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1981: Second killer escapes from Broadmoor

A double murderer has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane - the second killer to do so in less than three weeks.

Alan Reeve, 32, escaped from Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire by scaling an 18-foot inner wall using a grappling hook attached to a makeshift rope.

He managed to get over the outer wall by climbing up scaffolding.

His escape follows that of another Broadmoor patient, a child killer, who escaped recently using a rope of knotted sheets.

Reeve was sent to Broadmoor aged 15 for stabbing and clubbing to death a friend.

Four years later he strangled a fellow Broadmoor patient.

Release blocked

Police have set up road blocks in Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire.

People have been warned not to approach Reeve who is described as six feet (1.83 metres) tall and 11 stone (70 kg) in weight.

He recently wrote to Home Secretary William Whitelaw protesting that Mr Whitelaw had blocked his release in spite of a favourable psychologist's report.

A police spokesman said it could be that Reeve - who they believe had outside assistance - had escaped to prove a point.

In Context
The man who broke out of Broadmoor before Reeve, child-killer James Kay, gave himself up shortly after his escape.

But Alan Reeve was not returned to Broadmoor for 16 years.

After his escape he fled to the Netherlands.

But a year later he was captured after shooting dead a police officer in Amsterdam and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

When Reeve was released on parole in 1992 a Dutch court refused to extradite him to the UK.

Reeve returned to his native Ireland where he lived openly with his fiancée, Ann Murphy, with whom he had a son.

He was arrested in Cork in 1997 and extradited.

However, Reeve spent only five months at Broadmoor before being released after psychiatrists decided he was no longer a threat to society.


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