This week we are running a special series of case files looking at five of London’s most notorious crimes. starting with Ruth Ellis.

We are working with the Museum of London which on Friday opens its fascinating new Crime Museum Uncovered exhibition.

It will feature objects from the Met Police’s Crime Museum – with the crime museum open to police professionals and invited guests only, the exhibits will be on public display for the first time.

Items include a laptop recovered from a car involved in the 2007 Glasgow Airport terrorist attack, handwritten notes from the Jack the Ripper investigation in the late 1880s and secret microdot messages that exposed the Portland Soviet spy ring in the early 60s.

The Crime Museum Uncovered runs from October 9 to April 10. Click here for ticket information and more details

We begin our tour into the archives of London’s most scandalous crimes with an infamous case from the 1950s.

Who was involved?

Ruth Ellis and her lover David Blakely.

Where and when did it happen?

Hampstead, north London, 1955.

What happened?

Ruth Ellis worked as a nightclub hostess in London. In 1950 she married and gave birth to a daughter, but the marriage was violent and ended shortly afterwards. By 1953 she was manager of the Little Club, where she met David Blakely, a hard-drinking, glamorous racing driver. Their relationship was volatile, so she also began seeing Desmond Cussen, a company director who offered more stability.

News Shopper:

In January 1955 she lost the child she was carrying when Blakely punched her in the stomach during an argument. On the evening of April 10 she waited for Blakely outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead, armed with a gun given to her by Cussen, and shot him five times. The sixth shot ricocheted off the pavement and injured a passing woman.

How was the case solved, and what was the outcome?

At the trial at the Old Bailey, the prosecutor Christmas Hum¬phreys asked Ellis only one question: “When you fired the revolver at close range into the body of David Blakely, what did you intend to do?” She replied: “It’s obvious, when I shot him I intended to kill him.” She was found guilty of murder. Despite a widespread appeal for mercy, she was executed on July 13, 1955.

What made it such an infamous case?

Ellis was the last woman to be executed in Britain. The public outcry around her execution led to changes in the law and ultimately the abolition of capital punishment.

Which exhibits from the case will be on display?

Exhibits on display include the Smith & Wesson .38 revolver used by Ellis to murder Blakely and an original copy of the Daily Mirror from the day she was executed. In it columnist Cassandra (journalist William Connor) questions the use of capital punishment.