Investigating 19th century crime

Unleashing The Hound of the Baskervilles

Unleashing The Hound of the Baskervilles

Swirling fog, quick sand, an escaped convict and a terrifying hound, my first memory of watching a crime drama as a child, was The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), and it has haunted me ever since. I recently saw an excellent production of this iconic story at The Mill at Sonning (banner above) and it is still my absolute favourite Sherlock Holmes case.

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How to Get Away with Murder?

How to Get Away with Murder?

How to Get Away With Murder is one of my favourite Netflix shows, and if the ‘enterprising’ law students had been disposing of bodies in the 19th century, they might have tried quick lime to remove traces of human remains. I mixed crime history and chemistry to find out if this would work…

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Investigating the Ilford Murder

Investigating the Ilford Murder

I’ve been enjoying the new series, Murder, Mystery and My Family, recently shown on BBC One. I was particularly interested in the case of Edith Thompson who was executed for her husband’s murder in 1922, as some of the drama played out in places I know. I decided to investigate further…

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In the Line of Duty

In the Line of Duty

Police officers faced constant dangers as they patrolled the towns and cities of Victorian England, often leading to serious injury and sometimes even to death. I’ve investigated two cases of police murder with astonishing similarities, but very different outcomes.

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How to Read Old Newspapers

How to Read Old Newspapers

Sensational headlines and fake news were just as common in the 19th century as they are today. When beginning an historical investigation, the range of contemporary newspapers can be overwhelming, and much time can be wasted following the ‘wrong’ leads’. Here are my top tips for navigating the complex world of ‘old’ news.

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Criminal Lives

Criminal Lives

London Metropolitan Archives is one of my favourite places to study, with its airy atmosphere, efficient service and friendly staff. My recent visit was enriched further by an excellent new exhibition all about criminal transportation.

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