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Medal awarded to policeman who captured the 'Black Panther' serial murderer for sale at Bonhams
Neilson was responsible for the death of five people mostly in the course of attacks on post offices as well as one kidnapping and death of a 17-year-old girl, Lesley Whittle. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- The Queens Gallantry medal and handcuffs used in the capture plus notebooks and images relating to the capture of serial killer Donald Neilson by Constable Anthony John White on December 11th 1975 will be sold at Bonhams Coin and Medal sale on 26th September in Knightsbridge.

Neilson was responsible for the death of five people mostly in the course of attacks on post offices as well as one kidnapping and death of a 17-year-old girl, Lesley Whittle.

The Gallantry medal, estimated to sell for £12,000 to £15,000, comes with a substantial archive relating to Constable Tony White's police service in particular items relating to the capture of Donald Neilson, including the original handcuffs used to apprehend him and the notebook he used at the time, and his photocopied witness statement, dated 11th December 1975.

The capture of this killer could not have been more dramatic and could have cost Constable White his and his police colleague’s life. At 10.40pm on 11th December 1975, Constable McKenzie and Constable White who were on patrol in a panda car, saw a man in dark clothing hurrying along the road. The police car was parked just off the road and the two officers decided to question the man.

Constable McKenzie drove the car on to the road, came alongside the man and Constable White then spoke to him through the car window. As the two officers were making notes to the answers to their questions, the man, who was subsequently found to be wanted by the police for murder and robbery with violence, suddenly produced a sawn-off shotgun and ordered Constable White into the back of the police car. When the Constable had obeyed, the gunman got into the front passenger seat, pushed the muzzle of the gun under Constable McKenzie's left arm and ordered him to drive.

On the man's instructions Constable McKenzie drove the car for about four miles, and as they were approaching a road junction, Constable White saw that the gunman's attention was momentarily diverted from Constable McKenzie; seizing his opportunity he grabbed the man round the neck and at the same time attempted to wrest the shotgun from him. The shotgun was discharged and the bullet narrowly missed Constable Mckenzie who then violently braked the car. As soon as the car came to a halt Constable McKenzie jumped out, shouted for help and then went to assist Constable White who was still engaged in a desperate struggle inside the car. Eventually with the assistance of members of the public who came to their aid, the two officers managed to overpower and handcuff the gunman.

At the court hearing a psychiatrist told the defence team, "I've examined him and he's the classic Psychopath of all time".

In July 1976, Neilson was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Lesley Whittle, for which he was given a life sentence. Three weeks later he was convicted of the murders of two postmasters and the husband of a postmistress. In total Neilson received five life sentences. The judge also gave Neilson a further 61 years: 21 years for kidnapping Lesley Whittle and 10 years for blackmailing her mother. Three further sentences of 10 years each were imposed for the two burglary charges from which he stole guns and ammunition and for possessing the sawn off shotgun with intent to danger life. All sentences were to run concurrently. The judge told Neilson that the enormity of his crimes put him in a class apart from almost all other convicted murderers in recent years. Neilson died in prison in 2008.

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