Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020

‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t

Happy New Year to all our readers. Our ‘Heroes & Villains’ list was well received in 2019 and as we move into 2021, we join all celebrating ‘good riddance’ to the monstrous mess that was 2020.

 

Whilst many bombed, most especially Dominic Cummings and Donald Trump in the sphere of politics, for example, the likes of the heroic footballer Marcus Rashford and his campaign for free school meals for poor children showed that even a footballer can make a difference in a pandemic.

 

HEROES OF 2020

Obvious heroes of the year: Jacinda Ardern for being a leader capable of acting with good sense, Captain Sir Thomas Moore for raising £32 million for the NHS, Lord Sumption for arguing for lockdown liberty and Joe Wicks for keeping the nation healthy and turning down a £2 million deal with a supermarket.

 

Bob Grace - Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020 – ‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t. Winning Villain of 2020: Priti Patel; winning Hero of 2020: Bob Grace.

WINNER – Bob Grace

Eternally cheerful groom Bob Grace led out his first winner after 38 years of racing at Royal Ascot in June when his trusty steed Battaash romped home in the King’s Stand. He raised the spirits of the nation and of this humble hero, one Twitter user concluded: “Bob is wonderful, be like Bob.”

 

Emily Bolton

One of “Britain’s most powerful civil rights lawyers,” Emily Bolton boldly fought for the likely wrongly convicted ‘Freshwater Five’ fisherman in 2020. She is tenacious and dedicated and a force for genuine good.

 

Steve Cotton

Alongside his cat named Hitler as his barman, “Britain’s grumpiest landlord” proved the spirit of Victor Meldrew was well and truly still alive in 2020. Summing up his approach to business and life in general, Steve Cotten remarked:

 

“I just make it up as I go along.  I might not know how to run a pub but I know what’s wrong with every pub I’ve ever been in. There’s no landlord anywhere, nobody talks to each other.  I involve the whole community – everyone knows it’s not my pub, it’s everybody’s pub… We are a dark and cold and miserable boozer – and that’s what people like about it.”

 

“They all know you can do what you want here, use it for what you want, come here on your own at any time of the day or night and help yourself to a tea or coffee. Everybody will talk to everybody… You can discuss any topic under the sun here, nothing is taboo… Everyone has a go serving behind the bar, we all have a laugh and everyone joins in… No one else talks to them like crap like I do.”

 

Bilkis Dadi (real name: Bilkis Bano)

This 82-year-old crusader and anti-Modi protester became the “voice of the marginalised” in India in 2020 and was escorted away from the farmers’ protest by the police. This heroine was included in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the year and remarked: “We will not stand for this division.”

 

Alfie Diaper

Ten-year-old “little star” Alfie Diaper recovered from a ruptured spleen in 2019 and “came back fighting” with riding successes in 2020. One Scottish reader of The Steeple Times quite rightly termed this pint-sized hero a “talented, spirited wee soul.”

 

Julia Donaldson

The author of The Gruffalo went down in literary history as the biggest seller of the last decade in any genre in 2020 and now sells a book about every 11 seconds. JK Rowling did not even make the top five.

 

Hollie Doyle

Whilst she was ridiculously robbed of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2020 and came third, Hollie Doyle amazingly scored 151 wins in 2020. She also broke another record in becoming the first woman to win five races on a card at Windsor and our money is on her to become a hero of 2021 too.

 

Alain Ducasse

In January, Alain Ducasse spoke complete sense is echoing Iris Apfel’s “more is more and less is a bore” mantra. This culinary remarked: “I’ve noted [the Dry January] trend, but I don’t want to see or hear of it, I am opposed to it… “[I want to] rid consumers of their inhibitions [with regard to wine drinking].”

 

Lord Fowler

The Lord Speaker of the House of Lords quite rightly argued “there are too many Lords” in December. He added: “As we have just seen, its recommendations can be overridden by No 10. The result is that a prime minister has the power on his or her own to add peers to a house of parliament that can make and, within limits, unmake laws. Is this what the public expect in the third decade of the 21st century?”

 

Bryony Frost

Rising-star jockey Bryony Frost became the first woman ever to win the King George VI at Kempton on Boxing Day. This true heroine of the year is undoubtedly going to break many other glass ceilings in 2021.

 

Lady Glenconner

The former lady-in-waiting to the late Princess Margaret declared of coronavirus: ““I’ve been through the second world war and lived with someone with Aids at the beginning [of the Aids crisis]. I’m not scared of a little virus, you know.”

 

Agnes Gund (AKA ‘Aggie’)

A “put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is” philanthropist, Agnes Gund was described as “the last good rich person” by the New York Times in 2018 and in 2020 used money from the sale of one the most valuable artworks from her collection, a Roy Lichtenstein worth £120 million, to fund US prison reform. She has also given more than 900 significant works to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the last 50 years.

 

Anders Holch Povlsen

Asos billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen led the way in rewilding in 2020. He also paid back the government £300,000 of furlough money during the year voluntarily and thus made a mockery of the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Sir Philip Green.

 

Patrick Hutchinson

Compassionate “fitness buff” Patrick Hutchinson carried an injured far-right racist protestor to his safety in spite of being himself black in June. Sensibly, he remarked: “Living with the image of a man being beaten to death isn’t something I could stomach. How do the police do that? They just seemed to be standing there watching it and filming with their selfie sticks. One of them said ‘well done’ to me, but I couldn’t really comprehend it.”

 

Jeremy King

The co-owner of The Wolseley rightly slammed Boris Johnson repeatedly during 2020. He rightly described lockdown Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions as “another knee jerk, ineffective, window-dressing, butt-covering initiative that hasn’t been thought through properly.”

 

Abdulkareem Musa Adam

This child refugee from a war zone in Darfur shone at Royal Ascot 2020. Accompanied by Shadn, this 22-year-old’s story was described by Clare Balding as “[showing] the incredible power of sport to bring people together and help them to heal, even after the most appalling suffering.”

 

Dolly Parton

In 2020, Dolly Parton gave £733,000 to fund a COVID-19 vaccine. The Guardian rightly said of her: “She understands that money is something you do, rather than something you have.”

 

Sister Norma Pimentel

Described as the “pope’s favourite nun,” Sister Norma Pimentel featured on Time magazine’s “100 most influential people of 2020” list. She has supported over 100,000 people seeking refuge at the border between Texas and Mexico and of her Julián Castro, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, remarked: “Sister Pimentel will keep changing the world, one act of kindness at a time.”

 

Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Özlem Türeci

The “dream team” husband-and-wife team behind the leading vaccine to solve COVID-19 were amongst the ultimate healthcare heroes of 2020.

 

MacKenzie Scott

The ex-wife of Jeff Bezos gave £4.3 billion of her fortune to charity during 2020. In doing so, she became one of the biggest single donors to charity in a single year ever.

 

Santosh Shah

He didn’t win, but the unlikely star of MasterChef Professionals 2020 was this Nepali chef. He was eternally positive and widely lauded as the “people’s champion.”

 

Shirley Sherwood OBE

Britain’s leading botanist, after losing her tycoon husband at the age of 87, has become an unlikely star of Facebook with her videos sharing positivity and her passion for plants. She has rightly been described as the “driving force behind a revival of interest in botanical art.”

 

Micheline Stephen

A martini drinking 90-year-old and Dame Maggie Smith-lookalike, Micheline Stephen fought off a burglar and told him: “You’re a wee shite” in 2020.

 

‘Window Twerky’

Spotted on both the Fulham Road and Kings in Chelsea, this unknown woman amused many with her maniac moves during Lockdown 1.0. Her Fifty Shades of Crazy antics during that Strictly insane time were batshit bonkers but brilliant.

 

Tobias Weller (AKA ‘Captain Tobias’)

This heroic 9-year-old with cerebral palsy and autism raised over £150,000 for a children’s hospital during Lockdown 1.0 by completing marathons. He remarked: “It feels amazing to have completed both marathons. I feel fantastic. Thank you for clapping and cheering me every step of the way. You are all awesome. I love doing challenges so who knows what will be around the next corner?”

 

VILLAINS OF 2020

Previous list makers, but repeat offenders included Sir Philip Green, Sir Richard Branson, Tim Martin, Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson, Darren Grimes, David Starkey, Sir Cliff Richard, Prince Andrew, Matt Hancock, Ghislaine Maxwell, Larysa Switlyk, Liz Hurley, Owen Jones, Richard Madeley, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Michael Barrymore, Vivienne Westwood, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump and Ferne McCann, but our winner just had to be:

 

Priti Patel - Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020 – ‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t. Winning Villain of 2020: Priti Patel; winning Hero of 2020: Bob Grace.

WINNER – Priti Patel

When she wasn’t “minglin’” and “movin’” and misusing the English language, Priti Patel was angling for a return to the death penalty in the UK in 2020. Asked what kept her going in 2020, when even Emily Thornberry declared “gin,” the most awful Home Secretary in generations ridiculously responded: “Showing the perpetrators of crime that they have nowhere to hide and joining our police on early morning raids – reminding the criminals that we’re coming after them.”

 

James Abbott-Thompson

The son of calculator lacking Diane Abbott MP appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in January after “spitting at a police officer and biting his colleague.” He’d previously exposed himself on a hospital ward and had crystal meth delivered to his mother’s £1.2 million home.

 

Victoria Baker Harber and Inigo Philbrick

Though ‘Mini Madoff’ Inigo Philbrick was deservedly was dragged to the clink by the FBI in June and remains in custody, his latest ‘baby mama,’ Victoria Baker Harber, couldn’t keep her almightily large trap shut. Shortly afterwards, she turned on one of his many victims, Kenny Schacter, and crudely tweeted: “Are you crying about cash or cock?”

 

Brian Basham

Bombastic PR peddler Brian Basham didn’t manage to get the mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell out of jail in 2020. In response he angrily ranted to his friends at the Daily Mail and called Finding Ghislaine podcast host John Sweeney a drunk and someone he “despises.”

 

Scott Borgerson (AKA ‘Scott Marshall’ and ‘Mr Ghislaine Maxwell’)

This tech company CEO was revealed to be Ghislaine Maxwell’s “secret husband” in December. He then tried and thankfully failed to use their millions to get her out on bail in time for Christmas.

 

Benjamin Clark

After attacking the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square in September, son of a pastor Benjamin Clark deservedly got fined. His solicitor’s attempts to try to defend him quite rightly fell on deaf ears.

 

Lizzie Cundy

Desperate-and-will-do-anything-for-attention Lizzie Cundy, 52, turned coronavirus into a photo opportunity in a bikini made out of face masks in October. For her, nothing isn’t worth using for self-publicity.

 

Ellen DeGeneres

The wheels fell off for goody two shoes Ellen DeGeneres when she was shown to be anything but nice. Her attempt at an apology for allowing workplace bullying was mocked as “underwhelming.”

 

Alan Dershowitz

Having defended multiple rapist Harvey Weinstein in 2018, Alan Dershowitz went one stage further in 2020 when he leapt to the defence of Ghislaine Maxwell and trashed the reputations of the victims of Jeffrey Epstein.

 

Tamara Ecclestone Rutland (AKA ‘Miss Piggy’)

Banshee-like billionairess Tamara Ecclestone Rutland appeared on ITV1’s This Morning in April. This daughter of a man whom once disgustingly described Hitler as someone who “was able to get things done” pestered people far poorer than her to donate to the NHS. Of this shameless attention seeker, a Twitter user remarked: “No offence but this feature on #ThisMorning is embarrassing. Trying to raise £1m but they have a family net worth of almost £4bn? Good publicity stunt though…”

 

Charlie Elphicke and Natalie Elphicke OBE MP

Ex-MP turned sexual predator and “Naughty Tory” Charlie Elphicke and his replacement MP wife Natalie got caught out after urging fellow parliamentarians to pester the judiciary after he got sent down. She was also very nasty about immigrants.

 

Laurence Fox

Actor Laurence Fox morphed from a housewives favourite and telly box treasure into a tedious twerp in 2020. His Reclaim Party became a laughing stock online and his decision to tattoo “freedom” and “space” on his hands was mocked unsurprisingly.

 

Mark Francois MP

This tedious Tory was pilloried online when he “disappeared” after an MP was accused of rape. He returned just-in-time to bang on and bore about the brilliance of Brexit in December. We can only hope he’ll “disappear” again in 2021.

 

Lady Green (AKA ‘Lady Greed’)

This very, very, very, very rich woman did nothing for the 13,000 dismissed workers of her husband’s failed companies. Instead, she sat on one of her £100 million yachts and moaned about not being able to sail away due to her crew getting coronavirus.

 

Angela Gulbenkian (AKA Angela Ischwang)

Art fraudster Angela Gulbenkian attempted to flee to Portugal to escape going on trial in June. She was quite rightly extradited back to the UK and victims including Percy Bass of Walton Street should finally get justice against this blonde bimbo in 2021.

 

Julia Hartley-Brewer (AKA ‘Julia Heartless-Brouhaha’)

She’s awful every year without a doubt and will never be a hero to anyone, but in ignorantly defending a right-wing thug who’d relieved himself on a memorial to murdered constable Keith Palmer, this tedious twerp made a total prat of herself. In response, one Twitter user asked her: “Why do you as a woman think it is ok for a bloke to expose himself by getting his dick out and urinating in a public place?”

 

Michael Heaver

In blubbering like a baby after Nigel Farage failed to make the New Year’s Honours List, “milk bottle white” Westmonster co-owner Michael Heaver again showed himself as just one thing: “A remarkably unpleasant child.”

 

Lady Victoria Hervey (AKA ‘Toff Totty Vicky’)

Accurately described by the late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson as “unpleasant” and “a right snob,” dimwitted dope Lady Victoria Hervey defended Prince Andrew in 2019 and then stated: “Fuck BLM [Black Lives Matter]” in 2020 on her Instagram page. The world hope she remains silent in 2021.

 

Eamonn Holmes

Crackpot conspiracy theorist Eamonn Holmes morphed into the David Icke of 2020 when he declared that the “mainstream media’ was hiding a link between 5G technology and coronavirus. Him and his wife were unsurprisingly subsequently dropped from their weekly presenting roles on ITV1’s This Morning.

 

Dr. Walter Palmer (AKA ‘The Driller Killer’)

Having slayed ‘Cecil the Lion’ in 2015, deranged dentist Dr. Walter Palmer returned to his barbaric ways when he massacred an endangered ram in July 2020. Though he claims to be “looking forward” to his next “adventure,” one can only hope that this monster meets a sticky end in 2021.

 

Stephanie Pratt (AKA ‘Shady Steph’)

One-time crystal meth addict demanded shoplifters be shot in May 2020 on Twitter. Unfortunately for her, the public were on hand to remind her she’d been arrested for stealing a £1,000 of clothing from Neiman Marcus in May 2006.

 

Phillip Schofield

Aside from “claiming to have been murdered in a past life because of a debt” in October, Phillip Schofield attempted to rival Sir Cliff Richard and launched quite possibly the most loathed collection of boxed wines ever in September. What a plonker!

 

Carrie Symonds (AKA ‘Carrie Not On Regardless’ and ‘The Duchess of Downing Street’)

Boris Johnson’s wine chucking puppet mistress proved herself to be a total busybody in 2020. Despite not being elected herself, that the PM’s latest ‘baby mama’ got her own cronies into Downing Street during the year was a total disgrace.

 

Alexandra Tolstoy

Miserable moaning Minnie Alexandra Tolstoy bleated about not being able to live on £10,000 per week before getting £606,000 for a few of her possessions in a Christie’s auction in November. Loopy to her core, she remarked: “We’re just surviving.”

 

Dominic West

Aside from being caught kissing actress Lily James in October, actor Dominic West got caught breaching social distancing rules on a shoot in Wiltshire in December. He also claimed to have “jumped for joy” when he found out Donald Trump had coronavirus.

 

Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020 – ‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t. Winning Villain of 2020: Priti Patel; winning Hero of 2020: Bob Grace. Lizzie Cundy (left) and Inigo Philbrick and Victoria Baker Harber (right).
Heroes & Villains 2020 – Lizzie Cundy (left) and Inigo Philbrick and Victoria Baker Harber (right) – Examples of the worst people of 2020 without a doubt.

THOSE WHO’LL BE MISSED

Sadly, many great people were lost in 2020 and amongst those most widely mentioned were Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Honor Blackman, Chadwick Boseman, Kobe Bryant, Jack Charlton, Sir Sean Connery, Des O’Connor, Kirk Douglas, George Floyd, Dame Olivia de Havilland, Eddie Van Haylen, Irrfan Khan, Dame Vera Lynn, Diego Maradona, David Prowse, Gene Reynolds, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sachs, Jackie Stallone, Larry Tesler and Bill Withers.

 

WINNER – John le Carré (born David Cornwell)

Having sensibly summed up Donald Trump’s election and the banality of Brexit, novelist John le Carré died from pneumonia aged 89 in December. Of his passing, his agent Johnny Geller remarked: “[He was] an undisputed giant of English literature. He defined the cold war era and fearlessly spoke truth to power in the decades that followed… We will not see his like again.”

 

John le Carré – Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020 – ‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t. Winning Villain of 2020: Priti Patel; winning Hero of 2020: Bob Grace.

Michael Angelis

Liverpudlian actor Michael Angelis brought happiness to many. He was the narrator of Thomas & Friends for 21 years and also appeared in Bergerac and Z-Cars. He died in May aged 76.

 

Lady Elizabeth Anson CVO (married named Lady Elizabeth Shakerley)

This first cousin-once-removed of Queen Elizabeth II was “discreet and professional.” She observed that “the very rich, the very idle, the very busy and the ones who simply haven’t a clue what to do” didn’t have the skills to organise events, so set up a party planning business. She died in November aged 79.

 

Sir Terence Conran

Multi-skilled and described as “the most passionate man in Britain when it comes to design,” Sir Terence Conran died in September aged 88. He once remarked: “It’s thrilling as a designer when you see something you’ve designed and built actually being used. Seeing a shop filled with people, or a restaurant with people smiling away happily, it’s like, gosh, all my dreams have come true.”

 

Alan Davidson

This legendary newspaper photographer captured stars at play from 1969 until his death in March aged 70. Of him, the Daily Mail’s Richard Kay remarked: “No event was off limits to Alan.”

 

Sir Harold Evans

Described in an obituary in the Guardian as “the most admired newspaper of his generation,” Sir Harold Evans died aged 92 in September. He will be best remembered for exposing Robert Maxwell as a fraudster and Kim Philby as a traitor. In doing so, he became the first editor to order a D-notice and summing him up, here was someone who’ll be remembered as someone “loved by his staff.”

 

Lynn Faulds Wood

The wife of fellow television presenter John Stapleton was best known for co-hosting the BBC’s Watchdog with him. She died after a stroke in April aged 72.

 

Derek Fowlds

Affable actor Derek Fowlds was best known for his roles in Yes Minister and The Basil Brush Show. He died as a result of complications from pneumonia in January aged 82.

 

Desmond Guinness

Brewing heir Desmond Guinness was an author and expert on Georgian architecture. He will be remembered as a “great dandy of his generation” and saved countless buildings from the wrecking balls of property developers. He died in August aged 88.

 

John Hays

Having doubled his workforce and saved thousands of jobs when him and his wife bought Thomas Cook in 2019, “high street hero” John Hays died suddenly at his offices in November aged 71. He considered his workers “family” and laughed off people comparing him to a “country bumpkin.”

 

Shere Hite (born Shirley Gregory)

Twice married sex educator and feminist Shere Hite renounced her US citizenship in 1995, was briefly stateless and then became German. She posed in the nude for Playboy whilst at university and died of corticobasal degeneration in September aged 77.

 

Thomas Hoare (AKA ‘Mad Mike Hoare’)

This fervently anti-communist British mercenary leader died in February having led campaigns in the Congo and a failed “package-holiday coup” in the Seychelles. Of him, his son remarked: “Mike Hoare lived by the philosophy that you get more out of life by living dangerously, so it is all the more remarkable that he lived more than 100 years.”

 

Tony Hooper

A founder member of the Strawbs, singer and guitarist Tony Hooper died in December aged 81. He left the band after argument over whether they should be more folk or rock in 1972 and became an educational author and book jacket designer in the 1990s.

 

Knut Kloster

With a name that sounded like a brand of breakfast cereal, “visionary” cruise line king Knut Kloster died in September aged 91. He was best known for co-founding the hugely successful Norweigan Caribbean Line in 1966, but his attempt to build a “world peace boat” eventually came to nothing.

 

Sir Stirling Moss OBE

“Who do you think you are? Stirling Moss?” will go down in history as a much-quoted punchline of policemen, but this racing driver will be remembered for two other quotes also: “If God had meant for us to walk, why did he give us feet that fit car pedals?” and “There are two things no man will admit he cannot do well: drive and make love.” He died in April aged 90 having survived falling down the lift shaft of his Mayfair home in 2010.

 

Geoffrey Palmer OBE

As Time Goes By star Geoffrey Palmer died in November aged 93. Of him, his co-star Dame Judi Dench concluded: “Geoffrey was master of comedy.”

 

Julia Peatling

This Stockwell based medical secretary loved a gin and tonic at PJ’s on Fulham Road and her Downton Abbey star dog, Poppy.

 

Margarita Pracatan (born Margarita Figueroa)

Cuban novelty singer Margarita Pracatan, who died in June in New York aged 89, was best-known for performing on Clive James’ television show Saturday Night Clive in the 1990s. Of her, he remarked: “She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure.”

 

Carl Reiner

Born in The Bronx, actor, author and comedian Carl Reiner joined Twitter at the ripe old age of 90 in 2012.  Two days before he passed in June, he tweeted: “Nothing pleases me more than knowing that I have lived the best life possible by having met and marrying the gifted Estelle (Stella) Lebost – who partnered with me in bringing Rob, Annie & Lucas Reiner into to this needy & evolving world.”

 

Michael Russell

“Publisher, wit and author” Michael Russell was the creator of the spoof memoirs of J. R. Hartley, he of Yellow Pages fame. He also published Richard Spitzy’s How We Squandered the Reich – a book that described Hitler as being “like a cross between a head waiter and a chimney sweep.”

 

James Sherwood

Buccaneering American businessman James Sherwood revived the Orient Express, built up a chain of hotels and created the Sea Containers empire. He died in May aged 86 having once been stranded at 16,000 feet in the Andes with Princess Michael of Kent after his helicopter had to make an emergency landing.

 

Barbara Smoker

This “promoter of many causes now take for granted” died in April. Barbara Smoker will be best remembered for saying: “Don’t always be obedient. Obedience is overrated. You’ve got to work out your morality for yourself, not do everything you’re told. Obedience can be more of a vice than a virtue.”

 

Alexandra Sykes (born Alexandra Sotomayer)

The third wife of businessman Mark Sykes was vivacious and bubbly. “Wise and kind” Alexandra Sykes loved to keep fit and at a party, hers was always the liveliest voice in the room.

 

Helen Taylor-Thompson OBE

After having worked as a spy in occupied France in the Second World War as part of Churchill’s “secret army,” Helen Taylor-Thompson co-founded Europe’s first AIDS hospice. She died in September aged 96.

 

Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath

Polygamous Lord Bath was as famed for his ‘wifelets’ as he was for his erotically styled paintings. He played an aristocrat in the 1987 video for the Pet Shop Boys song ‘Rent’ and died of COVID-19 in April aged 87.

 

The late Margarita Pracatan is exactly the kind of person we could do with now.

THOSE WHO WON’T BE MISSED

Peter Sutcliffe - Heroes & Villains – The Best & The Worst People of 2020 – ‘The Steeple Times’ chooses the 25 best and 25 worst people of the last year and the 25 who’ll be missed and the 25 who won’t. Winning Villain of 2020: Priti Patel; winning Hero of 2020: Bob Grace.

WINNER – Peter Sutcliffe (AKA ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’)

This evil HGV driver claimed he’d “heard voices that ordered him to kill prostitutes while working as a gravedigger” as an excuse for slaughtering at least 13 women and attempting to murder 7 more between 1975 and 1980. He died as a result of complications from COVID-19 in November.

 

Tariq Aziz

Saddam Hussein’s principal spokesman died in June aged 79. He had been found guilty of “deliberate murder and crimes against humanity” in October 2010.

 

Donato Bilancia (AKA ‘The Liguria Monster’ and ‘The Killer on the Trains’)

This Italian serial killer murdered 17 people between October 1997 and April 1998 on the Italian Riviera. A compulsive gambler with a passionate hatred for night watchmen and sex workers, Bilancia died of COVID-19 in Due Palazzi prison in Padua in December.

 

George Blake

This remorseless British MI6 officer turned double agent for Soviet Union believed he was not a traitor and once remarked: “To betray, you first have to belong. I never belonged.” He died on Boxing Day having caused the deaths of at least 40 British agents in Russia as a result of his treachery.

 

Alfred Bourgeois

This trucker molested and murdered his 2-year-old daughter and then joked about it. He was given a lethal injection of pentobarbital in December at a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

 

Anthony Casso (AKA ‘Gaspipe’)

An American mobster and serial killer considered a “homicidal maniac.” He confessed involvement in upto 36 murders and was imprisoned for 455 years in 1998. Casso died from complications related to COVID-19 in December.

 

Brian Daniels

A bus driver turned paedophile serial rapist, Daniels was approaching the end of an 18-year sentence for attacks on four young girls in May when it was discovered he had further victims.  He died in prison in October having remarked: “I did something against kids and I was punished. I don’t deserve to live. My final punishment will be death.”

 

Roy Den Hollander

This American lawyer shot himself in July after being made a suspect in the murder of fellow lawyer Marc Angelucci in California and the son of Judge Salas in New Jersey earlier that month. He had been a member of the National Coalition for Men, but after being kicked out called them “wimps and whiners.”

 

Terry Dicks (AKA ‘Phil’)

Possibly the most bigoted ex-Conservative MP ever, Dicks termed Nelson Mandela a “black terrorist” and ridiculed a Somali refugee family buying water in a supermarket by saying “where they come from they’re happy to drink out of puddles.” He referenced himself as a “spastic” due to his cerebal palsy and said of an Observer journalist sentenced to death by his hero Saddam Hussein: “He deserved to be hanged.” He loathed gay people and was nicknamed ‘Phil’ – for “elevating Philistinism to an art form.”

 

Vikas Dubey

An Indian gangster and history-sheeter turned murderer, Dubey was “killed” in July after “the police vehicle carrying him met with an accident and overturned.” He snatched a pistol from a policeman trying to fix a flat tyre, tried to run away and was then shot by another officer.

 

Scott Erskine

This American serial killer and rapist was responsible for the death of at least 3 child victims. He died in July after contracting COVID-19 in July.

 

Lonnie Franklin (AKA ‘The Grim Sleeper’)

This LA born serial killer committed at least 10 murders between 1984 and 2007. The majority of his victims were black women.

 

Dustin Honken

This serial killer was responsible for the murders of 3 adults and 2 children in Iowa in 1993. Before being executed in July, his last words were: “Hail Mary, Mother of God, pray for me.”

 

William LeCroy

This former soldier murdered a woman he believed was a witch in Georgia in 2001. He never showed any remorse for his actions and his last words were to his “spiritual adviser.” He remarked: “Sister Battista is about to receive in the postal service my last statement.”

 

Daniel Lewis Lee

This American white supremacist murdered a gun dealer and his family in Arkansas in 1996. He claimed to be innocent until the end.

 

Samuel Little

An American serial killer responsible for the deaths of at least 60 women, Little claimed to have killed as many as 93 between 1971 and 1997. He died in a Los Angeles County area hospital in December.

 

John Lowe (AKA ‘Keepers Cottage Stud Murderer’)

This puppy farm owner fatally shot his partner and her daughter in February 2014. He claimed he wanted them “put down” and himself died in a hospice in August.

 

Ba Ag Moussa

A Malian militant and jihadist, Moussa was shot and killed by French Armed Forces in November.

 

Roy Norris (AKA ‘The Toolbox Killer’)

Along with Lawrence Bittaker, Norris kidnapped, raped, tortured 5 teenage girls in 1979 in Southern California with pliers, ice picks and sledgehammers. He died of natural causes in February.

 

Abel Ochoa

High on crack, Ochoa killed five members of his family and tried to justify it due to being “intoxicated and in a delirium.” His final words were: “I would like to thank God, my dad, my Lord Jesus savior for saving me and changing my life. I want to apologise to my in-laws for causing all this emotional pain. I love y’all and consider y’all my sisters I never had. I want to thank you for forgiving me.”

 

Gordon Pinkerton

An RAF serviceman turned child abuser, Pinkerton sexually abused 6 young girls between 1963 and 2011. He was jailed in 2013 and died of coronavirus in prison in April.

 

Wesley Ira Purkey (AKA ‘The Claw Hammer Killer’)

Executed by lethal injection in July, Purkey raped and killed a teenager in 1998 and beat an 80-year-old to death with a claw hammer later that year.

 

Omar Sadiq (AKA ‘Roger’)

This Glasgow gangster and racial hatred inciter was killed by two of his associates in September. A floral tribute at the location of his shooting read: “Absolutely devastated. There was a better plan for you.”

 

Cathy Smith

This Canadian backup singer injected Saturday Night Live’s John Belushi with a fatal dose of heroin and cocaine in 1982. She died in August and had received a further drugs conviction in 1991 after serving 15 months between December 1986 and March 1988 for involuntary manslaughter.

 

Howie Winter

This mobster and leader of the Winter Hill Gang was implicated in a number of slayings in the 1960s and 1970s, but never charged. Of his demise in November aged 91, Thomas Foley, a retired Massachusetts State Police colonel, remarked: “It’s the end of a legend, but not a good legend… He is a guy that actually got away with murder.”

 

Pictured top: Winning Villain of 2020 Priti Patel and winning Hero of 2020 Bob Grace.

 

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Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Priti Patel is excellent. I do hope the brings in the death penalty! Enough molly-coddling of criminals who never stop and never change.

    • Well that will make us a better society, when we bring back state sanctioned murder, won’t it Trevor?? We should just hang em high.

  2. Thanks for this informative and edgy space to sit awhile, learning news and clever commentary, as well as about some fine folks and some nasty aristobrats who merit only the worst they impose on others.

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