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Irish 'slave' revealed as daughter of Bletchley Park code breaking hero

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  • Irish 'slave' revealed as daughter of Bletchley Park code breaking hero

    Irish 'slave' revealed as daughter of Bletchley Park code breaking hero
    Irish woman allegedly held captive for 30 years in Maoist sect is revealed as daughter of Bletchley Park codebreaker, John Herivel

    By Martin Evans, and Claire Duffin and Ben Riley-Smith10:30PM GMT 26 Nov 2013

    An Irish woman allegedly held as a slave by a Maoist sect in south London is the daughter of one of the Bletchley Park code breakers who helped ensure the Allied victory in the Second World War, the Telegraph can reveal.

    Josephine Herivel, 59, is the daughter of mathematician, John Herivel, who was a key figure in the team who cracked the German Enigma ciphers in 1940.
    Brought up with her two sisters, Mary and Susan in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she joined Aruvindan Balakrishnan’s extremist collective in the 1970s after moving to London to study, turning her back on her family.

    When her father died in 2011 obituaries only made mention of his two other daughters, who now live in London and refused to comment on the development.

    A friend of the family said they had tried to make contact with Miss Herivel for years, but without success.

    She was educated at the prestigious Belfast Methodist College, and was a talented musician before moving to London, where she became involved in the far left.

    One of the core figures in Mr Balakrishnan’s tight-knit circle of loyalists, Miss Herivel was prosecuted in 1978 after police raided the group’s south London bookshop and headquarters.

    Appearing in court alongside five fellow cult members, she displayed the extent to which she had fallen under the spell of its charismatic leader, by refusing to recognise the court and denouncing the judge as a “Fascist lackey”.

    Miss Herivel was also with the sect when one of its members, Sian Davies, 44, died in mysterious circumstances in 1997.

    Miss Davies died in hospital, seven months after falling from a bathroom window at a house in south London where Mr Balakrishnan, his wife Chanda and supporters were living.

    At the subsequent inquest the coroner criticised the other women living there after learning that they had failed to inform Miss Davies’ family of the accident, telling them instead she was on holiday in India.
    More, pix.

    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

  • #2
    Wow. What a bizarre story.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now


    • #3
      Good thing we have a 'bizarre' category.
      "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."