A British murder over a rare copy of The Wind in the Willows sounds like something out of Agatha Christie: Prosecutors say Michael Danaher plotted for months to kill book dealer Adrian Greenwood and steal his $64,000 first edition of Kenneth Grahame's 1908 children's classic, the Los Angeles Times reports. Danaher is accused of stabbing and beating Greenwood, who was found dead at his Oxford home in April. Danaher, who was in financial trouble and allegedly targeted Greenwood after seeing the book for sale on eBay, admits killing the man but claims it was in self-defense, reports the Guardian.
Prosecutor Oliver Saxby told an Oxford court that after Danaher killed Greenwood, emerging from the bloody attack almost unscathed, "as cool as you like, he helped himself to that first edition of The Wind in the Willows, and Adrian Greenwood’s phone, and his laptop and his wallet." Investigators say that they found an Excel spreadsheet titled "Enterprises" on Danaher's computer, in which he listed celebrity targets like Kate Moss and Simon Cowell, with notes like "stun gun” and "ransom" beside the names. For Greenwood, he wrote: "Modus: any!! Expected take: rare books."