The Real Ruth Ellis Story
The true story of the last woman to be executed in Britain
In 1955, former nightclub manageress Ruth Ellis shot dead her lover, David Blakely. Following a trial that lasted less than two days, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. She became the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and her execution is the most notorious of hangman Albert Pierrepoint's 'duties'.
Despite Ruth's infamy, the story of her life has never been fully told. Often wilfully misinterpreted, the reality behind the headlines was buried by an avalanche of hearsay. But now, through new interviews and comprehensive research into previously unpublished sources, Carol Ann Lee examines the facts without agenda or sensation. A portrait of the era and an evocation of 1950s club life in all its seedy glamour, A Fine Day for a Hanging sets Ruth's gripping story firmly in its historical context in order to tell the truth about both her timeless crime and a punishment that was very much of its time.
“A forensically researched book [that] casts a haunting new light on the last woman to be hanged in Britain”
“Worthy of Truman Capote”
Laurence Marks, playwright and screenwriter
“Wonderful . . . it will become the standard reference on Ruth Ellis”
Stewart P. Evans, crime historian
“A brilliantly researched epilogue of the doomed relationships that produced two children and one divorce and Ellis's catastrophic final days . . . All the compelling detail is here in Lee's overwhelming story, which puts Ellis's life into perspective”
Camden New Journal