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Who Killed the Bears?

24 April 1889 - a crime is committed against two animals and the repercussions reverberate into the next century.

Non-Fiction 1964 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Who did kill the bears? Seventy five years after the brutal killing of two performing bears in the Forest of Dean the villagers of Ruardean and Cinderford are still accusing each other of the crime. It's a tale of touring entertainers, child murders, foul rumours and mob justice. Lionel Hampden attempts to find out what really happened with one of the last eye witnesses to the events of 24th April 1889.

The incident also inspired the local playwright, Dennis Potter, to write 'A Beast with Two Backs', that was broadcast as part of the Wednesday Play series by the BBC in 1968.