Harold Shipman’s Son a Target of News of the World Hacking

on January 20, 2012 in Pop Culture, Serial Killers by

News International admitted yesterday that journalists with its “News of the World” publication had hacked the email account of the son of Harold Shipman. This was part of a settlement between the company and its phone and email hacking victims.

Harold Shipman was a medical doctor in the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1998. On January 31, 2000, he was found guilty of murdering fifteen patients.

Many investigators believe he was guilty of over 220 murders, making him potentially one of the most prolific serial killers known.

Shipman’s son, Christopher, had emails intercepted that included details of his father’s death, as well as information on his mother’s health.

I’ll admit, the serial killer connection on this piece is a bit sketchy, but it allows me to tell a story from my holiday to the United Kingdom last summer. We were there when the furor over the News of the World hacking was really boiling over.

On the London leg of our journey, we stayed in a small boutique hotel in the St. James neighborhood of the city. This is an area right behind Green Park, near Buckingham Palace, and, as it happened, about a block from the Spencer House.

The second morning we were there, we headed out to do some touristy things, and noticed a couple of guys on the corner with nice cameras, with rather long lenses. I didn’t think too much about it, but when we came back a few hours, there was a whole group of photographers all along the street.

Oh, those are paparazzi, I realized.

I wanted to know who they were waiting for, and not being shy, I walked up to one of the groups and asked. It turned out Rupert Murdoch was meeting with some people inside the Spencer House, and they were waiting for him to come back out.

Later that day, we were watching some news, and saw the footage of him coming out of the Spencer House. That was interesting, but I’m glad we didn’t wait around. Visiting the Tower of London was a much better use of our time.

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