Kent Murders

Kent Murders

Among the gruesome cases featured here are the doctor who was poisoned with morphine in Faversham; the couple who were brutally battered to death in their beds in Chislehurst; and the strange death of a young German man whose body was discovered with one hand missing on Ramsgate beach. All manner of murder and mystery are included here, making Kent Murders a must-read for true crime enthusiasts everywhere.

Featured cases are:

Brotherly Love
Sheldwich, 1655.
Sir George Sondes’ life fell apart when his younger son Freeman, jealous of the legacy that would be due to his favoured elder brother George, brutally murdered his brother as he slept. But was Sir George in part to blame for the terrible tragedy?

Dead of Night
Chislehust 1813.
Thomson and Anne Bonar were a devoted couple, known for their kindliness, so who could have murdered them in their beds? Even the murderer, while regretting what he had done, was unable to explain why he had done it.

Saviour of the People
Canterbury 1838.
John Tom, handsome and charismatic, convinced many that he was a saviour come to earth to help the poor. No-one knew until it was too late that he was dangerously insane, and the outcome was a bloody battle in a wood near Canterbury.

The Body on the Beach
Ramsgate 1859.
When a naked German with one hand missing was found stabbed to death on Ramsgate beach the town was terrified that a murderer was on the loose.

The Man Who Wanted to be Hanged
Chatham 1862.
It was a cruel and senseless murder of an innocent boy by someone not a great deal older. Society was shocked by the callous crime and a killer who was seemingly unrepentant.

The Unwanted Wife
Cudham and Penge 1877.
Murder by slow starvation is rare, but Harriet Staunton and her infant son were killed by the cruel neglect of her fortune hunting husband. The crime was only discovered by an astonishing coincidence.

The Veiled Lady
Yalding 1881.
It seemed inconceivable that a woman scorned by her lover would be so cruel as to revenge herself on his innocent child, yet all the evidence pointed to Esther Pay as a cold and scheming killer.

The Mysterious Death of Dr Lyddon
Faversham 1890.
The Lyddons were drunkards, and a constant trouble to the local police who were constantly called out to deal with arguments. William Lyddon was also a GP. When he was found dead of morphine poisoning suspicion fell on his half brother who stood to inherit the practice.

A Tragedy of Reckless Folly
Whitstable, 1926.
A shot rang out, and a man fell dying. The killer was undoubtedly the estranged and jealous husband of the dead man’s mistress, but he claimed that it had all been an accident. Would the jury believe him?

Shore Leave.
Gravesend 1926.
In this unique case a Filipino sailor was shot by an American sailor in a Gravesend street, but the captain of the warship refused to give up the suspect and sailed away. It took the involvement of the Home Office and Washington to get the ship to return to Gravesend where a court martial was held on board.

Published 30th January 2009 by the History Press Ltd.

"I love writing about crime, especially Victorian crime. Before the launch of my fiction series set in Bayswater in the 1880s I researched and wrote true crime and historical biography.

It is that fascination for the nineteenth century and those contradictory Victorians that I now bring to my fiction writing. Frances Doughty’s adventures are only just beginning!"


Linda Stratmann
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