Those who look closely at care home abuse scandals, including Kincora, Elm Guest House, and North Wales, will often sense, if not clearly see, the insidious hand of right wing factional elements within the security services.
I was intrigued by the mention of ‘Zeus Security’ in the ‘After Dark’ episode on British Intelligence and Paul directed to me to this interesting story in Lobster 16 Magazine- Here
We’ve transcribed it here for easier reading.
Hilda Murrell: A death in the private sector
This is the first anonymous article we have ever printed. However we know the identity of the author and have absolute confidence in the person who provided is with the document. In places we have removed small sections, I indicated by the use of brackets (—), which provided personal details which would have made identifying the author easier than it already is.
During (—) I was accepted as a member of the Institute of Professional Investigators. My experiences between (—) until the present time are all relevant to the (Hilda) Murrell murder in that it can be plainly seen there is a very close link between the IPI and government agencies who were responsible for monitoring the activities of nuclear protesters.
during my (—) year of membership in the IPI I came into contact with various officials, serving members of the Security Service. I was surprised to learn that the IPI was not private members institute but also included officials from all branches of the Armed forces, Intelligence, Foreign Office, as well as Special Branch and Police, Customs, etc. These official individuals openly fraternised with Private Investigators and security consultants who, in some cases, were employing convicted criminals.
During the latter part of (—) I was contacted by an official of The Ministry of Defence. We met a government address in Whitehall, where I was introduced to Officers from M15. fter a number of meetings and discussions, I agreed to act as a freelance operative, which I did until (—).
During this period I found my various Operational controllers most unprofessional. I was asked to provide bugging equipment and, at one stage, it was suggested that I take a “target” for a ride in my private aeroplane and drop him out over the North Sea. There was no doubt in my mind that was a request to act as an assassin. Had I agreed to perform any of the many illegal acts requested I would have found myself in the clutches of the Security Services for the rest of my life.
At the time of my resignation there was an attempt to blackmail/force me to continue, but as soon as I revealed that I had maintained copy reports and tape recordings of most of my dealings with the various Operational Controllers, I was allowed to go my own way.
During my duties with M15 I also maintained a very close personal and professional relationship with an officer from the Secret Intelligence Service (M16). Whilst a serving SIS officer (he) joined a private detective agency with which I was associated, and carried out private investigations of a covert nature. He also arranged for a number of very sensitive assignments to be passed to me through an internationally known security company based in London.
As a result of my relationship with M15 and the SIS officer mentioned, the general knowledge I accumulated regarding the various methods of operation adopted by the Security Services and SIS became overwhelming. Certain information, I now realise, coul be e very relevant to the case of Hilda Murrell, which was that all security and intelligence aims of H.M.Goverment utilise private investigators or security companies for various types of covert operations, including surveillance, collecting specific information, and monitoring the activities of individuals and groups in the UK and abroad.
During my membership with the IPI I also had contact with numerous private investigators who also acted for the government, carrying out surveillance, investigations etc. for official spy masters. At one stage I was a Director sitting on the board of governors, dealing with the day to day affairs at the Institute. during this period I had access to very sensitive data on serving intelligence officers and am now able to identify senior high ranking officials who had been members of, or associated with, the II. On three occasions private investigators of the IPI actually attended training sessions with the Army and Air Force Special Investigation and Counter Intelligence branches.
(—) having by now become very friendly with Barrie Peachman, the President of IPI, I became aware that he was engaged in a very sensitive surveillance of anti-nuclear protesters at Sizewell. He indicated that it was a secret government operation passed to him by a fellow member of the IPI, ex-Army Intelligence Major, Peter Hamilton, of Zeus Security. Peachman expressed his concern at the possibility that this operation might become known to the media.
The late Mr Peachman sounded very uneasy about this surveillance operation ad seemed out of his dept. My opinion on this point is that although a successful businessman, Peachman was not a formally trained investigator and always subcontracted complicated assignments to a Vic Norris, alias Adrian Hampson, a convicted felon with a criminal record for various sex and violence offices. Despite his background, Norris had a natural flair for covert operations and was to eventually inform me during a taped interview that he was working for the Home Office carrying out ‘dirty tricks’ with which they do not wish to be associated.
On April 17th 1984 Barrie Peachman shot himself. A note was left on his desk stating ‘Shirley refused to help me’, Shirley being a Shirley Ann Smith a Director of Sapphire Investigations, not just an administrative director, but a woman who assisted in the Sizewell surveillance. She received and dispatched information to and from Zeus Security and generally assisted in the operational running of this and other sensitive assignments for the company.
Shortly after Peachman’s death I had access to his files and was able to eventually obtain a copy of the Sizewell investigation reports. Included in these documents are letter from Norris referring to:
1. “Can put a stop on cND iif required, will send further report”.
2. “spectacular news I mentioned briefly on the telephone, this could really be big money so it will be interesting to see how your Principals react”.
Also listed in the file is exactly how the surveillance was activated and what Zeus Security specifically required. There are also numerous names of groups, individuals etc., who were targeted for investigation. Hilda Murrell’s name is not displayed on these lists but there are a number of names of people who were in contact with her. This ivery important, as will be discussed later in this report.
Sometime between the date Miss Murrell was murdered and the date Peachman shot himself, I received a very distraught telephone call during which Peachman informed me that he was “In terrible trouble”. He also stated that he could not go on and intended to kill himself. At this time I assumed Peachman’s state of mind was caused as a result of an investigation carried out into the affairs of IPI. Breaches of security and the misappropriation of the Institute’s money by fellow officers of the Board had been discovered. At that time I was totally unaware that an anti-nuclear protestor associated with the Sizewell protesters had been murdered in Shropshire. Peachman eventually shot himself on April 17th 1984 outside the home of Shirley Ann Smith, his mistress and fellow Sapphire Investigations director.
Shirley Ann Smith
This lady enjoyed an open common-law relationship with Peachman and was in fact the mother of a 9 year old son fathered by him. Their 15 year old relationship was no secret to Mrs Peachman and the family, who were also fellow directors of Sapphire Investigations and responsible for day-to-day activities on most investigatory operations. Miss Smith had been accepted into the business as a director and mistress and payed an integral part in the operational side of general activities. She was also a member of the IPI, as were Mrs Jean Peachman, wife, and Mark Peachman, son. This general information is vital to anyone hoping to resent an accurate picture of the Sapphire/Sizewell/IPI set-up. Miss Smith mysteriously left the company a few months before Miss Murrell’s murder. To this date no-one has managed to achieve an in-depth relationship with the Sapphire Investigation company.
(—) I gradually pieced together the picture of the Sizewell surveillance, along with the involvement of Victor Norris and Peter Hamilton of Zeus Security. Eventually the Sizewell story broke. A report was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecution, but to date no charges have been laid and no action taken in respect of the allegations re Miss Murrell.
Peter hamilton (Zeus Security)
He is a former member of Army Intelligence where he held the rank of Major. Documents and tapes in my possession link this man to the highest echelons of British Intelligence. He is a long-standing member of IPI and, as with all private practitioners in the Institute, would use the nation-wide network of IPI agents scattered over the UK. Details of these individuals are available in the published IPI Register available only to members. Up until 1984 the IPI would actually publish a list of their private practitioners along with their official serving members. However since certain adverse publicity in 1984/5 they have creased this practice ad now only publish a list of private practitioners.
Zeus Security, operated by Hamilton, when formed and registered with Companies House, was constructed in such a way that it could legally operate electronic bugging equipment on behalf of government departments. A careful examination of the Zeus company file shows that, according to the Articles of Association, the company was virtually a private secret service with full electronic back-up.
During my investigation I successfully recorded conversations with Hamilton admitting his services were being utilised by the Economic League. Evidence also exists to show that the Central Electricity Generating Board subscribed to the Economic League in return for their special services.
The Economic League
During the last (—) years I have spoken with dozens of operational Special Branch and Security Service operatives and have satisfied myself that the practice of using private companies for covert government operations is still taking place. I have tape-recorded conversations with other detectives who openly admit to have these contacts and in some cases these detectives have named their official contacts in Scotland Yard.
During 1986/7 there was an investigation into members of the IPI suspected of breeches of the Official Secrets act. The result of the enquiry was that certain individuals have been sentenced to trial at the Old Bailey on OSA charges. colleagues of the defendants were discovered as having been involved in a political tapping operation in London which resulted in the assassination of an oversea diplomat. The individuals were sentenced to terms of imprisonment during February 1987. One particular defendant, a bugging expert, admitted to working for Zeus Security and in particular Peter Hamilton. This individual also admitted to carrying out electronic surveillance of the Sizewell protesters. He was recruited and handled by another private investigator who was an established member of IPI. Hamilton has refused to elaborate on his relationship with these people and I am attempting to make an approach to the bugging expert who appears to have gone underground since his release from prison.
Hilda Murrell (deceased)
Much has been written by journalists who have attempted to present their own picture of what occurred the week she was murdered. The obvious facts to someone with experience of covert intelligence operations are as follows:
Utter chaos! This is the only way describe the events of Wednesday/Thursday/Friday of the week in 1984. The methods of operation of official intelligence operatives are standard in planned operations. It is vital to appreciate the following.
If a decision is taken at a high level to abduct and kill an intelligence target by the use of official operatives, it has to be confirmed first of all that such a course of action is really necessary. If such an operation is decided, carefully laid plans are prepared and would include:
1. A surveillance to confirm the target’s daily movements and personal lifestyle etc.
2. The address would be checked for access and the best time and location for the abduction would be decided.
3. The destination of the victim and method of disposal would have to be decided, ie., an accident death by natural causes, etc.
These are but a few of the considerations in a planned operation. In any event, the perpetrators would take every precaution to ensure that they did not attract attention to the operation. Unbelievable technical facilities would be available as a back-up and in the case Hilda Murrell, she would simply have vanished in the dead of night or, alternatively, “did under natural circumstances”, or in a carefully prepared “accident”.
If a decision had been made to simply break and enter the home of Miss Murrell for the purposes of a “search”, quite frankly official operatives would not have been caught. A number of agents would have been used after a long pre-entry reconnaissance. Miss Murrell would have been followed whilst the search was taking place and the “burglars” warned of her return, giving them time to withdraw.
The events surrounding the death of Miss Murrell were not the events of a carefully conceived intelligence operation.
My investigation finally led me to a former Captain in Military Intelligence I have checked his credentials and am satisfied as to his authenticity. He has agreed to make an on-the-record statement but I have agreed to withhold his identity from any organisation/individual who cannot guarantee an accurate presentation of what he has to say. I also consider it vital to his personal safety to carefully control the use of his identity and details of his statement. On (—) I tape-recorded an interview with my informant. The object of this interview was to confirm the methods of operation utilised by the Security Service, discuss basic training given o agents and, in particular, to identify further organisations used as a cover for ‘dirty tricks’ operations. My informants revealed the following:
1. He informed me that he qualified as a Military Intelligence Officer (MIO) while serving in the regular Army he held the rank of Captain.
2. His MIO training took place at a secret location outside London. He identified this location and the nature of his training His training included lock picking, breaking and entering, surveillance, making explosives and generally most areas of covert operations.
3. After training he was secretly recruited by M16 butt also with and and under the direction of M15, also Special Branch and the SAS.
4. He described in details unlawful killings carried out on the instructions of M15. In some cases killings were carried out by renegade SAS ‘types’, “for kicks”.
5. He discussed methods of operation and, in particular, described how a Security Service covert break-in or assassination would be carried out.
6. Much to my surprise, he informed me that the Special Air Service are no longer just a military unit, ut are now being used as a political arm of the government in domestic assignments.
7. He named people who have been associated with unlawful killings and who are now in private companies in London.
8. He described the practice of how the Security Service utilised the services of private companies for ‘dirty tricks’ operations. He also named these companiesand Zeus Securities is one of them. Chubb Security is also named, along with numerous other organisations, as well as a famous International Charity. He is adamant that the organisations named are all utilised by the Security Service as a cover for their intelligence operations. He also confirms that the Security Service not only uses existing private companies but also go the the extent of forming their own companies for a similar purpose.
9. Journalists are also named as being M15/M16 informants. He has in fact provided me with a comprehensive list of such individuals who are currently employed in TV and other areas of the media.
From my own knowledge and experience, also conversations with this informant, I now have a clear picture of what can only be described as a labyrinth of secret agents and informants scattered throughout the world. The general opinion one forms is that most people involved in secret operations for HMG are capable of very serious criminal acts, especially murder.
I have described the events surrounding the death of Hilda Murrell to my informant and he has given his expert opinion as to what he believes would have occurred.
He is positive that Miss Murrell was the victim of a private operation with minimal back-up facilities. He is adamant that official operatives would not have created the events that occurred in Shrewsbury. He suggests. however, that someone in official circles could have indirectly suggested “would someone not rid me of this woman”.
Having examined the use of private investigators and knowing the standard method of operation in such cases, the following sequence of events would have occurred:
Once Hamiton/Zeus Security had obtained the initial reports from Peachman, it would have been standard operation procedure (SOP) to investigate the protester name, via the UK network of IPI agents. It would have been just a matter of time before certain protesters would have been linked to Miss Murrell. From that moment she would have been monitored by the Security Service, Special Branch, Nuclear Special Branch, also Zeus Security. In addition to the above situation, it is vital for you to appreciate the Belgrano angle and Lt Commander Rob Green, the nephew of the late Hilda Murrell.
I have been able to confirm that Rob Green was positively vetted by Navy Security throughout his intelligence career. As a former Vetting Investigator, I am familiar with the system and am able to report that had Rob Green not declared his Aunt’s anti-Nuclear views on his initial vetting application, she would have been discovered very quickly by Navy Vetting officers. As it happens, Commander Green revealed frankly his aunt’s views throughout his service and he made not attempt to deceived his superiors.
This means that Miss Murrell would have been monitored long before she embarked on her anti-Sizewell campaign. She would have been the subject of an investigation with the following departments:
(a) Navy Security Vetting
(b) M15 whose registry would have been checked by the Navy Vetting Officers
(c) local Special Branch, liaising with the Navy.
Again. this would have been SOP
Long before her anti-nuclear campaign started Miss Murrell would have been a target of the Security Service – not with any degree of intensity, but just a casual monitoring of her activities to ensure that she would not have compromised her nephew, Rob Green. It is public knowledge that, prior to her anti-nuclear campaign, Miss Murrell was in the habit of writing her opinion to various national newspapers. Again, this
would have have been bought to the notice of Special Branch and the monitoring of this lady would have increased somewhat because of her link to Rob Green.
Finally, because of her anti-nuclear views, she would have been monitored by M15/British Atomic Energy Constabulary, liaising with M15 via their Special Research Department. The degree of intensity applied to the monitoring of Miss Murrell must have been quite severe before the final introduction of the Balgrano angle. at the end of the day Miss Murrell must have been the target of nearly every covert agency in the country including:
1. Special Branch
2. British Atomic Energy Constabulary
3. Navy Security
5. Zeus Security Services Ltd
If any of the official agencies had conceived the abduction and assassination plan as suggested by Don Arnott, the job would have been a swift, clean, professional operation, not the panic-stricken shambles it was.
I am not suggesting for one moment that officials in government service did not suggest a certain course of action. On the contrary, I am confident that officials o the Security Service at a very high level suggested/condoned the break-in and immediately after Miss Murrell’s death, inhibited the police investigation so that progress was impossible.
From my investigation to date, I am confident beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt that the death of Miss Murrell was caused by private investigators or security consultants acting on behalf of a government department. I do not believe that their brief was to abduct and kill Miss Murrell, but to break and enter her premises for the purposes of search for sensitive information. Her unexpected return home resulted in utter panic amongst the culprits and the eventual death of Miss Murrell.
From Lobster 16 Magazine