Code-breaking genius Alan Turing – played by Benedict Cumberbatch in hit film The Imitation Game – was murdered, a new book claims. The brilliant mathematician who cracked Hitler’s Engima wartime code machines was found dead in 1954 at the age of 41.
Author Roger Bristow claims a note from the pathologist casts doubt over the official conclusion of suicide. The post mortem report said he died from cyanide poisoning, but the note adds that: ‘Death appears to be due to violence.’ Mr. Bristow, a former mayor who has spent almost 30 years researching Turing and his work at Bletchley Park, said he was carrying out secret work before his death. He believes the code-cracker was killed by the FBI because he had information that would be ‘extremely damaging or embarrassing.’ Mr Bristow adds that Turing had been working on the top secret operation Verona, deciphering wartime radio signals to identify Russian agents in the United States. He describes how some of the agents managed to get themselves into highly prominent positions, with one even becoming a personal assistant to President Roosevelt.
Turing, who was prosecuted for being gay, was found dead in his bedroom in Wilmslow, Cheshire in June 1954. Two years earlier he had been convicted of gross indecency and sentenced to chemical castration. A post mortem found traces of potassium cyanide in his body – a substance he used for his chemical experiments.
Mr Bristow, a founder member of Bletchley Park Trust and former Milton Keynes mayor, said: ‘I believe he was killed, perhaps by the FBI, and his death was made to look like a suicide. ‘My theory is that he had stumbled upon some information that could be extremely damaging or embarrassing to certain people in America. ‘His body was found on the Tuesday morning and he was buried by Wednesday afternoon. How could proper tests have been conducted in that time? ‘Also there is no evidence he was depressed before his death. In fact there are reports from neighbours that he seemed cheerful. ‘But the final sentence on the pathologist report says it all: ‘Death appears to be due to violence.’ Via Was Alan Turing murdered? New book claims he didn’t kill himself