and so it became a necessity to find this vehicle as soon as possible. It was established that Dorn had recently bought a similar vehicle. Was this another connection, well maybe? Perhaps more damming was that Moore had recently bought a similar vehicle. It was discovered that his pretty 16 year old girl-friend had allegedly been raped by Olive; and that Moore had vowed to settle the score with him.
The detectives were now more than convinced that Moore was their number one suspect and so he was brought to the Police station once more, this time to ‘help the Police with their enquiries.’
Once Moore was settled in the interview room, the questioning began with two senior detectives. He put on a brave face, brazen and tough, — for a while. The detectives continued their questioning until Moore broke down, desperately clutching the hand of one detective and saying,” Please help me, You’ve got to help me, please.”
He then started to make his statement, telling what had happened. He said that he had beaten Olive until he was unconscious in the back of Dorn’s van, after luring him with a drugs deal. “I asked him about my girl friend and him, he started boasting and getting very lairy, it was then that I lost my temper with him; I do have a terrible temper he added. I started to hit him and lost count of actually how many times, his head slumped forward. I didn’t want to touch him, so I lifted his head with a truncheon that I carried around with me. I looked at him and his eyes were staring at me, it was diabolical, I shall always see those staring eyes looking at me.” The police then next brought Dorn and his wife, Christine to the Police Station for questioning.
It later transpired that Albert Dorn drove the van with his wife, Christine sitting in the front seat. They took Olive to the harbour at Shoreham. Dorn and Moore tipped Olive’s living body into the harbour, but Christine took no part in it. Moore later said,” We both thought that he was dead, but after we threw him in he just bobbled about in the water for a few seconds and then he sank sending up loads of bubbles. We wondered then if he actually was still alive.
Dorn making a statement admitted getting rid of the truncheon for Moore and also dumping a bloodstained carpet and seat from the back of his van.
The Police examined Dorn’s bedroom and were shocked at the huge number of posters and souvenirs about Hell’s Angels and the numbers of swastikas and pictures of Hitler.
On the 26th November 1973 The murder trial commenced at Lewes, in front of an ‘all-Male-Jury.’ The three defendants all pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the murder charge.
The public gallery was packed with dozens of Hell’s Angels and were suitably guarded by a large contingent of Police.
Moore’s defence counsel said, in an impassioned plea for diminished responsibility,” He nurtured an obsession with all the cunning of a maniac, and he killed with the remorseless cruelty of a maniac.”
The trial lasted a full eight days, with the jury taking just on seven hours to deliver their verdicts. Brian Moore and Albert Dorn were both found guilty of murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Christine Dorn was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years imprisonment but this was later quashed by the appeal Court.