Murder #35, Kelvin Easton, Mile End


Murder #35, Kelvin Easton, Mile End

Kelvin Easton, 23, was stabbed to death in a nightclub in Mile End. He was found collapsed at the bottom of the stairs at Boheme nightclub. Easton was pronounced dead at the scene and a postmortem gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the heart. 12 men were arrested during the investigation and one charged but no one was found guilty of the murder.

If I had to name the top ten road junctions I know in London, Mile End Road crossing Grove Road/Burdett Road in East London would be among them. And yet I probably never noticed the Boheme Nightclub at its southeast corner. When I read about the murder I couldn’t picture a nightclub there ut there it was as I came out of Mile End Station. Kelvin Easton had been murdered there but it wasn’t clear if it was inside or outside. I walked around the nightclub and at first concluded wrongly that it had occurred outside based on the police tape around the back. Unsatisfied I walked around the building some more and saw forensic detectives walk through the front door of the club. I peaked through the small glass windows and saw broken bottles, overturned chairs and blood. The glass was very opaque and I knew I couldn’t get a photo shooting through it and besides they were not the kinda photos I was looking to make. So I crossed the road and from several vantage points I made photographs of the front of the Boheme, which had a few already wilting flowers, marking the death of Easton, by the front door. Few people noticed the flowers but most passerbys did not  or were completely unaware a murder had taken place. It was what interested me more than anything, …how people react or don’t react or are unaware of the violence around them.

The murder of Kelvin Easton was never officially solved despite several arrests. Little did I know that Easton’s murder would indirectly lead to the London Riots a year later. Easton was a cousin of Mark Duggan, and possibly members of the same gang. It was thought by the police that Duggan knew who killed his cousin and was planning revenge. It was one of the reasons the police were monitoring Duggan, rightly or wrongly, and led to to the police shooting him dead in Walthamstow. I don’t know how true this story is but I heard it a lot during the time of my project and its come out as well during the inquest into Duggan’s death. Part of me thinks that the police are having trouble justifying the shooting. But there is a certain logic to it.Not the shooting but why they were monitoring Duggan. The biggest thing I take from it is how everything is connected and how one seemingly violent but obscure event can lead to something like the tragedy of the London riots.

The Book “The Landscape of Murder” will be published in October 2013 by Dewi Lewis Publishing

An Interactive Map of the Murder Sites I have written about

The Landscape of Murder Photos

The Guardian Weekend Magazine piece on my project and the Guardian Website Gallery

The British Journal of Photography

The Caption information comes from the MurderMap Website and the MPS Press Bureau

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