Dmitry The Undead


Three imposters claimed to be the assassinated son of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Dmitry – but the first of the fraudsters got the furthest, actually being crowned Tzar on 10th June, 1605, and reigning over Russia for almost a year. His name was Grigory Otrepiev – now more often known as ‘False Dmitry I’ – …

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The First Hijack


Pan-Am pilot Byron Rickards was surrounded by soldiers and told he had become the prisoner of a revolutionary organisation shortly after landing in Arequipa, Peru on 21 February 1931 – the first recorded aircraft hijack in history. Rickards refused to drop pro-rebel propaganda, leading to a stand-off – although, astonishingly, it wasn’t the only time …

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The Krays in Soho


The Hideaway Club, now part of London’s Chinatown, opened on 16th December, 1964. Ronnie and Reggie Kray didn’t turn up for the big night, even though they had booked a table. It was an opening gambit in a war of intimidation against the manager of the club, Huw Cargill McCowan – to whom the gangsters …

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