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British book dealer murdered over rare copy of The Wind In The Willows

(Image: The Wind In The Willows)

As reported by The Guardian (via the LA Times), a book dealer in England was recently stabbed to death, with prosecutors on the case arguing that the alleged perpetrator did it so he could steal the man’s rare first-edition copy of The Wind In The Willows, valued at about $64,000. The dealer, Adrian Greenwood, was found dead in April with a “deep wound in his back” and “more than 30 stab wounds to the chest,” as well as numerous other injuries that suggest he was tortured and tried to take the knife from his attacker. A man named Michael Danaher is on trial for the murder, and though he doesn’t deny that he killed Greenwood, he is claiming that he did it in self-defense.

According to the prosecution, that story doesn’t hold up. They say Danaher didn’t call for help after Greenwood died, and “cool as you like,” he grabbed the book, Greenwood’s phone, his laptop, and his wallet. On top of that, he supposedly “paused to take a selfie” after the killing, “showing blood on his beard.” The Guardian story also says that a search of Danaher’s computer revealed a spreadsheet of possible robbery victims, organized by the best way to steal from them, why they deserved to be robbed, and what the expected take would be. The list reportedly included the names of several celebrities, along with notes like “stun gun,” “ransom,” and “scum Tory.” Greenwood’s name was also on the list, next to the words: “Modus: Any!! Expected take: rare books.”


The Wind In The Willows, for anyone who doesn’t recall, is a widely beloved children’s novel written by Kenneth Grahame about talking animals.

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