John Bodkin Adams

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Dr John Bodkin Adams
Dr John Bodkin Adams (1899–1983) was a GP and a suspected mass murderer.

Adams was born in Randalstown, County Antrim, studied medicine at Queen's University Belfast, and worked for many years as a GP in Eastbourne. He became suspected of having murdered many of his patients, to benefit under their wills, but he was acquitted in 1957 in the only murder case brought to court. He was later convicted of forging prescriptions, making false statements on cremation forms, and offences under the Dangerous Drugs Act.


While investigating the murders, the police acquired a memorandum belonging to a Daily Mail journalist, concerning rumours of homosexuality between "a police officer, a magistrate and a doctor". The doctor was Adams, the magistrate was Sir Roland Gwynne, a former Mayor of Eastbourne and brother of Rupert Gwynne, former MP for Eastbourne (1910-24), and the police officer was the Deputy Chief Constable of Eastbourne, Alexander Seekings.[1]

The 1961 film Victim alludes to Adams when it is mentioned that the main character, barrister Melville Farr, defended a "Dr Porchester". "He should have hung, you know," Farr is told by Calloway, an actor who was present in court; he replies "There was a moment when we thought he would. We were all very relieved."


Based on a much fuller article on Wikipedia.

  1. Pamela V Cullen, A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006. ISBN 1-904027-19-9