Saturday, October 16, 2010

Elwyn Jones

When it comes to True Crime writing Wales has produced two classics of the genre: Beyond Belief by Emlyn Williams (a study of the Moors Murders); and Bloody Valentine, A Killing in Cardiff by John Williams (an examination of the death of prostitute Lynette White). Another Welsh writer who contributed to the genre is Elwyn Jones (1923-82).

Jones, from Cwmaman, began his career writing documentaries and dramas for TV, such as Softly, Softly and Z-Cars. Later he became a full-time author. In his book The Last Two to Hang (1966) he retold the story of Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans, the last men to be hanged in Britain. Bizarrely, for reasons best known only to himself, Evans (real name John Welby) pretended to be Welsh throughout his trial, even affecting a Welsh accent. It didn't save him from the hangman's noose, though.

Other True Crime books penned by Jones are The Ripper File (1975), and Death Trials (1981) (see pic). Elwyn Jones also translated Saunders Lewis’s play Brad which he adapted for television.