For many months and years, the tide ran with Fred Shipman. These were perfect crimes: apparently motiveless, with victims whose deaths, although a shock to those around them, were not questioned, committed by a murderer who had access to the means of killing and who was, because of his position and because of his own reputation as a particularly caring doctor, above suspicion. But there were in Hyde a few people who began to notice that there was a scourge at the heart of their close-knit community, that a terrible sequence of events was in train. These people are the heroes of this story, because without them it is possible that Dr Fred Shipman could still be at large, still be administering his unique brand of care in the community. It is partly thanks to them, and their watchfulness, that Fred Shipman was imprisoned: they may not, as individuals, have been able to stop his killing spree, but they made vital contributions to the build-up of evidence against him. John Shaw is a giant of a man, big in stature and big of heart. He retired at the age of sixty-four in the summer of 1999, but for more than eleven years he was a taxi driver in Hyde.