A Miscarriage of Justice and the Fight to End the Death Penalty
The case of Oklahoma death-row inmate Richard Glossip has caused an international outcry, since even those who prosecuted him for murder admit he killed no one. The British reporter who became his close friend tells the story of Glossip’s campaign against three scheduled executions. Slightly off-mint.
A Powerful True Story
Returning to Ireland after 50 years, Gordon Lewis began to investigate the secrets of his childhood, only to be told not to go ‘digging up that old stuff’. Brought up in the 1950s in a secretive Catholic hostel for unmarried women, he had little idea of the hardships his mother had suffered, or her determination to keep her child, in defiance of an intolerant society.
An Italian Immigrant's Search for Respectability in Victorian Bath
Colin Fisher tells the story of Stefan Vallerio Pieroni (1819–1900), a seller of plaster figurines who came to England from Tuscany in 1837. Eventually, he settled in Bath, where he became prominent in the city’s social, cultural and political life.
The Lives and Spies of MI5's Maxwell Knight
Based on recently declassified MI5 files, this is the story of one of Britain’s greatest intelligence operators, Maxwell Knight (1900–1968) or ‘M’. From 1923, when he was recruited for MI5 by Sir George Makgill, the book follows Knight’s career through infiltrating Communist and Fascist movements in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s, the Second World War and the Cold War, and examines his particular talent for recruiting and training special agents.
The Ripper of Waterloo Road
The Murder of Eliza Grimwood in 1838
Fifty years before Jack the Ripper, a prostitute was brutally murdered in a house near Waterloo Bridge. The killer was never identified but in this new analysis of the case, the author draws on the investigating policeman's notes, as well as contemporary newspaper reports, to link the crime to a series of other murders and identify a possible serial killer.
The Acid Bath Murders
The Trials and Liquidations of John George Haigh
John Haigh did not deny the murders of which he was accused during his trial in 1949 but claimed insanity, citing a history of disturbing dreams and claiming that he had drunk the blood of his victims before dissolving their bodies in sulphuric acid. This new analysis of the famous case draws on unpublished archive material, including letters that Haigh wrote from prison while awaiting execution.
Digging in the Dark
A History of the Yorkshire Resurrectionists
‘It is nature that teaches us to use the bodies of the dead to preserve the bodies of the living,’ argued a solicitor’s clerk found guilty of body snatching in 1831. He is just one of the Yorkshire grave-robbers, from many walks of life, who appear in this compendium of grim tales. Johnson vividly describes the resurrectionists’ macabre methods, the violent public protests against their activities and the private anguish of their victims’ families.
Tales from the Dead-House
Harold Shipman's killing spree prematurely ended the lives of an estimated 284 people, mainly elderly women. The killer's life and personality as well as his deeds are reviewed in this collection of macabre true crime stories. Also included are the tales of Mary Wilson, the Gateshead poisoner of four husbands; Arthur Waite, the murderous dentist; and the brutal gangland killings of Glasgow's so-called ‘ice cream wars’.
Death in the Air
The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City
An unprecedented smog hit London in December 1952, plunging the city into an eerie and poisonous darkness that killed 12,000 people. A few days later, John Christie strangled his wife and, over the following months, committed a further three killings. This true crime story draws together the notorious Rillington Place murders and the environmental disaster to chronicle a dark period in austerity London. Off-mint with a felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits
The Crime Spree that Gripped Belle Époque Paris
On the eve of the First World War, the French capital was terrorized by bandits – but these were no ordinary criminals. This narrative history charts the rise and fall of Jules Bonnot and his gang – violent anarchists motivated by the city’s inequalities of wealth and poverty, who robbed banks and wealthy Parisians. Among their supporters was the young Victor Kibalchich, better known as the Russian revolutionary Victor Serge.
Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane
A Victorian Murder Mystery Solved
The brutal murder of Jane Clouson in Eltham, South London in 1871 became a press sensation, with the police investigation and trial keeping the public gripped and the accused's acquittal (largely due to legal rulings disallowing key evidence) causing outrage. This re-examination of the case and the subsequent libel trials fought by the prime suspect reviews the evidence in the light of 21st-century procedure and finally identifies the culprit of this long-unsolved killing.
The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor
In 1856 Dr William Palmer was convicted of poisoning his best friend with strychnine and was suspected of committing at least a dozen other murders. One of the last people to be publicly hanged in Britain, he was described by Charles Dickens as ‘the greatest villain who ever stood trial at the Old Bailey’. But in this fresh examination of the evidence, journalist Stephen Bates considers Palmer’s motivation and asks whether he really was a prolific and ruthless serial killer.
A Century of Unsolved Homicides
Rumours of black magic and a ritualistic killing surrounded the murder of a farm worker in Warwickshire in 1945, but the authors of this book believe that this was a false trail set by the murderer, who was never convicted. Winner of a Crime Writers' Association award when first published in 1987, this book reviews the evidence from (and in some cases reveals fresh information about) seven intriguing unsolved British murders.
The Cape Horners' Club
Tales of Triumph and Disaster at the World's Most Feared Cape
Cape Horn is the only choke point in the Southern Ocean, where winds, waves and currents, unfettered for thousands of miles, are forced through a narrow channel between the Antarctic and the southernmost tip of the Americas. Adrian Flanagan charts the history of the Cape through the exploits of the select band of yachting legends who have taken on its fearsome challenge, including Francis Chichester, Robin Knox-Johnson, Bernard Moitessier, Chay Blythe and Jessica Watson.
The Final Roundup
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant was a Somerset-born Australian bushman, drover and versifier, best known for the revenge killings he inflicted on prisoners of war when serving with the British Bushveldt Carbineers regiment during the Boer War. Morant was court martialled and executed for his crimes – wrongly, many have claimed – yet this fastidiously researched biography argues that, despite the romance surrounding Morant and his chaotic lifestyle, his actions in South Africa were ‘judged in proper and orthodox fashion’.
The Last Shepherds
A Vanishing Way of Life on Britain's Traditional Hill Farms
Shepherds were ubiquitous from pre-biblical times, their occupation a way of life – some even had their own language for counting sheep. Today, among other things, fewer sheep and quad bikes contribute to dwindling shepherd numbers. First published in 2004, this account follows three shepherds through their year, witnessing lambing, haymaking, sheep fairs and the training of a puppy to become a working sheepdog; it describes age-old traditions that are fast becoming things of the past.