Stanley Rytter

Stanley Rytter was born in Poland in 1927. After the Second World War he settled in London. He worked as a journalist and press photographer. According to his friend, Serge Paplinski, he also worked as a freelance contract worker for MI5 and MI6. Later, Rytter managed the 150 Club in the Earls Court Road. The club was owned by Peter Rachman.

The trial of Stephen Ward began at the Old Bailey on 22nd July 1963. Ward told his defence counsel, James Burge: "One of my great perils is that at least half a dozen of the (witnesses) are lying and their motives vary from malice to cupidity and fear... In the case of both Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies there is absolutely no doubt that they are committed to stories which are already sold or could be sold to newspapers and that my conviction would free these newspapers to print stories which they would otherwise be quite unable to print (for libel reasons)."

Stephen Ward was very upset by the judge's summing-up that included the following: "If Stephen Ward was telling the truth in the witness box, there are in this city many witnesses of high estate and low who could have come and testified in support of his evidence." Several people present in the court claimed that Judge Archie Pellow Marshall was clearly biased against Ward. France Soir reported: "However impartial he tried to appear, Judge Marshall was betrayed by his voice."

After the day's court proceedings, Ward contacted Tom Critchley, a Home Office official working with Lord Denning on the official investigation. Later, Critchley refused to comment what was said in that telephone conversation.

That night Stephen Ward took an overdose of sleeping tablets. He was in a coma when the jury reached their verdict of guilty of the charge of living on the immoral earnings of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies on Wednesday 31st July. Three days later, Ward died in St Stephen's Hospital.

The entertainer Michael Bentine, who worked as an intelligence officer for MI9 under Airey Neave during the Second World War and had known Ward for sometime, kept up his contacts after the war, later commented: "A Special Branch friend of mine told me Ward was assisted in his dying. I think he was murdered."

Paul Mann, a close friend of Stephen Ward, says he was told shortly after his death, that "Ward was injected with an air bubble, by hypodermic, with the intention of causing a fatal embolism. The needle broke, and the assassins left in a hurry. It was enough, though, to send the drugged Ward on his way. It was a botched affair."

In 1987 Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril published their book on the Stephen Ward case, Honeytrap. During their research they managed to speak to several members of MI5, including Keith Wagstaffe, Ward’s case-officer. The book confirms that Ward had been involved in an operation that was attempting to persuade Eugene Ivanov to become a double-agent.

As a result of the book being published the authors were contacted by a former MI6 asset who claimed that Ward was murdered by Rytter. He told them: "Stanley Rytter is the one who killed Ward. I know because he told me.... I wasn't there. But Rytter was with Ward the night he died, and Rytter told me he was paid to kill Ward. He was paid by our mob."

The man then went on to say: "It was decided that Ward had to die.... He admitted (Rytter) that Ward was killed on the instructions of his department. He convinced Ward that he ought to have a good night's sleep and take some sleeping pills. The agent said he let Ward doze off and then woke him again and told him to take his tablets. Another half an hour later or two, he woke Ward again, and told him he'd forgotten to take his sleeping pills. So it went on - till Ward had overdosed. It might sound far-fetched, but it's the easiest thing in the world to do. Once the victim is drowsy he will agree to almost anything."

Serge Paplinski told Anthony Summers and Stephen Dorril "Stanley (Rytter) was there with Ward on the last night... he always said that Ward was poisoned." His daughter, Yvonne Rytter recalled being taken to St Stephen's Hospital as Ward was dying. She recalls someone coming up and saying; "That's it. He's dead."

Stanley Rytter died following a stroke in 1984.

In December, 2013, The Daily Telegraph named the informant as being Lee Tracey. He told the newspaper, “It was decided that Ward had to die. Stanley Rytter is the one who killed Ward. I know because he told me. Rytter told me he was paid to kill Ward." According to Neil Tweedie: "Ward, says Tracey, knew too much. For years, he had cultivated the high and mighty of British society, supplying friends with girls, not for money but for the kudos of moving within such circles.... That the death of Ward was convenient for Britain’s social and political elite is beyond doubt. Reputations remained intact that might otherwise have been destroyed in a flurry of disclosures about the sexual adventures of the great and good. The intelligence services, meanwhile, were rid of a potential embarrassment. Ward had been their man, a source of useful information on the peccadilloes of MPs, peers, diplomats and others. But when the Profumo story exploded, MI5, the domestic security service, and MI6, the foreign intelligence service, both involved with Ward, ran for cover."