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Amidst the chaos of wartime London, criminals hunted their prey without fear of reprisal. Many operated under the cover of darkness, emerging when the city sank into the oblivion of its nightly blackout; others simply struck whenever opportunity presented itself. At a time when Londoners were pulling together in the face of terrible adversity, there were an increasing number of looters, racketeers, terrorists, criminal gangs, prostitutes, rapists and murderers stalking the bomb-ravaged, panic-ridden streets, and this book chronicles the rapid rise of crime throughout this turbulent period. The deprivations of war forced many onto the wrong side of the law, stretching the resources of London's Metropolitan Police Department to the limit. Air raids and the dangers of patrolling London in the dark cost the police more than 100 men during World War 2. Petrol rationing and mandatory radio silence placed limits on the department's mobility and communications. Despite such challenges, the Yard continued to tackle, as best it could, both routine crime and more sinister deeds born of bombs and blackouts. Indeed, wartime London was a criminal's paradise. The number of bodies being retrieved during the Blitz made it virtually impossible for authorities to perform autopsies on all of them. The question soon arose: Who were the victims of bombings, and who had simply been murdered? Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the London Blitz, renowned crime writer Simon Read will paint a vivid picture of what life was really like in 1940s London, as well as profile the crimes of its most notorious perpetrators, including the Blackout Ripper, Chicago Joe, the Elephant Boys, and the infamous Rillington Place Murderer, John Reginald Christie.