Transcript: 146. The Monster Butler | Scotland

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On a stormy January night in 1978, Norman Wright was working behind the bar at Blenheim House Hotel. He owned the hotel and was short of staff that night, because of the blizzard.

It was early in the afternoon, when two well-dressed gentlemen arrived. They booked a room for the night and settled in for a drink in the hotel bar. They were clean-shaven, well-dressed gentlemen with impeccable manners, but Norman’s intuition told him something was not quite right. The hotelier was concerned that the men would skip without paying their bill, so he called the police. The police station was only 200 yards down the road, in the small village, so it wasn’t a big deal.

A constable walked over to check out the men. He noticed a Ford Grenada in the parking lot and assumed it was theirs. A quick check of the vehicle proved that Norman wasn’t paranoid, something was wrong: the licence plate did not match the information of the tax disc in the window. He went inside and asked the men to accompany him to the station.

Once there, a civilised conversation followed. The men identified themselves as Roy Fontaine and Michael Kitto. Every question had an answer – they gave their full co-operation. A couple of times Fontaine needed the toilet. It was not too unusual, he’d been drinking beer and was perhaps nervous about being questioned. But when he did not return, they realised he had fled.

Kitto pale as a sheet. An officer who had examined the car entered the station with shocking news: in the trunk of the Ford was the body of a young man. What they did not know at the time, was that it was the fifth victim of the serial killer, who would soon be named: The Monster Butler.

>>Intro Music

Archibald Thomson Hall was born on the 17th of June 1924 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Mom Marion. His dad, Archibald Hall Senior was a military man and a lay preacher, so when his girlfriend 22-year-old Mary MacMillan fell pregnant outside of wedlock, the couple rushed to the altar. The couple adopted a little girl named Violet, and by all accounts, Archie was a good older brother. Archie did not like his name, or being named after his father, so he introduced himself as Roy.

Roy Hall was rebellious teenager and made his first court appearance at the age of 13. His father blamed his behaviour on other boys and reckoned he had been influenced. He was charged with theft and malicious mischief for which he was reprimanded. His first prison sentence came in 1941: sixty days for stealing from a house. Two years later, he was back in prison, this time for 30 days for theft and contravening war-time rations.

When his dad signed up to re-join the army for World War II. The family moved to England where they lived in Catterick, Yorkshire, and Archibald Sr hoped that the time in the military compound would be good for his troubled son. However, this was a turning point in the young family’s lives… Roy Hall claimed that armed forces raided their family home for no apparent reason. They discovered Nazi paraphernalia and somewhat of a shrine to Hitler in his closet. His father was preparing to go to the front lines, facing Hitler’s troops, yet here Roy was, revering the enemy. The very next day his father was told he was too old to serve in the army and the family was forced to leave.

During this time, his mother had an affair with another officer and fell pregnant by him. The Hall family left the army base with and returned home with nothing but a bad reputation and blame. Mary gave birth to Donald in May of 1941, and although Archibald Hall’s name is stated as the father on his birth certificate, it was common knowledge that Donald was not his son.

Roy did not have many friends and seemed to prefer his own company. He often skipped school and went to music performances. During this time he noticed that performers were adored by the audience, regardless of their standing in society.

Roy kept getting himself into trouble and when he was 17, he was sent to a psychiatric unit for an assessment. His reported stated that he was ‘apathetic and completely unemotional’. When he was 19, a second report noted that although he presented himself well, and smiled, he was patronising. He showed no remorse for his wrong-doings and did not have any shame. The report concluded that he had no moral sense and was a danger to society.

The court sent Roy to an asylum three times. During one stint, his mother visited him. While they were walking on the grounds of the mental facility, he escaped. Although Mary denied it, it was obvious that she had helped him escape. He was at large for a month and she took care of him.

Anne Philips, a divorcée friend of his mother’s, took Roy on a date for his sixteenth birthday. She wined and dined him, and then took him home with her. Anne lived a decadent and bohemian life. Roy was spellbound and decided that his life would be one of risk and danger. He was ready to cast off the bible bashing, military ideals his father tried to impose on him.

They lived in Glasgow’s West End, where they offered lodging to a Polish Freedom Fighter, Captain Jackobsky. The Captain shared Roy’s room, and also his double bed. In bed with an older man, Roy discovered he was in fact bisexual. He regarded his older Polish lover as a mentor in love-making, and in appreciating culture.

As an adolescent, Roy began to dabble in crime. His life of crime started with low-level theft and soon escalated to house break-ins. Young Roy stole money from Red Cross Collection tins and bought himself nice clothes. He would call estate agents and ask to view properties, saying that his wealthy parents were returning from India soon. He used this rouse to case the houses for valuables, then returned to steal them. He recalled how he decided to become a jewel thief:

“I had a lascivious appreciation of jewels and fine antiques just holding jewels made my cock hard. I would steal beautiful jewels from rich people. It was a conscious career decision.”

After saving up the proceeds from his crimes, Roy Hall relocated to London. He spent a lot of time in Soho, which was rife with gangster activity at the time. Hall did not quite get into the gangs, nor did he want to. He rather saw himself as a suave mover of things, he would relieve the rich of their jewels and silverware and change it for money. He proudly introduced himself to strangers as an antiques dealer.

He attempted to sell jewellery he had stolen in Scotland but was caught and sent to jail. His time in prison was well-spent. Roy used this stint as a refinement school of sorts. He educated himself, learning about antiques. His transformation became obvious to his fellow prisoners, as his Scottish accent began to fade and he employed etiquette, completely out of place in prison, but it would help him blend in with the aristocracy.

At the time, being gay was illegal in England. Most homosexual men were married to women for appearances but met up with their friends and lovers at discreet locations. Roy Hall, who had reinvented himself, using the name Roy Fontaine, clawed his way into the clandestine upper-class gay scene in London.

Roy Hall was a petty thief from Scotland, Roy Fontaine was a Londoner who worked as a butler, a much-coveted position in the households of the aristocracy. His new name was inspired by Academy Award Winning Actress Joan Fontaine. After seeing her opposite Laurence Olivier in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rebecca, he was smitten. With his new name in place, he became a con-artist who often posed as a wealthy American or a member of the aristocracy. He had an air of superiority about him that made him a convincing snob.

He never trained as a butler and had forged his references and experience. But he was a convincing actor and knew how to charm his employers. Also, in post-war England, having a butler was a luxury. If a well-spoken, immaculately presented candidate knocked at the door, he was sure to get the job.

He attended decadent, secretive gay parties and claimed that he slept with many influential men, such as Lord Mountbatten, the entertainer Vic Oliver and playwright Terence Rattigan. By the time Fontaine made these claims, all the men he mentioned were no longer alive, so it could never be verified.

In 1952, he was released from prison after serving two-years for robbing a jewellery store. Things at the home-front had changed. His parents had divorced, and his mother no longer went by her real name, Mary. ‘Marion’ was working as a housekeeper in a castle at Dunblane. Her employers offered Roy a job as a driver. One of his prison friends paid him a visit and hit it off with Marion. The two of them ended up getting married, and Roy was their best man.

Using false references, Roy Fontaine moved from one butler job to the next. He felt comfortable in high society and by all accounts he was a top-notch butler. However, it was only a cover. Roy used his position to gain information about valuables in various neighbouring homes. He was inconspicuous and moved on to the next job at the slightest whiff of suspicion. His work philosophy was as follows:

“I had always enjoyed being ‘in-service’. Besides living in beautiful homes that I could rob, there was also the air of class. My appreciation for antiques, beautiful jewellery and culture are separate from my criminality. Working for the rich meant I could indulge both aspects of myself.”

In 1964, the ever-enterprising jewel thief received a 10-year prison sentence. He did not plan to stick around and managed to escape from Blundeston [Blun-der-st’n] Prison two years later. During his eight months of freedom, he met a pregnant Irish girl called Margaret. They lived together as a couple and he continued stealing, hustling and planning stings. During this time Margaret gave birth to baby Caroline and Fontaine acted as her father. But playing happy families would never last for someone like Roy Fontaine. In May 1966 was captured, and another received another five years on top of his sentence. Later Margaret claimed theirs was no big romance, and that she knew he was gay.

Margaret moved to Canada and left Caroline with Marion Wootton, Roy’s mother, who officially adopted her. Throughout his life Fontaine called Caroline Fontaine his daughter, although he was not much of a father figure to her.

After serving eight years altogether, Roy Fontaine was released in 1972. In prison he had a serious relationship with a man called David Barnard and promised that he would set up a home for them on the outside, so they could live together. However, once he was outside when he met Irish-born ‘Belfast Mary’, well, Mary Coggle, they clicked. They met at Whittingham Psychiatric Hospital where Mary worked. The court ordered Roy to spend time at the hospital as a condition of his release. Mary was estranged from her eight children and sometimes supplemented her income with sex work. She was shrewd and became a trusted friend with benefits between prison stints.

A prison buddy introduced Roy to Ruth Holmes, and years later Fontaine admitted that she was the only woman he ever truly loved. Although he was with Ruth, he never stopped seeing and loving David Barnard. Roy and Ruth got married 1972, mimicking the upper-class gay habits of living an outwardly heterosexual life. Not surprisingly, the marriage did not last, and they divorced when he was back in prison yet again. During one visit he advised her to leave him, seeing as he could never love her as much as he loved Barnard.

When Barnard was released, Mary Coggle was the one who waited by the gate. She took him to see Roy Fontaine in prison, and their relationship was as strong as ever. However, only four weeks after being released, Barnard died in a car accident, a tragedy that Fontaine claimed he never recovered from.

After his release from prison in 1977, Roy Fontaine returned to his native Scotland. His refined and eloquent appearance helped him in landing a butler job at Kirtleton House, near Waterbeck, Dumfriesshire [Dum-FREES-shur]. The widowed Lady Peggy Hudson was a likeable person, and a kind employer. For the first time in his life, Roy actually liked a job and grew fond of his boss. Of course, his plan was to rob her, but he could not do it to Peggy.

He was up to some cons and tricks; it came so natural to him. One night, some of his fellow employees from Kirtleton House saw him in a pub in town at 7pm. They were immediately concerned, because dinner was always served at 8:15 on the dot. As the butler, it was Roy’s most important task of the day. When they asked him why he was still hanging around the pub, he smirked and said that he had moved all the clocks in the house forward. Although harmless, it was a great act of manipulation.

For a moment it looked like he had turned his life around. He had a cushy job at a splendid country home and had no need to resort to criminal activity. But that all changed when one of his old prison mates landed himself a job at Kirtleton House. David Wright, who was Roy’s lover in Hull prison, became the handyman who did all sorts of odd jobs around the estate. David had the same intentions as Roy initially had: to steal from Lady Hudson. Roy confronted David when he found out his girlfriend was wearing a ring that belonged to Lady Hudson. Roy convinced the girl to return it, and David Wright was furious. He threatened to expose Roy’s sketchy past if he did not turn a blind eye to his stealing.

One night, while Lady Hudson was away, Wright helped himself to her champagne. He took his shotgun and went into Fontaine’s room. Fontaine woke up as Wright fired a shot, which, fortunately for Fontaine, hit the headboard. It took some persuasion, but Fontaine convinced Wright to spare his life. With this nocturnal visit, Wright signed his own death warrant. Fontaine helped an intoxicated Wright to bed. He recalled this incident in a conversation with author Rick Glanville and said that he told Wright he was ready to go back to his old ways again.

“I’ll tell you how I killed Wright… We’d agreed what we would steal. He took too much. I plied him with drink until he was rolling drunk, then I took him upstairs and fucked him.”

Silent tensions simmered behind smiles the next morning. Roy Fontaine, ever the smooth talker, suggested they went on a rabbit hunt to try and work things out. Wright agreed, and the men left for the hunt early one morning. They fired a couple of shots but did not have much success. As soon as Fontaine knew Wright was out of bullets, he turned his own gun on his friend and lover and shot him in the back of the head, killing him instantly. He buried him near a stream on the grounds of the 929 acre-estate.

Fontaine told everyone at Kirtleton House that David Wright had left, because he had been offered another job in Devon. Meanwhile, he took his time to make sure that no one would discover the body. He took Lady Hudson’s dog for walks, every day, past David Wright’s resting place. At first, the dog wanted to go to the body, so Fontaine covered it with more sand, leaves and rocks. This went on for a while, until one day, the dog walked right over the grave. Then he knew that no one would discover Wright’s body.

But killing Wright was not enough to keep his criminal past a secret. One of Roy’s ex-girlfriends called Kirkleton House and informed Lady Hudson of her butler’s shady past. Lady Hudson was shocked and realised she had no other choice than to let him go. Police escorted him off the property, and the graceful Lady Hudson only ever recalled that he was a ‘fine’ butler.

The 53-year-old Roy Fontaine returned to London where he soon found another butler position. 82-year-old Walter Scott-Eliot and his 60-year-old wife Dorothy lived in a penthouse apartment in Richmond Court, Chelsea. Walter, a retired member of parliament, came from an aristocratic Scottish family. He was educated at Eton and had friends and family in high places. Roy was guarded and did not make the mistake of becoming attached to his employers again. Gone were his resolution to ‘go straight’ – he was a thug and he was happy with it.

The Scott-Eliots were very wealthy, and Roy saw in them his final, big score. Walter was an avid antiques collector, and Roy felt that if he played his cards right, he’d never have to work again in his life.

The size of the job warranted the help of an accomplice, and Roy found one in a man called Michael Kitto. Rpy Fontaine met Kitto through his old friend, Mary Coggle at a pub, and when he heard he had also dabbled in petty crime, he knew he had found his guy.

Michael Kitto came from a broken home and grew up in foster care or children’s homes. He joined the military but was discharged after he was found guilty of robbery. A life of petty crime followed, and he supported himself by moving from one score to the next. The 39-year-old Kitto had something else in common with Roy Fontaine too – he was divorced. In fact, he was twice divorced – in both cases his wives ended the marriages because he was gay.

Roy was under the impression that Mrs Scott-Eliot was away at a nursing home to receive treatment for her arthritis. So, he invited Kitto over to show him around the penthouse. But Dorothy Scott-Eliot had returned home early and overheard their conversation as they walked into her bedroom, talking about her valuable belongings. In a panic, the men jumped into action and overpowered Dorothy. Without words one held her down, while the other suffocated her. The robbery plan had gone awry, and the only way out was to kill her husband too.

But they needed someone’s help. The next morning, they met with 51-year-old Mary Coggle near her home in King’s Cross. The group plotted to keep Walter Scott-Eliot sedated with whiskey and sleeping pills while Mary pretended to be his wife, so he wouldn’t suspect Dorothy was gone. They bought a wig to disguise Mary and called Fontaine’s old prison pal John Wootton, who was married to his mom to come and help. When Wootton arrived, they loaded Dorothy’s body into the trunk of his car and ushered the drugged-up octogenarian to the backseat.

They drove to Newton Arlosh where Wootton rented a Ford Grenada under Walter’s name. Wootton went back home and the rest set of to the Scottish Highlands. Mary wore a wig and one of Mrs Scott-Eliot’s mink coats and sat in the back, next to Walter. Fontaine and Kitto were in front and the group drove to Cumbria where Fontaine had rented a cottage. Mary and a comatose Walter stayed at the cottage, while the other two set off to dispose of Dorothy’s corpse.

They found an isolated spot near the Scottish village of Braco, where they decided to bury Dorothy Scott Eliot’s body. Then the pair of killers drove back to London, where they had the run of the Scott-Eliot’s house. They hand-picked valuables like jewellery, crystal, china and silverware. Meanwhile, Mary waited at the cottage in Cumbria, making sure Walter remained sedated. When the men returned, they loaded Mary and their captive into the car and headed even farther north.

At one point they stopped at a county pub and left a sleeping Walter in the car. They told the barman that he was their grandfather and carried on, enjoying a couple of drinks.

On the 14th of December, they pulled off the road at Glen Affric, near Inverness because Scott-Eliot needed to answer nature’s call. He walked a short distance and the murderous trio decided it was time to dispose of him. While Walter Scott-Eliot was urinating under a tree, Fontaine came up behind him and tried to strangle him with his scarf. Much to his surprise, the elderly man fought back with force. He called for Kitto to bring the spade they had brought along so they could dig a shallow grave. Hall later revealed what happened next…

The spade crashed down on to the old man’s skull, killing him. We dug a shallow grave within a copse of trees, and buried his think, frail body. I remember saying:

‘He put up more of a fight than I thought. He must have drawn strength from his noble Scottish ancestry.’

They did some sightseeing in Inverness and Aviemore, before going to Perth where they sold some of the stolen goods. They also stopped in Edinburgh for a bit, converting some more antiques into cash.

Mary Coggle shamelessly draped herself in the deceased Dorothy’s jewellery. When Roy told her to dispose of a luxurious mink coat, because it was incriminating evidence, she refused. Mary had become a liability and in a heated argument, Roy struck her with a fire poker. Then Kitto took a plastic bag and suffocated the woman who was once his lover.

Fontaine and Kitto carried Mary’s body to the car. They found a spot with no witnesses and threw her body off a bridge, into a stream in the vicinity of Middlebie, Dumfriesshire. In fact, less than five miles from Kirkleton house, where Fontaine had buried David Wright. Mary Coggle’s body was found on Christmas Day 1977, by a shepherd. The same time, her killers were celebrating the festive season, tucking into a warm meal with Roy Fontaine’s family.

After Christmas, the two thieves-turned-killers retreated to their hideout cottage Cumbria. They made several trips down to London where they cleaned out the Scott-Ellis’ penthouse. After one of these trips, they returned to Cumbria, where they found an uninvited guest. Roy Fontaine’s half-brother Donald had just been released from prison and had nowhere else to go. He pestered John Wootton and Roy said Donald could join them in Cumbria.

Roy and Donald could not stand each other. Donald despised Roy for being gay and Roy loather Donald for being a paedophile and called him a pervert. Roy and Kitto told Donald about a robbery they were planning at the time and said that they would have to tie up a guard. Donald agreed that they could practice on him. As soon as he was constrained, they used chloroform to sedate him. Then they drowned him in a bathtub on the 15th of January 1978.

By this time, the two co-conspirators knew the drill: they loaded Donald’s body into the trunk of the Ford Grenada and drove into the Scottish Highlands to bury him. However, the winter weather conditions were treacherous, and the pair were forced to stop over at North Berwick for the night. They checked into the Blenheim House Hotel for the night and settled in at the bar.

Roy could see the hotel owner was uneasy about them. He reckoned he was someone who was suspicious of anyone and everyone, and it didn’t concern him too much. Then they saw police in the parking lot, looking at their car. Kitto panicked, but Roy was as cool as a cucumber.

Before Fontaine and Kitto left Cumbria, Kitto changed the number plate on the car, so it could not be traced to the rental agency. When police arrived at the Blenheim House Hotel, they had a quick look at the car of the men the hotel-owner had called about. An astute officer noticed that the the number plate did not match the tax disc in the window, which raised a red flag. Officers found Michael Kitto and Roy Fontaine in the hotel bar and asked them to accompany them to the police station regarding their vehicle. The men politely agreed. The car was taken to the police station, as they suspected it was a stolen vehicle.

At the station, it was evident to investigators that Fontaine was the leader and Kitto his protégé. Fontaine went to the toilet a couple of times. He always returned and carried on the interview. But the one time as the officers let their guard down, he managed to escape through the bathroom window. Meanwhile, a search of the car revealed what the men were really hiding: Donald Hall’s body.

Fontaine flagged down a taxi and said his wife had been in an accident and she was in hospital. He was not sure which one, so the taxi driver went to the nearest one. Roy claimed she wasn’t there and asked if the driver would take him to Edinburgh. At a roadblock in Haddington, Roy Fontaine was arrested when police recognised him to be the fugitive from North Berwick. Roy Fontaine reportedly offered to pay the taxi fare before he was taken into custody.

It did not take police long to connect the dots. The car driven by Fontaine and Kitto’s original registration number, had been provided to police by an antiques dealer from Newcastle-under-Lyme. The shop-owner thought something fishy was going on when two men sold silverware and China to him for way less than it was worth.

The car, rented by Walter Scott-Eliot, took police to the Chelsea apartment of Fontaine and Kitto’s victims. When police arrived, they found the place had been ransacked and the owners were nowhere to be found. When they learnt that the body found in Dumfriesshire on Christmas Day, Mary Coggle once worked for the couple as a housekeeper, they knew the cases were related.

Investigators followed the trail up to Scotland and learnt that three men and a woman stayed at a roadside hotel one night. The guests fitted the descriptions of Fontaine, Kitto, Walter Scott-Eliot and Mary Coggle. On a later occasion, only Fontaine and Kitto returned, with no explanation as to the absence of their travel companions.

In custody, Fontaine had a failed suicide attempt. He had concealed barbiturates rectally and took an overdose. He woke up in hospital to learn that Kitto had told police everything about their murders and theft. The game was up.

In the end Roy Fontaine had no choice but to confess to the murders and told police where they had disposed of the bodies. He told law enforcement of David Wright’s murder too, a crime no one knew about. Later in his autobiography he noted that something changed within him after this, his first murder. He said:

“I would say to someone who is thinking of killing: don’t. Whatever it is that’s released, you don’t want set free.”

On another occasion he admitted:

“If I hadn’t loved having sex with men, David Wright would still be alive. I truly believed that if I hadn’t killed him, I wouldn’t have killed anyone.”

The case garnered a lot of media attention, and the cameras were rolling as Fontaine took police to the burial locations and police dug up the bodies from the snow. They found David Wright, Dorothy Scott-Eliot. No great effort was made to conceal Walter Scott-Eliot’s body – it was found in the uncovered shallow grave, under a rhododendron [row-duh-dên-druhn] tree, half-eaten by foxes.

Roy Fontaine was charged with all five of murders he had committed, and Kitto with the four he was involved with. Fontaine did not think too highly of Kitto and called him ‘weak, lazy and greedy’. He claimed that Kitto was the one who had killed Dorothy Scott-Eliot alone. Had he not done that, Walter Scott-Eliot and Mary Coggle would still be alive. Kitto in turn, blamed Fontaine for Dorothy’s killing.

Fontaine said that Mary’s death was an accident. They had had an argument on the bridge and she fell into the steam and cracked her skull. However, forensic testing proved this version to be wrong. Mary was struck on the head with a poker – no doubt about it. Eventually Fontaine came clean and said that he hit her with the poker, while Kitto held her arms so she couldn’t fight back. Kitto then suffocated her with a plastic bag. Mary’s death was the only one that made Fontaine somewhat nostalgic. He recalled:

“Ten minutes later, I checked for her pulse. She was dead. Mary, my old friend, whom I had known for almost ten years. I regretted having to kill her. Before this I’d always liked her, she had a heart of gold, did Mary.”

Forensic testing also showed that Donald Hall did not die of drowning after all. Fontaine and Kitto had used so much chloroform, enough to have caused Donald’s death. By the time they plunged him into the bath, he was no longer alive. This made Donald’s the first recorded murder by Chloroform case in British history. Fontaine claimed that his half-brother mentioned that he had romantic feelings for Fontaine’s adopted daughter Caroline, and that is why he killed him.

Fontaine and Kitto stood trial in Edinburgh and London, because of the locations of the murders. During his trial police claimed that Kitto was fortunate that they were caught, because Fontaine was hatching a plan to kill him too. In the end, Kitto was convicted of three murders and sentenced to life in prison. Kitto’s day of sentencing coincided with his 40th birthday. As he let the courtroom, he turned to the press bench and said:

“Ah well, life begins at 40.”

Roy Fontaine was less perky and never said a word when his sentence was handed down. He received a life sentence for the murder of Dorothy Scott-Eliot, and the judge recommended that he should never be released.

Fontaine claimed that all he ever wanted was money so he could leave the UK for a ‘place in the sun’. He looked down on Kitto, whose main aim with their crimes was because he simply wanted to be a criminal. In 1995, after serving 17 years, Fontaine requested the right to die. The Observer published his letter, in which he asks for a pill to be placed in a glass of wine… He has tried to end his own life on several occasions, but to no avail.

Roy Fontaine published his autobiography in 1999, titled A Perfect Gentleman. In his book, he openly admits that…

“There’s a side to me, when aroused, that is cold and completely heartless.”

He tells the story of his life of crime and the brutal events that took place at the end of 1977, as seen through rose tinted glasses. He never mentions his troubled teenage years and his struggles with mental health. It is obvious that Roy Fontaine saw himself as a celebrity, a mysterious and dangerous man. However, many of his acquaintances disputed his romanticised recount.

On the 16th of September 2002, at the age of 78, Archibald Hall, also known as Roy Fontaine died of a stroke in Kingston Prison, Portsmouth. At the time he was the oldest of 70,000 inmates in Britain serving a whole life sentence. Michael Kitto has been released and his whereabouts are unknown.

Roy Fontaine used his cunning to trick people into trusting him. He took pride in his work as a butler and commanded respect of various households. By all accounts he was one of the best butlers of his time. But was only ever a side-gig for him, a daily performance, while he looked for valuable items to steal from his wealthy employers and their neighbours. His life of crime became so twisted and bizarre, it almost reads like a dark comedy. And even though he thought that he deserved to be remembered as one of Britain’s best criminals, he ended up being the embodiment of an age-old cliché. Archibald Hall, Roy Fontaine was quite literally the Butler, who did it.

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