The death of a newspaper at any time is an event full of tragedy for all those concerned but in the case of The News of the World it is hard to feel any sympathy.

The newspaper simply crossed the line between tabloid journalism and criminal behavior and it had to go.

Known universally as 'The News of the Screws' for its focus on sex scandals and the like, it was a classic Murdoch newspaper, full of tits and tattle masquerading as the conscience of British society.

It was an immensely powerful vehicle for Murdoch. Margaret Thatcher was the first British Prime Minister to pay homage and all others who followed her subsequently did.

David Cameron's press officer until the scandal broke was a former News of the World editor, Andrew Coulson

It was a powerful but the criminal activities it involved itself in are truly astonishing.

It was known that it had hacked the phones of celebrities which no one took all that seriously as it turned out.

But dogged journalism by The Guardian uncovered far more dark secrets.

The paper had hacked into the cell phone of a missing young girl and caused the parents untold anguish when they deleted messages which led the parents to think their murdered daughter was still alive.

They also hacked into the phones of families of 7/7 victims, killed in the Al Qaeda massacre on London trains.

They also pursued a policeman who was investigating a murder involving a close associate of the newspaper.

God knows what else they got up to. A former journalist with them admitted such hacking had taken place in Ireland too.

Putting the paper out of business seemed the only logical step and who knows what other tabloid newspapers were up too.

This is a scandal that will run and run, a clear indication that Murdoch, drunk with power, had allowed his editors free rein to a ridiculous extent and didn't care as long as they boosted sales.

Not since William Randolph Hearst caused the Spanish American war in 1898 has a greater press scandal ensued.

Now he is getting his answer in a very real way and his empire is surely threatened and his own reputation is suddenly in tatters.