I decided to include this section on my website because I’m interested in true crime, particularly old cases, and it gave me a good excuse to do some research. I used to teach Criminology and it was always the murderers that most fascinated my students.
While undertaking the research I started to think about what it is about crime, particularly murder, that so fascinates us. Perhaps it is because it is the most extreme of actions, the one with the most far-reaching consequences – not only for the defendant and victim but also for their families and loved ones. What is it that would prompt somebody to take another’s life? Money? Jealousy? Revenge?
I’ve picked out some of the cases that particularly interest me and that also have some legal or developmental point of interest. For example, the case of the Stratton brothers was the first case that used fingerprint evidence in a murder trial, while Bywaters and Thompson is interesting in how much it tells us of of society’s view of women at the time.
The notes are only intended as thumb nail sketches, to give a flavour of the cases. There’s plenty of material available on the internet if you want to do your own research