John Bodkin Adams was born in 1899 in Randalstown, educated at Coleraine Inst, and qualified in medicine from Queen’s Belfast. He worked as a GP in Eastbourne on the Sussex coast.
He was tried for murder in the 1950s, but acquitted. Subsequently, there have been suggestions of political interference at the highest levels in his trial.
He was described as the wealthiest GP in England.
It is now believed that he could have murdered 160 of his patients. Wikipedia has a great entry on him, from his page:
John Bodkin Adams (21 January 1899 – 4 July 1983) was an Irish general practitioner, convicted fraudster and suspected serial killer. Between 1946 and 1956, more than 160 of his patients died in suspicious circumstances. Of these, 132 left him money or items in their wills. He was tried and acquitted for the murder of one patient in 1957. Another count of murder was withdrawn by the prosecution in what was later described as “an abuse of process” by the presiding judge Patrick Devlin, causing questions to be asked in Parliament about the prosecution’s handling of events. The trial was featured in headlines around the world and was described at the time as “one of the greatest murder trials of all time” and “murder trial of the century”. It was also described at the time as “unique” because, in the words of the judge, “the act of murder” had “to be proved by expert evidence.”
Radio Ulster will broadcast a programme about him on Sunday, 21 February at 12.30. This will contain information from police files which were to be embargoed until 2033.
Robert Campbell is a retired surgeon.