The Mile End Murder
The Case Conan Doyle Couldn't Solve!
Like his fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle enjoyed applying his mind to unsolved crimes, and the murder in 1860 of wealthy widow Mary Emsley was one such case. This book tackles the problem afresh, picking apart the evidence against the man who was hanged for the crime and, unlike Conan Doyle, reaching a conclusion as to the identity of the real killer. Off-mint.
From the murder of sweet Fanny Adams in 1867 to that of Florence Dennis – shot in the head and left in a ditch in 1894 – Jan Bondeson has scoured the archives of the Victorian Illustrated Police News (IPN) to give accounts of 56 murders, with background details of the victims and the fates of the killers. Each case features at least one illustration – often depictions of the crime scene and the scaffold – from the pages of the IPN.
The Thieves of Threadneedle Street
The Victorian Fraudsters Who Almost Broke the Bank of England
Although still in his twenties, Austin Bidwell was an experienced international criminal at the time of his arrest for a fraud on the Bank of England in 1873. Based on court transcripts, witness statements, diaries and letters, this book tells the story of the American con man and his four co-conspirators who successfully passed off bills of exchange for large sums before a small mistake led to their arrest and a trial that exposed the fragility of the financial system.
Gangs, Vice and Packet Rats: 19th-Century Crime and Punishment
The crowds of immigrants, merchants, sailors, slave traders and soldiers passing through the colonial port of 19th-century Liverpool provided an ideal cover for gang-led criminality and drink-fuelled depravity. This entertaining survey of Liverpool’s Victorian underworld presents a litany of crime stories, including murder, robbery, prostitution and bodysnatching, many of which involved sailor gangs like the notorious Packet Rats. The presence of Irish Catholic immigrants in the city, as Archibald points out, also raised tensions.
Crime in 19th Century Scotland
This true crime book investigates some of the lesser-known murders, robberies and misdemeanours committed in 19th-century Scotland; and while it pursues a thematic approach to crime, including poisoning, rural murders and drink-related offences, it also reserves stand-alone chapters for the Dundee Museum Robbery and the Siege of John Street. Archibald is keen to contrast the romantic ‘glens and bens’ notion of Scotland with the reality of a cruel and desperate criminal underworld.
The Secret Train Robber
The Real Great Train Robbery Mastermind Revealed
The London crime scene of the 1950s and 1960s was rife with notorious villains such as the Krays and the Richardsons, but this book reveals that behind the headline-grabbers there was an unsuspected mastermind planning the Great Train Robbery and a string of other major robberies, a shadowy Mr Big controlling London's crime from the cover of his day job as a solicitor's clerk. His only confidant, his nephew Lee Sturley, tells the story.
The Count of Scotland Yard
The Controversial Life and Cases of DCS Herbert Hannam
DCS Herbert Hannam was one of the most compelling characters in Scotland Yard and the CID during the post-war period; in this biography of Hannam, Wade describes some of the sensational crimes he investigated in the mid 1950s and the unsolved murder of Emily Pye.
Age of Assassins
A History of Conspiracy and Political Violence 1865–1981
Introduced by a discussion of justifiable killing and the attempts to kill Hitler, this book presents a catalogue of political assassins, from John Wilkes Booth, the man who shot Abraham Lincoln, to the failed attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life in 1981.
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.
There Must be Evil
The Life and Murderous Career of Elizabeth Berry
In 1887, Elizabeth Berry, a young widow employed as a nurse at the Oldham workhouse, became notorious throughout the country, having murdered her own daughter; and there were suspicions surrounding another death – that of Elizabeth’s mother. Here, the celebrated crime author Bernard Taylor investigates the disturbing life of Elizabeth Berry and concludes that, although she was indicted for a single murder, she was in fact a cold-blooded serial killer.
Inside the Minds of Britain's Most Notorious Criminals
The Criminal Justice Act of 2003 allowed judges to sentence the perpetrators of particularly shocking crimes to a ‘whole life order’, with no chance of release. This book examines the lives of murderers currently serving these sentences in British prisons, such as Ian Huntley and Rose West. Debating the question of whether life really should mean life, the reports investigate each inmate’s motivations for committing their crimes as well as their subsequent attitudes to the offences and their imprisonment.
A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found
'A severed head can be many things: a loved one, a trophy, scientific data, criminal evidence, an educational prop, a religious relic, an artistic muse, a practical joke.' Larson surveys all these fates of human heads in a strange and often gruesome history that ranges from primitive tribes' shrunken heads to bizarre experiments in bringing guillotined heads back to life, and discusses issues such as the spectacle of public execution, the human face and the act of decapitation.
A Century of London Murders and Executions
One of the last convicts to be executed in London, Edwin Bush, who murdered an antique shop assistant in 1961, was arrested following one of the first uses of an 'Identikit' composite picture. This book outlines the stories of all the crimes that resulted in executions in London during the 20th century, including well-known cases such as Dr Crippen and Ruth Ellis.
Durham Executions from 1700 to 1900
Servant girl Mary Nicholson may have been driven to murder after being sexually assaulted by her master, but she was nevertheless hanged for her crime in 1799. This book examines the executions that took place in Durham in the 18th and 19th centuries, a time when social deprivation provoked violence and unrest and relatively petty crimes could be punishable by death.
The Secret Poisoner
A Century of Murder
In the 19th century, homicidal poisoning was considered a grave threat to society, yet prosecutors were commonly frustrated by lack of evidence. Stratmann chronicles how, during a century-long battle of wits between the law, medicine and the public, the new science of forensic toxicology evolved to thwart the poisoner’s art. Painful death, post-mortems and executions darken a gripping narrative that includes, among others, the notorious cases of Eliza Fenning and Betty Eccles.
The Good Old Days
Crime, Murder and Mayhem in Victorian London
The moral tone of Britain's elite may have been high in the 19th century but the reality for many of the people living in the world's richest city was squalor, drunkenness, violence and crime. Drawing on contemporary accounts, this tour of Victorian London lifts the lid on the living conditions of the poor and describes some of the capital's most notorious crimes and criminals. Slightly off-mint.
Murder & Crime: London
Within weeks of breaking auction house records, when bought by a Bond Street art dealer, Gainsborough's portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire was sensationally stolen, not to surface again for 25 years. This compendium of London crime describes 18 notorious felonies in the capital from Guy Fawkes and Jack the Ripper to Crippen and Christie.
The Victorian Master Criminal
Charles Peace and the Murders of Cock and Dyson
Charles Peace had served several short prison terms for burglary before he killed a policeman during a robbery in Manchester in 1876. Later the same year a second murder provoked a nationwide hunt for Peace, who was only apprehended two years later in London, where he had been living luxuriously on the proceeds of his crimes. This book tells the story of one of Victorian England's most notorious criminals, his trial, eventual confession and execution.
Bristol & Bath Whodunnit?
Anger, adultery and avarice lie behind the 20th-century cases featured here – one of which ended in the shortest murder trial on record (at just six minutes). The book explores the motivations of otherwise unremarkable people who were driven to kill; it also describes three brutal unsolved murders, and tells the story of one killer caught through the Crimewatch UK programme.
Mafia and Organized Crime
A Beginner's Guide
Who are the Mafia? Why are they so glamorized in popular culture? And how much damage do they really cause? The answers to these and other questions can be found in this lucid primer. Debunking the myths, it reveals the harsh realities of global organized crime from Russia to Mexico, and charts the trail of human misery and economic instability created by extortion, drug-running, money-laundering and human trafficking.
Trials of Passion
Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness
In judging ‘crimes of passion’, where should we draw the line between the ‘mad’ and the ‘bad’? This question featured prominently at several sensational trials between 1870 and 1914 as lawyers began to argue with psychiatrists over the inner lives of murderers. Focusing on three such trials in different countries, this book uses court and asylum records, letters and newspaper accounts to highlight the social debates prompted by the mind doctors’ new concepts of insanity.
The Mad Sculptor
In 1937 Americans were devouring pulp fiction, while newspapers claimed that a wave of 'sex fiends' was engulfing the nation. So when three women were killed in a swish New York borough the murders became a tabloid sensation. This much-acclaimed title delves into the background of the perpetrator Robert Irwin, a failing sculptor with a history of precarious mental health, and follows his flight, capture and trial as well as the aftermath of the case.
The psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn is working to unlock the memories of a traumatized four-year-old; her former patient, Captain Ben Callan, is investigating the suspicious death of an officer in Afghanistan; but when a dead body washes up on a Sussex beach, their cases mysteriously converge.
They All Love Jack
Busting the Ripper
The mystery surrounding Jack the Ripper's crimes has led to more than a century of obsessive theorizing about his identity. Now, indignant at Ripperologists' tendency to believe the 19th century's 'greatest liars', Bruce Robinson offers 'a repudiation of virtually everything' published on the subject; his lengthy but lively analysis of the evidence exposes a web of corruption and cover-up that helped the killer to escape. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Crime and Punishment in Victorian London
A Street-level View of the City's Underworld
Tales of crime-ridden slums and the activities of pickpockets, garotters, swindlers and pornographers loomed large in the minds of Victorian Londoners, and those aspects of the city's past continue to fascinate today's readers of historical fiction. Novelist Ross Gilfillan presents his research into the real-life stories of London's poorest and most desperate residents in the mid 19th century, and describes the authorities' changing approaches to the prevention and punishment of crime.
Adventures of Pirates, Scoundrels, and Other Rebels
Whether anarchists, criminals, free thinkers or revolutionaries, outlaws hold a perennial fascination for the safe, law-abiding majority. Richly illustrated in colour and black-and-white, this book charts the exploits of forest outlaws from Robin Hood to Henry Thoreau; seafarers such as Francis Drake and the female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read; sharpshooters such as Jesse James and Billy the Kid; and city hoodlums from Bonnie and Clyde to Jacques Mesrine.
Murder and Crime: Stirling
Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is an ancient city with a long and often bloodthirsty history, the dark streets of its Old Town providing a haven for ne'er-do-wells. Illustrated with a wide range of archive material, this book trawls though the town's grisly catalogue of fraud, robbery, assault and murder. Ten cases are examined in depth, while an appendix explores the work of the Circuit Court of Justiciary.
Beggars, Cheats and Forgers
A History of Frauds Through the Ages
Identity theft and pyramid schemes seem very modern problems, but such scams rely on the same techniques that have been used by fraudsters throughout history to exploit their victims' greed, vanity or naivety. David Thomas has delved into the National Archives to uncover the stories behind a host of cons, forged documents and fraudulent beggars – as well as a 70-year spate of 'Spanish prisoner' letters, the Victorian ancestors of today's emails from Nigerian princes.
A History: 1883–2006
The Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police was originally formed to combat a campaign of Irish republican terrorism, but soon took on wider responsibility for the monitoring of anarchists, Bolsheviks and suffragettes. This book presents a complete history of the service until its 2006 merger with the Anti-Terrorist Branch. Combining documentary sources with recollections from their own former colleagues in Special Branch, the authors trace its distinguished history and describe many acts of bravery and high-risk intelligence-gathering.
Cornwall Murder Files
Famous Cases Solved and Unsolved
A murder case usually excites public interest and when the crime takes place in a small community it is perhaps even more of a sensation. This true-crime selection recounts a number of murders committed in Cornwall during the later 20th and early 21st centuries and includes some intriguing unsolved killings such as that of millionaire farmer Les Bate in 2002.
Pinkerton's Great Detective
The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland
Created in 1850, Pinkerton's National Detective Agency used operatives renowned for their skills of subterfuge, infiltration and investigation – and none more so than James McParland, who even featured in a Sherlock Holmes story. This detailed but very readable biography from the author of Nimrod charts the famous cases of this real-life super-sleuth, including his infiltration of the Molly Maguires and his hunt for the Wild Bunch, and sheds new light on Pinkerton's cloak-and-dagger methods.
Crime in Wartime London
At a time when most Londoners were pulling together in the face of terrible adversity, a criminal minority was taking advantage of blitz and blackout to rob and murder. Here, the renowned crime writer Simon Read paints a vivid picture of what life was like in 1940s London as he describes the crimes of the most notorious killers, among them the 'Blackout Ripper', the Elephant Boys, John 'Acid Bath' Haigh and the infamous Rillington Place murderer, John Christie.
Foul Deeds in Islington
Islington may now be one of the most fashionable areas of London, but it was once a dark and dangerous place. This absorbing book charts the many shocking crimes committed within its purlieus, and profiles their perpetrators: police killers Thomas Cooper and Ronald Marwood, the poisoner George Chapman, the child murderer Celestina Somner, and Kenneth Halliwell, who bludgeoned his lover, the playwright Joe Orton, to death on Noel Road.
A Sightseer's Guide to the Capital of Crime
From Newgate Prison to the West London flat where Lord Lucan murdered his nanny, this illustrated gazetteer lists the locations around the capital that have played host to notorious crimes such as the Christie and Crippen murders, arch villains such as the Richardsons or famous London crime-fighters. The book also includes comprehensive guided walks visiting sites associated with Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper and the Krays.
Return of the Thin Man
After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man
Following the success of MGM's film adaptation of his novel The Thin Man in 1934, Dashiell Hammett wrote the two novellas published here as screen stories for sequels. After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man continue the exploits of ex- detective Nick Charles and his wife Nora, with knife-edge dialogue and hairpin plot twists. Edited, with introductions, by Richard Layman and Julie M Rivett.
The Gallery of Missing Masterpieces
The current wealth of the art market is making it more attractive than ever to thieves and unethical dealers. Illustrated with reproductions of missing works and drawing on the work of Julian Radcliffe of the Art Loss Register, this volume tells the stories of stolen paintings and artefacts ranging from Old Masters to Warhol screen prints and examines topics such as the looting of antiquities, Nazi art theft and the problems facing the art world today.
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Guildford
Covering crimes ranging from killing newborns to parricide, this book chronicles the more gruesome aspects of Guildford's criminal history during the 19th and 20th centuries. It describes in detail each of 22 cases and the fates of both victims and perpetrators, with illustrations from contemporary reports and old and new photographs of the scenes of the crimes.
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths around Oxfordshire
From a baby-eating pig in 14th century Oxford to Victorian murders, this book chronicles the more gruesome aspects of Oxfordshire's history. It describes in detail each of 27 cases and the fates of both victims and perpetrators, with illustrations from contemporary reports and old and new photographs of the scenes of the crimes.
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in and around Colchester
From George Eagles, hanged, drawn and quartered in 1557, to the riddle of the Fingringhoe skeleton in 1937, this book chronicles the more gruesome aspects of Colchester's history. It describes in detail each of 16 cases and the fates of both victims and perpetrators, with illustrations from contemporary reports and old and new photographs of the scenes of the crimes.
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Jersey
After a brief history of the island, Glynis Cooper chronicles the more gruesome aspects of Jersey's history, from abduction and rape of its women in 1299 to the tragedies of the Nazi Occupation, 1940-45. The book describes in detail over 30 cases and the fates of both victims and perpetrators, with illustrations from contemporary reports and old and new photographs of the scenes of the crimes.
Foul Deeds in Richmond and Kingston
From the early 19th century to the 1950s, Jonathan Oates chronicles the more gruesome aspects of Richmond and Kingston's history. He describes in detail each of 20 cases and the fates of both victims and perpetrators, with illustrations from contemporary reports and old and new photographs of the scenes of the crimes.
Notorious Murders of the Twentieth Century
Famous and Forgotten British Cases
As varied, enigmatic and unpredictable as the crime itself, this collection of 21 murder cases includes famous unsolved homicides such as the murder of Julia Wallace in Liverpool in 1931; particularly savage cases such as Buck Ruxton's killing of two women in Dumfriesshire in 1935; the first murderer convicted on fingerprint evidence; and a death sentence passed in 1992 – on the Isle of Man.