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.
Scotland Yard's History of Crime in 100 Objects
Established in 1875, Scotland Yard's private collection of items gathered from notorious crime scenes, informally known as the Black Museum, represents a history of crime on British soil. Each of the artefacts chosen for this book prompts an exploration of a different area of criminal activity, the objects ranging from the poisoned pellet used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978 to the fingerprint-covered ketchup bottle that helped convict the Great Train Robbers in 1964.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Private Detective, The Mysterious Life and Times of the Real Sherlock Holmes
The Victorian sleuth 'Paddington' Pollaky was a contradiction: a man of mystery who craved the limelight; a meddling busybody whose heart was in the right place. This first-ever biography investigates his involvement in the American Civil War, his campaign against sex trafficking and his dogged search for abducted children. It examines his methods – including placing cryptic messages in The Times – and considers whether he was the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.
Hanged at Winchester
From its opening in 1849, HM Prison, Winchester was the main centre for executions in Hampshire and the neighbouring counties, and the executioners were infamous hangmen including William Marwood, pioneer of the 'long drop', and Albert Pierrepoint. This history examines the cases of each of the 29 hangings that took place there from the 1869 Aldershot army camp murderer to the killers of a Cornish farmer in 1963.
Though committed by Germans and tried in London, the murder of Wolfgang Rosterg in 1944 took place in a Scottish prison camp and is thus included in this collection of true crime stories. The 47 murders that are featured range from the killing of a deserting sailor in 1814 to the Glasgow detective who bludgeoned his lover and ran her over in a stolen car.
Streets of Sin
A Dark Biography of Notting Hill
Now an upmarket residential enclave, Notting Hill in the 1950s was a run-down, crime-afflicted area, notorious for Christie’s murders at 10 Rillington Place. Fiona Rule tells its troubled story, from the mid 1700s when Notting Hill was a tiny rural community on Richard Ladbroke’s estates, through the arrival in the early 1800s of Arthur Lake, who dealt in London’s soot and sewage, to the murderers, street-fighters and evil landlords of the 20th century, ending with the area’s recent gentrification.
The Criminal Chronology of York Castle
This 'register of the criminals capitally convicted and executed' at the York Tyburn was produced in 1867 using 'prison documents, ancient papers, and other authentic sources' to tell the stories of every criminal (not least 'highwayman, horse-stealer, and murderer' Dick Turpin) who mounted the scaffold, right back to 1379. Facsimile of the first edition, with new illustrations.