By Mark Isaacs
Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Cardiff takes the reader on a sinister trip during the historical past of neighborhood crime and conspiracy, assembly villains of all kinds alongside the best way - informal or calculating killers, murderous husbands and enthusiasts, gangsters, robbers, poisoners and suicides. there's no scarcity of harrowing and revealing episodes in Cardiff's earlier, and Mark Isaacs' interesting ebook recollects many grisly occasions and unhappy or unsavoury contributors whose behavior throws a harsh gentle at the heritage of town. among the surprising - and revealing - situations the writer describes are the homicide of a Welsh Protestant by means of an Irish Catholic that provoked rioting; the double lifetime of a decent widow poisoned with arsenic; the exploits of a 'Jack the Ripper' killer in Cardiff's again streets; the throat-slashing revenge of the Cardiff Race tune Gang; the still-mysterious wartime homicide of Alice Pittman; the case of the Somalian sailor arrested for the brutal slaying of an elderly...
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Extra info for Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths in Cardiff
Although alcohol-induced crime was indeed a serious issue, McKenzie let his own opinions on sobriety and morality cloud his perspective, failing to separate practical policing from what some regarded as the religious dogma attached to his austere, rural upbringing. His stated primary aim to rid the town of this curse left him open to question and ridicule in the papers who were happy to contradict their own view of the man on a day to day basis. The Western Mail happily pointed out that neighbouring Newport had more pubs but fewer incidents of drunkenness than Cardiff, and Glamorgan fewer pubs but more violent crime.
All at the time when it was reckoned that it would take a separate force in itself just to police the brothels of Tiger Bay. McKenzie would transform the Cardiff police from little more than a backwater posse of local vigilantes and do-gooders in uniform to a crack, model and professional unit in his first twenty years in the job. McKenzie was born in 1852 in Aberdeenshire. He had grown restless on his father’s farm and sought opportunities south of the border. Originally employed by the police in the north of England, by 1876 he had made his home in Bristol.
In fear of savage reprisals metered out on their fellow countrymen, large groups of Irish navvies from all over South Wales descended on the town armed with pick axes. They in turn would be met by a travelling posse of Welshmen from Merthyr intent on just such violent interaction. Chaotic scenes developed along the route of the cortege from St John’s church to the cemetery in Adamsdown as onlookers jostled to view the coffin and vocalise their feeling of outrage. Special constables were hastily sworn-in in an attempt to keep the intense feeling of antagonism from boiling over in to pitched battle.