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CRIME CHRONICLES: A killer caught with a broken lens

 Published on: 16th May 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

This month’s story tells the story of a burglary gone wrong in 1971, where the killer was caught in an unorthodox method.

Kevin O’Connor was a 27-year-old unemployed carpenter who decided to rob rent collector Frederick Bush, who was a neighbour of his in Southbourne Gardens, Ruislip.

On November 4, O’Connor entered the Mr Bush’s home whilst he was checking his collected rent, armed with a length of flex and a pillowcase. Putting on a stocking mask, he put his glasses into his pocket.

Upon finding Mr Bush, O’Connor knocked the man unconscious, tied him up, put the pillowcase over his head and then left, having stolen the cash and cheques that made up the rent. Putting his classes back on, O’Connor found one lens had broken.

Mr Bush’s daughter came home not long after to find her father had died. A post mortem examination found that the head injuries he’d got from being knocked unconscious had killed him, as his skull was abnormally thin. The official cause of his death was chronic bronchitis and heart failure.

Mr Bush’s glasses were found on the floor next to his body, as well as another unidentified broken lens. The prescription of the mystery lens was traced by an optical company, with details then sent to multiple opticians across the area.

Eventually, one found the lens had been prescribed to Kevin O’Connor, who was subsequently arrested in Aberdeen.

O’Connor stated he was unaware Mr Bush had died from his hit, only finding out through a newspaper report, but he admitted the killing. In December 1971, he was convicted of manslaughter and received a life sentence, though he was eventually released.

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