Jan. 31, 2021

series 3 episode 19 The Rise and fall of the Messinas'

Hello, I am not sure anyone is going to read this but here goes…. This is the first blog I am writing for the podcast Strange Stories UK. I have just put up the website for the podcast, thanks to ‘podpage’,  thank you to them for making everything so easy.

I am well into my third year of podcasting now, this is ‘number 81’ I think, and I have only just noticed that there is a facility for adding a transcript so I will add a transcript from now on.

As I have stated in the past, this is just a hobby for me and I realise that the podcasts are not that professional but I think there has been an improvement in the quality of production over time, although I still stumble over words and you may hear a dog barking or a chicken  calling if I have the window open.

I do not bother with editing as I consider it time wasted for me, in that the time I would have to invest in editing, would not improve the podcast to a degree to justify that time. I record the podcasts in one take and don’t even listen to them until after they have been posted.

As there seems to be more and more podcasts being posted, I thought I would try to grow Strange Stories UK, hence the podcast. Some of the popular episodes have more than 3000 downloads. Other podcasts struggle to make 1,000 downloads these include some of the ones I enjoyed doing most such as ‘The Loch Ness Monster’ or ‘Borley rectory’; True Crime always seem to do well.

I thought I would try to change the way I release episodes in future. I am planning to release one episode each month of an hour or longer and two shorter episodes of around 30 minutes, one of which will be a recent story.

Well, I have not prepared anything about the Messina episode, I have included a photograph of Eugenio when he was attending court in Belguim in 1955, to show that he was not an intimidating figure, the other photograph is of Marthe Watts, Eugenio and Carmelo Messina ( I think Carmelo has been cropped off but he looks just like Eugenio).

My list of sources:

National Archive ‘Prostitution and Allied offences: Messina brothers. Ref HO 45/25638.

National Archive ‘Unsolved murder of Rachel Fennick’ Ref MEPO 3/3027. (The murder Mile podcast have covered this murder in some detail.)

The Mayfair Mafia -Dick Kirby.

Gangland Soho- James Morton.

Sex work in Colonial Cairo 1882-1952-Francesca Biancani.

Villains’ Paradise- Donald Thomas.

Underworld- Duncan Campbell./

There were snippets from a couple of other books and some newspaper articles.

If anybody has read this, thank you. I think I have included a facility for messages to be sent, this is untested but if it is not working now, I will get it ready for the next pod.

All the best.


So the photos did not work, I will put them on the Strange Stories UK Facebook site.