UK bookseller allegedly stabbed 30 times for first edition of 'The Wind in the Willows'

Facing a murder trial, Michael Danaher reportedly also planned to target Kate Moss, Alan Sugar, and Rio Ferdinand

UK bookseller allegedly stabbed 30 times for first edition of 'The Wind in the Willows'

Murdered Oxford historian Adrian Greenwood, who Danaher says he killed in self-defence [BBC]

Model Kate Moss, novelist Jeffrey Archer and TV mogul Simon Cowell were among the names of potential targets of a British man currently on trial for murdering an Oxford book dealer. Michael Danaher, who claims he killed Adrian Greenwood in self-defence, reportedly stabbed the respected historian 30 times in order to steal a rare first edition of The Wind in the Willows, according to police.

According to the prosecution at Oxford Crown Court, Danaher conned his way into Greenwood’s home on the premise of buying the rare copy of Kenneth Grahame’s children’s book, which Greenwood was selling for £50,000 (€56,000). When Greenwood refused to hand over the book, Danaher allegedly stabbed him multiple times in his chest, neck and back, rummaging through his pockets and taking the book and the bookseller’s laptop as he fled the scene.

Greenwood’s body was found in a pool of blood in his Oxford home when his cleaner arrived the following afternoon.

In the courtroom, the prosecution laid out its case, describing how the 50-year-old Danaher carried out extensive research on the Internet, looking into the assets and movements of wealthy people he planned to steal from. A spreadsheet on his computer, labelled Enterprises, including information on Kate Moss, Jeffrey Archer and Simon Cowell, allegedly with details of how he planned to extort money by holding kidnapped family members to ransom.

“This wasn’t him casually taking a look, these are focused and considered enquiries and the common theme was people with money,” said prosecutor Oliver Saxby, QC.

“It seemed to irk him that some of the targets were associated with the Conservative Party and he wrote ‘stun Tory’ next to certain names on his list.”

Analysis of Danaher’s computer revealed that he had also carried out investigations into the homes of former footballer Rio Ferdinand, Eamonn Holmes, Michael Parkinson, and Alan Sugar.

British police officers arrested Danaher three days after the discovery of Adrian Greenwood’s body, having traced him using a mobile phone signal. Initially denying having anything to do with the crime, Danaher later admitted killing the bookseller, saying he was acting in self-defence.

Denying murder, Danaher’s trial is ongoing.

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