By Molly Whittington-Egan

Tales macabre and stories extraordinary. them all with homicide in brain. this is often the compendium quantity of Molly Whittington-Egan's evocative and hugely readable sequence of homicide circumstances, The Stockbridge child Farmer and Scottish homicide tales. Written in an often witty and irreverent kind, those tales make sure that whereas the area has moved on, the human brain nonetheless offers with homicide within the standard formed method with reasons that have not often replaced through the years. The 36 stories are: 1. The Stockbridge Baby-Farmer: Jessie King, 1888; 2. 'I am Gall': Peter Queen, 1931; three. The Half-Mutchkin: Edinburgh Brothel Case, 1823; four. To the Lighthouse: Robert Dickson, 1960; five. Mr Kello's Sunday Morning carrier: John Kello, 1570; 6. The Whiteinch Atrocities: The McArthur homicide, 1904; Helen and William Harkness, 1921; 7. dying of a Hermit: George Shaw and George Dunn, 1952; eight. The Light-Headed Cutty: Mary Smith; aka 'The spouse o'Denside', 1826; nine. The Postman Knocked: Stanislav Myszka, 1947;...

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He was from now on willing to own up to the items which he had stolen from Mrs Walker’s ‘lie-to’, but it proved difficult to establish that he had taken items from Rose’s pockets on the mountainside. Did he mean that Rose died by accident and he rifled the body there and then and hid it, or did he imply that others did the deed after he had left Rose intact? The second alternative was certainly the force of his defence at the trial in Edinburgh which opened on November 8th, 1889. ’ The Prosecution adhered to the plain theory of repeated blows by Laurie with a stone, followed by theft at the scene.

On Monday November 4th, Detective Lieutenant Trench, of the Glasgow City Police was called in for his known expertise in difficult cases. The resemblance to the case of Miss Gilchrist, in which he was later to play an important part, was not lost on him. The Chief Constable of Broughty Ferry, Howard Sempill, escorted him to Elmgrove, where he made some new findings. The local force could hardly have missed the bloodstained towel lying near the kitchen sink, positively saturated with DNA – perhaps some from the killer – if these things had been known, but Trench also found the imprint of three fingers on a piece of paper in the same area.

The second alternative was certainly the force of his defence at the trial in Edinburgh which opened on November 8th, 1889. ’ The Prosecution adhered to the plain theory of repeated blows by Laurie with a stone, followed by theft at the scene. Weighty and learned medical experts brought for either side effectively cancelled one another out, as was reflected in the verdict of Guilty, by a majority of one, seven voting for Not Proven. Hangman Berry would soon be required. An agitation, however, gained strength, based on the feeling that Laurie must have been insane to have performed such a gross, excessive and inappropriate series of acts.

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