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How Police Caught a Murderer From a Single Clue (The Rolex Killer)

Today we are going to give you another dark tale dredged from the quagmire of human depravity.

We’ll start with what should have been a harmless fishing trip.

It involved two friends, well, one friend and one killer.

What the innocent of the party doesn’t know is that the other man is living under his

identity.

That poses a problem for the killer-to-be, so he needs to get him out of the way.

What he did is said, “Hey, let’s go fishing.”

The innocent man agreed, and he ended up swimming with the fishes in the English Channel.

The man that killed him has one of the strangest stories ever told.

That man is named Albert Johnson Walker and his story begins in Ontario, Canada.

We don’t know much about his upbringing there, but we do know he was a high school

drop-out.

We also know he liked money early on in life, and his first job was working for a Trust

Company.

There he learned the tricks of the trade and also started doing bookkeeping as a freelance

gig in his spare time.

So far nothing untoward is happening, but when he opened his firm “Walker Financial

Services Incorporated” he was likely always leaning to criminality.

That firm for a while did well and Walker opened six branches in total and employed

around 30 people, but then in 1986 a stock that he had heavily invested in went bust

and that meant a lot of people lost the money they had given him to invest.

It’s said he defrauded around 70 of his Canadian clients to the sum of $3.2 million.

He was good at getting people’s money, and part of his trickery was gaining folk’s

trust.

Who wouldn’t believe him?

He was a pillar of the community, a successful businessman and also a Sunday school teacher.

This was all for show, however.

He was gifted to some extent, but he was also a natural born scammer.

He knew he had to get out of Canada, but he also had a wife and four kids.

He said something like this to loving wife, hey, I think I’ll take our 15-year old daughter

on a skiing trip to Europe.

Hope you don’t mind.

You stay here and take care of our three other kids.

He had no intention of ever coming back to this family.

In fact, he’d been planning a getaway for some time, having set up a dodgy company in

the Cayman Islands where all his churchgoing friends’ cash was hiding.

Just before he left he metaphorically kicked his wife in the face as behind her back he

had remortgaged their house to the tune of $44,000.

This was his spending money.

All this didn’t escape the eyes of the Canadian police, but it seemed they were always one

step behind this crook.

When Walker took off to Europe with his daughter he soon became Canada’s most wanted criminal

and he was also high on the list of Interpol’s most wanted.

What do you do when the world is looking for you?

You change your name of course.

Albert Walker went to the UK and he became a Mr. David Wallace Davis.

This new man ended up in London and there he showed everyone that he was a wealthy entrepreneur.

He was quite the socialite and good at making friends, just as he was in Canada when he

impressed all his devout buddies.

It was all an act of course, but the Brits loved him.

One of the people he met was named Elaine Boyes and she was a receptionist for a fine

art auctioneer in a place called Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

This is a charming part of the industrial North, what some Brits might call a posh place

just outside the fairly large city of Leeds.

It was an ideal place for Walker, now Davis, to start a new life of scamming.

The woman he talked to who lived there told him she had a boyfriend and he was fanatical

about Canada.

This guy, named Ronald Platt, even had a Maple Leaf tattooed on his hand.

She told Davis that she and her BF wanted nothing more than to move to Canada.

Hmm, thought Walker, maybe I can help you out.

Both Walker and Platt got into business together in Harrogate, which was just an extension

of Platt’s TV repair business.

The two became partners and we guess Walker invested some of that stolen cash into the

business.

Platt, though, was always restless and he really wanted to move to Canada.

While all this was going on you might ask what the 15-year kid was thinking.

Well, she had aged a few years and believe it or not Walker was pretending that she was

his wife.

She even had two children, but she has never revealed if the kids were her father’s.

We warned you that this was a dark tale.

It gets much darker.

So, Platt wants to go to Canada and Walker is a maniac.

The maniac tells the innocent man that he will pay for his move to Canada.

Wow, thinks Platt, what a great man.

Walker said there’s just one thing.

If Platt is to skedaddle to the land of poutine and extreme winters he’ll have to sign a

few things over first regarding the business, Walker also told Platt that to keep the business

going he’ll need Platt’s driver's license, signature stamp and birth certificate.

Yes, that sounds awfully sketchy, but Walker was extremely gifted in the art of scammery.

Platt took off to Canada in the early 90s but it wasn’t a land of milk and honey for

him and he soon fell into financial difficulties.

Meanwhile, Walker was now living in the UK as a Mr. Platt.

From Walker, to Davis, to Platt.

He had forged documents and this worked well for him.

Now we have the problem we talked about in the intro.

Platt came back to the UK broke and wanted to start his life their again.

Only Harrogate wasn’t big enough for two Ronald Platts.

One of them had to go.

At this time the real Platt thinks Davis is still Davis and so when he is invited to go

on a fishing trip on a boat, he agrees.

It’s the summer of ’96 and a good time to go fishing.

The two went out on that boat, called “The Lady Jane”, and floated around the English

Channel.

All we know is that during this trip at some point Walker went up behind Platt and knocked

him unconscious.

He was out, but still in the boat.

Walker then attached a 4.5-kg anchor to Platt’s belt and threw the body overboard.

Good riddance thought the fake Platt, now I can get back to being you again.

And it could have been the perfect crime, but in the words of Scooby Doo, he would have

gotten away with it if it weren’t for one thing.

We have cops in Canada looking for Walker and on the boat we now have one man pretending

to be Platt who no doubt is proud of his crime.

The problem is, the real Platt was wearing a watch when he was thrown overboard.

That might not sound like much to you, but you obviously haven’t watched enough Scooby

Doo.

You see, two weeks after he was chucked into the sea a fisherman found the body.

At that time it was unrecognizable and police had no idea who they had found.

What they did find, though, still in good condition, was a watch on the body’s hand.

That watch was a Rolex, and we are not talking about one of those fakes you can buy in Cambodian

night markets.

The cops thought at first that they had a suicide on their hands, but they had to find

the identity of this body that was half eaten by fish.

To do that they looked to the watch.

If you have a very expensive watch you usually get it serviced, and so the cops looked for

service markings on the thing.

They found some, and then they went off to the store where it had been serviced.

Lo and behold the cops found out that this watch had belonged to a man named Ronald Platt,

which was weird because Ronald Platt was alive and well and had a TV repair business.

What was going on, because this body was certainly Platt?

They also knew when that person had died because while the Rolex was waterproof if inactive

they were told that it would stop working after 44 hours.

They just had to look at the calendar to see when it stopped.

Now they went to meet this other Platt guy.

They waited three weeks before pouncing and then on Halloween armed cops raided the house.

After he was arrested the cops discovered this man had been Walker, then Davis and then

Platt.

They also looked at the boat Walker owned.

Police would later say, “Inside the cabin were some cushions on which we found some

head hairs.

DNA tests proved that they were from the deceased man.

And forensic tests found zinc traces from the anchor on Mr. Platt’s belt and traces

of leather on the anchor.”

They found out he was a wanted man in Canada and he was also charged with murder.

They discovered a woman at the house, someone who neighbors thought was Mrs. Platt.

It was of course the daughter, named Sheena. in 1998 he was found guilty of murdering his

friend and business partner and the court heard about this man’s double life.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the judge saying, “It was in my judgement

a callous, premeditated killing designed to eliminate a man you had used for your own

selfish ends.”

He also said, “The killing was carefully planned and cunningly executed with chilling

efficiency”.

The conman had gold bars hidden and stacks of cash.

He was set up if he had remained Mr. Platt.

As for his daughter, she came out a few years later and told the Canadian media that her

father was an “evil” man.

She said she wanted him to die in an English prison and she said she was very disappointed

to hear that the authorities had agreed to send Walker back to Canada to finish his sentence.

She said, “I fear for my family’s safety…I believe that he poses a threat, that I need

to protect my family from him.”

That’s because Platt might get released early due to his ill-health, but as we write

this it seems he is still doing time.

She also said, “I was under the impression that he'd be gone for a lot longer and I would

have time to build a better life for my family -- just in order to protect them for the future

and any threat he poses to us.”

As for her two kids, well, she has never said who the father is.

The daughter said that her pop had not told her about all the cash he’d ripped off those

Canadians and when he took her to the UK he just manipulated her and filled her head with

lies.

Walker by the way has always maintained his innocence, saying Platt was his good friend.

He admitted that throughout his life he might at times have been “economical with the

truth” which could be the understatement of the century.

The daughter just wants to forget about her past life, telling the media, “I don't want

any contact with him, I want to move on with the rest of my life and have some closure

on this.”

Albert Walker was caught thanks to a big shiny clue, as well as modern forensics.

But what could the police do in the times before modern science opened up the possibility

of using DNA to identify suspects or find latent fingerprints at a crime scene?

What hope would a police detective in the late 1800s have to catch one of the most notorious

serial killers of all time, who stalked the streets of London committing grisly crimes

without leaving behind a shred of evidence or a clue to his identity.

Find out what it was like to be there yourself by jumping inside the mind of the police detective

hunting Jack the Ripper in the new show “I Am.”

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