This compendium brings together thirty-three murderous tales – one from each of the capital’s boroughs – that not only shocked the City but made headline news across the country. Throughout its history the great urban sprawl of Greater London has been home to some of the most shocking murders in England, many of which have made legal history. Contained within the pages of this book are the stories behind these heinous crimes.
They include George Chapman, who was hanged in 1903 for poisoning three women, and whom is widely suspected of having been the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper; lovers Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters,
executed for stabbing to death Thompson’s husband Percy in 1922; and, Donald Hume, who was found not guilty of the murder of wealthy businessman Stanley Setty in 1949, but later confessed to killing him, chopping up his body and disposing of it by aeroplane.
Linda Stratmann has also unearthed astounding new information that sheds a whole new light on the infamous Craig and Bentley case. This carefully researched, well-illustrated and enthralling text will appeal to those interested in the history of Greater London’s history and true-crime fans alike.
There are 33 London boroughs, counting City and Westminster, (see the alphabetical list below) and I have gone back to original records to write about a true crime case from each. Some are famous crimes that made history, others are lesser-known but no less fascinating. With numerous illustrations.
Barking and Dagenham
The savage murder and mutilation of a young police constable lured from his lonely beat.
The torso of a man found on the Essex marshes is traced back to a bloodstained London flat. Donald Hume admits he threw the remains out of an aeroplane, but denies murder.
The corpse of an unknown man is found in a peaceful avenue in Erith. His murderer is arrested, but has his own plans to escape justice.
When a woman and her twin sons go missing in 1905 her mother has a horrible suspicion about what may be in the husband’s tin trunk.
On a stormy night a woman is thrown out of her lodgings. There are terrible screams, and her body is later found in a well. Did she fall or was she pushed?
The tragic tale of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to hang in Britain.
When burglary is suspected, the police knock on the door, but the gang come out with guns blazing. The aftermath of murder was one of the most famous sieges in British history.
The Craig and Bentley case, subject of the film ‘Let Him Have it Chris’ with some previously unpublished material.
The villain who got away with matricide, only to kill again.
Benjamin Danby fell in with some desperate men, and ended up butchered in a ditch – but who wielded the fatal knife?
The unsolved murder of a young woman which scandalised the neighbourhood.
The cruel murder of a child and accusations against its own mother raised a lot of doubts at the time.
Hammersmith and Fulham
The extraordinary tale of adventuress Lina Sykes and the unfortunate fate of the men in her life.
As robbers escape, a massive hue and cry is raised and the chase is on!
The inexplicable murder of Mrs McCormack by her husband who said she was ‘one of the best women in the world.’
Desperate criminals shoot a police inspector, but was the right man hanged?
James Gibbons’ wife said he had shot himself, but then the doubts set in.
A crazed gunman goes on the rampage in Chiswick.
The notorious Crippen case, looked at in the light of new DNA evidence
Kensington and Chelsea
The sad story of Timothy John Evans and his landlord, John Christie, subject of the film ’10 Rillington Place’.
Trapped on a moving train with a murderer, Mrs King has to think fast to save her life.
The murder of Leon Beron on Clapham Common gave rise to theories that it was connected with the Siege of Sidney Street, but a letter found in the National Archives may give a clue as to the truth
A ground-breaking trial, the first in Britain in which a fingerprint was used in evidence in a murder case.
The callous poisoning of a disabled boy by his brother-in-law for an inheritance.
The headless body of a man is found on the Silvertown marshes. Who wielded the chopper?
It is often said that Edith Thompson was hanged for adultery. Did she really have any prior knowledge that her lover Frederick Bywaters was about to knife her husband Percy to death?
The savage and gruesome murder and dismemberment of a lady by her maid.
Was Severin Klosowski Jack the Ripper? He was certainly guilty of poisoning three women, and already had his sights on another.
Diminutive William Wittman said that his much larger wife had tried to shoot him, so why did he keep loaded guns in the house, and why was it she whose face was shattered by a shotgun blast?
Terror sweeps through Whitechapel, and nobody feels safe. What was it like to live through the time of the infamous Ripper killings of 1888?
Secret notes and assignations between a chemist and a grocer’s wife end in her suspicious death and the chemist’s panicked flight.
The enduring mystery of the death of Charles Bravo, poisoned – but by whom?
A shot rings out in the lobby of the House of Commons. The Prime Minster falls dead. Was his killer mad – or just very very angry?
Published 1st January 2010 by The History Press Ltd.