Richard Hoskins

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Richard Hoskins
Richard Hoskins

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Alma materOxford University
King's College London
OccupationUniversity Professor (Former),
writer, Criminologist

Richard Hoskins (born 1964) is an author and criminologist, with expertise in African ritual crime.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hoskins was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, in February 1964, and educated at Uppingham School, at Bedford School, and at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, before a Special Short Service Commission in 3rd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment. At the age of twenty-one Hoskins travelled to Africa intending a gap year, but stayed from 1986 until 1992.[2]

Upon returning to Britain, Hoskins enrolled at Oxford University to read theology and took a double First, before completing a PhD at King's College London. Hoskins went on to be a senior lecturer at Bath Spa University,[3] and a senior research fellow at King's College London. He has taught religious studies at Shebbear College in Devon.

Expert witness[edit]

Whilst working at Bath Spa University, Hoskins was called upon by the Metropolitan Police Service to work as an expert witness in the Torso in the Thames case.[2] He has since been called as an expert witness in over a hundred criminal cases, including numerous high-profile murders, such as those of Victoria Climbié,[4] Jodi Jones and the Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu case.[5][6][7] Hoskins has been called upon to provide commentary on these cases and the related field by numerous press organisations.[8][9][10][11] He is an expert on African religions.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] He is the only registered multi-cultural expert on the UK national police SOCA database.[2][19]

Hoskins has made television and radio appearances concerning numerous cases, most notably a documentary for the BBC entitled "Witch Child",[3][20][21] a documentary concerned with the Torso in the Thames case[22] and a BBC Radio 4 programme.[23][24] He is a Patron of the Build Africa charity.[25]

More recently, Hoskins was asked by detectives of Wiltshire Police to examine claims made by "Lucy X" of a VIP satanic sex-abuse ring which included the former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, as part of two separate investigations by the force into sexual abuse.[26][27] Fearing that he may be removed from the police database of experts as a result of his revelations,[28]

Personal life[edit]

Hoskins has been married twice. He currently lives in London where he writes crime fiction. He is a keen runner and completed the 2014 London Marathon in 2 hours 45 minutes, placing him 7th for all over 50.[29]


Hoskins' first book, The Boy in the River, was published by Pan Macmillan and became a Sunday Times bestseller,[1] receiving critical praise in several press publications.[30][31][32]

The Boy in the River was named Gold Winner in the Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards 2013.[33] The panel of judges "highly commended" the "gripping story".[34]


  1. ^ a b Sunday Times. 1 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c The Boy in the River, ISBN 9781447207900, Pan Macmillan
  3. ^ a b "King's College London - News & Events".
  4. ^ Thompson, Tony (4 June 2005). "Churches blamed for exorcism growth" – via The Guardian.
  5. ^ Attewill, Fred (1 March 2012). "Police warn children are at risk over return of the witch-finders".
  6. ^ "Witchcraft Trial: Murder Was 'Wild And Feral'".
  7. ^ "'Witch torture' trial: Attack on teenager was 'feral'". BBC News. 25 January 2012.
  8. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - England - London - 'Witch' child cruelty trio guilty". 3 June 2005.
  9. ^ "BBC NEWS - UK - Abuses masquerading as religion". 3 June 2005.
  10. ^ Steele, John. "Aunt helped to torture girl, 8, for being a witch".
  11. ^ "Social workers considered sending boy to the Congo for exorcism".
  12. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2005 ‘African Religions and Nature Conservation’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature Continuum
  13. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2005 ‘Biodiversity and Religion in Equatorial Africa’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature Continuum
  14. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2005 ‘Muti and African Healing’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature Continuum
  15. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2005 ‘Muti Killings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature Continuum
  16. ^ "Login".
  17. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2006 ‘The Torment of Africa’s ‘child witches’’ Sunday Times 5 February 2006
  18. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2006 Witch Child BBC2 60-minute documentary broadcast 6 April 2006 October Films
  19. ^ Hoskins, Richard 2012 'The Witchcraft Monster Reared in our Midst' The Sunday Times 4 March 2012
  20. ^ "Witch Child - BBC Two".
  21. ^ "October Films - New Website Coming Soon".
  22. ^ "Adam's Story", 3bm for Channel 4
  23. ^ "Witchcraft & Child Abuse, Beyond Belief - BBC Radio 4".
  24. ^ "Dr. Richard Hoskins, stacking pews and the Rabbi Relay Ride, Inspirit with Jumoke Fashola - BBC Radio London".
  25. ^ "Build Africa - Charity fighting poverty through education".
  26. ^ Evans, Martin (27 November 2016). "Sir Edward Heath sex investigation could be shut down as police expert says satanic ritual abuse claims are 'pernicious fabrication'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  27. ^ Booth, Robert (27 November 2016). "Ted Heath's accuser 'gave child abuse inquiry fantastical evidence'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  28. ^ Kennedy, Dominic (28 November 2016). "Heath inquiry is 'based on flawed claims of devil worship'". The Times. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  29. ^ "Virgin Money London Marathon 2014".
  30. ^ "Crimes of passion". The Economist. 23 June 2012.
  31. ^ "The Boy in the River by Richard Hoskins - The Sunday Times". Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Darkness visible". 21 June 2012.
  33. ^ "The Boy in the River — The Crime Writers' Association".
  34. ^ "Winners archive — The Crime Writers' Association".

External links[edit]