Press photographer Geoff Beech and his journalist colleague Stan Nicholls of The Reporter newspaper were part of the pack of journalists who descended on Coronation Street when the true story behind the Richard Hillman murders broke. They first encamped outside No.8, taking pictures at every opportunity and harassing the residents with their constant questions. Gail Hillman underwent a terrifying ordeal when the press pack, including Stan and Geoff, descended on her and her family as they left the house and tried to get in their car, causing a watching Norris Cole to comment that it made him almost ashamed as a newsagent to be part of the profession!
At night, Geoff attempted to sneak through the back gardens to get pictures of the Hillmans inside their home but next-door neighbour Craig Nelson spotted them from his bedroom window and dad Tommy ran outside to confront the man. Geoff claimed freedom of the press but Tommy menaced him to leave. Martin Platt, hearing the commotion, came outside and the two ejected him from their premises.
A couple of days later, Stan and Geoff were given an offer by Craig of all he knew of the murders and Stan muttered that a reporter from The Beano would be along soon to interview him. They then descended on the pub where they offended undertaker Archie Shuttleworth with a comment about all the business that Richard must have brought his way. Harry Flagg tried to scare the men off by claiming he was part of an undercover SAS team who had their guns trained on the Street as they expected Richard back any time soon and the bullets would start flying. Stan, though, was diverted by a conversation between Jack and Vera Duckworth about the £20,000 that they had invested with Richard. Although Jack quickly pushed her out, it wasn't to stop her talking but to stop her talking for free. They negotiated a fee of £500 to tell the press their story and Geoff took their picture pointing at the Hillmans' house. The picture appeared in the paper under the headline, “Killer Suspect Robbed us Blind.”
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