Charlie ‘Killer’ Seiga book signing in Southport

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Charlie ‘Killer’ Seiga book signing in Southport

crime author Charlie ‘Killer’ Seiga was in Southport today (Tuesday 28th January 2014) to sign a copy of his book “A Liverpool Streetwise Kid”.

The book was specially ordered by Alex Gilbert for his dad’s birthday present. Charlie came down to Reputation Mensweare on Lord Street where Alex works and personally signed the book for him.

He then retreated to The Vincent Hotel for lunce before heading back to Liverpool.

Charlie Seiga was one of the most dangerous men in Britain. Men were murdered in and around the city of Liverpool, and many times the police marked him out as the killer. The killings were swift, brutal and brilliantly organised. The victims; liberty takers and sadists, were all hard bastards who dealt in the most vicious kind of violence.

He was born 1940 in Huyton, Liverpool 14. Growing up after the war years times were hard, particularly in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Kids went hungry and food was rationed. Some families had to beg, steal or borrow to survive.

There seemed no way out for some kids; but Charlie found his own way out. On a routine basis; together with his childhood gang, they did what they had to do; providing food to put on their families tables amongst other things.

In 1952. Quotefrom Charlie: ‘My life of crime began after I had a vicious street-fight with another kid. He was the local hard-case bully; he and his gang used to way lay me and my two friends. My friends and I were good little earners at that time, and because they couldn’t make anything themselves, the hard case bully used to force us to hand over any gear that we had on us. It was like a sort of mugging that goes on today. He was bigger and older than me; aged 15, but I fronted him up and made a mess of him. That gained me the respect of all the local street kids, and I became a gang leader; I was just 12 years old!’   At the age of thirteen he meets his mentor a woman of thirty-eight years old, her name is Winnie. With Winnie, Charlie progresses further, she has him well groomed and dressed as an office boy wearing blazer and shirt and tie and she teaches him how to steal expensive diamond rings from under the noses of high class jewellers. This was well planned out, displaying real classic cases of robberies which were highly rewarding.   In 1954 at the age of fourteen and with his young villainous gang they committed crimes that would put a professional criminal to shame, and he became one of the richest teenagers in the city of Liverpool, where they operated from.   1955. At fifteen years old he eventually gets caught for a jewel heist and even though he is a juvenile he still gets severely treated and interrogated. Police methods were ruthless in those days. He was taken outside in the freezing cold winter rain and handcuffed to a cast iron drainpipe for hours all because he refused to sign a confessed statement. Eventually he was remanded to a juvenile remand home, where he witnessed the sexual abuse of young boys; by their carers, who liked to be called Master or Sir. Charlie rebelled over what he had seen, and due to the subsequent uproar he caused in the remand home he was finally released on bail and, ironically, all charges against him were dropped.   Quote from Charlie:  ‘Before arriving at Woolton Vale juvenile remand home, I had heard all kinds of stories from kids on the outside about what went on there.  Some of the staff were beasts.  At night in the dormitory it would sometimes happen.  One of the staff would come in pretending he was just saying goodnight and then select one of the little kids and the filth would start.  Some of those kids were only about nine or ten years old.  The beatings I witnessed were terrible too.  How these people got these jobs was beyond me.  Those days, forty-five years ago, everything was ‘hushed up’ and it would be twenty years before the outside world faced up to the problem and accepted that for decades it had been the kids telling the truth and the wardens and staff who had been lying.  I knew then that nobody would believe the kids if they complained.  I was fortunate nobody tried anything on me…maybe it was because I was bigger and older and could handle myself.’

1956; aged sixteen Charlie turned more and more into a young gangster; but a gangster with a difference.  One who will grow to live by his code of honour.  He hates women beaters and child molesters.  His presence becomes a constant challenge to the lowlife that prey on those who cannot defend themselves.

1957, at the age of seventeen he mastered the art of safe blowing; which at the time was considered the pinnacle of excellence amongst the top criminal fraternity; and they gave him their respect.  He was eventually arrested and remanded to an adult prison.   As the crime was serious and high profile; high-ranking police officers from different parts of the country where safe-blowing crimes had taken place, came to interrogate him, (which in those days, was very severe), but he refused their requests to talk.

At the High Court in the city of Chester, he stood charged with this serious offence.  The right honourable Mr Justice Castles; who presided over his case, was quoted as saying: ‘He is like a young lion who had tasted his first blood.’  But through a legal and a technical point at the trial, the seventeen year old Charlie Seiga walked out of the court free, and made history for being the youngest safe-blower in Great Britain!

In 1964 at twenty-two years of age, he served a prison sentence of two years in Walton Prison, Liverpool.  It was alleged he was dangerously armed with a shot gun; it is said he kept a gang of men including a police officer at bay, whilst his gang escaped.

Quote from Charlie: ‘To be honest when I entered the prison I had acquired a massive reputation, it gained me respect amongst the top cons, so with a bit of pull here and there I was given a cushy job.’

He was appointed work on the prison reception.  One of his duties was to serve meals to the last person in Britain to be hanged!  He recalls seeing the condemned prisoner (his name was Allen) arriving back from court having been sentenced to death, being taken to the condemned cell, and being the last person to speak to him.

Quote from Charlie; ‘I remember saying to Allen “You’ll be ok, you’ll get your reprieve.”  He seemed confident because six months before; a man named Masters was in the same condemned cell and he got reprieved.  Also at that time in 1964 capital punishment was about to be abolished.’

Allen though was unlucky…he was hanged!

On the morning of the hanging all the prisoners in Walton Prison went from uproar to complete silence.  We all knew that he was dead.  After about an hour all our cells were unlocked; a friend of mine who was a cleaner told me he had been ordered to clean out the condemned cell; he told me it had been in a terrible mess there were blood stains on the walls and some of the furniture was broken.  Later on one of the screws told us that Allen had put up a ferocious fight.  I believe what used to happen was that if the condemned man struggled or tried to resist there would be a gang of screws as a back-up, who also assisted the hangman.

In the late 1960’s and 70’s Charlie became one of the most successful villains of his time.  Police believed he was the brains behind the major firms involved in bank raids, wage snatches armed robberies and other serious crimes involving hundreds of thousands of pounds, but they remained unable to convict him; he became known as the ‘Houdini’ of the criminal underworld.

In the 1980’s and 90’s, crime had rapidly changed, the old school type gangster had almost disappeared, a new breed of criminal had emerged; and the vast majority of these became ruthless in their activities.  The gun became; and still is, the weapon of choice.  Gangster wars had broken out amongst the criminal fraternity!

In 1998 he went on trial for murder; he was accused of pumping three bullets into the head of one of these new lowlife breeds.  He had also been questioned over other killings which were swift, brutal and brilliantly organised.

Quote from Charlie:  ‘It is quite true that I have been accused of killing other men and questioned about unsolved contract killings; the Liverpool Murder Squad; in their eyes still believe I was responsible. But they are wrong.’

Quote from the trial judge:  ‘This is a classic case of a contract killing.’

He was acquitted.  No one has ever been convicted of the murder.

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Pictured above is Charlie relaxing in The Vincent Hotel, Southport with a good friend.

CROWN COURT Regina V Charles Particulars in Support of Reg. 9 (5) (B)

This was all in all as gruelling and hard-fought a murder trial as any I can remember in my 27 years at the criminal bar, in which time I have defended in literally dozens of important murder trials.  This was a trial which demanded long hours of preparation at nights, weekends and in the early mornings in my hotel room to prepare for cross examination.  It was a dramatic and even a thrilling case.  Nobody present will ever forget its atmosphere or the scenes of pandemonium in the public gallery which accompanied the final not guilty verdict.  This trial lasted 19 working days in all and I have to say I underestimated both its length and factual difficulties at the outset.  This was, in summary, in the very top league of contested murder trials in this country.

Jonathan Goldberg 3/11/98

CONFIDENTIAL POLICE MEMO  Liverpool Police Force 1998  Charles Antony Seiga – D.O.B. 7/4/1940  Charlie Seiga had a reputation for being a violent character.  Intelligence was constantly being received of shootings being perpetrated by this man, but rarely would anyone come forward to complain about him.

He was known to be a careful planner and always seemed to provide a back door for himself when he knew he was to be arrested.  He would often disappear after such events, and when the heat died down, would calmly walk into a police station and give himself up, knowing full well that the complaint had either been withdrawn or that the complainant, through fear, had been bought off.

He would vent his violence on other criminals who harmed or tried to bully his family or friends.

Having left the police force and now retired, it came as no surprise to me when I read about Seiga being arrested for a contract killing.  How he got out of that one I do not know, and the secret of that job, along with many others, will no doubt be carried with him to his grave.  The police are not looking for anyone else in relation to this matter and, in my experience; they must be more than satisfied that they had the correct man in the dock.  He was commonly known as Charlie Seiga, but we had another name for him – Killer!  Charlie Seiga became the longest reigning gangster in Great Britain; stretching from the 50’s right up to the late 90’s.  He retired from a life of crime a few years ago; he is now reformed and a successful crime writer.

His books are still selling strongly today; as they will never date, and they are relevant to today’s society.

A script is currently being written based on this unique, eventful and powerful life story!

Visit his website

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