Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows is a childhood classic focusing on the lives of four talking animals. Published in the early 20th century, the book continues to be a well-known, award-winning story in the 21st century. Many editions of the book, including the 1st edition, are now archived on the internet for the masses to read and enjoy.
Yet, some people aren’t interested in a book for its story.
During the month of April in Oxford, England, Adrian Greenwood, an antique dealer, was stabbed and beaten to death for his classic edition of the beloved novel. Michael Danaher is on trial for the crime. After the murder, he took Greenwood’s phone, laptop, wallet and the first edition of The Wind in the Willows.
Why would he take the book? Most people think it’s because of the its price, valued at $64,000. Danaher may have been aware of its value after seeing Greenwood’s post on eBay trying to sell the book.
Despite the defense’s claims of self-defense, evidence presented by officials imply a different scenario.
A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet was discovered and showed a number of potential targets for robbery including model Kate Moss, Jeffrey Archer (a novelist), and the victim, Greenwood. Labelled under the targets, methods of orchestrating the crimes were also included such as “stun gun” and “ransom.” Under Greenwood, notes such as “Expected take: rare books” make it difficult to reason self defense.
Danaher’s collection of ebooks on his computer also reflect a more malicious story, with titles such as Opening Locks Without Keys and The Technique Of Silent Killing.
The Wind in the Willows emphasizes the theme of home and its safety. Now ironically, if it is true Danaher actually killed Greenwood for the sake of the book’s value, the value of the book’s contents have been wasted in a quest for wealth.
YouTube Channel: TheStingraySecret
Featured image via Rauner Special Collections Library