Gangster

Gangster

By BBC Radio 5 Live

Gangster presents...

A 6-part true crime podcast documenting the biggest organised crime bust in British policing history. It happens in 2020 when police in France penetrate an encrypted phone network called EncroChat. According to police, the phones were used exclusively by criminals. For over two months, police forces across Europe were reading the secret communications of major league criminal networks. The Metropolitan Police, working with the National Crime Agency and other forces, used this information to uncover the workings of organised crime groups. “It was like being in a room with them and they are talking freely, and they don't see you there,” says DCI Driss Hayoukane, the Senior Investigating Officer who led the Met’s EncroChat operation. Police went public about the EncroChat hack in July 2020. This is the first time that the inside story of some of the Met’s biggest EncroChat cases has been told to a broadcaster. Talking exclusively to BBC Sounds, police officers reveal how they used the gangsters’ messages to uncover arms dealing and expose murder plots as well as major drug trafficking and money laundering operations. Stories featured in the series include:

- A murder plot unearthed by the Met in a joint operation with South Wales police. - Two apparently legitimate businessmen, living in a Buckinghamshire village, whose wealth really came from cocaine trafficking and major league money laundering, - A corrupt police officer who was working for a notorious London crime group.

At a time when the Metropolitan Police Service has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it’s a rare story of an extraordinary success: nearly 1000 arrests; over 400 convictions; the seizure of £19 million in cash, three tonnes of Class A and B drugs and 49 guns. But presenter Mobeen Azhar does not shy away from what have been difficult issues for the Met police: an officer from the Met’s anti-corruption unit speaks for the first time about how hacked EncroChat messages helped to expose the worst case of police corruption he had ever seen; and Mobeen asks the officer leading theMet’s EncroChat investigation about the experience of being an ethnic minority officer in a force found to be institutionally racist. Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Sound designer: Peregrine Andrews Assistant Commissioner: Lorraine Okuefuna Commissioning Editor: Louise Kattenhorn Production Executive: Laura Jordan-Rowell Creative Director for BBC Studios: Georgia Moseley Unit Manager: Lucy Bannister Production manager: Elaina Boateng Development Executive: Anya Saunders Editorial Policy Advice: Su Pennington Legal advice: Hashim Mude and Andrew Downey Consulting editor: Steve Boulton Production Co-ordinator: Juliette Harvey Thanks also to Beena Khetani, Adele Humbert, Hugh Levinson, Ali Rezakhani, Rhiannon Cobb, and Jack Griffith.

Episodes

Catching the Kingpins: 6. Final Reckoning

The EncroChat hack has given the police unprecedented access to the secrets of organised crime. Nearly four years on from the hack, the detective who led the Met’s EncroChat investigation, DCI Driss Hayoukane, reveals what the police have learnt about OCGs which they didn’t know before. Presenter Mobeen Azhar hears about the impact of the EncroChat operation from Driss and from the National Crime Agency. There have been thousands of arrests, 200 threats to life averted and tonnes of drugs seized. But has taking out the kingpins cut crime? Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Sound designer: Peregrine Andrews Assistant Commissioner: Lorraine Okuefuna Commissioning Editor: Louise Kattenhorn Production Executive: Laura Jordan-Rowell Creative Director for BBC Studios: Georgia Moseley Unit Manager: Lucy Bannister Production manager: Elaina Boateng Production coordinator: Juliette Harvey Development Executive: Anya Saunders Editorial Policy Advice: Su Pennington Legal advice: Hashim Mude and Andrew Downey Consulting editor: Steve Boulton Studio recording: Aaron Cazzola Thanks also to Beena Khetani, Adele Humbert, Hugh Levinson, Ali Rezakhani, Rhiannon Cobb, and Jack Griffith.
11/02/24·31m 49s

Catching the Kingpins: 5. Line of Duty

The truth unearthed about Met police officer PC Kashif Mahmood is stranger than an episode of the fictional drama Line of Duty. And it was evidence unearthed in the EncroChat operation which made him plead guilty. PC Kashif Mahmood had won five awards for his outstanding service as a police officer. But he was secretly working for an OCG in east London. A detective from the Met police’s anti-corruption unit talks publicly for the first time about the most brazen case of corruption he’s ever seen. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds.
04/02/24·28m 52s

Catching the Kingpins: 4. Who Built EncroChat?

Little is known about who invented the EncroChat network and who owned it. Even the police who investigated the criminals using the network, know little about who’s behind it. Journalists David James Smith and Joseph Cox explain what their investigations into the company reveal. Plus, why an expert in cryptography thinks the whole EncroChat operation could fall apart on a legal technicality. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds.
28/01/24·28m 34s

Catching the Kingpins: 3. In Suburbia

In the wealthy village of Denham in Buckinghamshire, Lee Hannigan and Harry Hicks-Samuels play the part of successful businessmen really well. Hannigan has a car garage, a mansion with a Ferrari on the drive and a place in Dubai. Hicks-Samuels is only 27 but has a watch business and flat in a luxury development. But the secrets of where their money really comes from are on their EncroChat phones. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds.
21/01/24·28m 38s

Catching the Kingpins: 2. Threat to Life

It's April 2020, and the Metropolitan Police are overwhelmed with messages hacked from the EncroChat network. Buried among the millions of texts and photographs, are the outlines of a murder plot. An anonymous EncroChat user is trying to source a gun and some ammunition for a drive by shooting. Will the police discover the messages before it’s too late? And will they be willing to risk the secrecy of the entire EncroChat operation by arresting someone on EncroChat evidence alone? Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds.
14/01/24·28m 58s

Catching the Kingpins: 1. The Hack

Police across Europe prepare for a top-secret operation: the hacking of EncroChat, an encrypted phone network favoured by organised crime groups. EncroChat’s server has been discovered in northern France. The French police are planning to secretly inject some code into the users’ next software update. If it works, police could be reading the criminals’ messages for weeks. At the Metropolitan Police in London, DCI Driss Hayoukane is summoned to a confidential meeting where he hears about the plan. He realises this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and decides to put his retirement on hold. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds.
07/01/24·28m 28s

Gangster Presents... Catching the Kingpins

A 6-part true crime podcast documenting the biggest organised crime bust in British policing history. It happens in 2020 when police in France penetrate an encrypted phone network called EncroChat. According to police, the phones were used exclusively by criminals. For over two months, police forces across Europe were reading the secret communications of major league criminal networks. The Metropolitan Police, working with the National Crime Agency and other forces, used this information to uncover the workings of organised crime groups. “It was like being in a room with them and they are talking freely, and they don't see you there,” says DCI Driss Hayoukane, the Senior Investigating Officer who led the Met’s EncroChat operation. Police went public about the EncroChat hack in July 2020. This is the first time that the inside story of some of the Met’s biggest EncroChat cases has been told to a broadcaster. Talking exclusively to BBC Sounds, police officers reveal how they used the gangsters’ messages to uncover arms dealing and expose murder plots as well as major drug trafficking and money laundering operations. Stories featured in the series include: - A murder plot unearthed by the Met in a joint operation with South Wales police. - Two apparently legitimate businessmen, living in a Buckinghamshire village, whose wealth really came from cocaine trafficking and major league money laundering, - A corrupt police officer who was working for a notorious London crime group. At a time when the Metropolitan Police Service has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it’s a story of an extraordinary success: nearly 1000 arrests; over 400 convictions; the seizure of £19 million in cash, three tonnes of Class A and B drugs and 49 guns. Presenter Mobeen Azhar does not shy away from what have been difficult issues for the Met police: an officer from the Met’s anti-corruption unit speaks for the first time about how hacked EncroChat messages helped to expose the worst case of police corruption he had ever seen; and Mobeen asks the officer leading the Met’s EncroChat investigation about the experience of being an ethnic minority officer in a force found to be institutionally racist. Catching the Kingpins is a BBC Studios Production for BBC Sounds. Presenter: Mobeen Azhar Series Producer: Andrew Hosken Editor and Executive Producer: Innes Bowen Sound designer: Peregrine Andrews Assistant Commissioner: Lorraine Okuefuna Commissioning Editor: Louise Kattenhorn Production Executive: Laura Jordan-Rowell Creative Director for BBC Studios: Georgia Moseley Unit Manager: Lucy Bannister Production manager: Elaina Boateng Development Executive: Anya Saunders Editorial Policy Advice: Su Pennington Legal advice: Hashim Mude and Andrew Downey Consulting editor: Steve Boulton Production Co-ordinator: Juliette Harvey Thanks also to Beena Khetani, Adele Humbert, Hugh Levinson, Ali Rezakhani, Rhiannon Cobb, and Jack Griffith.
03/01/24·2m 25s

The Burger Bar Boys: 6. Breaking Bad

Despite the landmark trial of 2004-05 leading to several convictions for the murder of Charlene and Letisha - the gang murders in the city continued. What more could be done to tackle the violence?In the final episode in the series, we look at how a combination of one man’s brilliant gang mediation and West Midlands police’s Operation Ventara slowly started to turn the tide and begin the process of restoring peace to the city of Birmingham. At the same time as the police were making inroads into dismantling the Burger Bar Boys’ operation in the city, the gang’s ambitions had begun to stretch to neighbouring cities – even as far as Aberdeen. The absence of crack cocaine and lack of rivals in other cities made spreading their net wider an easy task, but law enforcement continued to fight back.We’ll hear from an undercover police officer who was sent into Northampton to join the city’s Burger Bar Boys offshoot there, and how developments in ballistics allowed police to trace the movement of guns like the MAC-10 as they were passed around the country from one gang member to another.We conclude the series by looking at where things stand now in the city. What became of the convicted gang members, and how the Burger Bar Boys name still echoes around the streets of Handsworth to this day. We will hear how the families who lost loved ones feel as they reflect on the events of the last few decades, and how back in the Burgers’ home territory of Handsworth, there is at last some optimism.New episodes are released on Fridays. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster: The Burger Bar Boys first on BBC Sounds. bbc.in/40W5ChzPresenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
08/12/23·33m 50s

The Burger Bar Boys: 5. Judgement Day

It’s late 2004 and the buzz of police helicopters and sea of armed police around Leicester Crown Court creates a tense, intimidating atmosphere as one of the biggest murder trials of the decade gets underway. West Midlands police have the men they believe responsible for the deaths of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare ready to stand trial for their crimes. But this was not going to be an easy conviction. Detectives had identified 75 people they believed could provide key evidence - yet all of them refused to testify. Then a break came from a man in prison who told prison officers he had seen some of the men in the car involved in the shooting. The problem was - he needed to remain anonymous, and this would involve a legal first.The trial would go on to last the best part of six months - at that point it was the longest trial in British history and there were several times when it threatened to collapse. Meanwhile, the Burgers were doing everything they could to find out the identity of the secret witness, using extreme violence and intimidation to uncover the name of this faceless man trying to put them behind bars. For the families of Letisha and Sophie and West Midlands police - would they get to witness the killers being put behind bars and finally bring the Burger Bar Boys’ reign of terror to an end?New episodes are released on Fridays. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster: The Burger Bar Boys first on BBC Sounds. bbc.in/40W5ChzPresenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
01/12/23·31m 50s

The Burger Bar Boys: 4. The Murder of Innocents

As the new century begins, the gang war in Birmingham intensifies. Bloody retaliation follows each shooting and we eventually reach the point where there is no longer any trace of mutual respect between the gangs.A gang war that began with vintage and adapted firearms had reached the point where submachine guns were the go-to weapon of choice. On January 1 in 2003, a group of innocent teenage girls were getting ready to celebrate the arrival of the new year together at a party in the heart of the Johnson Crew’s territory. Meanwhile, the Burgers were after revenge following the death of member Yohanne Martin and the failed attempt on the life of their ‘Godfather’, and they knew there would be Johnsons at the party.The tragedy that would unfold was to draw the world’s attention to the city of Birmingham. It was now 4am, the party was in full swing, and the girls had stepped out for air. A car pulled up and a 9mm pistol and MAC-10 machine gun - a weapon capable of firing a thousand rounds a minute - were fired into the crowd. Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis were killed instantly. Charlene’s sister Sophie was seriously injured and their friend Cheryl also suffered a bullet wound.In this episode we will hear the powerful and heart-breaking testimony of those closest to the girls and we hear how the girls’ senseless deaths became the turning point in the government’s response to gang violence. With the spotlight on Birmingham, the pressure was mounting on West Midlands police to bring those responsible to justice…Presenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
24/11/23·29m 9s

The Burger Bar Boys: 3. Fall Out

With the Yardie threat receding, the Johnson Crew and the Burger Bar Boys vied for dominance in the city. Guns became the weapon of choice, and nowhere felt safe; even the celebratory Handsworth Carnival turned into a scene of extreme gang violence. Territorial battle lines were drawn, with the Johnsons claiming the B6 postcodes of Lozells & Aston, and the Burgers controlling the B21 Handsworth area. It was in the 1990s that the names of key players began to emerge through the smoke of gun barrels. Known by their street names, the powerful and intelligent leader of the Burgers was dubbed 'the Godfather,' while others like S1, Little Dee, Charmer, and Honey Monster struck fear into the hearts of their rivals. Rumors circulated that S1 was so powerful that he was impervious to bullets due to a witchdoctor's protection spell, allowing him to survive multiple gunshot wounds.At the heart of the Burgers' operation was Raleigh Close in Handsworth, a maze of alleys and connecting ring-roads offering multiple escape routes from their rivals and the West Midlands police. As the millennium came and went, tit-for-tat murders increased, putting a strain on the area's City Hospital, which constantly dealt with new types of trauma injuries and tried to keep the body count down. Crucially, it was the murders during this period that revealed the power of the rival gang leaders. Not only were they capable of cold-blooded murder, often in broad daylight, but they could be seen by multiple witnesses, and still, the public was too terrified to step forward and secure a conviction. As their rivalry escalated into all-out war, the gangs intensified their recruitment efforts, targeting neighbourhood schools to bolster their growing number of foot soldiers and street dealers. For the Burgers and the Johnnies, what would happen next would have global repercussions...Presenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
17/11/23·30m 12s

The Burger Bar Boys: 2. The Yardies

The story now takes us from the aftermath of the Handsworth riots in 1985 to the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, where we learn how violence in Birmingham was about to escalate to a whole new level. As the fires were extinguished and the shattered glass was repaired, there was relative calm for the remainder of that decade. The local homeboys of the Handsworth and Lozells districts of Birmingham quietly made their living through low-level crimes such as dealing weed and selling stolen car stereos. At the same time, the younger generation united to combat racism in their respective districts, but a new threat loomed on the horizon. A band of ruthless, fearless gangsters, who shared the same roots as the homeboys, were arriving in the UK, starting in London and then spreading to areas like Handsworth. They were the Yardies, and they aimed to muscle in on the action. Their brutality knew no limits, and with a life expectancy of less than 30, they were in a hurry. To counter this new threat, the homeboys decided to fight fire with fire and began to take up arms.In this episode, we will take you from the streets of Handsworth to the infamous Tivoli Gardens district of Kingston, Jamaica, as we reveal just how terrifying the Yardies' methods were. We will also explore how the police, through their newly formed Operation Trident, and the homeboys of Birmingham responded. It was during this period that the fledgling Johnson Crew began to emerge. Simultaneously, a more ruthless offshoot of the homeboys was taking shape, and one brutal murder ignited the fuse for the war that would follow, as the Burger Bar Boys first flexed their muscles. With crack cocaine flooding the streets, the sound of gunfire began to fill the city nights...Presenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
10/11/23·29m 48s

The Burger Bar Boys: 1. Out of the Ashes

January 2, 2003: The senseless murders of two teenage girls thrust a vicious West Midlands gang into the national spotlight. The girls' deaths mark the culmination of the Burger Bar Boys' long-simmering feud with their rivals, the Johnson Crew - a conflict that threatens to engulf the city of Birmingham in an all-out gang war. But how did this hatred fester and grow, and what were the decades-long origins of this bloodshed in the city? In this podcast, Livvy Haydock will unravel the complicated history of violence, telling a story that traces back to the post-war arrival of the Caribbean Windrush generation and the often-betrayed promises made to them.In the 1960s, Enoch Powell delivered his incendiary "Rivers of Blood" speech in Birmingham, reflecting the racial tension in the area at the time. Two decades later, in the mid-1980s, the build-up of tension, along with friction between the police and Black and Asian communities, led to the Handworth Riots, resulting in parts of the city burning for two days.In this opening episode, you will hear from those who lived through these decades, those who lost loved ones in the turmoil, those who fought for peace, and those who have had close encounters with one of the most brutal gangs to have ever existed in the UK. This is the story of the rise and fall of the Burger Bar Boys...Presenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
03/11/23·29m 59s

Introducing Gangster: The Story of the Burger Bar Boys

A brand new series of Gangster tells the story of Birmingham’s notorious Burger Bar Boys - a gang born out of the Handsworth riots in 1985. Named after the fast food joint where they met, they were described as more ruthless than the Jamaican Yardies. They fought a bitter and bloody war with their rivals the Johnson Crew for control of the crack cocaine trade in the West Midlands. They controlled their turf in the suburb of Handsworth with threats, intimidation and sub machine guns. But when they killed two innocent girls in a drive-by shooting, they were brought down by their own community and a team of fearless detectives determined to stem the body count.Presenter – Livvy Haydock Series Producer – Hayley Mortimer Technical Producer – Nicky Edwards Producer – Patrick Kiteley Researcher – Megan Jones Archive Researcher – Nicola Han Fixer in Jamaica – Nick Davies Journalism Assistant – Tim Fernley Commissioning Executive – Louise Kattenhorn Assistant Commissioners – Lorraine Okuefuna and Natasha Johansson Editor and Executive Producer – Carl Johnston
27/10/23·3m 31s

Killing Death Row: 6. Living and dying

An execution and the story of an exoneration. Livvy Haydock hears about the final moments of one life, and the relief and joy of release when a different case is overturned. In this final episode she considers the impact of a changing political landscape on the future of the death chamber. Join Livvy as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in the number of executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 20 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult for executioners to get hold of the drugs used in lethal injections, which is what led Livvy Haydock to a surreal story about a man in Acton, West London, who was supplying these lethal drugs to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it. Whether it’s the bizarre hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes right behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and the campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout it all, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.New episodes released weekly. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster Presents… Killing Death Row first on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/40W5ChzPresenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Anna Meisel Sounds design and mix: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham Production coordinator: Janet Staples
27/10/23·31m 24s

Killing Death Row: 5. What’s the Cost?

The people of Jasper sought the death penalty for the brutal men who murdered James Byrd. But the cost of the trial was crippling and served as a warning to other small districts. In this episode, we’ll examine how cost plays a part in the number of US executions, as does a better understanding of institutional racism. Join Livvy Haydock as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 20 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult for executioners to get hold of the drugs used in lethal injections, which is what led Livvy Haydock to a surreal story about a man in Acton, West London, who was supplying these lethal drugs to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it. Whether it’s the hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes right behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and the campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout it all, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.New episodes released weekly. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster Presents… Killing Death Row first on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/40W5ChzArchive: KTVT-TVPresenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Anna Meisel Researcher: Ella Rule Sounds design and mix: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham Production coordinator: Janet Staples
27/10/23·34m 58s

Killing Death Row: 4. Who Cares if it Hurts?

If a lethal injection death is considered to be painful, that could make it vulnerable to a legal challenge as unconstitutional. What can the death of Corey Johnson tell us about the pain of a lethal injection, and does proof of pain hold sway in any US court, or indeed in the court of public opinion? Livvy Haydock heads out on the road to talk to Texans., and deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in the number of executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 20 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult for executioners to get hold of the drugs used in lethal injections, which is what led Livvy Haydock to a surreal story about a man in West London, who was supplying these drugs to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it. Whether it’s the hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes right behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and the campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.New episodes released weekly. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster Presents… Killing Death Row first on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/40W5ChzPresenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Anna Meisel Sounds design and mix: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham Production coordinator: Janet Staples
20/10/23·29m 29s

Killing Death Row: 3. Inside the Chamber

What happens in the death chamber is a push and pull between the desire of a victim’s family for justice, and the need to follow the letter of the constitution. In this episode we’ll see how the system tried to balance those needs. Former prison guards show us the final hours of a prisoner’s life. What does that tell us about the future of the US death penalty? Join Livvy Haydock as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in the number of executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 20 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult to get hold of lethal injection drugs, which is what led Livvy to a surreal story about a man in West London, who was supplying these ingredients to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it. Whether it’s the bizarre hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.New episodes released weekly. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster Presents… Killing Death Row first on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/40W5ChzPresenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Anna Meisel Sounds design and mix: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham Production coordinator: Janet Staples
20/10/23·29m 5s

Killing Death Row: 2. How to Kill the Killers

Welcome to the Allan Polunsky unit in Huntsville, Texas, where Livvy Haydock meets a murderer with three weeks to live. This killer will die by lethal injection; we talk to the inventor of that jab, and learn how it was hailed by some as a humane solution for a modern death penalty. Join Livvy Haydock as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in the number of executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 20 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult for executioners to get hold of the drugs used in lethal injections, which is what led Livvy Haydock to a surreal story about a man in Acton, West London, who was supplying these lethal drugs to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it. Whether it’s the bizarre hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes right behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and the campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout it all, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Anna Meisel Sounds design and mix: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham Production coordinator: Janet Staples
13/10/23·28m 59s

Killing Death Row: 1. The Hunt for Lethal Drugs

Join Livvy Haydock as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in the number of executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 20 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult for executioners to get hold of the drugs used in lethal injections, which is what led Livvy Haydock to a surreal story about a man in Acton, West London, who was supplying these lethal drugs to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it. Whether it’s the bizarre hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes right behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and the campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout it all, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.New episodes released weekly. If you’re in the UK, listen to Gangster Presents… Killing Death Row first on BBC Sounds: bbc.in/40W5ChzArchive: KTVT-TVPresenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Anna Meisel Sounds design and mix: Richard Hannaford Editor: Clare Fordham Production coordinator: Janet Staples
13/10/23·30m 0s

Gangster Presents... Killing Death Row

Join Livvy Haydock as she takes us deep into Death Row in the USA. While support for the Death Penalty in the US remains at over 50 per cent, there’s been a steady decline in the number of executions – from the modern era peak of 98 in 1999 to just 18 in 2023 so far. Only a handful of states actually carry out the killings. It’s even become more difficult for executioners to get hold of the drugs used in lethal injections, which is what led Livvy Haydock to a surreal story about a man in Acton, West London, who was supplying these lethal drugs to state penitentiaries in the US, and on to the macabre world of Death Row – and the people who live, work, and die on it.Whether it’s the bizarre hunt for new lethal injection supplies, or the tip of the glasses that mark an executioner’s signal, Livvy goes right behind the scenes into the chamber itself to examine the pressures on the system that have left just 5 US states actively carrying out executions this year and around 2,400 Death Row prisoners in limbo. We’ll hear from an inmate waiting to die, and one saved at the last moment. We’ll chat to the wardens who make it happen, and the campaigners who want to stop it. And throughout it all, we’ll discover the possible future for Death Row in the only western democracy still carrying out capital punishment.Listen first on BBC Sounds from Friday 13 October 2023.
06/10/23·3m 34s

Introducing: Blood on the Dance Floor

Journalist Jordan Dunbar joins Gangster's Livvy Haydock for a special introduction episode to the captivating podcast series Blood on the Dance Floor. Livvy and Jordan discuss true crime investigative reporting, the city of Belfast, and the dark underbelly of organised crime.Blood on the Dance FloorThe untold story of the murder of a gay police officer in Northern Ireland in 1997Belfast 1997. But not just any part of Belfast, gay Belfast. A place you've probably never heard of before. Cigarette smoke, aftershave and expectation fill the air in the only gay bar in the country. Sat having a drink on a night out is Darren Bradshaw. He was just 24 years old when he was shot dead in front of hundreds of people. His brutal murder by terrorists sparked fears of a return to all out violence as the new Labour government under Tony Blair sought to bring peace to Northern Ireland - on the road to the Good Friday Agreement.This is the untold story of his life and murder. A story of both love and eventually betrayal.Presenter Jordan Dunbar grew up in the city, he was a comedian and drag performer on the Belfast scene and yet this murder and Darren's life was never talked about.Following Darren's story brings to life the struggle of being gay in The Troubles, how Belfast got its first Pride parade only in 1991 and its very first openly gay club in 1994 -The Parliament bar where Darren was tragically shot dead.It's a community surviving as well as thriving against a backdrop of violence and discrimination. He meets the original drag queens, DJs and club pioneers determined to claim back the city centre from the terrorists and create a safe place of their own.Determined to piece together for the first time how Darren was killed that night and why, Jordan uncovers stories of bigotry, bravery and betrayal.Host: Livvy Haydock Reporter: Jordan Dunbar Series Producer: Paul Grant Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical Production and Sound Design: Craig Boardman Additional technical production: Nicky Edwards and Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistants: Tim Fernley and Jordan King Production Manager: Sarah Payton Assistant Commissioner: Lorraine Okuefuna Commissioning Editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and Executive Producer: Carl Johnston
03/07/23·17m 41s

John Palmer: 6. The Hitman

John Palmer is out of jail - but detectives are following his every move. They’re holed up in a secret underground hideout 300 miles from London, after its revealed Palmer has some of Scotland Yard’s top cops in his pocket. Then, he makes himself a target after he threatens to turn super grass.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence. Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Mick Tucker Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards Additional technical production: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Commissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
08/03/23·27m 26s

John Palmer: 5. Self Defence

John Palmer is up in the dock for his timeshare fraud - and his decision to represent himself doesn’t go to plan. As he spends time in prison, his timeshare business on empire on Tenerife splinters and two of his former employees are brutally murdered.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence. Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Mick Tucker Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards Additional technical production: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Commissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
01/03/23·28m 56s

John Palmer: 4. Chateau Palmer

As the violence on Tenerife escalates, the police gather more and more evidence against John Palmer. Back in the UK his pal Kenneth Noye stabs a man to death in a brutal road rage incident - and Palmer helps him escape to his chateau in France.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence. Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Mick Tucker Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards Additional technical production: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Commissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
22/02/23·28m 50s

John Palmer: 3. The Clumpers

John Palmer’s empire in the sun starts to make him some serious money, but back in England, he has to face the music in court for smelting Brink’s Mat gold. As he scams more and more people on Tenerife, he brings in a motley crew of henchmen to help keep things under control - and he develops and unhealthy appetite for cocaine.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence. Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Mick Tucker Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards Additional technical production: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Commissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
15/02/23·32m 38s

John Palmer: 2. London Calling

John Palmer heads to Tenerife where he starts to build a timeshare empire with the money made from the Brink’s Mat gold bullion robbery. But Scotland Yard are on his tail. His Somerset home is raided and there’s evidence to link him to ‘the crime of the century.’ Palmer is now a fugitive - but his options are running out.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence. Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Mick Tucker Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards Additional technical production: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Commissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston.
08/02/23·28m 25s

Introducing Gangster: The Story of John Palmer

Livvy Haydock travels from the streets of post-war Birmingham to the sun-kissed beaches of Tenerife - following the rise and fall of one of Britain’s richest, and most wanted, serious organised criminals.It’s a story of violence, mystery, murder and police corruption - of how an illiterate lad from a broken home went on to become as rich as the Queen - leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.Palmer owned a Learjet, a yacht, helicopters, a collection of fast cars and a chateau in France. A wheeler-dealer jeweller who started by selling paraffin from the back of a lorry and was catapulted to the top of the criminal world after the Brink’s-Mat heist in 1983 - the largest armed robbery in British history. He smelted millions of pounds worth of the gold, earning himself the moniker ‘Goldfinger.’ He then went on to mastermind a multi-million-pound timeshare fraud on Tenerife, scamming thousands of innocent victims who lost their life savings.In a series of exclusive interviews, Livvy hears from his associates and his victims - many of whom have never spoken before. And she meets the detectives who were tasked with bringing him to justice.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy HaydockSeries producer: Mick TuckerProducer: Patrick KiteleyTechnical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards and Richard HannafordJournalism Assistant: Tim FernleyProduction Manager: Sarah PaytonCommissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan HaskinsEditor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
01/02/23·4m 22s

John Palmer: 1. Palmer Nova

From the streets of post-war Birmingham, a young John Palmer - unable to read or write - starts to make a name for himself in the criminal underworld, wheeler-dealing jewellery and smelting gold. But it’s the Brink’s-Mat gold heist - the biggest armed robbery of all time - that provides him with the opportunity of a lifetime.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence. Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Mick Tucker Producer: Patrick Kiteley Technical production and sound design: Nicky Edwards Additional technical production: Richard Hannaford Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Sarah Payton Commissioning editors: Richard Maddock and Dylan Haskins Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston.
01/02/23·35m 59s

Curtis Warren: 6. This Charming Man

Just weeks after being released from jail, Warren finds himself back inside after his latest million pound drug deal is busted by police. He indulges in illicit sexual encounters behind bars.This podcast includes strong language and some descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock. Series producer: Paul Grant Producer: Scott Hesketh Technical production and sound design: Matthew Dempsey and Richard Hannaford. Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Cathy Clark Commissioning editor: Richard Maddock. Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
10/08/22·26m 57s

Curtis Warren: 5. The Rich List

Curtis Warren looks to bribe a corrupt police officer to get a mate off the hook. But he’s got major troubles of his own as police finally catch up with their target number one.This podcast includes strong language and some descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock. Series producer: Paul Grant Producer: Scott Hesketh Technical production and sound design: Matthew Dempsey and Richard Hannaford. Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Cathy Clark Commissioning editor: Richard Maddock. Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
03/08/22·30m 14s

Curtis Warren: 4. Double Dutch

A bloody gang war breaks out on the streets of Liverpool. Curtis Warren is in the firing line. He moves his operation to Holland, but the police are closing in.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock. Series producer: Paul Grant Producer: Scott Hesketh Technical production and sound design: Matthew Dempsey and Richard Hannaford. Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Cathy Clark Commissioning editor: Richard Maddock. Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
27/07/22·29m 52s

Curtis Warren: 3. Tigers and Cocaine

After walking free from a major drugs trial, Curtis Warren steps up his international drug dealing operation. He’s introduced to world of unimaginable wealth, excess and extravagance.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock. Series producer: Paul Grant Producer: Scott Hesketh Technical production and sound design: Matthew Dempsey and Richard Hannaford. Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Cathy Clark Commissioning editor: Richard Maddock. Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
20/07/22·27m 11s

Curtis Warren: 2. Narcos

Curtis Warren begins his remarkable rise from lowly street dealer to dealing directly with the notorious Colombian cocaine cartels. His first £100m shipment gets through - right under the noses of customs.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series producer: Paul Grant Producer: Scott Hesketh Technical production and sound design: Matthew Dempsey and Richard Hannaford. Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Cathy Clark Commissioning editor: Richard Maddock. Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
13/07/22·22m 45s

Curtis Warren: 1. Just a Lad from Tocky

Against a backdrop of unemployment and racism, Curtis Warren starts to make his mark on the streets of Toxteth. But a botched robbery lands him in prison for the first time.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock. Series producer: Paul Grant Producer: Scott Hesketh Technical production and sound design: Matthew Dempsey and Richard Hannaford. Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley Production Manager: Cathy Clark Commissioning editor: Richard Maddock. Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
06/07/22·28m 8s

Introducing Gangster: The Story of Curtis Warren

The story of Curtis Warren - one of Britain's biggest and wealthiest drug barons.
29/06/22·3m 49s

Paul Massey: 5. The Assassination

An assassin lays in wait. The aftermath takes the gang war to new levels of violence, leaving a young innocent victim seriously hurt and hardened criminals shocked at the callous brutality.This podcast contains strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series Producer: Paul Grant Producer: Oliver Newlan Assistant Editor: Ciaran Tracey Technical Production and sound design: Craig Boardman Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
19/04/21·24m 28s

Paul Massey: 4. The Serpent

Massey sets his sights on the top political job in Salford, but he's facing pressure on all sides. The police are out to get their man and he finds himself caught up in a violent gangland feud.This podcast contains strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series Producer: Paul Grant Producer: Oliver Newlan Assistant Editor: Ciaran Tracey Technical Production and sound design: Craig Boardman Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
19/04/21·24m 36s

Paul Massey: 3. Steak Night

Paul Massey is on a wild night out. He's being filmed by a TV crew, but the evening will change his life forever. A rival threatens to muscle in on his territory, but Massey is having none of it. And he spots a new money making venture.This podcast contains strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series Producer: Paul Grant Producer: Oliver Newlan Assistant Editor: Ciaran Tracey Technical Production and sound design: Craig Boardman Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
19/04/21·28m 56s

Paul Massey: 2. Code of Silence

Manchester is at the centre of a cultural revolution. The Hacienda. Acid house. Ecstasy. Paul Massey makes a moves on the drug scene and enforces his own style of justice on the streets.This podcast contains strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series Producer: Paul Grant Producer: Oliver Newlan Assistant Editor: Ciaran Tracey Technical Production and sound design: Craig Boardman Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
19/04/21·29m 4s

Paul Massey: 1. Made in Salford

From the tough streets of Salford, Paul Massey begins his rise in the criminal underworld. While in jail, he hatches a plan to bring the gangs together and take over the city.This podcast includes strong language and descriptions of violence.Presenter: Livvy Haydock Series Producer: Paul Grant Producer: Oliver Newlan Assistant Editor: Ciaran Tracey Technical Production and Sound Design: Craig Boardman Editor and executive producer: Carl Johnston
19/04/21·30m 7s

Introducing Gangster: The Story of Paul Massey

Gangster is the extraordinary story of Paul Massey - labelled Salford's Mr Big. It charts his rise and inevitable fall from a young tearaway on the streets of Salford to the head of an organised crime group controlling drugs, security and nightclub doors in Manchester. It’s a story told not only by some of those close to him – but uniquely by Massey himself – though excerpts from an interview most of which has never been broadcast before.Presenter Livvy Haydock enters the secretive underworld to speak to hardened criminals who reveal how Massey climbed his way to the top through violence and extortion. But Massey was unlike many other gangland bosses. He wasn’t just in it for the money, he also saw himself as a community leader. To many in his neighbourhood, he was seen as a Robin Hood figure – looking after their interests, promising to keep hard drugs off the streets and enforcing his own style of street justice.
19/04/21·4m 5s
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