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Wartime Crime    

Series 1: 6x60 | HD | 2017
Production Company
Primary Broadcaster
UKTV / American Heroes Channel

While the battlefields of World War II were a stage for remarkable acts of heroism, strategic cunning and horrific atrocities, conditions of the home front seemed more stable. Yet from bombed-out London to occupied France and even Nazi Germany itself, the war enabled one thing to flourish – crime. This six-part series looks at the street gangs, the looters, the crazed deserters, the sexual predators and the serial killers whose criminal instincts were unleashed by the conflict surrounding them. 

Nazi Jewel Heist

In late 1944, when it seemed that the invading allied armies might be on course to overwhelm Hitler?s Germany, two princes from an illustrious Prussian family lowered a zinc-lined treasure chest filled with millions of dollars worth of diamonds, gold and jewels into the basement floor of Kronberg Castle. When Frankfurt fell to the US military in 1945, Kronberg Castle was requisitioned as an army base, the family moved to several cottages in and around the grounds.

The Sicilian Connection

When Mussolini came to power in 1922, one of his first objectives was to destroy the Sicilian Mafia, a criminal organisation whose power undermined his control of Sicily. Two years into his regime, Mussolini appointed his ‘Iron Prefect’, Cesare Mori, to wage war on organised crime using any means necessary, and a campaign of torture, kidnap and property confiscation followed. By 1929, the Fascist regime proudly declared that their enemy had been defeated, yet many of the hounded criminals had simply fled to the East coast of the United States, where the Mafia had already established a significant presence.

Blitzkrieg Kingpin

William Charles Hill was the most powerful Kingpin in Britains post-war underworld, a mentor to the famous Kray Twins, the criminal mastermind behind sensational, high-value postal robberies and bullion heists in the 1950s and 60s; but the secret behind Hills rise, the most important event in the genesis of his empire is little known, and was World War 2.