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Investigating 19th century crime

Angela Buckley's Blog

Confession of a Killer

In February 1879, convicted murderer Charlie Peace faced the death sentence for killing his former lover’s husband. Whilst he was waiting for his execution on 25 February, he made an astonishing revelation and committed to a crime for which someone else had already been convicted.

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Shanklin’s Secret Smugglers

I am very fortunate to spend time regularly on the Isle of Wight, especially in Shanklin where we have a small house. The village, with its historic thatched pubs and sandy beach, was one of the main centres of island smuggling in the past, and there are still traces of its secret history present today.

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The Hunt for Amelia Dyer

In 1896, three detectives from Reading Borough Police Force caught one of Britain’s most prolific serial killers. Pictured with artefacts belonging to the case, these tenacious police officers used all their powers of deduction and expertise to catch notorious child murderer Amelia Dyer.

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Reading’s Year of Crime

At the end of every year, throughout the Victorian period, the Chief Constable of Berkshire released the annual crime figures for Reading and the surrounding villages. In December 1896, he revealed that the town had ‘gained an unenviable notoriety.’ The salacious details were published in the Berkshire Chronicle.

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