The newspapers love to report a scandal! Here are a couple of Surrey scandals!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Banstead Road - just on the border of Ewell and Cheam - hit the national headlines in 1977. A young American Mormon missionary ... Kirk Anderson was kidnapped! The story filled the newspapers for weeks.
The case was claimed that on 14th September 1977, Kirk was abducted from the church by Keith May, aged 24, who used a fake handgun and chloroform. Three days later, after being let go, Kirk reported to the police that he had been abducted, driven to Devon, and imprisoned against his will, chained to a bed in a cottage, where Joyce Bernann McKinney assaulted him.
Joyce Bernann McKinney was aged 27 at the time and a former 1973 ‘Miss Wyoming World’ pageant winner.
on 21st September the Police arranged for Kirk to meet with Joyce McKinney and Keith May and the two suspects were arrested. While being taken to Epsom for a court appearance, Joyce held a notice up at the window of the police car saying, "Kirk left with me willingly!". At the committal hearing she said of Anderson: "I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest in the nude with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to”.
Bail was granted with the trial date set for 2nd May 1978. On 12th April 1978 Joyce and Keith left the UK using false passports. No extradition proceedings were instituted but in 1979 both were arrested in the states by the FBI for false passports and received suspended sentences.
The case hit the headlines again in 2010 when a TV documentary film ‘Tabloid’ was released. Keith May has since passed away - Joyce remains a fugitive from British justice.
King Charles II had been quite a regular visitor to the area of Epsom, Cheam and surrounding. Nonsuch Palace remained royal property until 1670, when Charles II gave it to his mistress, Barbara, Countess of Castlemaine - he also gave her the title of ‘Baroness of Nonsuch’.
She was a notorious mistress - one of of the many mistresses of King Charles II - by whom she had five children. He acknowledged all of them. At times her influence was so great over the king that she had been referred to as ‘The Uncrowned Queen’.
King Charles II was married to Catherine of Braganza. He acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children altogether, by various mistresses, but left no legitimate children and was succeeded by his brother, James.
Barbara was extravagant and promiscuous with quite a temper - on the reverse, she was said to be kind and fun with a big heart.
The King went on to have other mistresses - the most notable being the actress, Nell Gwynn. Charles II was a regular visitor to the spring at Epsom Common to partake of the waters and it was in Epsom that he met the actress, Nell Gwynn.
In 1676 Barbara travelled to Paris and returned to England four years later. Her extravagant spending hadn't reduced. She had Nonsuch Palace pulled down around 1682–3 and sold off the building materials to pay off her gambling debts.
She did retain a relationship with the King, who spent an evening with her a week before he died in February 1685. Barbara died in 1709, aged 68.
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