John McVicar

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John McVicar at a press conference for the movie after the book McVicar by Himself (11 March 1981)

John McVicar (born 1940) is a British journalist and convicted one-time armed robber who escaped from prison.


As criminal[edit]

In the 1960s, he was an armed robber who was tagged "Public Enemy No. 1" by Scotland Yard. He was apprehended and given a 23-year prison sentence. He escaped from prison on several occasions and after his final re-arrest in 1970 he was given a sentence of 26 years. He was paroled in 1978.[1]

As journalist[edit]

Telling his story[edit]

After his parole, McVicar wrote his autobiography, McVicar by Himself, and scripted the biographical film McVicar (1980), which starred The Who's lead singer Roger Daltrey in the title role and co-starred Adam Faith. Also after his release from prison, he studied for a postgraduate degree at the University of Leicester.[1]

Christie v. McVicar[edit]

In 1998, McVicar lost a libel action brought by sprinter Linford Christie over his claim that Christie was a "steroid athlete."[1]

The Jill Dando murder[edit]

In 2002, McVicar published a book about the murder of broadcaster Jill Dando, Dead On Time. In it, McVicar paints Barry George as a sophisticated liar, trying to appear too stupid to carry out a difficult mission. The book appeared after George's first appeal was rejected. (The conviction was overturned in 2008, and George was released.) McVicar subsequently wrote Who Killed Jill? You Decide, in which he examines the British jury system. This second book is purged of the chapters recounting 'personal experiences' which McVicar claims were the product of poetic licence for the most part.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

McVicar and his wife have a house in London, but travel widely.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Artsrunik, Valentina. " - Biographical Notes". John McVicar. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2008.