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By Stephen Wade

The note 'murder' has constantly attracted frequent neighborhood and nationwide media assurance. as soon as identified, the tale turns into the topic of dialogue in various areas through the land. a few grisly stories turn into a part of a tradition that lives on for generations, while others, even via a few of the worst serial killers, are quickly forgotten.

In this ebook skilled crime historian Stephen Wade has collected jointly a set of murders overlaying the whole 20th century. even supposing recognized of their personal day, such a lot are actually forgotten via most of the people, except the easiest real crime fanatics. the 1st conviction for fingerprint facts, the final placing in England and murderous husbands and better halves are integrated; yet there also are mysteries, unsolved killings and bizarre confessions. Meet the fellow who poisoned his rival's scones, a wrongful arrest and the acquittal of an excellent spouse who shot her guy lifeless. There are even stories from the Isle of guy, whose legislators endured to...

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Extra resources for Notorious Murders of the Twentieth Century. Famous and Forgotten British Cases

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There is a literary tradition to crime writing about famous murders which tends to create a line of thinkers, each adding to what has gone before, and each developing a new theory. In my collection there is one outstanding example: that of William Herbert Wallace. As Douglas Wynn wrote in his book, On Trial for Murder (1996), ‘This was one of the strangest murder cases ever. The murder reads like a detective story and there have been some twenty books written about it. Raymond Chandler called it the “impossible murder”…’ In writing my contribution to the debate, I am conscious that this murder case has gone so far into the realms of literature rather than life that I feel the creative weight of previous minds at work on the enigma.

There had been various academics who had done work on prints but nothing had come of it: a professor at the University of Breslau in 1823 had read a Latin thesis on fingerprints in a lecture, and the artist Thomas Bewick had done some wood engravings of fingerprints, using them as identifying signatures on his works. In China, for many centuries, thumb-prints had been used in documents for identity purposes in ratification. Similarly, these impressions had been used in India with illiterate members of the population.

When it came to the process of investigation and eventually the charge of murder against Armstrong in April 1922 the trial opened at Hereford Assizes. Sir Henry Curtis-Bennett defended Armstrong and Mr Justice Darling presided. For the prosecution, Sir Ernest Pollock led for the Crown. Armstrong was on remand in prison at Gloucester and every day of the trial he was driven to Hereford and back. The trial was a momentous one for the great judge Darling. He was seventy-three and it was his last murder trial.

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